Interpretation

Teaching How to Interpret in the Sermon

I recently heard of a pastor who began most of his sermons the same way, “This passage is really difficult. I have struggled this week to understand what God is saying here.” Sometimes such expressions aren’t meant to convey the relative difficulty or ea... Read More »

Consulting the Analogy of Scripture

In preaching, clear interpretation is paramount. After all, we want to be able to say with authority, “This is what God is saying to us!” But how do we clearly interpret Scripture when some passages are less than clear to our understanding? How do we move ... Read More »

Cultivating Humility in Interpretation

If you and I played Bible trivia, you would win. I don’t remember all the details like the name of Peter’s mother-in-law’s neighbor’s younger sister. I can’t spout off the succession of the Israelite kings. Not being the smartest person in the room, ... Read More »

Jesus as Our Interpretive Key

Many years ago, I came to an important realization. You might call it an epiphany. I had gone to church for years, I had heard hundreds of sermons, I had even read every single word of the Bible. I knew what the Bible said. I could tell you where to find many ... Read More »

Twist the Lid, Not the Scripture: An Argument for a Text-Driven Approach

I recently saw a cartoon of a man attempting to open a jar of pickles. As he struggled with the herculean task, he grunted, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” A woman standing next to him said, “It’s a pickle jar, Tom… Twist... Read More »

Four Types of Meaning in the Text

The text-driven preacher must recognize that there are four basic types of meaning conveyed in every text and context: referential, situational, structural and semantic. Referential meaning is that which is being talked about; the subject matter of a text. Sit... Read More »

Crash Course in Linguistics for Text-Driven Preaching

A CRASH COURSE IN LINGUISTICS LINGUISTICS – The study of the structure of language, including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. PHONOLOGY – The identification and classification of all sounds used in a given language. LEXICON ... Read More »