In the last post in this series, we will consider the book of Revelation, the only prophetic book in the New Testament. More precisely, Revelation is what is called apocalyptic, that is, unveiling, in nature. But how can you read it?
When I hear the word "wisdom" I either think of old books or old people. I think of theoretical musings unrelated to everyday life. The good news is, nothing could be further from biblical wisdom. Wisdom in the Bible is for everyone and for every day. It's practical and applicational.
The Psalms are the hymnbook of Jesus. These are the songs he sang, these are the experiences that patterned his own life, ministry, death, resurrection, and reign. They provide rich insight into the soul of the Son of God.
Moving on from narratives and law, we will now consider the prophetic books of the Old Testament. This broad category covers the books Isaiah through Malachi. Typically, one distinguishes between 4 major prophets (Isaiah - Daniel) and 12 minor prophets (Hosea - Malachi). Major and minor addresses the size of the book rather than its … Continue reading How to read well: The Prophets
After having addressed some theological issues regarding a Christian reading of the law, we can now consider some literary features of the law.
This topic raises a number of issues for the Christian reader of the Bible. How can we read the Old Testament law in a Christian way? Which of the laws are still applicable today, and which ones aren't? What is our warrant for this decision? Should we even be reading the law at all? After all, Jesus came to fulfill the law.
A majority of what we find in the Old Testament are stories. In fact, the narratives of the Old Testament are probably among the most well-known stories of all time. I would like to suggest, however, that we as modern readers are tempted to read these stories through the lens of our own time and … Continue reading How to read well: Old Testament Narratives
Since the book of Acts is frequently used to describe what today's local church and Christian experience should look like, I think it's beneficial to consider this book on its own.
In the first post relating to the New Testament letters, I laid out some principles for grasping the overall message and structure of the letter. To further illustrate this, let's conduct a brief and exemplary case study just so we get a better idea of how these principles can flesh out when reading the text. … Continue reading How to read well: NT Letters #2: A Case Study
Of the 27 books that make up the Protestant New Testament Canon, 21 are letters, at least two other books contain letters (Acts, Revelation). Some letters were written primarily to a particular congregation, others were addressed to individuals, and still others seem to address groups of churches or the church universal. Since letters vary greatly in style, length, the flow of argument and the literary devices, are there certain principles that can help us read any NT letter? The good news is: Yes!