Top 10 Research questions re: interpretation and exegetical elements [for now]

1. Is the sole purpose of Scripture to interpret Scripture plainly so that we may obey it? If so, how do we begin this task? If not, what is?

2. Gorman claims that the real goal of theological interpretation is to have the text “read, question, and form us” (148) and that it is to be done “in, with, and for the church” to be the church that appropriate to the gospel. What does this process look like when training new (or reorienting seasoned) leaders?

3. What kinds of texts does the Holy Spirit sanctify? In that same regard, what types of texts does the spirit flee from?

4. There are multiple meanings and readings of texts to different people. How do we know which one is the ‘right’ one?

5. What role does culture (and for that matter, history) play in the interpretation of Scripture?

6. What is the Rule of Faith and how does it apply to the interpretation of Scripture?

7. What kind of persons and what kind of community does Scripture urge its readers to become?

8. With so many versions of the Bible, what guidance do we give someone who is looking for a Bible?

9. Does Scripture have an intrinsic or inherent authority without clarity or relevancy? If so, how do we make Scripture clear and relevant to today’s reader?

10. What are the markings of sound Scriptural interpretation?


Christians are a bunch of swindlers

The Bible is very easy to understand. But we Christians are a bunch of scheming swindlers. We pretend to be unable to understand it because we know very well that the minute we understand we are obliged to act accordingly. Take any words in the New Testament and forget everything except pledging yourself to act accordingly. My God, you will say, if I do that my whole life will be ruined. Herein lies the real place of Christian scholarship. Christian scholarship is the Church’s prodigious invention to defend itself against the Bible, to ensure that we can continue to be good Christians without the Bible coming too close. Dreadful it is to fall into the hands of the living God. Yes, it is even dreadful to be alone with the New Testament. (S. Kierkegaard, “Kill the Commentators,” in PROVOCATIONS)

In what ways have we allowed ourselves to be fully transformed by the message of the gospel? In what ways have we sterilized our call to discipleship to maintain levels of comfort in our lives? How do we rationalize keeping the Bible at arm’s length, far enough out of reach so that it doesn’t disrupt the good thing we have going?