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Grasping God's Word

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eric hauan

on 29 November 2014

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Transcript of Grasping God's Word

Grasping God's Word
How to climb the mountain of Scripture
View from the Bottom
As you begin you ascent remember:
small and deep is better than big and shallow.
- Understand the
Interpretive Journey
you take in reading the Bible. Reference #2 in GGW

A view from the Top:
How to read the Bible
What about you? Does the one doing the hiking matter?
What about the Holy Spirit?
Is this your Bible?
Some parts are so vague
Between animals being slaughtered for
sacrifice, mass circumcisions, Jesus'
parables, miracles, Revelation, massive run on sentences, Scripture overlap, prophecy, and a 6,000 year time gap...how do you expect me to get into the story?
I can't remember what I read anyway!
I know the most
important part.
What are some common reasons
for not wanting to read the
It's too big...and I don't
know where to begin!
I don't know how
the Old and New
Testaments relate...
I have now idea how
all the books of the Bible fit together
...it's just too big and broad for me
to fit it all together in my head. I'll
just stick with the verses I
know and like.

It's hard for me to set aside to time to read the Bible.
I always have good intentions to
read the Bible, but I don't get around to it. I seem to always find
something else to do, and the Bible
gets last priority.
If Jesus died for my sins, and I know and believe in that part of the Bible, then why is it so important that I learn about the rest of the Bible? Can't I just
believe in that and live a
moral life?
Start with Humility
God is God and you are not. We read w/faith
Hebrews 11:1
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope
for, and certain of what we do not see."

100% inspired by God and 100% written by
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Law and Gospel reality: There is the Law and
Judgement for Sin. There is the Gospel and
mercy for sinners
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23)

Let Scriptures interpret Scriptures

- The truths of the Bible do not change as the
culture changes

- Scriptures are Christocentric

Using a Bible
1st understand how your Bible came
to be - reference #1 on GGW laminate
....walk through the chart

- Use a Bible that works for you...

what type of Bible is going to
encourage you to "hagah" to most

- Refer to Translation Spectrum on GGW -
bottom right hand corner.
Know the set up

- 66 books in the Bible...39 in the Old
Testament and 27 in the New Testament...
arrangement is important to know.


what is the Historical and the Literary Context??

- Knowing the story means knowing the
historical placement:
Narrative timelines, historical timelines,
and any sort of chronological timeline
helps reference your point in the story.
: Concordia Self-Study
Bible, The Lutheran Study
Pick a Bible
Historical Context
- reference GGW #6

Biblical Writer
...background, time of writing
type of ministry, and relationship to audience.

Biblical Audience
...what circumstances are they
facing...persecution, destruction, exile, etc.

Other Historical-Cultural Elements
...Social factors,
geographical factors, religious life, political climate

A valid interpretation must be consistent with
the historical -cultural context!
Literary Context

Choose a translation that…
- uses Modern English.

- is based on the standard Hebrew &
Greek text.

- was translated by a committee.

- is appropriate for your purpose:

- where are you at on the
mountain? How far up do
you plan to ascend?

"By honoring the context of Scripture,
we are saying that we would rather hear
what God has to say than put words in his
"You can make the Bible say anything you want
only if you ignore the literary context." - What is
going on around the passage?????

- reference GGW #8 "read all"

Surrounding Context
GGW #14 - #22 gives a great summary of each
literary genre...walk through each briefly
Applying the meaning of Scripture
- Understand the small parts of the text
like words and phrases to understand
larger chunks...then it also works in

repetition of words -
1 John 2:15-17,
- Proverbs 15:1,
- Proverbs 25:26,
- Galatians 5:22-23,
cause and effect + conjunctions
"but" - Romans 6:23,
figures of speech
- Psalm 119:105, for
verbs + pronouns
...I'll just assume you
all can pass your English equivalency test.
- A discourse refers to units of connected
text that are longer than paragraphs.

