The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

How not to do it

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Moisés Silva “exegetes” the following passage to demonstrate the unhelpful folly of over-interpretation:

Marilyn, tired of her glamorous image, embarked on a new project. She would now cultivate her mind, sharpen her verbal skills, pay attention to standards of etiquette. Most important of all, she would devote herself to charitable causes. Accordingly, she offered her services at the local hospital, which needed volunteers to cheer up terminal patients, many of whom had been in considerable pain for a long time. The weeks flew by. One day she was sitting at the cafeteria when her supervisor approached her and said, “I didn’t see you yesterday. What were you doing?” “I painted my apartment; it was my day off,” she responded.

Having given us his painfully familiar effort, he concludes:

Preachers who make appeals to “the original” may in some cases help their readers obtain a better insight into Scripture. More often than not, however such appeals serve one of two functions: (1) they merely furnish illustrations to heighten interest to that hearers think they have a better understanding of the passage (cf. the comment on embark above); (2) they provide the occasion to make a point that has little do to with the passage (cf. the comment on patient).

A helpful warning via Justin Taylor.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Friday 3 June 2011 at 09:35

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