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The Christian biblical text (commonly referred to by Christians as ‘The Bible’) contains much important information. For example the blood line shown below, is a much slimed down version of an great study relating to the importance of ‘Blood’ within the Christian Biblical text which runs from The opening Old Testament book of Genesis to the last book of Revelation within the New Testament:.

The Old & New Testament Blood Line

It is important to realise when reading any text that there are many questions which should be asked when approaching any study or evaluation of a sermon or message such as:

What type of text is it that I am reading and where can I find more information about the text itself, for example ‘who wrote the text’? Questions like – ‘Who was originally the intended reader’ – ie., Who is the writer speaking to [is it an individual or a group of people?

What is the point that the author is making ie., what is the purpose of the text and how was the text transmitted to others? When and where was the text written? for example, what is the cultural background of the text? Would their cultural experience or background have helped or hindered their understanding of this text? Then there are some very specific questions to ask about the text like, is the statement or text you are reading simply a ‘fact’? Is it simply written in the first person, for example how is the text being presented to you as you read it? Is the text informing you of a point of information or simply causing you to stop and think or is the text a statement which questions the readers spiritual position and part of a larger context if so is the text bringing clarity to a previous statement?

Is the text a statement by the author which continues from a previous chapter, which has relevance today, if so, in what way and can the text be applied within my own cultural understanding? Would members of non-Christian groups have had access to this text?

Would members of other religious groups (ie., Pharisees / Sadducees or Zealots etc) have had access to this text? Ask yourself, would any other individuals or grouof individuals have been expected to read or have had opportunity to read this text? Ie., would it have been a private document?

In the light of these questions:

What is your new understanding about this text: for example, about the way this text would have been interpreted by the original reader?

About the way they would have understood the text?


There is a great difference between interpreting a text and that of understanding a text: it is important to note that incorrect interpretation will give an incorrect understanding and a misguided view of scriptural integrity leading to incorrect spiritual lifestyle. Discuss the importance of correct interpretation of text and consider the historical culture and writings of the Old and New Testament’s which are outlined below:

Ask yourself how the reader would have reacted to the text?

Put yourself in the position of the original reader, how would you have reacted to the text. What does the text say to you personally? Ask yourself, what practical application does this text have in relation to my personal spiritual life, or the life of my church group?

Are there any other questions that you personally could ask about this text and what it is saying? Ask yourself if questions like this are important to the individual reader and the ministry of the church today?

Bruce M. Metzger writing within his book called ‘The text of the New Testament: Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, published in (1992) by Oxford University Press, makes an interesting comment on page 105 on about the early origin’s of what many individual believers consider to be an important text within the Christian life – The Authorised Version of 1611 : He states that:

Theodore de Beze (Beza, 1519-1665), the friend oand sucessor of Calvin at Geneva and an eminent classical and Biblical scholar, published no fewer than nine editions of th Greek Testment between 1565 and 1604, and a tenth edition appeared posthumously in 1611. Only four of them, however, are indepent edition t{those of 1565, 1582, 1588-9, and 1598), the others being smaller-sized reprints. Accompanied by annotations and his own Lating Vulgate version, as well as Jeromes Latin Vulgate, these editions contain a certan amount of textual information drawn from several Greek manuscripts which Beza had collated himself, as well as the Greek manuscripts collated by Henry Stephanus, son of Robert Stephansu.

The importance of Beza’s work lies in the extent to which his edition tended to popularise and to sterotype the Textus Receptus. The King James translators of 1611 made large use of Beza’a editions of 1588-9 and 1598.

Bruce M. Metzger