The Reason for the Exegetical Method
What about being led by the Spirit?
The basics of understanding Bible Study methods, how to learn from and about God's Word is basically simple, do it. But what we do not want to do is do it bad or erroneous. The science and art of exegesis or exegetical method is not meant to be scary, but rather provide us with the essential tools so we can better know and teach His Word. It is a science because there are rules of logic and word meanings that are rigid, and it is also an art that requires us to learn the skills of His Word so we can apply them to the canvas of our lives. These are the basic procedures a pastor or experienced teacher of the Word learns in
Why is the exegetical analysis of the Bible important? Because, we need to know what the Bible is saying before we can gain from it. We do not need to take things out of context; we want what we teach to be truth, not untruths, half truths, or get our facts wrong and thus lead the people who are in our care astray. No real, authentic, Christ-infused leader would ever want to lead people astray. No real pastor, called by God, would ever deliberately teach what is false, what he or she does not fully understand, or teach to mislead for personal, misguided agendas. Yet, many do; that is why this subject is so important! Authentic pastors and Christian leaders always desire to lead people deeper in the precepts and applications of Christ-like character and spiritual growth so they will be impacted and be impacting! Knowing and gaining insight about God's Word helps us give glory to Christ and growth to His church; otherwise, we are the annoying noise of 1 Corinthians 13:1!
This is why leaning how to examine Scripture is so important for a pastor or anyone who wants to be a serious Bible student or teacher. We are to engage the Bible so we can be familiar with His precepts for our personal spiritual formation. And, even more importantly, if we are teaching, we must know what the Bible says before we try to share with others what it says. Too many preachers love to embellish and assume, and thus consciously or unconsciously deceive many people. If we decide that digging into the Scriptures is a waste of time or it is not for us, consider this: If we just have a superficial overview of Scripture, we will have superficial understanding and then superficial results that lead to a superficial church-all because we do not understand and thus do not apply God's most precious precepts into our lives!
Why do so many people say this is not necessary or that it is even dangerous? Mainly, they do not understand it and/or they just see the abuses by some of the liberal commentators who examine and tear down the Bible, but do not put it back together nor understand that it is still God's precious Word! God calls us to seek and understand His Word. He wants us to tear it down so we can see its parts, elements, and teachings, so we can examine it carefully and steadfastly so we can receive His guidelines and principles, and thus get as much as we can. Then, He calls us to do something with what we have learned, apply it to our lives, and, in turn, teach others by example and by words.
What about being led by the Spirit? Some Christians-even pastors-believe that the exegetical or inductive method is not yielding to the voice of the Holy Spirit. They see this as a mechanical mode that separates the believer from God. The problem with this view is, the Bible is truth and we have a God of Truth. If we look at His Word and make up our own meanings for the words and precepts and not seek the actual meaning, we are doing the Holy Spirit and God a disservice by ignoring and even rejecting His Truth. This can even be blasphemous and create all kinds of false teaching. The Voice of the Holy Spirit intercedes so we can know the deeper things of God, but He will never contradict Himself or His Word. Thus, if the Holy Spirit says one thing and the Bible says another, one is lying. And, since neither the Word nor the Spirit ever lies, and what we read is clear, then what we think we hear from the Sprit is our own whim and not Him! God is seeking those who worship Him in spirit and in truth; thus, we can never divorce one from the other. The role of the Spirit is not to give us new information, but to convict us on the information God has already given (Is. 66:2; John -24; ; 1 Cor. ; Eph. -17; 1 Thess. 1: 4-5; 1 John 4:1)!
© 1985, 1989, 1998, 2006 R. J. Krejcir Ph.D. Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.org