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CMIN 301 (Sp '15) T03+T04 - The Interpretive Journey

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Hartmut Scherer

on 2 March 2015

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Transcript of CMIN 301 (Sp '15) T03+T04 - The Interpretive Journey

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Principle #1
Beware of preconceptions. Observe what biblical texts actually say.
Principle #2
Observe the text first, then explain it.
Principle #3
Resist reshaping your observations.
Principle #4
Make note of any striking details.
How effective is the word of God?
God’s word will surely come true even if there is no sign of hope visible at the moment.
Even if you don’t see any sign of hope today, you can fully trust God’s word, because everything that he promises will surely come true.
“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
Discovering Biblical Truth
(Adapted from Zondervan Academic Resources for "Grasping God's Word")
How can we
cross the river?
The Bible is
God’s communication
of himself
and his will to us.
We do not create meaning;
rather, we seek to discover
the meaning that is already
in the Bible.
Theological principles
are applicable to both
the biblical audience
and to Christians today.
We can use the
principlizing bridge to
cross the river of
!!! All principles are
ultimately rooted in
God’s character
and actions.
Five Steps of the Interpretive Journey
Intuitive approach
Spiritualizing approach
We need an
accurate, consistent approach
Get discouraged and give up
1 – Grasping the Text
in Their Town
What did the text mean to the biblical audience?
5 – Grasping the Text
in Our Town
How should individual Christians today apply the theological principle in their lives?
2 – Measuring the Width
of the River
What are the differences between the biblical audience and us?
3 – Crossing the
Principlizing Bridge
What is the theological principle in this text?
The Interpretive Journey
Basics of the Journey
Some Assumptions
How can we find the theological principle?
look at the similarities and
(see step #2)
return to the
of the text for the biblical audience (step #1)
identify the
broader theological principle
(Validation) The theological principle should . . .
be reflected in the text (and context)
Why are the intuitive and spiritualizing approaches not adequate for interpreting biblical passages?
be timeless and not tied to a specific situation
not be culturally bound
harmonious with teachings of the rest of Scripture
be relevant to both the biblical and the contemporary audience
Why are the 5 steps of the interpretive journey important?
4 – Consult the
Biblical Map
How does the theological principle fit with the rest of the Bible?
Observing what is there
a) What precisely is the author talking about?

rephrase it as a question)
Theological Principle or Central Idea of a Text (CIT)
b) What is the author saying about what he is talking about?

Combine a) and b) => The theological principle (CIT)
a) What is Isaiah talking about in 55:10-11?
(rephrase it as a question ->
Isaiah 55:10-11 (as example)
b) What is Isaiah saying about his subject?

Combine a) and b) => The theological principle (CIT)
What did the text mean to the
Joshua 1:1-9 (as example for the interpretive journey)
What are the
between the biblical audience and us?
What are the
theological principles
in this text?
How do the theological
principles fit with the rest
of the Bible?
Step 5
How should we
these principles in our lives today?
Full transcript