When in Dublin, see some biblical manuscripts with that Guinness.

On my way back to the United States from Amsterdam, I intentionally booked a several hour layover in Dublin. A 6 euro aircoach bus ticket brought me to Trinity College, the home of the famous Book of Kells. The Book of Kells is an illuminated Latin manuscript containing the four Gospels written around 800 C.E. This lavishly decorated manuscript is one of Ireland’s national treasures (digitized page images of the Book of Kells can be viewed at: http://digitalcollections.tcd.ie/home/index.php?DRIS_ID=MS58_003v). Purchasing my ticket on-line was a good idea; the cheaper 10 euro walk up price came with its own price–standing in a long line. While seeing this ancient manuscript was worth the time and money, I was more interested in another one of Dublin’s attractions (no, not Guinness) . . . Continue reading

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10 “How-to” Steps of Biblical Interpretation

In the Bible, God spoke through and to particular people at a particular time in history. How can we rightly understand the Spirit-inspired author’s meaning as intended, so we can communicate and apply that inspired meaning to contemporary hearers (including ourselves)? These questions are answered through biblical interpretation (a.k.a. hermeneutics). Too often, Christians misinterpret the author’s intention because they do not understand elements from the author’s world, or they read their own worldview, culture, and literary conventions into the author’s writing in a way far different than the author would have intended. A basic knowledge of interpretative methods helps avoid misinterpretation. In an effort to give a simplified “how-to” of interpretation, I have created the following “10 How-to Steps of Biblical Interpretation.”

 

A Basic “How-to” of Biblical Interpretation

     Grant Osborne’s Hermeneutical Spiral is a terrific book on biblical interpretation and should be on every Christian worker’s reading list. For those who cannot work through its 500 pages of interpretive meatiness, the following steps will borrow from and distill Osborne’s (and other’s) work to produce a how-to for interpreting the Bible. Continue reading

A Purpose Statement

Although the purpose of this site is stated on the “About” page. Stating the purpose as the first post is important. My last attempt at blogging fizzled out because I was writing for the wrong reasons–as a PhD student, I was “supposed” to write. With the passage of a few years I have reexamined my personal vision and feel like I am in a better place not just to write but  to make a contribution–however small it may be. This site also provides a central place of reference for students in my various courses.

So what is the purpose of this site?

Through and To is dedicated to the study and discussion of how the God of the Bible reveals himself through and to people. This focus has both historical as well as contemporary aspects. A deeper historical understanding enables the church and individuals to accurately apply God’s revealed word to contemporary situations so that God’s Word speaks afresh through and to people.

This site, therefore, seeks to deepen the church’s understanding of the Bible in its revealed contexts so that it can speak through the contemporary church to the world.  My hope is this site will make a small contribution in bridging the divide between the academy and the church. To these ends, this site will give readers insights from biblical studies as well as practical ways to use those insights in the service of the church and the world.

I will be building up other pages and writing weekly posts in the months ahead. I look forward to your comments, and I pray that you will find the content helpful.