Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Relational Exegesis

So since we know that reading the Bible is mysterious - i.e. it must be revealed to you...

we then can come to a conclusion that exegesis is also relational

sometimes people are always accused of reading Scripture anachronistically..
i.e. you read it using information they did not know at the time

so examples of this are reading the OT purely Christologically
which of course can be called allegorical reading, but sometimes it's simply called 'jumping to Jesus'

or more recently - reading the gospels in the light of Paul

but exegesis is always relational - i.e. the Bible is always read in the light of something else
whether that is your own culture, your own prejudice, your own experience, etc

like history - no one can have an objective view of Scripture

theologically - your relationship is with the world, i.e. with Satan, the voice of the world - who has many facets of a split tongue

so whatever you read - you will put in your light into it

So then as much as you try to read 'just the gospels' or 'just the OT'
you are going to either put the NT into it, or something else into it
it is NOT an objective - therefore right - reading of Scripture!!

Scripture then has to be read using relational dynamics

i.e. you read, it tells you something about Jesus, then knowing that thing about Jesus, you read 'that Jesus you know' back into Scripture, at the same time, trying to discover more about Christ - pointing back to Him

of course this sounds like an impossible cyclical argument

but the Christian arguments are not cyclical - they are spiral
you either spiral upwards or downwards

so the more you know Jesus, the better you understand any part of Scripture - in the Light of Him
and then you know Jesus more.. 

of course the necessary added 'element' here is prayer
i.e. a direct communication with the 'real Jesus' by the Spirit

then the exegesis is truly no longer stationary..
because He Himself begins to correct you and push you up the spiral of knowing Him

That is how the church fits in as well,
individual exegesis is incomplete, because it cannot have the whole picture - since that is the nature of the Spirit's work - He is many-fold in His revelation of Christ

Relational Exegesis comes from communicating with the Jesus you NOW know, and Him pointing more of Himself to you (plural - i.e. the fellowship), by being there in your twos and threes - you read Him not just out of the text, but out of each other 

It is the light of Christ you see in each other that adds to the Light of Scripture - you read the text based on the relationships you know - so the more Christ-like a teacher is - the more you read Scripture according to Him

and of course the downward spiral is true as well....

So how do we read Scripture better? 
1.Put the Jesus you know into your exegesis
2. Ask the Jesus you know to help you know more about Him, starting from what you know
- therefore this will have practical consequences as He tells you to deal with things in your life before you can move on
3. Hang out with Jesus-like friends, who illuminate more Jesus characteristics into your Bible reading - their lives will help your exegesis
- and yet they will also, being Jesus friends, make sure your life is also put on track

thus you will then read Scripture rightly - pointing to Him, knowing Him and having legitimate transformation - through prayer and the church

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