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Friday, July 2, 2010

Grasping God's Word - Biblical Interpretation for All of Us!

Just finished my course on Biblical Interpretation and went through an amazing resourceful book for seminary students called Grasping God's Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays. I got great reviews from my teacher and got an A in the class! Praise the Lord! It was definitely one of my hardest yet most enjoyable class (because of the season and masses of homework!). This book precisely teaches Christians (specifically teachers and ministry leaders) how to understand the Bible in the correct interpretation through the historical-cultural context of any text.

I wanted to share with all of you bloggers who read my posts some get points on how to proper study the Bible. Grasping God's Word and beginning to understand what He is trying to communicate to us is absolutely essential; however, it needs to be understood in contexts. Each text is in a passage, and each passage is in a chapter. Each chapter is in a section, and each section is in a book. Each book is in a Testament, and each Testament collectively is in Bible as a whole. Learning to notice contextual realms when reading the Bible is very important to understanding the Scriptures.

The book gives four main points on how to interpret the Bible. Make sure you write these down, because they are so foundational to know in order to understand the context of the Scriptures:

1. Grasping the text in their town.
"What did the text mean to the original biblical audience?"

2. Measuring the width of the river to cross.
"What are the differences between the original biblical audience and us?"

3. Crossing over the principlizing bridge.
"What is the theological principle in this text?"

4. Grasping the text in our town.
"How should individual Christians today apply the theological principle in their lives?"

The "Interpretive Journey" is an excellent way to learn how to be sound in hermeneutics (Greek for "interpretation"). Use these four steps as blueprints for always building knowledge of the Scriptures and their meaning. It will help you find the true meaning and appropriate context God was speaking about towards us. Applying 1st century principles to the 21st century is thesis for proper biblical interpretation because what it meant to the original audience within the original authorial intent is the absolute true principle(s) of a passage. Once you find the principle(s), you can apply that same meaning to us. May we all live and study the Word of God properly and grow deeper in our commitment to Jesus as we dig for the truth!

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