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Three Levels of Context. Historical Context – Author, Recipient, Date, Situation. Cultural Context – Incorporating the text into your personal setting. Literary Context (Text Surrounding a Passage) Purpose of the book Structure:Genre & Plan Immediate Context. Dangers to Context.

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three levels of context

Three Levels of Context

Historical Context – Author, Recipient, Date, Situation.

Cultural Context – Incorporating the text into your personal setting

  • Literary Context (Text Surrounding a Passage)
    • Purpose of the book
    • Structure:Genre & Plan
    • Immediate Context
dangers to context
Dangers to Context
  • Memorizing individual verses

Attitude of quasi magical formula of verses (power verses worn as amulets)

Concordance Work

Claiming promises or commands not made to you.

Axiom #2: Context is King (of interpretation)

identifying the purpose of a book
Identifying the Purpose of a Book
  • Sometimes it’s clearly stated (Jn 20:31; Lk 1:1-4; 1 Jn 5:13; Prov 1:1-6; Eccl 12:13)

Occasion for writing: Jeremiah; Amos; Philemon, etc.

  • Sometimes it is implied:
    • Selection or placement of details
    • Hortatory or parenthetical comments
various structural arrangements
Various Structural Arrangements

Chronological: Gen., Exod., Josh., 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chron., Ezra, Esther; or Geographical : Neh. , Jonah, Acts

  • Wisdom/Poetry: Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes

Biographical: Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John

Legal: Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.

Cyclical: Judges, Job, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs

  • Letters: Romans, 1 & 2 Cor, Gal., Eph., Phil., Col., 1 & 2 Thess.,
  • 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, 1 & 2 Peter, 1—3 John, Jude

Visionary: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Revelation

literary devices
Literary Devices

Acrostic: Prov 31:10-31; Psa 119; Lam 2

Chiasm: Mt 13

Parallelism: Luke - Acts

Inclusio: Genesis 37-39; Mk 11:12-25

outlining is the best way to see the structure of your book
Outlining is the best way to see the structure of your book:
  • Don’t strictly follow verse divisions. They come from the 13th century and don’t always work well (e.g. Acts 8:1; Eph 5:21; Isa 53:1)
  • Poor examples: Acts 8:1; Eph 5:21; Isa 53:1; 2 Cor 2:1
circles of context
Circles of Context

Author

Book

Section

Paragraph

Text

Pericope

chapter

Covenant

project 3
Project #3

Discover the purpose/theme of your book, theauthor, thedate, the destination and any occasion that might have prompted the writing of that book.