Engage in the Story of Scripture

***As I progress through my doctoral program I will be placing some of my work on here. Please feel free to engage with me in the learning process and seeking greater depth in understanding of leadership, scripture, and life.

Scripture should be studied with two separate lenses: one of detail while the other observes the entirety of the story being told.  In order to effectively do this, it is imperative to first realize each reader brings a wealth of preunderstanding, or “preconceived notions and understandings…before we actually study the text in detail.” (Duvall, 2005, p.89)  From the author to the reader, thousands of years and numerous cultural differences exist, serving as obstacles from achieving full understanding. To do proper exegesis, the “exegete is to attempt to look into the mind of the author in order to determine what he meant when he made certain statements to certain people.” (Ellis, 1980, 152)

Part of the process of proper exegesis is to move beyond simply reading scripture seeking meaning, but to study scripture in search of understanding.  This understanding is found in details of the writing, the use of sentences, paragraphs and discourse. Each should be approached with a progression from detail to the big picture reading “to note as many details as possible.” (Duvall, 2005, p. 29)  Regardless of the literary element, it is necessary to look for relationships between different portions of scripture. It is these relationships that bring deeper understanding to the passage as well as the overall story.

Duvall (2005) states, “The bible is not a collection of short, disconnected sentences, or unrelated paragraphs.  The Bible is a story.” (p.65)

Duvall, J. S., Hays, J. D., & Strauss, K. J. V. and M. L. (2012). Grasping God’s Word: A
Hands-On-Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible (3 ed.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Ellis, K. C. (1980). The nature of biblical exegesis. Bibliotheca Sacra, 137(546), 151–155.


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