I have a Masters of Divinity in Biblical Studies, with a concentration in exegesis and original languages. Exegesis is the study of the text in its original context (language, cultural, authorship, the passage as a whole, etc.) in order to draw out the meaning. I have felt more and more compelled to write about Scripture over the past year or so.
We don’t often have to do this with other books. Kindergarten students who read “See Jane run” don’t spend hours analyzing and debating what the author could have possibly meant. They know the sentence means there is a girl (Jane) who is completing an action (run). Scholars don’t spend thousands of dollars to fly all over the world to conferences to debate who Jane is, what “run” really means and if “see” should continue today or if it was specific to a time, place, culture, etc.
Unfortunately, that happens in the world of the Bible.
Now, I happen to fall way on the conservative side of Scripture interpretation. I hold to what is known as “Sola Scriptura,” which means “Scripture only.” I hold that the ultimate authority is the Word of God, not anyone or anything else. If the Bible says it, it means it, and if the Bible says it, we believe it and strive to follow it. Obviously there is a whole lot more that goes into that (Jesus fulfilling Old Testament Law, for example), but that is a brief explanation.
Having said all of that…
I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to interpreting Scripture. I don’t often pull one verse out of the Bible for any reason. I try to read the section surrounding a verse, often the entire chapter and sometimes the entire book, to find out what is happening. Otherwise, I could certainly find a verse to support just about anything I wanted (good or bad). And I am especially careful about this when I teach others.
In that vein, I started my “Theology Thursday” series, in which I address frequently misused verses. These are verses most often misused by women and women’s ministries, but I am not limiting myself to that. You can click on the titles below to jump to any of the articles and read them. If you have a question about a specific passage of Scripture, feel free to email me.