Three Worlds of Text (From All Nations Leadership Institute)
Introduction• Studying Scripture requires a person to go beyond a surface read of text; rather, do a deep study of text to fully grasp its orthodoxy (RIGHT Meaning)• The three worlds of text support this deep study by working with the processes of exegesis and interpretation for orthopathy (RIGHT Attitude) and orthopraxy (RIGHT Practice).• What is exegesis? When you exegete text, you determine what its first readers understood it to mean. Then, you interpret that meaning to explain implications and applications for contemporary settings and situations.
Reader Centered• READER CENTERED. This is the world in front of the text. The world in front of the text is the reader.• Every reader brings his or her own perspectives and beliefs to Scripture which, in turn, influence how that person sees the text. These are the cultural glasses through which you view text.• SUMMARY. Your cultural glasses have two lenses: internal and external. Both impact meaning because it’s what you bring to the text
Reader Centered Cultural Iceberg: The external and internal factors the reader brings to the text.
(Jan Paron, 2012).Reader Centered EXTERNAL FACTORS Ways of life & customs: . See . Hear . Touch
Author Centered• AUTHOR CENTERED, The author-centered world goes behind the text. You study social, political, cultural and ideological aspects from the author’s time and intent (Tate, 1997)• Ask, what went in the author’s world that influenced the writing? In fact, place yourself there.• Think of this as investigating behind the scenes to learn about the audience, history, politics, archeology. etc.
Author CenteredTIPS:• Author’s Purpose. Think about what the author had in mind when he wrote. For example, the four Gospel accounts form a portrait of Jesus (Cox, 2011); however, each author wrote about with a unique description, purpose and audience.• Social. Consider societal rules for the time period and events of the text .Take the Jewish purification laws. If you understand these laws, you’ll see the importance of Jesus’ contact with the marginalized in terms of love and grace.
Author Centered• Political/Historical: Know the history of that time. Why was Jesus’ spiritual ethics of greatness so counter to political dynamics in an honor-based society?• Culture: Culture makes a difference. Meaning works hand-in-glove with the culture/s of that setting.• SUMMARY. Place yourself as a character in God’s inspired narrative. Learn about what God communicated to His people, and then apply it to what He says now.
Text Centered• TEXT CENTERED. You find this world within the text, meaning you look at the literary elements of Scripture.• What are the literary elements? These elements include genre, word study, grammar, syntax, time factors, etc.• The Bible has numerous forms of literature, from prophecy to poetry and gospels to epistles. Each has characteristics that influence meaning.
Text CenteredTIPS:• Genre You find various forms of literature in Scripture from prophecy to poetry and gospels to epistles. Each influence meaning.• Language & Time Words take on various understandings by language. Further, word meaning changes over time and with context.• SUMMARY. Remember the Holy Spirit illuminates meaning. Pray before you study. Learn everything you can about the text. You want the full picture.
REFERENCESCox, D. (2013). The gospels. Alsip, IL: All NationsLeadership Institute.Cox, D. (2011). The gospels: A portrait of Jesus Christ.Alsip, IL: All Nations Leadership Institute.Paron, J. (2012). “Hermeneutics and the cultural icebergmodel.” PerSpectives 12, Retrieved on January 11, 2013,from http://specs12.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/hermeneutics-and-the-cultural-iceberg-model/Tate, W. R. (1997). Biblical interpretation: An integratedapproach. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.Photo credit: Power Point background—Sharefaith.com
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, aworkman that needeth not to be ashamed,rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15 KJV).
Information: Deb Strlek (firstname.lastname@example.org)http://allnationsleadershipinstitute.org