Exegesis And Epistles Analysis

800 Words 4 Pages
Exegesis and Hermaneutics: How to Interpret the Gospels and Epistles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the four Gospels which contain the rich history of Jesus ' life, death and Resurrection, which is the Good News that we as His follower 's need to share with other people (New International Version, Matthew 5:14-16). These books were written as eyewitness narratives of Jesus ' miracles and teachings so they are accurate historical records of Jesus ' life and sayings as a man here on earth. The epistles contain parts of theology and instructions for the Church to live as the body of Christ. There are some similarities and differences in how to interpret each of these New Testament books, which both include the process of exegesis and hermaneutics. …show more content…
A Bible dictionary or commentary is helpful for understanding the historical context of the author 's setting (33). The next step is to find out the literary context and observe the format the passage was written in. For determining whether a book is an Epistle or not, one must look at the literary format; true epistles will be letters which include the following items: the name of the writer, the recipient or intended audience, a greeting, body, then a final greeting or farewell (59). The Gospels are written as narratives of Jesus ' life and his teachings (132). Jesus often used hyperboles in parables to get a point across, as well as proverbs, similes, metaphors, poetry, questions and irony (136). One major difference between the two types of books is that the epistles contain are occasional documents that contain only parts of an author 's theology, as if modern day readers are hearing only one side of a conversation; whereas the gospels were stories and sayings written about Jesus (60, 132). There are four gospels with different details about Jesus and his teachings according what the authors were trying to convey to their communities, though they were all inspired by the same Holy Spirit …show more content…
This is especially true when reading the Epistles (Gordon and Fee 62). Whether one is reading an epistle or a gospel, it is best to think in paragraphs (67). Hermaneutics, which is the study of how a text applies to our lives in the 21st century, can only be done after exegesis has been performed in order to understand better what God was trying to convey to the people at that moment in history (84). There are several problems with how to interpret cultural relativity, as there are some things that are not culturally relevant or applicable in today 's time that one must take into consideration when reading either an epistle or a gospel (84, 149). For example, in 2 Timothy 2:13, Paul 's request for his cloak is not something that we can provide today (84). To “greet each other with a holy kiss” was culturally appropriate at the time, but in modern day United States, that is not a common practice (2 Corinthians 2:13). The key is to distinguish the central message of the Bible and what is dependent on it, so that the Gospel is not turned into cultural or religious law, or that it is changed to reflect every culture (85). Whenever Jesus preached, he expanded on Old Testament laws which are hard for 21st century readers to understand how the Law applies today (149). Modern day readers also have a hard time

Related Documents

Related Topics