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#3 of 7 - Bible Study and Literary Considerations

The Bible is both supernatural and literal. The Holy Spirit talks to its readers through its human authors and their literary style. Hence, when you read the Bible you somehow experience the literary-incarnation of God through the human authors. In your Bible study, you experience the words of John when he said,

“…and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us--what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.” (1 Jn. 1:2-3)

Unfortunately, within Christendom, the literary features of the Bible has been neglected and replaced with subjective or mystical approaches. The separation of the voice of the Holy Spirit from the literary features of the Word has created various forms of religious hocus pocus in evangelicalism. The important question then that we must correctly answer is: Does the Holy Spirit speak to us today apart from the literary features of the Bible? Obviously, the answer is no. As far as biblical theology is concerned, the Spirit is no longer giving extra-biblical revelation, just like of what He did through the Old Testament prophets and the apostles of Christ. However, He is actively giving biblical illumination through the Bible. Theologically speaking, there’s a difference between revelation and illumination. Basically, revelation refers to receiving direct and fresh message from God (Heb. 1:1-2). This could be done through hearing God’s audible voice, or through visions, dreams, angelic visitations and so forth. But when it comes to illumination, it simply refers to the Spirit’s work of applying the written Word in our lives. In other words, the Holy Spirit uses the content, statements, propositions, arguments, historical setting, and the story of the Bible “for doctrine, correction, reproof, and instruction in righteousness” so that we become “adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim. 3:15-17).

You see, the Holy Spirit is not ashamed or deemed it unspiritual to use the literary features of the Bible to speak to us. Indeed, the Bible is a supernatural book; but it’s also a literal book. It presents the harmony of dual-authorship of God and men. Therefore, don’t be ashamed or hesitant to meditate upon it with logic and literary investigation. God is talking to you through its literary features used by its human authors. God is literary-incarnated through its pages so that He can talk to you personally, clearly, and visibly.

Article from Christian PLR Products.

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