- The Bible is a meta-narrative...an immense,
sprawling, capacious, narrative.
- Eugene Peterson -

- Look for: connections
between paragraphs and
episodes - Mark 8:14-30,

shifts in the story/pivot
difference between the first
and second half of 2 Samuel b/c David sins by
sleeping with Bathsheba + has her husband
Uriah killed,
- 1 Samuel
contrasting two stories of Samuel
and the corrupt priesthood
he replaces.
Foundational Beliefs
- Preunderstanding is a major influence
that can skew our interpretive process and
lead us away from the real meaning of the text.

comes when you assume that your
pre-understanding is always correct =

Do we as readers stand over the Word of God and
determine what it means, or do we place ourselves
under that Word, seeking diligently to determine
what God means in the text?

Your goal concerning yourself
- Obviously you cannot ever accomplish total objectivity...and that is not the goal of this section of learning.

- You
want to approach the text through faith and direction from the Holy Spirit, and our objectivity is to be confined within the framework of our foundational beliefs...This prevents prenderstanding from ourselves and culture that would obscure God's true meaning for the text.
Holy Spirit + Us
- We know that the Spirit and the
Word work together and must never be
set against one another.

- The Spirit does not add new meaning to a
Biblical text; instead, he helps believers
understand and apply the meaning that is
already there.
- refers to the Holy Spirit's
work in the lives of the human
authors of Scripture with the result
that they wrote what God wanted them
to communicate...not manipulation but
cooperation...one could almost say
in nature.
- refers to the ongoing work
of the Holy Spirit...Jesus promised
that His followers would be guided
by the Holy Spirit in all matters of truth in John 16:12-14. Illumination applies then to all of us.
Two ways to create meaning:

Authorial intent
- you see the text as communication between the author and yourself, and you seek the meaning the author intended.

Reader response
- if you do not care what the author intended to
communicate, then you are free to interpret the text without asking what the author meant.

Which of these two way do you think our "map" interpretive process promotes?
of the text is the same for all Christians. It is not subjective and does not change from reader to reader.

reflects the impact of the text on the reader's life. It is much more subjective, and reflects the specific life situation of the reader...but this variance of application should still have some boudaries influenced by the author's meaning.
The Bible is NOT too big,
and I DO know my way around.
- the Bible is just a big story with lots of little stories embedded within it.

The Biblical story invites us in as
participants in something larger than
our sin-defined needs, into
something truer than our
culture-stunted ambitions.
- Eugene Peterson -
Some parts may be
vague...but I have the tools
necessary to apply them to the
bigger picture!
- I have this Grasping God's Word laminate as my license to explore and understand...and I have this doctrinal
principles handout as my compass to
guide my direction always toward the
Now that I know
how to read deep and
small I can actually remember
the Bible much better
When I read
deep and small
I find now
that I am NOT trying to see God in my story
...but my story in God's.
Reading the Bible
is now a pleasure and a
Now that I have confidence and clarity in
knowing what the Bible is about...I actually
enjoy learning about the story of my salvation,
and I take that story in...digest it...and
continually make it a part of my life. This is
no longer a chore for me...but a need!
I still know the
most important part of
the Bible...
but...I also know that my life is NOT supposed
to end there! I now know that the most
important question is NOT "What does the
Bible mean? Instead I now ask...

"What can I obey!"
I know, love, and obey
the Bible...and my
hike will continue
- Foundational beliefs
do not change
we read the Bible...they are our
overall view of

the Bible
....example Bible is the Word of God,
Grace through Faith, Bible is trustworthy, Bible is
not contradictory, etc

- foundational beliefs have to do with how we view
the entire Bible and serve as a starting point on which
to build or method of study.
All of you
- Learning to see detail is a skill that
does not come naturally, but it can be
developed through practice...and that is why
small and deep is better than large
and shallow.

- look for
general to specific
Galatians 5:16, 19-21
questions + answers
Romans 6:1-2
Mark 2:15 - 3:6
purpose/result statements
, John
- Romans 8:13,
conditional clauses
1 John 1:6,
actions/roles of God + people
Ephesians 5:1-2,
emotional terms
Galatians 4:12-16,
- Matthew
...let's refer back to our
GGW laminate
to look at levels of meaning.
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