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The Bible: What it is & What it Isn’t Getting Serious about Taking Scripture in Context.

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Presentation on theme: "The Bible: What it is & What it Isn’t Getting Serious about Taking Scripture in Context."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Bible: What it is & What it Isn’t Getting Serious about Taking Scripture in Context

2 Goal (this session and the previous) Don’t O Think about the Bible … O Talk about the Bible … In ways that make the idea of inspiration indefensible or vulnerable to attack.

3 MISCONCEPTIONS 3

4 What do we mean? O Passage focus O Verses before and after O More academic O Grammatical-historical Exegesis O Historical backdrop O Specific occasion O Internal consistency / Bible as a whole O Biblical languages

5 What do we mean? O Bigger issue than all that O We’re been trained (conscious or otherwise) to not see what interpreting Scripture in context really means and requires O Must understand what interpreting the Bible in context does NOT mean …

6 Foreign Contexts O The proper context for accurately understanding the Bible is not: The Church Fathers (of any era) The Roman Catholic Church The Protestant Reformation Denominational Distinctives Evangelicalism Modern Critical Approaches Any modern context

7 Correct Context O The proper context for accurately understanding the Bible is : The one in which it was written. O The Bible was written for us, but not to us

8 WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? 8

9 Broadly … O You need to think like the original biblical writers – and the original readers to whom the biblical books were written. O You need their worldview in your head

10 Broadly … O The Bible is filled with insider information, but we are outsiders when it comes to their world. O We do not share their outlook and knowledge in every area …

11 Broadly … O Social (cultural attitudes, customs, biases) O Science (natural world, medicine, biology, micro-biology, astronomy, navigation, geography, etc.) O Communication (written, oral) O Religious (unseen realm, afterlife, divine knowledge)

12 SPECIFICS 12

13 Foreign Worldview of Bible Bears Marks of ANE Culture 13  Jacob and Laban – goats (Gen 30)  Numbers 5 test for adultery  Casting Lots  Justice  Avenger of blood, crime and punishment (e.g., Deut. 25:11)  Status of women  Polygamy, Levirate Marriage, Divorce, Property

14 Phenomena of the Text Use of Ancient Literary Structures O Covenant treaty structures O Lawsuit genre O Afterlife sighting genre O Epistolary literature O Parallelism, recapitulation, chiasm 14

15 Phenomena of the Text Content is Ancient / Primitive O Medicine / Science O seat of emotions, intellect O reproductive biology O cosmology 15

16 Phenomena of the Text Theological Communication Not always (or even mostly) propositional O Story, narrative, concepts O Chaos O Leviathan O Fire O Stars O Divine home / office / council 16

17 SO … WHAT TO DO? 17

18 Summation O A coherent understanding of inspiration needs to account for what is actually found in the text. O We need to O set aside our assumptions O focus on the biblical data O LET THE BIBLE BE WHAT IT IS, not make it what it isn’t 18

19 What is the Bible? O Ancient Mediterranean document … O Pre-scientific in worldview … O Supernatural in worldview … O Presumes the culture of its writers … O God knew who he was using and what he was getting O Providential guidance – a PROCESS, not an event O We honor God’s decisions


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