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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Avenues of Observation

I have shared before that I am in a Bible study on Tuesday mornings that is usually six men in three different states.  The reason is that the study pushes me.  In the last couple of weeks I have learned or been reminded of some things to look for in the Scripture that I had overlooked; which is one of the main reasons I am in the study.
Avenues of Observation
We were in Mark 8.  One of the guys looked at all of the questions that were asked in the chapter.  A lot of them were asked by Christ.  In 8:14 – 21:

  • Do you not yet see or understand? 
  • Do you have a hardened heart?
  • Having eyes, do you not see?
  • And having ears, do you not hear?
  • And do you not remember…?
  • Do you not yet understand?

There are more questions in the chapter but this paragraph is especially dense.  So it begs the question why all the questions?  What was Christ communicating through these questions?  I look for structure, this is repetition; specifically repetition of interrogation.

A couple of weeks ago one of the men saw that there were many emotions listed in a passage; again, repetition, but this time repetition of emotions.

Taking time to observe this is important.  One of the men quoted Dr. Hatch this morning, “The Bible is God’s words encased in men’s words, therefore we need both the Holy Spirit and attention to the vocabulary and grammar to properly understand it.”  That is the sense of the quote.

Most of us move too quickly in our study of the Word.  We move off of observation much too early.  We leave passages we do not readily understand too quickly to go to secondary sources like the notes in our Bibles, a commentary, or an expert we may know.  In so doing, we short circuit both of the avenues of understanding and observation of which Hatch spoke.  We do not look closely enough at the structure, and we do not allow the Holy Spirit time to lead us.

We need to slow down.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome observations (of repetitions) and valid call to slow down, take time to observe and let the Spirit speak. I am in Hebrews these days, working on the book overview. Ruminating!

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