How To Read the Bible for All It’s Worth
. Introduction as a brief summary of the content of the article (1�2 paragraph). Include:
A. The author�s purpose, goal, context, question, and/or issue; indicate to your reader what the broader
topic of the article is.
B. Can you identify the author�s thesis? HINT: compare the opening paragraph with the conclusion to
identify what was promised vs. what was claimed by the author. NOTE: do not confuse an author�s
purpose with his/her thesis. The purpose may tell why the author is writing, or what the goal might be, but
a thesis takes a position or stance to fulfills that purpose or goal. Suppose an article�s purpose is to
describe pre-Fall Eden, or clarify a distinction between physical and spiritual death. The thesis would be
the position that takes a stance to achieve that goal: �The death of leaves occurred during
photosynthesis in Eden prior to Adam�s sin, which is a kind of �death� within pre-Fall Eden.� Locate
that �position� statement.
C. The brief overview need be only a few sentences so your reader knows the article�s overall
argument. Do not fill the JAC with in-depth summary. Leave space for the next component, which is more
important if you wish to get full points.
It is essential to note that the scriptures were authored for everyone with the authors
having a particular audience in mind. Fee and Stuart allege that the interpretation of the
scriptures is required in determining its external relevancy and historical particularity. This
therefore depicts the fact that the Bible is a divine revelation that needs to be humanly
communicated. An individual therefore needs to understand the meaning and the intent of the
original writer by conducting an exegesis and use sound hermeneutic to evaluate the scriptures
contemporary significance and apply that in life.
According to Fee and Stuart the best approach in the interpretation of the Bible would be
the consideration of the textual and linguistic approach. They explain that the textual issues are
primarily focused on determining the original text and its linguistic focus on an individual’s
translation. Theories of translation on the other hand vary from scripture to scripture, a factor
that requires the readers to think contextually. This paper therefore seeks to determine the
manner in which scriptures can be read for all its worth.
In interpreting the epistles, it is essential to consider the element of cultural relativity that
primarily focuses on determining what needs to be transferred to the first century from the
transcendent truth. It is essential to note that a text may not mean what it wouldn’t have meant to
its author or to the readers 1 . Additionally, when sharing the same situation with the original
audience, it is essential to note that the message for us still remains the same. Through a careful
exegesis, a reader can reveal the principles that may extend to the contemporary application of
the scriptures. This therefore means that a reader needs to resist extrapolating too far from the
intent of the writer.
In the fifth chapter of Stuart and Fee’s book the author takes a look at the narratives that
gives a depiction of Gods story that is based on the historical events. The Biblical narratives give
stories that have a timeless significance to the readers. Fee and Stuart therefore give the three
levels of narratives in which they mention the top level that is considered as the metanarrative
that comprises of the big picture of the redemptive history that begun from creation to the
eschaton 2 . The second level is comprised of Gods approach in redeeming humanity through the
major covenants. It is therefore essential to consider the fact that the first level comprises of the
stories that consist of the characters, plot, and plot resolution that gives a depiction of the three
caveats that are expressed through allegories that are full of hidden meaning that is intended to
teach moral lessons to the readers.
The sixth chapter provides a hermeneutical suggestion on the elements of biblical
precedence. The author depicts that the book of Acts is divided into six panels that are delineated
by short summaries and statements. Each panel therefore briefly builds upon another by giving
an overall thrust of the expansion of the Church into the Gentile community through the power
of the Holy Ghost 3 . The theme of the books therefore remains in setting a path for the expansion
of the church outside Jerusalem. The authors therefore allege that in interpreting this narrative, it
1 . Gordon D. Fee and Douglas K. Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 3rd
ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House
2 . Ibid. pp. 20
3 . Bergant, Dianne. 2015. “How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth.” Bible Today 53,
no. 4: 256-257.
is essential not to use an analogy that is based on the biblical precedents as the authority for
contemporary practice. Additionally, Fee and Stuart also allege that biblical narratives always
have illustrative patterns that can be seen as repeatable even when they are not normative.
On the Gospels, Fee and Stuart alleges that these are unique genres that are characterized
by layers of context. Considering the fact that they were written decades after the main events
recorded, the readers need to consider the historical context of the authors 4 . The context of Jesus
can therefore be assimilated by taking a deep look at the first century of Judaism in Israel. The
reader therefore needs to think horizontally by reading each periscope with the awareness of the
parallels that are involved. On the other hand, the readers also need to think vertically by
recognizing the historical context of the authors and Christ. The eighth chapter of the book gives
an interpretation of the parables as they were used by Jesus. Fee and Stuart therefore alleges that
the main idea in the parables is that they were designed to proclaim the kingdom by calling forth
In the ninth and tenth chapter of the book, Fee and Stuart depict how to deal with the
laws and prophets. In this, it is essential to consider the fact that the readers need to understand
the nature and the role of the law in Israel in order to ask the relevant questions on how this can
be applied under the dispensation of the new covenant. God’s law for Israel was therefore the
approach used in binding the readers through a vassal relationship 5 . In this case, the Old
Testament is comprised of civil and ritual laws that enforce the conduct of the public on religious
practices that have to be renewed.
