Lingamish the Great cuts the Gordian knot of Bible interpretation

David Ker, the blogger formerly known as Lingamish (that’s still the name of his blog), has started what looks like becoming a fascinating series of Exegetical Sketches by describing the Alexander’s Sword method of interpreting the Bible, and contrasting it with the grammatico-historical method which is at least in theory recommended by scholars. In David’s image, whereas the scholars try to unravel the Gordian knot of complications in the text, preachers who use the method he is describing, like Alexander the Great, simply cut through this knot with their sword. That is, these preachers are

Abandoning in-depth exegesis for relativistic readings anchored by tradition and divine guidance.

Is this Alexander’s Sword method ever valid? Despite my post title, David doesn’t seem to think it is. And I more or less agree. I certainly don’t think that preachers should abandon proper exegesis of the text, although I also don’t think they need to go into some of the murky depths e.g. of source criticism that biblical scholars might lure them into. But once the original meaning of the text has been established through exegesis, surely it is right for the preacher to rely on divine guidance, and refer to tradition, in establishing a reading of the text which is both in accordance with the original meaning and meets the needs of the congregation.

This is of course only a very brief summary of a complex issue, and I’m sure David will go into this in more depth, illuminating the murk, as his series continues.

0 thoughts on “Lingamish the Great cuts the Gordian knot of Bible interpretation

  1. It’s a matter of balance. I think our modernist tendency is to give more weight to ghi and it’s findings and minimize the role of intuitive and spiritual insight. Thanks for the link.

  2. Thanks for the link.

    I’m willing to entertain the thought that this is a valid method since it is what 99% of preachers use by default and so I have to think that God has set it up that way.

  3. I am not at all sure that God set it up that way. I do think any time proclaimers of the word, in any dimension, forgo the exegetical study of the Scriptures, the church will be poor spiritually because of that decision.

    Of course we need good applications that produces a pathway for obedience, but that pathway must never be substituted for the truth upon which it is based.

    Unfortunately, you are correct, David, that is what many today are doing. The Scriptures are so very wonderful and life-giving. They are the heritage. My obedience, however needed, is not the heritage but simply my response to such wonderful life revealed through Word.

  4. Pingback: Exegetical Sketches: Alexander’s Sword | lingamish

  5. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Bad boys and big bad bears

  6. Pingback: Gentle Wisdom » Delivered from Alexander’s Sword

  7. Pingback: Exegetical Sketches: Their story. Our story. God’s story | lingamish

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