Hans Boersma on Handling Scripture

There is an excellent essay by Hans Boersma in the current issue of First Things entitled “Fear of the Word” that grapples with some of the fundamental struggles and assumptions about Scripture that haunt preachers today.  Here’s an excerpt:

Reading the Bible is hard work, not primarily because we lack technical exegetical skills, but because we lack spiritual discernment. When we treat the text as an object to be mastered, we place ourselves at a distance from it and lack the spiritual spade we need to dig up Christ. Behind its scientific pretense, historicism hides an inability to recognize what the Scriptures are really for. Jesus reprimands the ­experts in the law because the very Scriptures they search “bear witness about me” (John 5:39). The experts know the Scriptures, but their eyes are closed to their deepest meaning. When Jesus appears to Cleopas and his friend on the way to Emmaus, he enlightens them by citing the Scriptures: “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:27). It isn’t until Jesus breaks the bread that the two travelers’ eyes are opened. Technical skills naturally enter into the process of interpretation. But more often our obstacles to proper reading are like those that plagued Jesus’s detractors, as well as Cleopas and his friend: problems of spiritual vision.

I heartily commend the entire article, which can be read here.

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