Category: Featured

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The Beginning of Things tells you Stuff: Determining Genre

Pay careful attention to the opening section of any discourse. The first five minutes of a movie, the first chapter or so of a novel, the opening introduction of a sermon, the first paragraph of a newspaper article—all of these “first moments” are specifically designed to orient you to the thing that you are reading or hearing or watching. Remember, authors generally want to be understood, and because they want to be understood they want to set you up to read well.

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Another way to Read the Lord’s Prayer

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series The King's Petition

So our path begins with the observation that the Lord’s prayer is not just the kind of prayer that our Lord taught, but rather the kind of prayer our Lord prayed.

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The Problem with Reading the Bible Verse-by-Verse

Over the years we have trained ourselves to read the Bible in an unnatural way, so we’re going to have to break some bad habits. We are trained to read the Bible verse-by-verse, but in keeping with the “ordinary reading principle” we need to change our habits. We should ordinarily be reading the Bible paragraph-by-paragraph or, even better, book-by-book.

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The Bible isn’t Just Extraordinary, It’s Also Ordinary

In other words, while the Bible is always extra-ordinary, it is such through the use of the ordinary ways that human beings speak to one another. It is supernatural revelation that God has given in natural language. The Bible is special and unique, but it is not special and unique in this way, that is, in the manner by which it communicates truth to human beings. That’s why the Westminster Standards go on to describe the meaning of the Bible as accessible “through a due use of ordinary means” (WCF 1.7).

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Let the Text Question You: Exegesis is Application

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Exegesis without the Languages

As we question our souls we are really just turning Scripture inward. In the end, it’s God that asks the questions. We are involved in the process, investigation ourselves on his behalf, as it were, but in the end we can only know ourselves in so far as God begins the inquiry.

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How to Write a Seminary Paper, Part 4: Research as Conversation

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series How to Write a Seminary Paper

Research isn’t about gathering data. Research is a conversation, one in which you are both a contributor and a moderator.

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Seeing New Things in Old Texts: More Tips for Exegetical Inquiry

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Exegesis without the Languages

After multiple readings, we can get “stuck in a rut;” we grow content with our prior understanding of the text and are unable to see things anew. One way to see the text differently is to see it from a different angle. Deliberately switch your reading posture (both figuratively and possibly literally).

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Exegetical Inquiry: The Question is more important than the Answer

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Exegesis without the Languages

We think exegesis is at its best when we arrive at “the answer,” when we reach “understanding,” but actually exegesis is at its best when the text seems strange and alien to us. We need to make the text strange again.

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Everything I need to Know about Revelation I Learned in the First Eight Verses

Revelation seems so difficult and confusing, but John has actually given us firm footholds in the opening of his letter. He’s guiding his readers in how Revelation is to be read.

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When to use the original languages. Part 3: The Point you are Making Must Be Sufficiently Important

This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series When to use the Original Languages

Your audience might be under the assumption that the “original languages” are possessed with a kind of magic, a deep meaning that they cannot get from their plebian translations. In appealing to the original you may be reinforcing that conclusion, sowing the seeds of distrust of translation, or worse, cultivating mistaken conclusions about biblical interpretation.

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