We can hear more clearly what an author wishes to communicate when we understand what the author is addressing. In secondary communication—hearing what an author was saying to someone else—knowing the background of that conversation is important, especially if the culture differs from our own. But knowing the voice and spirit of the author is an important element of background, and with the Bible, we must consider an Author additional to, and working through, the human authors. It is important, insofar as possible, to study the ancient contexts that put the message in its cultural perspective. Yet it is no less important to hear the voice of the divine Author, and so “hear what the Spirit says to the churches” today.
Craig S. Keener
"The Spirit and Biblical Interpretation,"
Spiritus: ORU Journal of Theology: Vol. 4:
1, Article 5.
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