Episode 26: Recognizing Movements in Narrative Interpretation.

Foreign [Music]   to you this is all things Apostolic I’m Dr  Nathaniel Wilson I’m glad to be with you and   I have with me again our good friend and Scholar  Pastor Jeremy Wilbanks from Cullman Alabama   welcome Pastor Will Banks good to be here thanks  for letting me come back yes sir we are continuing  

A discussion that we are having uh from time  to time here you have to if you’re going to go   through the archives you’ll have to go back and  find where we are talking on this subject uh so  

Far I think we’ve done some of it at least every  week this is going to be today a discussion that   we’re going to have again about how the Bible’s  written and and when you read it what are you  

Really reading in terms of the kind of reading  there are different kinds of literature and so the   Bible has all kinds of literature but what is the  predominant scope of it so we talked about this  

A little bit before and then uh when we finish  this on Monday we’re going to break new ground so   we’re excited about that um anyway so when you  read the Bible when we uh where we stopped on  

This was that the primary uh uh method of Bible  writing is narrative yes it’s it’s it’s story   and um uh Pastor Wilbanks talked about that  and explained a little bit about that to us   and when we talk about narrative we know that in  the Bible there are portions of it that are not  

Narrative there’s all kinds of literary devices  used in the Bible but narrative is the underlying   a way that we read our Bible and that causes  us to have to interpret it because narrative   has to be interpreted and so every reader is  also an interpreter so when we talk about this  

Uh Pastor Wilbanks we we immediately run into  well there’s big sections of the Bible that are   not narrative like the Epistles and the Psalms  and so forth maybe you can address that for us   yeah all all the the as you said the primary  uh scope of scripture the way scriptural truth  

Is conveyed is in a story or narrative uh and  even the parts that are not narrative such as um   Psalms in the Old Testament uh prophecy uh in the  New Testament Epistles all of those things even   though they are not narrative they all function  around narrative or elements in a narrative  

Uh for example Psalms good a good portion of  the Psalms fit inside the scope of first and   second Samuel or first and second Kings uh some  of them uh fit inside the scope of The Exodus   um and all of these things uh they all revolve  around narrative in the New Testament if you’re  

Reading Epistles a lot of those fit in the  scope of the book of Acts uh so unless you   know the narratives uh or the elements that are in  a narrative uh you can’t understand Isaiah unless   you understand covenants that fit those are major  elements inside of the narrative if you don’t  

Understand covenants if you don’t understand  the narrative you’re not going to have any any   code and understanding of Isaiah or any of the  other prophets but this is how scripture Our God   chose to give us truth was in a narrative and  as you’ve said uh already in this recording  

That makes everybody who’s reading scripture not  just a reader but it makes them an interpreter   so I once had um it was a young man came to  me and he asked me if you were to tell me  

A place to start studying scripture he was new  really getting into digging into the word of God   where would you tell somebody to start and I said  well um I would say the first thing that you need  

To do is you need to learn the stories you need to  learn the narratives and you need to learn how to   pull the truth out of them how to find locate the  truth in them and find them and part of uh part of  

Understanding a narrative is understanding that a  narrative has parts to it I don’t know if sections   is a good word but it has it has different  movements different components of it that yes   different components that break a uh a narrative  or a story down by the way if you’re preaching  

There’s tons of good preaching in just breaking  a narrative down into we’re going to break it   down into four parts just for ease there’s tons  of good preaching in just breaking a narrative   down uh do we have just a moment uh Dr Wilson  for me no that’s very interesting okay so if  

You’re going to interpret a narrative this  is important because this is how scripture   um this is how scripture relates truth  to us number one if you go so if you’re   going to break down a narrative if you’re  going to interpret a narrative you have to  

Recognize these at least these four parts  the four elements or characteristics of   interpreting a narrative are this number one is  the exposition Exposition is the the status quo   um it shows what’s Norm what are what the norm  is I’m using the word norm and not normative and  

That’s a different discussion but so the first  thing you have to recognize is what the norm is   it’s that it’s what’s been going on for a long  time and then the second part that you have to   recognize and interpreting a narrative is the  complications and it’s the it’s that which that  

Sounds negative but it’s not always negative the  complication is not always negative but it’s that   which disrupts or Alters the norm in such a way  that it in most cases it blows everybody’s mind   um so that’s the second part first part is  exposition second part is the complications the  

Norm and that which disrupts the norm the third  part is the climax which is the resolution of   the complications uh how were the complications  resolved what fixed it um was there something   introduced that changed everything what how what  resolved the complications that were introduced uh  

Earlier in the narrative and then the fourth part  is a French word which is called uh the denouement   uh and that is a return to normal but it’s  not really a return to normal it’s really  

The establishment of a new normal so a narrative  uh every narrative that you read by the way this   isn’t just scripture this is uh classic literature  this is you can be reading a cowboy novel by Louis   Lamour and you’re going to see these things uh  the exposition or the norm the complications that  

