Are you a TransitionalReader?

28 Apr

It is said that a text without a context (historically) 

is a pretext. You have to understand the historical setting 

in many cases, or you’ll never really understand 

what’s in the writer’s heart.

– John MacArthur, Jr.

from … How to Study the Bible.

John MacArthur’s Bible Studies.

Chicago: Moody Press, 1985.

Every text has a context. A TransitionalReader is someone who is able to put their preconceived notions at bay, and consider the context of the text just long enough for the Holy Spirit to confirm or deny their understanding.

Have you allowed yourself to be a TransitionalReader when it comes to the Gospels and the book of Acts… or do you know what the stories mean before you read them… because you “heard a sermon on that” or “read a book about that”. Our goal as TransitionalReaders… should always be to leave the text of the gospels in their original historical context… this will help prevent us from unknowingly using any scripture as a pretext to prove what we would like it to say.

Our heart… should always be to wish to know the author’s heart. When we understand the author’s context… then we can truly understand his words.

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