• Note good and bad human examples (1 Cor 10:6, 10).
Narrative most often illustrates or demonstrates truth or doctrine taught directly elsewhere. Biblical stories are not doctrinal treatises. Narratives generally teach by implication and/or extrapolation.
-David and Bathsheba narrative - some of the causes and effects of adultery and deceit. The story illustrates and brings out some of the implications of the Sixth Commandment (murder), Seventh (adultery), Ninth (false witness), and Tenth (covetousness), among other things.
-Judges 13-16 The Samson Narrative cannot be used to teach the idea that a great volume of Christian service or flurry of activity can offset or negate the effects of sin in one’s life, as though quantity offsets quality.
-1 Samuel 16:13-14 The Spirit’s Departure From Saul cannot be the basis of the idea that Christians can lose their salvation.
-Judges 6:36-40 Gideon’s Fleece. We are not told directly if the practice of putting out the fleece is good or bad in this narrative. The narrative could not serve as a norm for finding the will of God for one’s life today because that was not the point of the incident in the first place. Gideon already knew what God’s will was for him (6:14).
• The whole fleece episode could legitimately be interpreted as an evidence of Gideon’s doubt and basic unbelief in asking for a sign at all. God had already granted him one miraculous sign (6:17, 21). It would appear to have been wrong for him to ask for a second sign, and certainly wrong for him to ask for a second fleece sign, in effect a third miraculous sign (6:39).
• Perhaps we can at least say that God condescended to Gideon’s weak and immature faith and gave him some reassurance of His pre...
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...ich and poor, moral and sinful.
(Acts is the sequel to this book.)
Written by one of Jesus’ apostles (inner circle) – a former fisherman
Purpose: Belief in Jesus, which leads to life (John 3:16; 20:31).
Features: Theological emphasis, eternal scope (1:1-3), global scope
Gospels class next semester!
6: Epistle (Letter): Romans through Jude
Written by apostles to teach believers about the gospel and Christian living.
This is the easiest genre to apply, though there remain historical and cultural challenges.
Understanding and Applying Epistles:
• Know the situation the epistle is addressing. Ask: “Who wrote? To whom? Why?”
• Receive the entire epistle as a unified whole. Place individual sections and verses within their proper context.
• Unless there is good reason to do otherwise, apply the epistles directly to your life. We are still in the church age!
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