Some Bible Families Examined from a Systems Perspective

Volume 7
Winter 1979
Some Bible Families Examined from a Systems Perspective

A brief overview of systems theory is provided with examples of major aspects of systems such as boundary, adaptability and specialization, decider subsystem and feedback loop functioning, and priorities or goals. Ways in which systems can malfunction are then described. Several Bible families'€™ narratives are then analyzed from a systems perspective; these include Lot'€™s family as an example of a malfunctioning family system. Abigail and Nabal as an example of a system with one major dysfunctional component, Abram and Sarai as an example of a system that clearly grew in competence and spirituality, and, finally, Priscilla and Aquila are seen as an optimally operating system. It is concluded that a systems model could provide a basis for studying Bible family narratives as "€œbackground" of the total "€œgestalt€" of Scriptures, from which basic principles permitting healthy development can be derived. A more comprehensive view of the meaning of biblical "€œforeground,€" as specific injunctions regarding management of family life, would then become possible.

Dr. M.L. Rogers
251 - 258
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