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ESV Study Bible: A 1/3rd Solution

March 4, 2009

For those of you who often ask the question: “I wonder what this text really means?” or “Who was Archippus?” or “What was the temple like?” the ESV Study Bible offers a wealth of evangelical scholarly insight. What’s more is that the online study features are now online and searchable (free this month only). If you’ve been looking for single volume study resource that is reliable and online, this is the way to go.

Only 1/3rd of the Solution

There is danger in relying on a single perspective Study Bible that does all the work for you. Reading your study Bible is just 1/3 of the solution to the task of interpretation. Another third of the task includes knowing how to interpret texts for ourselves, to develop a way to evaluate notes and commentary. Nothing beats studying the Bible for yourself, learning how to come to reasonable and textually faithful conclusions about the meaning of biblical texts and the joy of personal discovery as you learn to read the Bible well.

Reading in Cultural Stereo

The final third of the interpretive task is to read the Bible in cultural stero. How do we take what the Bible says about human creativity and apply it in a creative culture that is in glorious ruin? What do we do with the well meaning counsel of respectable friends who lack a God-centered perspective on say, marriage? When we are confronted with the two voices of Scripture and Culture, how can we listen closely enough to know when they are harmonizing and when they are dissonant? Developing discernment about how to live, relate, and engage the gammunt of social and cultural issues raised by Science, Pop Culture, Music, Architecture, Urban planning, Goverment, the Arts and so on is also part of the interpretive task.

Interpreting Scripture and Culture

The three-fold task of Bible interpretation, reading others’ interpretations, and interpreting culture is a challenging and rewarding task.  I encourage you to sign up for our Interpreting Scripture and Culture class, which starts Monday, March 16. This class will help you develop patterns of whole Bible reading that equip you, not only for the interpretive task, but also for living a Christ-centered life.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 4, 2009 11:39 am

    Thanks for the good word. I like the way JOhn Stott describes the biblical interpreter (or preacher; the book is on preaching) as standing “between two worlds”. It is a tidy and simple image for thinking through the interpretative task. Sounds similar to your description here, although lacking the relying on others aspect (I guess, for Stott, that is implied in understanding the biblical interpreter). Any chance we can join the class via satellite? :)

  2. March 4, 2009 1:15 pm

    Yes, Im familiar with stott’s metaphor and think it is a good starting place. Michael quicke rounds it out with 360 degree preaching, arguing for a more trinitarian model. Quicke has influenced me more than Stott on that.

    Thanks for the supportive comment! :)


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