Preaching from Old Testament narrative texts: A Christ-centered approach to interpretation and application
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The purpose of the dissertation is to examine and to develop a Christ-centered interpretation and application of Old Testament narrative texts. Chapter 1 set forth the purpose, the need, importance, and organization of the study. In this opening chapter, I discussed the lack of preaching from the Old Testament and the necessity of preaching from the Old Testament. Chapter 2 surveyed several critical issues in the study of Old Testament narrative. I specifically examined narratives in the Old Testament as a biblical literary genre as well as its literary conventions employed by biblical authors. Biblical authors utilized literary devices in the construction of Old Testament narratives. Recognizing such conventions gives the preacher a clear framework for understanding Old Testament narratives as they were intended to be understood in their original context as well as making its contemporary application possible. Chapter 3 I developed Christ-centered interpretation of Old Testament narrative texts. Authors from various Christian communities has testified to the necessity of preaching Christ from the Old Testament; unfortunately, the actual practice of how to preach Christ from the Old Testament has been far short of the standard. In the chapter, I explained and demonstrated preaching Christ from the Old Testament narratives in a responsible manner. This interpretive method enabled the preacher legitimately to appropriate Old Testament narratives for Christian proclamation without resorting to manipulative treatments of the Word of God. In chapter 4, I explored the historical-cultural gap that makes application of Old Testament narratives difficult. I have tested some bridges often used for crossing the gap between the biblical text and the contemporary hearers, but which cannot carry the weight of the message of Old Testament narratives. I further suggested a five-step process to determining applications for relevant sermons: (1) concentrate on the original meaning of the text, (2) focus on what was the author's purpose for writing, (3) look for an analogous situation between then and now, (4) search for the underlying principle, and (5) see the Old Testament message in the light of the New Testament. In the last chapter, I concluded our journey by summarizing the study and suggesting concrete homiletical guidelines.