[The authority of scripture was] exercised by priest and people praying the words of scripture in psalm and canticle, and reading, hearing and pondering the whole sweep of the Bible’s story year by year ... so that they might learn the way of repentance, conversion of life, and holiness. The key thought of “the authority of scripture” was the power the story had to inform prayer and shape imagination, to provide exemplar and encouragement, and to help put their lives’ journey into the context of the journey of God’s people from creation to final fulfilment by way of the cross.
The authority of a story (and most of scripture is story) is often subtle, frequently a long-term project, and nurtured by repetition and slow digestion. It is about the reshaping of how we see ourselves and our lives by forming our mental world, and populating it with the images, examples and friends who open new possibilities to us, as well as warning us away from bad ideas and foolish practices (of which there are more than a few in the Bible).
[The photo is my own - showing materials for the story of Abraham, Sarah, and the Great Family.]