DeRouchie, Jason S. “Interpreting Scripture: A General Introduction” and “The Day of the Lord,” The Gospel Coalition, 23 September 2020, https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/interpreting-scripture-a-general-introduction/ and https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/essay/the-day-of-the-lord/.
I wrote two of them, and I offer my summaries below:
This study clarifies why we must interpret Scripture, synthesizes what presuppositions should guide our interpretation, and offers a process for how to interpret. Scripture plays a foundational place in all of life, and Scripture itself stresses the need to faithfully interpret in order to stand unashamed before the Lord. Interpreting Scripture faithfully necessitates that we view Scripture as God’s Word, assumes that Scripture’s truths are knowable, requires that we respond appropriately, and demands that we engage in the task depending on God. The interpretive process is about personally discovering what God through his human authors intended the biblical text to mean and effect. It includes assessing, synthesizing, and applying God’s inerrant word by means of exegesis and theology––both the narrow activity of identifying and drawing out what God was actually saying through his human authors in specific passages and the broader activity of relating this message to God’s overarching purpose in redemption culminating in Christ, with specific application to our present situation. The move from exegesis to theology includes at least twelve interrelated steps: (1) genre, (2) literary units and text hierarchy, (3) text criticism, (4) translation, (5) clause and text grammar, (6) argument-tracing, (7) word and concept studies, (8, 9) historical and literary context, (10, 11, 12) biblical, systematic, and practical theology.
I hope the article is a blessing to you as you learn to treasure and understand God’s word more deeply.
The Old Testament portrays the day of the Lord as punishment through overlapping images of cataclysm, war, and sacrifice; it highlights the day as renewal by emphasizing how God’s presence will rest on his people in the midst of a messianic Davidic reign. The New Testament then identifies Christ Jesus as the one who fulfills the ultimate day of the Lord, inaugurating it in his death and resurrection and consummating it at his second coming. For the elect, Jesus’s death signals the satisfaction of God’s wrath against sin, and his resurrection marks the start of the new creation. For non-believers, however, the day of the Lord’s wrath is still future, and it will come with cataclysm, war, and sacrifice, as the warrior God will enter into space and time to punish his enemy and to reconstitute right order, wherein he is exalted over all.
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