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Preaching/Teaching from the Old Testament

July 23, 2007

As I prepare to deliver a sermon on 2 Kings 5 (Healing of Naaman, the leper) for this Sunday at Travis Oaks, I have read portions of Kaiser’s Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament. The section on preaching from OT narrative is particularly helpful. Kaiser traces the importance of understanding the role of various elements in a narrative (setting, plot, characterization, point-of-view, structure, dialog, key-words, etc.).

When preaching a narrative, it is easy to get lost in the characters and plot, losing the overall God-centered perspective. Elisha or David can easily become our focus, our moral examples, without any sense of God being the central character and Christ being a part of the larger story. Kaiser notes:

The central character of the Bible is God…all efforts to concentrate on the human character in a story while failing to locate God’s actions in the narrative are wrong. It leads to divorcing the character from God’s larger redemptive plan, bypassing the point that the author was making. Accordingly, one of our key questions in determining the characterization of a narrative is: What is God doing in this scene?

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 23, 2007 5:35 pm

    Good reminder Jonathan. Let me know how I can read or hear your sermon as Naaman is one of my favorite OT stories.

  2. July 23, 2007 5:36 pm

    Sure thing. Any resource recommendations?

  3. ross permalink
    July 24, 2007 5:36 am

    Very helpful, thank you Jonathan. Have you read Sidney Greidanus, “The Preacher and the Ancient Text”? I haven’t yet but am about to. Any quick thoughts on that book?

  4. July 24, 2007 6:01 am

    Greidanus is highly recommended, though I have not read it. Goldsworthy has a really good one on preaching biblical theology called Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture. It takes genres and texts from Genesis to Revelation and helps you construct redemptive-historical sermons.

  5. Ross permalink
    July 24, 2007 8:11 am

    Ok thanks. I will look into Goldfinger.

  6. July 31, 2007 1:34 pm

    If you wind up preaching this text…don’t forget to read the text from the Jesus StoryBook Bible!

  7. July 31, 2007 1:38 pm

    thanks for the tip

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