Spirituality and Exegesis (4) – E.Peterson

EatthisBook-EPetersonPermit me at least one more quotation from chapter four of Eugene H. Peterson’s book Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading (by which he means the reading of holy Scripture as the means of growing in spirituality – see my three posts on this last week -cjt). As he writes about the relation between solid exegesis of the Word (in-depth study on the part of all believers) and spirituality, Peterson also gives us this beautiful encouragement:

Too many Bible readers assume that exegesis is what you do after you have learned Greek and Hebrew. That’s simply not true. Exegesis is nothing more than a careful and loving reading of the text in our mother tongue. Greek and Hebrew are well worth learning, but if you haven’t had the privilege, settle for English. Once we learn to love this text and bring a discipline intelligence to it, we won’t be far behind the very best Greek and Hebrew scholars. Appreciate the learned Scripture scholars, but don’t be intimidated by them.

Exegesis is the furthest thing from pedantry (This is a great word – go look it up! -cjt); exegesis is an act of love. It loves the one who speaks the words enough to want to get the words right. It respects the words enough to use every means we have to get the words right. Exegesis is loving God enough to stop and listen carefully to what he says. It follows that we bring the leisure and attentiveness of lovers to this text, cherishing every comma and semicolon, relishing the oddness of this preposition, delighting in the surprising placement of this noun. Lovers don’t take a quick look, get a ‘message’ or a ‘meaning,’ and then run off and talk endlessly with their friends about how they feel (p.55).

Think about this the next time you sit down with your Bible for devotions or Bible study preparation. Do I approach God’s Word as His lover? And is my love for Him evident in the way I read His love-letter to me?

Copy of Psalms sells for record $14.2 million – Christian Today

Copy of Psalms sells for record $14.2 million | Christian News on Christian Today.

BayPsalmBookThis noteworthy news item has been in the press in the last week. It continues to astound me what rare items like this command monetarily. I suppose it does show that some people do value such treasures. Yet it is sad and a shame that this historic Boston church would sell such a significant item too.

It may also interest you to know that the Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby, were in the bidding for this Psalm book (for the amazing museum), although they did not receive the winning bid.

Over a year ago CT reported on the significance of the sale in this news item. Below is a summary of the story as CT reported on it now.

A book of Psalms printed in 1640 sold this week for just under $14.2 million on Tuesday, making it the most expensive printed book ever.

It is believed to be the first book ever printed in what is now the United States just 20 years after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

The book is meant to be a faithful translation into English of the original Hebrew psalms and was auctioned at Sotheby’s in Manhattan after being put up for sale by Boston’s Old South Church.

The historic church was the location of Benjamin Franklin’s baptism in addition to meetings that led to the formation of the Boston Tea Party.

The church decided to sell the incredibly rare Bay Psalm Book in order to raise funds for its ministries.

The Bay Psalm Book takes its name from its publication in Cambridge by the Puritan leaders of the Massachusetts May Colony.

Out of an original 1,700, only 11 copies remain today, another of which is still owned by Old South Church.