Truth doesn't compromise . . . It doesn't bow . . . It doesn't bend . . . It always stands. "But what is the divine response to him? 'I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal," Romans 11:4. Furthermore the Bible says, "But the Word of the Lord endures forever. And this is the word which was preached to you," 1 Peter 1:25.
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Friday, July 26, 2013
Legacy 2013 Narrative Hermeneutics Notes
HOW TO READ BIBLICAL
Lord taught us that we live not by bread alone but by every word that comes
from the mouth of God. Therefore, we need to read the Bible in a way that
reflects we believe that. Active reading rather than passive reading means that
you prayerfully and carefully read the text to understand it well enough to
accurately retell and live what it teaches. This requires that you ask
interpretive questions as you are reading and that you answer those questions
from within the context of what you are reading.
Narrative is a very careful selection of actual
history crafted to make a theological point. Biblical narrative writers
obviously were not trying to report all that happened because most biblical
narratives are narrowly focused and are done so intentionally.
"Historiography, as traditionally conceived, seeks to reconstruct
historical events based on facts. The objective is to tell what happened.
Biblical narratives aim to impact readers with what happens, that is, 'they
provide a vicarious experience of the truth to be taught, and thus they move
persons to identify with and live by that truth'" Deuel p. 280.
A.Learn the historical context!Answer your who, what, and where
B.Find the plot/storyline. A narrative is
normally comprised of linear events, meaning it is told in an order that moves
forward event by event. Therefore, be able to tell the story, event by
C.Find the markers in the story. Stories
have key words, phrases or changes that mark their beginning, middle and end, i.e.,
in Genesis, "generations."
D.Find the structure of the story. This is
the key to interpreting narratives. Every story has a shape—a beginning, a
middle and an ending. Stories begin with the setting and introduce the key
characters. There is a middle. The plot develops with some challenge or problem
(the conflict) and rises to a climax in tension. Stories have an ending—a
resolution and moral teaching that concludes the story. The parts of the story
are as follows:
Characters & Circumstances)
Stories usually begin by introducing
their readers to the time and place of the story. This is called the setting. Also, at the beginning, stories
must introduce their readers to the main characters of the story (such as the protagonists and antagonists). Allow the author to place
you in his setting and stay within it as you read through the story trying to
get to know the main characters. Active reading means that you:
the questions when and where the story takes place.
the setting and mood: bright, dark, mysterious, solemn, peaceful, chaotic . . .
the characters (include their thoughts and emotions).
Middle (The Conflict,
Plot, and Climax)
When reading a narrative, you must also
determine the conflict and find and follow the plot. The conflictis the
problem, want, or need of the main character(s)/the protagonists. The conflict is the problem or issue that the
story builds around and aims to resolve. How the story progresses to resolve
the conflict (what the characters say, think, do and feel) is the plot
or storyline. There must be some way the story responds to the
conflict. When the conflict involving the protagonist reaches its most intense
point in the story, that is the climax. This is the most
exciting point of the story. Active reading means that you
the question: what is the problem, want, or need in this story (e.g., conflict)?
and how does the conflict come to its peak of tension (e.g., the climax)?
to figure out what the main characters did to get to this point in the story
(e.g., the plot/storyline).
Resolution and Conclusion
How the conflict works out is the
resolution. If the attempt to resolve the conflict ends in an unfavorable
way, then the story is a tragedy. But the story must have some resolution to
the conflict, and as an active reader you must find it. At this stage of the
story the action and the intensity of the action falls off. Then finally the
story ends with the denouement (when
things move to it’s new normal or how things will be. You can think of it as the
time after the storm has passed. The active reader will:
the question how was the conflict
to figure out what the main characters did to try to resolve the conflict.
did they say, do, believe, or how did they change to resolve the conflict?