4 . Ibid. pp.21
5 . Briggs, Richard S. 2015. “Biblical Hermeneutics and Practical Theology: Method and
Truth in Context.” Anglican Theological Review 97
In as much as Christ renewed the potions of these ethical codes, it is essential for the
readers to understand that these can be explicitly renewed and applied today. It is therefore
essential to understand that the laws are covenant stipulations in which the roles of the prophets
need to be focused on first 6 . The prophets served primarily as Gods spokesmen and the enforcers
of the covenant. These books are therefore a collection of the spoken oracles that are presented in
their unique chronological sequence. It is therefore recommended that in interpreting these
books, there is a need to read the Biblical dictionary before understanding the prophetic books.
According to Fee and Stuart, the Psalms remain complicated in interpreting and
understanding since they are considered as prayers to God within the ancient context. The
element of Hebraic poetry is therefore drenched in the Psalms through an emotional language
that is spoken from the heart. The authors of the Psalms therefore use the element of
synonymous parallelism as a device that elaborates the ideas within the repeated textual unit 7 s. It
is therefore essential to consider the fact that there are seven categories of the psalms that
include: hymns of praise, laments, thanksgiving, salvation histories, creation and affirmation, the
wisdoms and the songs of trust. This therefore gives the impression that each of these categories
has a formal structure and serves a particular function within the culture of the Israelites.
The books of Provers, Ecclesiastes, and the Song of Songs are categorized as wisdom
literatures that depict the right position with God as compared to intelligence. The book of Job
therefore bases its theme on the element of the happenings of life 8 . On the other hand, the book
of Ecclesiastes gives a similar idea that remains challenging to discern. Song of Songs is
6 . Ibid. pp. 201
7 . Galli, Mark. 2015. “The New Battle for the Bible.” Christianity Today 59, no. 8: 31-
8 . Ibid. pp 32
considered as a love literature that can be understood through allegories. In interpreting these
books, it is essential to avoid taking verses out of their context and giving them meaning that was
not intended by the authors.
Fee and Stuart also take a look of the book of Revelation that they consider complex
considering the fact that its genre is multifaceted with a combination of prophecies, apocalypse
and letters. The authors therefore give the characteristics of the apocalypse that include their
dependency on the Old Testament prophetic literatures, there approaches of including visionary
literatures, the use of imagery in the books and the use of stylized literary genre 9 . The book of
revelation therefore involves prophecies that are written by John on behalf of God. The book
therefore entails seven letters that are addressed to seven churches with the central theme that
aimed to show the manner in which the church and the state are in a collision and victory tends
to belong to the state.
Fee and Stuart allege that the interpretation of the scriptures is required in determining its
external relevancy and historical particularity. This therefore depicts the fact that the Bible is a
divine revelation that needs to be humanly communicated. The central element to consider when
interpreting the scriptures is that the readers need to think in paragraphs as opposed to holding
thoughts in verse in ascertaining the larger context. It is additionally essential to consider the fact
that scriptures may not mean what the author never intended for the readers.
9 . Samuel, Leonora. 2005. “Accentuation: A Tool For Interpreting The Text Of The
Hebrew Bible.” Jewish Bible Quarterly 33, no. 3: 174
Bergant, Dianne. 2015. “How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth.” Bible Today 53, no. 4: 256-
- Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 21, 2016).
Briggs, Richard S. 2015. “Biblical Hermeneutics and Practical Theology: Method and Truth in
Context.” Anglican Theological Review 97, no. 2: 201-217. Academic Search Premier,
EBSCOhost (accessed February 21, 2016).
Galli, Mark. 2015. “The New Battle for the Bible.” Christianity Today 59, no. 8: 31-33.
Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed February 21, 2016).
Gordon D. Fee and Douglas K. Stuart, How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, 3rd ed. (Grand
Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1993), 21.
Samuel, Leonora. 2005. “Accentuation: A Tool For Interpreting The Text Of The Hebrew
Bible.” Jewish Bible Quarterly 33, no. 3: 174-183. Academic Search Premier,
EBSCOhost (accessed February 21, 2016).