In our student exegesis assignments we ask them to state the intended meaning for the ancient hearers, ideally in one sentence, maybe two, never more than 50 words. They commonly have two problems. The first is being brief 😉 I have a Sansblogue post on writing tightly that helps address this issue. Their second problem is that they often tend to forget that the text ever had ancient hearers! Yet the Bible is a record of communicative acts, and communicative acts are always contextual. Some “holy books” (like the Qur’an?) are believed to be timeless and decontextual, some (like the I Ching) are thought ofRead More →

Before we look at how we can better read Scripture faithfully we need to ask what -reading the Bible faithfully means. There are implications both for how and why we read. Later podcasts will tackle the how in more detail. This one focuses more on the big picture. Future podcasts will cover each of the steps in this process, gradually getting deeper and deeper into the topic, this first one is an overview, and I hope will be the only one that fails to grapple with any particular Bible passage.  Read More →

The “Pastoral epistles” 1 & 2 Tim and Titus offer advice to two young companions of Paul’s travels called to church leadership – Timothy, in the big city of Ephesus and Titus on the island of Crete. There is even more debate about whether these letters were written by Paul than was the case for Ephesians – but as always the issues are highly technical and one needs good Greek as well as significant knowledge of both what we know and how we know it about the development of the earliest churches so I’ll ignore the issue here 😉 and as I did for EphesiansRead More →

In this, and the next, 5 Minute Bible podcasts we’ll begin to discover how the Five Step Bible programme helps us make good sense of, and discover God’s message for us in, a rather difficult and obscure passage from Ezekiel. Because it is a difficult passage, to do this in just two 5 minute podcasts will involve some over simplifying, so do ask questions in the “comments” if you want 🙂 More →

In this and two following podcasts in this series (with later I expect a screencast that will cover much the same material but not in a 5 minute format) will begin to present what I’m calling “The Five Step Bible Programme” which is developed out of teaching a similar scheme from: Duvall, J Scott, and J Daniel Hays. Journey into God’s Word: Your Guide to Understanding and Applying the Bible. Grand Rapids Mich.: Zondervan, 2008. for an introductory course at Carey. I’ve simplified their scheme a little, and applied the step of understanding Scripture through its fulfilment in Christ to all of Scripture, not justRead More →