Saturday, December 2, 2006

Biblical Exegesis - John Piper

Great booklet on properly interpreting biblical texts:

http://www.desiringgod.org/media/pdf/booklets/BTBX.pdf

From the booklet:

It is precisely at this point that I believe the Holy Spirit performs a crucial role in the exegetical process for the reliant believer. He does not whisper in our ears the meaning of a text. He cares about the text which he inspired and does not short circuit the study of it. The primary work of the Holy Spirit in exegesis is to abolish the pride and arrogance that keep us from being open to the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit makes us teachable because he makes us humble. He causes us to rely wholly on the mercy of God in Christ for our happiness so that we are not threatened if one of our views is found to be wrong. The person who knows himself finite and unworthy, and who thus rejoices in the mercy of God, has nothing to lose when his ego is threatened.

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It was a life-changing revelation to me when I discovered that Paul, for example, did not merely make a collection of divine pronouncements, but that he argued. This meant, for me, a whole new approach to Bible reading. No longer did I just read or memorize verses. I sought also to understand and memorize arguments. This involved finding the main point of each literary unit and then seeing how each proposition fit together to unfold and support the main point.

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