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!
The word "parable" comes from two Greek words that combined mean "to throw alongside." A parable is a story "thrown alongside" the lives of the listeners that seeks to bring across a certain point by means of analogy. It's designed to trigger a response in the hearers.
Thus we have a unique, four-dimensional view of Jesus. We see the Jesus who is the King of David and the fulfillment of the Old Testament hope (Matthew). We see the Jesus who is the ever working suffering servant of God (Mark).We see the Jesus who is the perfect Human and who lives like a bearer of the divine image should live (Luke). And we see the Jesus who is both eternal God and mortal man (John).
We've established the fact that the Bible contains words that have to be read and reread and I've shared some of the ways that have helped me read biblical texts. Now, it's time to finally talk about the literary nature of the Bible. As I've been thinking about this introductory post about the literary genres … Continue reading How to read well: The Literary Nature of the Bible
After establishing some basic guiding principles about Bible translations, we can now think of the Bible in terms of literature. Literature deals with texts. As touched upon in the last post, that's one of our biggest problems. We don't know how to read texts. At this point, I thought it might be helpful to … Continue reading How to read well: How to read a(ny) text
Peter once said about Jesus that he alone had words of eternal life. That is exactly where our trouble begins. The primary way in which God communicates to us is through words on pages. Granted, there are some other ways, but most Christians will agree that the Bible is the primary way in which God … Continue reading How to read well: What if the Bible was our favorite movie?
In the last post of this series, we explored one of the fundamental differences between Bible translations. Some are formal translations and some are functional translations. Some preserve the wording of the original text, while others strive to capture the meaning of the original. In reality, all translations combine some elements of both. The NASB, … Continue reading How to choose a good translation #2
When we think about how to read the Bible well, we have to take a step back and ask: how do I find a good Bible translation? Often people approach this purely based on their subjective opinion. They choose the one that sounds good or that is the most readable to them. Granted, this is … Continue reading How to choose a good translation #1
Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Youtube, Gifs, Memes, Twitter, Instagram, we could go on and on. What do all these things have in common? They all require a minimum amount of reading. We are very visually oriented and prefer videos, charts, and pictures over words, sentences, and paragraphs. While I don't think this is a … Continue reading How to read (the Bible) well