in Early October:
Isn’t that cover pretty? And now the writing is completed! Here’s
When it comes to the exegesis of Scripture, we are truly treading upon holy ground. While many view the interpretation of God’s Word as nothing more special or important than the reading of any other ancient book, in reality the more proper attitude would be that which gave rise to the Jewish practice of washing the hands when handling the scrolls of the Old Testament, for they believed the Scriptures “made the hands unclean,” they were so holy in and of themselves. While we do not need to become superstitious about the physical book called the Bible, so as to wash our hands before picking up or opening the book, the text of the Scripture is, as we have seen, God-breathed. Hence, when we seek to engage that text on the level of understanding, we are, in fact, handling divine truth. We are putting ourselves in a position to hear from God. That sets the activity apart from merely seeking to read an ancient historian so as to understand his story.
It also sets believing exegesis apart from the common “Bible study” found in so many evangelical churches today. Remember when you were in school and you had to take a test on a book you were assigned to read? You studied and invested time in learning the background of the author, the context in which he lived and wrote, his purposes in writing, his audience, and the specifics of the text. You did not simply come to class, pop open the book, read a few sentences, and say, “Well, I feel the author here means this” Yet, for some odd reason, this attitude is prevalent in Christian circles. For some reason, the Bible is treated differently. Rather than investing time in such allegedly “non-spiritual” pursuits such as the study of backgrounds and contexts and languages and the like, many think it best just to seek a “feeling” about a passage. Whether that feeling results in an interpretation that has anything at all to do with what the original author intended to convey is really not considered an important aspect. Everyone, seemingly, has the right to express their “feelings” about what they “think” the Bible is saying, as if those thoughts actually reflect what God inspired in His Word. While we would never let anyone get away with treating our writings like this, we seem to think God is not bothered, and what is worse, that our conclusions are somehow authoritative in their representation of His Word.