The Offense 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 to seek greater depth in understanding of leadership, scripture, and life.

We should not shy away from debates and properly apply historical-cultural contextualization to the passages of scripture being studied. Debates and conflicts are a part of human interaction, especially when dealing with something as close to the heart and existence of an individual as the biblical text is. This should not, however, deter anyone from engaging in proper exegesis to gain a full understanding of scripture.

Paul commands Timothy, and all those who read his second letter to Timothy, to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” (II Tim. 2.15) No one should approach scripture casually, or with a haphazard attitude, but rather with full diligence and confidence in the ability of the Holy Spirit to reveal the deep truths of scripture. God is speaking to his people through the scriptures, and he has provided a relationship with the Holy Spirit to give insight into that understanding (Duvall, 2012, p. 205), and “enable them to carry out God’s will more effectively.” (Ellis, 1980, p. 153)

The message of the Bible can be create tension between individuals, people groups, and whole nations. Proper handling of the text and the intended meaning of the original authors can help alleviate the tension, or can equip individuals with the necessary tact needed to diffuse offense through accurate interpretation. This possibility of debates and offense should not deter Christians from seeking the true, sometimes difficult, meaning of scripture, but it should, instead, compel Christians to diligently seek the exact meaning. Understanding the exact meaning will give confidence to the interpreter to approach a possible tense situation with ease, patient, and compassion.

References

Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: study Bible: English standard version (ESV text ed.). Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles.

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 edition.). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Ellis, K. C. (1980). The nature of biblical exegesis. Bibliotheca Sacra, 137(546), 151–155.


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