Category Archives: Biblical Interpretation

Metacognition and Church of Christ Theology: An Introduction

It is important to think about how we think. That is what metacognition is all about. What are the presuppositions that we bring to the table that influence our understanding of the Bible? John Locke believed infants were born tabula rasa (blank slate) but that is certainly not the case when we enter into any kind of communication or attempt to understand another person.

We come with a context. We often think that context is what is in the text or communication itself but we, the reader, speaker, etc also come with our own context. Reading and understanding a text is the intersection of two sets of contexts. While the words on the page may not change the one reading the text can come to the text with an infinite number of possible presuppositions (personal context) that influence how one reads the text and subsequently what they believe the text actually means (interpretation).

I want to take a few posts to unpack the intersection of our own personal context and the scriptures we are reading to help us understand what it is we think we understand. The better we get to know our own thought processes, the more we can come to understand the meaning of the text itself. In the process we come to know ourselves as Socrates once said, “the unexamined life is not worth living” or as was inscribed at the Temple of Apollo at Delphi “know thyself.” If you want to know the text you need to know yourself because all that you come to understand is a process of sifting and filtering information through your own personal context.

I am looking forward to the conversation. I hope you are as well.

Building a Theological & Ministry Library Part 2 – How to Read the Bible

There are a lot of great books out there on how to be a better student of scripture and many of them can be purchased at a very low cost these days. Here are some of my favorites. How to read the Bible for All It’s Worth By Gordon Fee This was one of theContinue Reading

Interpretation Even Impacts the Formatting of Scripture

You may not pay much attention to it but there are interpretations that affect the way Bibles are formatted. Here are a few places this shows up: Red letters: There are passages of scripture that are hard to tell where Jesus starts and stops talking. John 3 is probably the best known instance of this.Continue Reading

The Bible in Translation: 450 BC to 1500 AD

I was fortunate enough to visit the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Los Angeles last week. It was amazing seeing all of the items that were in the exhibit that touched on so many things from the Old Testament well into the first century. The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in 1946 and continued toContinue Reading

Why Did They Cast Lots to Replace Judas?

“So they nominated two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he wasContinue Reading

Exploring the First Century Church: Bible & Canon

There could be a whole dictionary written on interesting terms in the Bible vs how they are used or understood today. I want to take a few posts to examine a few of these so that we can move our understanding of these things closer to theirs.   Bible Do a word search of theContinue Reading

My Take on Interpreting the Bible

I was recently asked how I interpret the Bible. That is an easy question on the surface but there is a lot that goes into actually doing it. Here is my response, I am going to start off in this post talking about how I read/interpret/apply scripture and then answer your second question about salvationContinue Reading

Mind Blown – the Interconnected Narratives of the Gospel of John

As I am studying through and teaching the Gospel of John I am in awe of just how interconnected this book is. I don’t even know where to start but I will take a stab at it. Jesus comes on the scene as the lamb of God who comes to take away the sins ofContinue Reading

Reading the Bible Contextually: Be Familiar With the Metanarratives

Metanarrative is the concept that in life we have larger stories that we see our lives fitting into. On a personal level it may be that things that were said to you as a child still impact you today…the words your father said or didn’t say still impact the value you see in yourself. OnContinue Reading

Reading the Bible Contextually: Eugene Peterson on the Antidote to Prooftexting

The Bible was read without chapter and verse numbers for well over 1000 years. When the New Testament was first written not only did it lack verse numbers (remember these were letters and biographies) but they also lacked punctuation, capitalization and any meaningful formatting at all! What compounded things further was that early English translationsContinue Reading

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