Christ-Centered Biblical Interpretation: Looking Behind the Text

Several years ago a series of videos came out featuring a young, stylish preacher discussing well-known Bible stories in a way that captured the imagination of its target audience. The preacher made frequent appeals to little known details of the culture and history that lay behind the biblical teaching, and by doing so was able to show that many well-known and cherished biblical passages did not at all mean what everyone had assumed they meant.

Christ-Centered Biblical Interpretation: The Bible and the Newspaper

Why do we have to think about how to read the Bible? Shouldn’t it be obvious? After all, if a person knows how to read a newspaper or a novel, shouldn’t he be able to read the Bible? In a sense, the answer to that question is ‘yes.’ The Bible is, after all, a book; therefore, in many ways it needs to be read like any other written document. Unfortunately, we don’t always apply some of the common sense, usually unspoken rules of reading to the Bible.

Why this Book?

We carry our Bibles around with such ease, that we rarely stop to think about how amazing it is to have God's Word bound in a single volume, small enough to tuck under an arm, put in a purse, or even (if you can read the tiny print!) stick it in a back pocket. What we call a book, or codex, didn't exist when the prophets were writing and weren't well-known in the days of the apostles. But Christians adopted the codex very early as a way of holding together the diverse writings they considered to be Scripture.

Christmas, Communion, and the Second Coming

This time of year we celebrate the coming of the Son of God into the world. For most of us, Advent season conjures up images of manger scenes, shepherds in the field, and magi with their gifts. All of these are important parts of the biblical story of the birth of Jesus (even if our imagining of them sometimes goes far afield of the actual events!).

Making Himself Known

Preaching through the book of Romans is exciting. Every week I encounter life-giving truths amidst Paul’s explanation of the Gospel. Some of those truths rest heavily upon me. Others tend to lighten every load. Some of them, of course, stick in the forefront of my mind more than others.

It Just Keeps Getting Deeper

I shouldn’t be surprised by this anymore. I should expect it. But, still, this afternoon I was once again stricken by the depths of God’s Word. The more I dig, the more I find. And not because I’m inventing new meanings or reading symbolic, allegorical interpretations into the text. I am seeing things that were always there for the seeing, but that I missed on the first (or one hundredth) pass.


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