DIGGING DEEP – 13 by Abidan Paul Shah
Tying it all together:
- Understand the Incarnational Model of Scripture: Just as Jesus was both divine and human but without sin, so also Scripture is both divine and human and yet without errors.
- Understand where we are in the History of Biblical Interpretation: Early Jewish Interpretation Sadducees (Literal), Essenes and Qumran Community (Pesher = prophecy), Diaspora (Allegory), and Pharisaic or Rabbinic exegesis, especially Midrash.
- Understand how the New Testament used the Old Testament: Single Meaning, Unified Referents; Single Meaning, Multiple Contexts and Referents; and Fuller Meaning, Single Goal.
- Understand the 7 kinds of genre in the Bible: Narrative, Poetry, Wisdom, Prophecy, Parable, Epistle, and Apocalyptic.
- Understand how language works at a particular stage: Recognize language families for Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek; Break language down into word, sentence, and paragraph.
- Understand the land of the Bible: between the Nile River and the Mediterranean Sea on the West and the Zagros Mountains and the Persian Gulf in the East and between the Amanus and Ararat Mountains in the North and the Nafud Desert and the southern tip of Sinai in the South. The New Testament expanded the region into what today are Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Spain.
- Understand the political background of the Old Testament: Ancient Mesopotamia (2500-1100BC) – Sumerian & Akkadian Eras and Amorite Dynasties; Ancient Egypt (2500-1100BC); Hebrews (1150-850BC); Assyrians (900-612BC); Neo-Babylonians (625-539BC); Medes and the Persians (850-331BC); Greeks (1500-165BC).
- Understand the political background of the New Testament: Roman Empire – The Emperor, the Provinces, Client Kingdoms, Colonies and Free Cities, Roman Citizenship, Roman Law, Roman Taxation, Benefits.
- Understand the religious background of the Bible: Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Canaanite, and Greco-Roman; Religion can come in many forms – animism (animals, plants, and inanimate objects have spiritual essence), henotheism (worshipping one but acknowledging others), polytheism (many gods), and monotheism (one god).
- Understand the Biblical Theology of the Old Testament: It adds the necessary depth to the study and interpretation of each passage in its context. Based on where a person is studying in the OT, the key/center will help in shedding light on the text in a whole new way. It will open the understanding of the text in its proper larger context of God’s promise-plan (Walter Kaiser)
- Understand the Biblical Theology of the New Testament: It keeps us from focusing on smaller and smaller parts of the Bible and helps us to get the bigger picture. Again, the key is the promise-plan of God (Walter Kaiser). It also helps to make sense of the Unity and the Diversity of the New Testament and the relationship between the Old and the New Testament.
- Understand the Role of the Holy Spirit in Biblical Interpretation: No New Revelation; No Guarantee of Infallible Interpretation; No Deeper Truth; No substitute for diligent and proper study; No Guarantee of resolution of difficult passages; Only the saved can be enabled by the Holy Spirit to truly appreciate and apply the Word; All who are saved have access to the Holy Spirit; Those who truly seek Him find His help.
- Understand the limits of Application:
- The Bible does not give specific instructions on all issues for Christians of every age.
- In our constantly changing world, even if the Bible were to give specific instructions regarding a situation, it will require re-adaptation and re-application of the Bible to the changing world and situation.
- The stronger the stance is on inerrancy, the greater will be the desire to seek and apply its truths.
- The closer the interpretation is to the original meaning, the more accurate will be the application.
- We need to show grace and humility in our application of the Bible.