#ReimagineSCRIPTURE…Extract the meaning; don’t insert

From Ben Witherington
The New Testament is full of theologizing which needs to be interpreted, and it does not require a later ‘theological or canonical reading’ of the text to make it theologically important or significant. Later theological readings of the text are fine, if they comport with or are a reasonable exposition or amplification of the theology in the Scriptural text itself.  The fact that the original texts of the NT are words on target for those first audiences does not mean they could not be words on target for other and later audiences as well.  But the important point is that what the text meant in its original setting is still today what the text means— hence the need for good detailed contextual exegesis.  It may have a different significance or application today, but what it doesn’t have is a different meaning.  Meaning is in the configuration of the words in the Greek text, not in the eyes of the beholder, even though it is true we are all active and even creative readers of the text.  What must be guarded against in such readings is reading something into the text which does not comport with the actual meaning of the text.  In other words, the sin of anachronism needs to be avoided

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Additional Commentary. . .Resources. . . Replies

    Phil -
    We are guided by Scripture first.  If the state proposes specific violations of that , we address it.  We seldom go against that concept.  We listen within ourselves as to how God leads us.  
    Dwight Burchett
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