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Biblical Exegesis

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Lisa Wallace

on 1 June 2016

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Transcript of Biblical Exegesis

Understanding a biblical text can be related to an iceberg... Where the story itself is only the tip of the iceberg and delving beneath the water allows for a deeper
understanding of the text.
Critical Analysis
Three worlds of the text
Meaning is found within the text, which is antonymous from the author.

Discovering the meaning and value of the text requires a close and careful reading of the full text.

The World Of The Text
What is actually in the text?
What type of writing is this text?
Is there a particular structure of the text?
Who are the characters in the text and what happens?

Meaning is generated by the reader’s response to the text.

The reader collaborates with the text (not the author) in creating meanings.
The World In Front Of The Text
For whom might this text be relevant today?
What are some messages from or about God that modern believers can take from this text in their time and place?
How might a modern reader gain a deeper awareness of this text?
Does the Church have a specific teaching about the meaning of this text?
How might this text be used/applied in contemporary contexts: eg in prayer; in liturgy; to inspire action for justice?)
Your Task:
Psalm 97:1-7
The Glory of God’s Reign
1 The Lord is king! Let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him,
and consumes his adversaries on every side.
4 His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord,
before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
and all the peoples behold his glory.
7 All worshipers of images are put to shame,
those who make their boast in worthless idols;
all gods bow down before him.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a] 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6 Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7 Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 8 Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem[b] on your forehead, 9 and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
The world behind the text requires a critical analysis of the world at the time the text was written.

The meaning is found in the author’s intention or the original readers’ reception of the message.

What did the author intend to communicate to the original reader(s)?
The World Behind The Text
What can we learn about the context of this text?

the historical world of the human author(s)
the cultural world of the time
the geographic considerations of the text
the community for whom the text was written

Biblical Exegesis
An exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, particularly a religious text.
There are many methods one can use to critically analyse a biblical passage. One of the most direct and
systematic methods is to consider the Worlds of the Text.

Critically analysing does not mean criticising what you read in the Bible. It means examining a text to bring
out its meaning.

‘Critical’ here involves using the tools of inquiry to try and arrive at what the writer is
intending to convey to his audience.

Before beginning any consideration or analysis of a biblical text it is vital that you read the passage slowly
and thoroughly several times to get a feel for what the writer is trying to get across. Two or three readings
are never going to be enough.
You are required to use the Three Worlds of the Text method to complete an exegesis on either:
- Psalm 97: 1-7, or
- Deuteronomy 6:4-9.
The criteria for an A:
Student critically analyses a biblical text (3 worlds of the text) and explains extensively how different representations of God reflect the different historical, social and cultural contexts of their human authors.
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