Would disrupt disrupts the norm the climax which  is the resolution to the complications and then   fourth is the denouement which is the return to  normal but it’s really a new normal uh one of the   great examples of this that’s kind of humorous  in the in the New Testament the Bible says the  

Apostle Paul was preaching one night and he said  there was lamps burning in the room and it must   have been on in an upper level room and it was  warm in there and there was a man sitting in a  

Window seal named eudicus and Paul preached for  a long time that’s the norm this is just a this   is just a small little thing a lot of places  where that’s the norm Paul preached for a long  

Time so this is the norm and somewhere in the  course of his preaching uh eudicus falls out of   that window and the complications are introduced  to the story he’s dead he’s dead on the ground   outside and everybody goes out and you can imagine  the scene Somebody’s Crying 15 people are in Shock  

And Paul goes down and the climax is introduced  this is a great example the climax is introduced   the resolution to that to those complications  is a miracle Paul raises him from the dead and   then the Bible says they go back and Paul keeps  preaching they go back to normal but it’s not  

Can you imagine the riveted attention that Paul  had from that point forward because he’s not just   preaching he’s just performed a miracle so just  in that small little segment you can see the norm   that which disrupts the norm the resolution to the  norm and then the return to normal okay well this  

This goes across the expanse of scripture this  goes across the expanses of scripture we can talk   about the creation and the norm that God created  the the normality that God wanted was a garden   then we see the complications that are introduced  with the fall of humanity and then we see all the  

Way up to Calvary we see the resolution of  those complications and we’re going to see   that all the way up to the Book of Revelation  when a new Norm is introduced but it’s not   just a new Norm uh it’s or it’s not just  a return to the normal it’s really a new  

Normal that we’re all going to live in  so part of what we have to recognize   is so we talked we gave an example of a  narrative that small narrative in the book of   Acts where Paul resurrects uticus but then all of  scripture can be seen with those movements in it  

So the question is and maybe this is one brother  Wilson that you can jump in on the question is   it’s not just recognizing those four things  but God has different uh different portions of   those even of those four elements of a narrative  are administered or stewarded if that’s a word  

They they’re they are they’re administered by  different people with different elements involved   and we have to recognize those so we have to  recognize those the elements of interpreting   a narrative when it’s a small narrative but more  important in interpreting the meta-narrative uh  

And I’m curious as to what you would have to say  when it comes to interpreting yes so so uh I mean   I think it goes without much discussion that the  Bible is a book of narratives that when they are  

Combined they’re not just a group of stories but  they create or form metanarrative an overarching   narrative and that all of them are moving towards  the the big culmination uh which is the Redemption   and in the Bible’s case it’s the Redemption of the  earth and the universe through the death Veil and  

Resurrection and glorification of Jesus Christ uh  and that is the that is the that’s what creates   the new norm and uh he has exalted even in his  Humanity to a role that uh supersedes any other   role of anything created so that’s the ultimate  culmination of the metanarrative that all of these  

Narratives play a party and now we also mentioned  classic literature we’re not going to spend a   lot of time here on this today but uh there are  books in a in the world there’s a group of books   that are called the classics and they’re called  Classics because number one they deal with issues  

That are forever important demand issues of life  and death issues of the these are books that this   the stories will uh will deal with what you talk  talked about there is a normal there is a covenant   made and um there are promises promises of big  in every story promise plays a tremendous role  

Um and then there is guidance and protection  uh that is the um ages a part of the story some   of the individuals in the story and then there’s  always uh subject matter about failure and about   mercy and about hope and then your your final  discussion there about a new Norm includes the  

Idea also of a new start and so when you when you  look in the Bible these these elements are so easy   to see as the stories layer and build up and mount  towards a culmination where they all coalesce  

Uh where the in colloquial language where the  planets align they all coalesce in in the grand   finale that is outlined for us with the with the  final result in the Book of Revelation especially  

In the the final result in chapters uh 19 uh  on so so this is uh uh this is important for   us to understand and I appreciate your discussion  there about about the the role of narrative and   particularly the role that those narratives have  to be interpreted now if you if you’re preaching  

To a church it shows the importance of having  teachers of having a pastor of having leadership   um um they’re not just they’re not just spewing  stuff out but they are taking these stories and   on deep levels interpreting what God is telling  us through these stories some things are obvious  

In the stories and other things are layered in  uh and a little more obscurity or complexity and   so we need teachers we we need leaders but at the  same time anybody can read the Bible and they can   receive uh spiritual and uh emotional and mental  nutrition from the reading of these stories so  

Let’s talk a little bit about uh we have a few  minutes here let’s talk a little bit about the   uh overarching narrative the the general narrative  when when we get to that uh maybe maybe that’s a  