Moral or Theme
The characters and readers should have
learned something from the events of the story. This is the moral ortheme. A moral gives the story a sense of purpose. In the Bible,
narratives teach theological truth and/or theological morals. Without a theme,
the reader will conclude that there was no point to the story. The active
the theocentric theme of the biblical story.
for verses that make assertions about God's involvement in the story's conflict
& resolution and from them answer the question, "What does this story
teach about God?" The theocentric theme is also a summary of the purpose
of the narrative, answering the question, "Why was the story
III.THE DANGERS WHEN INTERPRETING BIBLE
1.Don't Contemporize Them.
This is failing to explain the story in
its historical and cultural context.
2. Don't Make them Exemplary or just
When most people teach narratives, they
focus on the example of the person. This approach fails in that it omits the
theological message.Narratives are not
primarily examples of how and how not to do things.
In others words don’t preach Genesis
37–50 as "Be Like Joseph," “Flee Immorality,” “Work Hard,” or “Forgive
Don’t impose an artificial structure upon
biblical narrative. Instead find its God-given structure (e.g, the function of
the word generations/genealogy in Genesis.
4. Don't Make
Them Anthropocentric Instead of Theocentric.
This is one of the major problems in the
church today. The OT is a story from God about God, how God deals with man and
His world.He is the subject of the OT. He
alone is the Hero of His Word and world and not the men whom He uses, rescues,
Deuel Expository Preaching from OT Narrative, from Rediscovering Expository Preaching, (Dallas; Word, 1992) 273-282.
This work also relied upon Dr. Deuel's lecture notes from his 1992 class at the
Master's Seminary,"Seminar in Biblical Hebrew Narrative.”
The definitions for setting,
conflict, plot, climax, resolution and theme were adapted fromAncient
History—Based Writing Lessons: in Structure, Style, Grammar & Vocabulary,
Here's an Example:
JOHN CHAPTER 4
IS THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD”
Jesus, the Samaritan woman at the well, God,
the disciples, the citizens of Samaria
Jesus’ ministry has grown beyond John the
Baptist’s. Sensing that this would create a conflict with the Pharisees, Jesus
leaves Judea heading to Galilee. He determines to take an unusual route for a devote
Jew, and goes through Samaria. There, wearied from his travels, He meets a
woman. He asks her for something to drink. She is shocked that as a Jew He
would do that. He directs that conversation to expose her sin and need for the
Messiah and to reveal that He is the Messiah. The disciples return from the
city with food and are surprised to see Jesus speaking with a woman. She leaves
her water behind to inform the men of the city that she has met the Messiah. Jesus
turns His attention to the disciples to instruct them of the fact that His
fulfillment in life comes from reaping souls from the harvest fields that are
all around them. The men of the city meet Jesus. They believe in Him and are
saved. Finally, the story ends when the city comes to Jesus and realizes that
He is the Savior of the World.
SETTING:Jesus travels to Samaria on His
way to Galilee, purposefully, rather than taking the devout Jewish route that
MIDDLE:Jesus encounters a woman at a
well. The climax is when Jesus tells her that God wants true worshippers and reveals
Himself to her as the Messiah.
instructs the disciples that His harvest is everywhere and saves many of the
Samaritans, showing that He is the Savior of the world.
stays there two days and leaves to continue his harvesting ministry.
The conflict is suggested from verses 4,
9, and 27. The conflict seems to be found in the fact that Jesus is breaking a
tradition of the Jews by evangelizing a Samaritan (with whom Jews had no
dealings) and furthermore, one who is an unclean woman (whom Rabbis wouldn’t
teach).The conflict then, is how can non-Jews get saved if Jews, who have
the gospel, are bound by segregation laws that prohibit them from interacting
Vs 23 The Father is seeking not a
particular ethnic people, but a particular kind of worshipping people those who
would worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Vs 35, 38 The disciples are to be reapers
from the harvest fields of both men and women who are all around them and not
just among their own people.
Vs 42, Jesus is the Savior of the world;
therefore those who know Him must present Him to the world so that He may bring
to Himself a worshipping community from all of the peoples of the earth.