Provide a synthesis of the meaning of the text for the biblical audience using past tense verbs and refer to the biblical audience.  David E. Aune, The New Testament in Its literary Environment . There’s a pretty clear element to this “context talk” that we’re missing. Context is crucial to biblical exegesis in that it is one of its most important fundamentals. Literary context focuses on how a given piece of biblical literature conforms (or not) to how the same type of literature was written during biblical times. It is true that we all bring ideologies and concerns that affect our interpretation of a text. The literary context is important because it keeps us on track by setting interpretive limits and clarifying the possible range of meaning for a verse of the Bible. Wayne Meeks, ed. Everyone who takes Bible study seriously understands the importance of the Scripture’s ancient literary and historical context. His prophetic style is so elevated that it is often difficult to distinguish between his prose and poetry. Mark Lanier is well known for his work as an attorney, but it is his love for the Bible that led him to establish the Lanier Theological Library, an exquisite facility with about 17,000 square feet of literary resources, artifacts, and study space in the Houston area. Introduction to Hosea: Literary and Theological Context | Bible.org Literary Features Hosea was a master literary craftsman. Literary context matters because the Bible is not a loose collection of inspirational stories or aphorisms. (Philadelphia: Westminster John Knox Press, 1987), 32-6. Going from the “What” to the “Why” Klein, Blomberg, Hubbard: “Most biblical books were written and preserved as complete documents intended to be read as a unit. The biblical authors wrote works of literature, so where an author places a passage was a deliberate choice, and the meaning of that passage is framed by what comes before and after. The first readers of Galatians did not have a copy of the letter Paul wrote to Rome to help them understand it. Context is the way God gave us the Bible, one book at a time. It has historical context, which has to do with culture, time, author, audience, the geographical and political situations, as well as the occasion and purpose of the writing. After we account for the literal, historical, and grammatical nature of a passage, we must then focus on the outline and structure of the book, then the chapter, then the paragraph. The first readers of Mark could not flip over to Revelation to help them understand Mark; Revelation had not been written yet. Unfortunately, many profound insights from Scripture remain hidden to us when we don’t have the tools to uncover allusions […] “The context does not merely help us understand meaning—it virtually makes meaning” (Silva 1983, 139). Biblical writers composed and edited individual sentences and paragraphs as part of a larger document. Critics often use terms such as epic, myth, and legend to classify the biblical stories, as well as describing the heroes, dialogue, and symbols within the text as examples of its literary qualities. The remainder of the work intersperses articles on the interpretation of scripture in the patristic era, overviews of the biblical books, articles arranged chronologically providing the historical context of the period, and individual entries for the Church Fathers and their writings. As a work of literature, the Old Testament contains many literary forms, including narrative and poetry, as well as legal material and genealogies. Every verse in the Bible has context. All of these are important—but they only flirt with the heart of the matter. “How the passage fits within that—what it contributes to the entire flow of that book and what the structure of that book contributes to it—constitutes a paramount interest of the literary context step in exegesis” (Stuart 1980, 54). There is also literary context, which is a crucial part of a contextual understanding. The Word of God was not written in a vacuum—countless ancient documents cite, allude to, quote, or echo it. EXAMINING THE LITERARY CONTEXT .
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