The Bible must be read in context. This seems obvious enough, but how does that work out in terms of its literary and historical context, and how does this make a difference?
In today’s video, Dr. Bill Arnold explains how texts like Psalm 14 must be read within its immediate literary context in order to understand its appropriate meaning. Genesis 1 is another text whose lack of immediate context forces us to turn to ancient Near Eastern literature in hopes of building up a literary context. Finally, historical scholarship can aide us in interpretation when realize new archaeological discoveries shed light on passages like Genesis 15, where the connection between the rituals Abraham performs and the covenant between him and God is illuminated by recent discoveries.
Dr. Ben Witherington then helps us understand that some of the statements Jesus makes in the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Matthew’s accounts of the Rich Young Ruler don’t mean that he is denying his own divinity, rather, he is emphasizing the monotheism of the Jewish faith. Further, he turns to 1 Corinthians 12 to suggest that rhetorical insight helps us understand that not all Christians need speak in tongues.