Little premature but when we get to that where we  will see that there is a kind of story in all the   narratives that in the Bible for uh and and and  perhaps other books but definitely the Bible there  

Is a certain kind of narrative all the narratives  in the Bible in general I’m not talking about   trying to find some little exception somewhere  but the general flow of all the narratives in   the Bible pivot around the Greek word oikonomia  and they are uh maybe I’m creating a word here  

But they are economic in in English in English we  would say what what is what does that translate   into economic okay economic so um so but I can  normally tells us more than economic in English is is Greek for house

Like like like home and so when you uh when you  look at these stories all revolving around home   and later we’re going to take time to really  get into the fact that it revolves around home  

When you when you look at that you see that  you’re going to see that all the way back with   uh Adam and Eve uh the garden was was home  and God is Daddy and in the home there are  

Uh always elements that would be disruptive to  the home this is all part of the story right and   um and those elements do disrupt the home in a  dramatic and catastrophic way uh what we call the  

Fall that we all still live with with elements of  that many elements of that in our world today it’s   why we call it existence instead of uh Perfection  or Essence and so uh without getting off in all  

That you can see that that oikonomia um is  a warm word it’s it’s a it’s a domestic word   or economia is not a a jungle word it’s not  a Wilderness word it’s not a wild word it’s  

Not a scientific uh sterile kind of word the very  fact that that that word characterizes the stories   in the bible let you know that this is a this is  about affections and God presents himself way back  

In the Old Testament as father and uh even with  Israel he he identifies them repeatedly as his son   and uh even in Deuteronomy that we often think of  with with laws and some of them very harsh laws  

But he says um as an eagle hovers or flutters  over her Young and the word flutter there is a   is a feminine word it’s talking about a a mother  eagle and so this whole idea this whole concept of  

God’s relationship with his people is encompassed  in this oykanomia word it’s it’s a household and   so you see this not only there but uh you see  it with the Call of Abraham it’s a household   you and your family Isaac Jacob there’s stories  about their wives the growth of their children  

The challenges in their home life and how that  all interprets in bringing you the great story   that’s going to literally become the universal  story of the ages now we want to talk about that  

Some more later but I think that’s important the  irony of it is when we look at like anomia that it   is this warm and gentle and gentle and loving  and parental uh relational word uh no matter   what else we get into in this discussion about  the movements and progressions of the word of  

God we need to remember that that is the pivotal  word now we’ll spend some more time talking about   and showing how that is a pivotal word uh in the  gospels and how it is in the Old Testament and how  

It is in in the Epistles and and so forth but I  think that um uh well I think we’ve made some good   progress today well give us a little added thought  there before we go uh on a preaching level this is  

Not detached from an interpretive level but the  things that you just brought up the fact that house and then nomia government law government  uh the way the household is governed that you   talked about it being warm uh this kind of Harkens  back a little bit to what we recorded in one of  

The previous recordings dealing with narrative and  that is this is not a story that you can just read   you actually have to enter the story and  I think that those that feeling part of it   that you just mentioned that is that is  inextricably linked to borrower brother  

Wilson word uh to interpreting the story gives  us a way because this is what has to happen we   all have to realize that we have entered that  story in fact have never been detached from it   um so when we look for meaning we’re not  just looking for what does this story mean  

We’re actually looking for how it what what our  meaning what our role in that story is so uh the   The Narrative and the metanarrative uh both  of them open doorways for us to enter when we  

Read about Jacob we don’t just read about him uh  we’re if we are connected to this through the Holy   Ghost we’re supposed to feel something of what he  felt understand something of what he understood   participate in some way with what he participated  with all through the power of the Holy Ghost this  

Is this is what’s in this is what’s important to  understand about the narrative number one number   one yes we can interpret it number two and this is  probably more critical and I think this is what we   touched on today and in previous uh recordings  number two we are involved in that narrative the  

Way this narrative breaks down is not just for  interpretive purposes it’s for living purposes   we are living the breakdown of this story so  it’s important for us to understand how it’s   been broken down uh theologically how it’s been  broken down hermeneutically and then it has an  

Applicable sense those breakdowns affect the way  that we live so this is important for us when it   comes to interpreting narrative and when it comes  to interpreting Med narrative that is really   beautiful because we’re not just talking  about sterile buildings in a city somewhere  

We are talking about homes which the primary thing  is it’s where people live yes thank you for being   with us today we want you to be with us next  week we will be talking about this uh some more  

Sometimes we have so many things report on Monday  we actually don’t get started on until Tuesday or   Wednesday but but we’re working through it and  uh we’re not going anywhere by the grace of God  

We’re here to uh to work through and to enjoy uh  being a part of the household of God we will be   talking more about the household of God yes next  time God bless you for being with us God bless

#Episode #Recognizing #Movements #Narrative #Interpretation