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We Bring Baggage to the Text

Because the Bible alone is the inerrant, infallible authority for what we are to believe about God and howhe wants us to live, it is no surprise that we bring a lot of baggage to the text. By nature we don't like the thought of absolute authority residing in anyone outside of ourselves. What if God commands me to do something I don't want to do? OR what if he portrays himself in a way that differs from the way I think he should be? This would lead to a tremendous pressure to import our own meanings into the text rather than content ourselves with the author's intended meaning wherever it leads us.

 Thus we need three things to be careful interpreters of the Word of God. First, we must admit we need help and that we will die without it. Left to ourselves, and our own unaided human reason we are hopeless. We need revelation from above. Our eternal life hangs on this! Secondly, we need faith in the sovereign goodness of the Author. This faith not only frees us to go where the Bible leads us, but it impels us to go where the Bible leads us. It is, as Wesley said, "the Book of God!" Thirdly, we need to learn how to read with the kind of care that corresponds to the preciousness of the Book."

Tom Steller
Introduction to Piper's Biblical Exegesis

How I Must Come To The Word of God

One does not hear God's word of grace in the Scriptures unless he has decided that this is the word he really needs and wants to hear. He must decide that as he hears he is prepared to submit to the voice of God, to be judged by it and to have it challenge all that he knows and intends. He must understand that what he hears the Bible say can change his very life. Therefore, he cannot come to the New Testament as the disputer, the wise man, the judge over the word of God. He can come only as the child who needs to be made wise by the Wisdom of God.

Glenn Barker
The New Testament Speaks
p. 18

Why We Fail at Studying God's Word

We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.

R.C. Sproul
Knowing Scripture
p. 17

Exegesis: The Intellectual Enzyme that Transforms Stupor into Hope

"I believe the Bible is God's Word. Therefore, I must define the ultimate goal of exegesis so as to embrace the heart as well as the head. The Scriptures aim to affect our hearts and change the way we feel about God and His will. The exegete, who believes that this aim is the aim of the living God for our day, cannot be content with merely uncovering what the Scriptures originally meant. He must aim, in his exegesis to help achieve the ultimate goal of Scripture: its contemporary significance for faith. It is the will of God that his Word crush feelings of arrogance and self-reliance and that it give hope to the poor in spirit

The Lord has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may sustain with a word him that is weary (Isaiah 50:4) 

Exegesis that does not sooner or later touch our emotions, and through us, the emotions of others, is ultimately a failure because it does not mediate the effect which Scripture ought to have.

Whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that by the steadfastness and encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope (Romans 15:4)

Therefore, Biblical exegesis should be the intellectual enzyme that transforms the stupor of our worldly and futile affections into a deep and glad and living hope. Jesus said:

 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11).

John Piper
Biblical Exegesis
pp. 4-5

Afflict the Comfortable and Comfort the Afflicted

Therein lies precisely the tension found in the Word of God. To smother people with the comfort of the gospel while never telling them about their sin is lopsided. But to preach angrily and focus only on judgment with no encouragement or care for persons is likewise missing the point of revelation. God’s messengers must hold high the truth of God in both its judgment and its comfort. We must afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted as teachers and ministers of the gospel.

Walter Kaiser
Preaching and Teaching from the Old Testament
p. 80

Compliments of Expository Thoughts