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BIBL 102 (Sp '15) T06 - How to read the book - Discourses

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Hartmut Scherer

on 25 February 2015

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Transcript of BIBL 102 (Sp '15) T06 - How to read the book - Discourses

Things to look for in discourses
The Bible is more than a random collection of . . .
Connections between paragraphs and episodes
Story shifts: major breaks and pivots
Time sequence
Do you see a pivotal episode in a longer story?
Is the author trying to contrast or compare the characters in the two stories in some way?
(e.g., Mk 5:21ff – Jairus)
I got up this morning,

got dressed

and drove into town.

I worked hard all day,

returned home,

put on my PJs
and went to bed.
Review of Topic #3-6
(A and A', B and B' and C and C' correspond to each other.)
(Adapted from Zondervan Academic Resources for "Grasping God's Word")
How to Read the Book
The Bible is a story with themes that run through paragraphs to form discourses.
A “discourse” is a
unit of connected text
larger than a paragraph.
We need to see not only the
smallest details
but also the
larger patterns
Story Shifts
Repeated words or themes
Logical connections (e.g., cause and effect)
Characters and their actions
Where does the story take a new turn?
Where does the topic change?
Does a verb change signal a break?
Is there a switch back and forth between two stories?
[Doriani, Getting the Message (P&R Publishing, 1996), 15ff.]
Beware of preconceptions. Observe what biblical texts actually say.
Observe the text first, then explain it. As explanation proceeds, be sure it fits your observations.
Resist reshaping your observations so that they support your preferred theology.
Make note of any details that are for any reason especially striking.
Observing What Is There
Principle #3:
Principle #4:
Principle #2:
Principle #1:
- similar to chiasm
- places similar material (e.g., statements;, stories) at the
beginning and end of a section
Example Psalm 118:1+29:
(framing, bracketing, enveloping)
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures for ever.
This calls for careful reading and observation of sentences, paragraphs, and discourses.
We begin to build a bridge across the river by discovering what the text meant to the biblical audience.
A river of differences separates us from the biblical audience — culture, language, time, situation, and covenant.
Interpreting and applying the Bible is like a journey.
What if we bypass observation and move straight to application?
To hear from God in new and exciting ways, we must look carefully at what God said to the biblical audience.
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