I really think context is most important. Understanding the Old Testament was an important point in understanding the New Testament because it provides the back story to the story moving forward.
I think the type of question that stuck out to me most was considering the context of the text. I believe that Scripture has been taken out of context so much, and used to justify/explain ideas in which it was not originally intended. It is so important to ask the context so you can get a good understanding of what was happening at the time this book was written. Who the book was intended for, and the events that were taking place at the time it was being written.
I think the contemporary application is the most relevant for me and carries the most value. A a teacher, I look to interest the students in the scriptures and what they mean for them right now. Application to their lives is very important and it makes it relevant. I feel it is important for them to make connections that will bring meaning to the scriptures in their lives. Doctrine and history is important but today’s students need to feel the gospel is real and relevant to them.
As a history major I am very comfortable in the study of both old and new testament for the factual, historic value of the Torah and prophetic writings, but to me it is all about contemporary application in the “day to day” in the day to day living that not only prompts me to look into the Gospels and Epistles, but connect the old testament writings to those of Jesus, Paul, etc. Those old testament puzzle pieces are the foundation of the rest, not only to the Jew that would have understood the arguments of Paul and the wisdom of Christ, but also to the Gentile like me who is “in the camp” but wants all of the pieces to guide me from moment to moment, in weak and strong times.
Contemporary application is interesting because if we are not careful we can do a lot of harm. I think that the four type of questions are important to ask together to get a more complete picture.
I think contemporary applications stood out because it is so interesting to me how different people can read a text and each can take away a different application. I think it’ll be helpful to see questions addressed.
Of the four questions to ask I think the Contemporary Application is the most important, because it prevents taking the passage out of context and applying a meaning that the original author never intended. Also Contemporary application presumes a study of the historical context and interpretation of the text.
I think of the four questions that Theology stands out the most to me. I know it is so important to watch our life and our doctrine closely as the Bible says so I appreciate the sequential process of studying scripture that keeps the context in mind and works to understand the correct interpretation. I know that having correct theology needs to come first so I can then move to make a contemporary application. So I think this type of question helps us dig deep into scripture and leads us to correct application as well. Too many people like to make the Bible say something that it never actually says. I know asking the theology questions helps to prevent me from being one of those people.
Historical background and theology. I have heard so many pastors continuously said that it is very important to understand what was the socio-economic context, because the application cannot be something that it was not applicable back then. So many times we get verses so out of context because we do not pay attention to how the society was lay out and what was going on in that period.
Theology calls me just because I like to study. Theology helps me know God, in all His facets/sides. His just nature is written all through the Bible from the fall to giving us justification through Jesus Christ. The righteousness of faith, as well as the righteousness of His wrath, is just theology, and I feel knowing theology helps you know Him more, the more you know someone the more you want to spend time with that person. Theology helps you grow spiritually, and in the process of the sanctification of your soul.
For me, Contemporary Application stood out the most. As a high school teacher, students are looking for what the Gospel means for them in their lives, right now. The history and interpretation are “okay” in their eyes, but they long for real life meaning that they can apply and use on an everyday basis. My desire is to be able to better help them see and make those applications so that Christ is more real for them.
I believe Interpretation stood out to me because as a studying Minister I believe the correct interpretation not only helps me with sermons and teaching but I believe it would personally strengthen my faith in the word of God.
I think the most interesting topic question is the contemporary application, or how it impacts individual’s lives. The statement that the application could very well be different for every reader strikes me as true and complicates the issue as a teacher. Whenever I look at a text subconsciously interpret it and especially when reading the Bible look for its application and relevance in my life. I think it is essential to go through this process as the Bible cannot only be read; it must be practiced.
Historical, exegesis, theological and contemporary application are the 4 types of questions. Theology stood out the most which would be to develop and advance the studies of the central lessons and the major doctrines of the Bible. Focusing on theology can bring about deeper spiritual understanding of the New Testament along with any bible studies.