Priesthoods and Bible Reading

Posted: April 27, 2011 by Amy Hall in God Has Spoken, Jesus Changes Everything

As a follow-up to Monday’s post on Jesus’ role as our high priest, I direct you to Justin Taylor’s clear breakdown of the differences between Jesus and the Levitical priests who came before Him, as explained in Hebrews 7-9.

Taylor’s helpful table compares the quantity, duration, frequency, quality, focus, object, sphere, and means in the two priesthoods.

But beyond merely getting the information, take a look at the way Taylor has thought through these chapters of Hebrews. Have you ever tried breaking down a Bible passage this way? This section of Hebrews, like much of the Bible, is one extended train of thought, where an idea is built on the one before it. Take a few minutes to try thinking carefully through a passage in this way.

First ask, what overall argument is this passage making? Then boil down that argument to its main points and determine how each of those points connect with each other. Writing down what you find in a visual form is a great way to help you clarify for yourself what you’re reading. There are many ways to do this. Here’s another example from Justin Taylor where he asks and answers questions to work his way through Romans 1. And here’s a video tutorial for yet another method of visually mapping out a passage.

When you think carefully and analytically through a passage, you’ll find that you understand far more deeply what God is communicating to us through that passage, but the result won’t be merely head knowledge. The Holy Spirit changes us as we meditate on the words communicated to us by God–He helps us see and love God, He convicts us of our sin, and He enables us to become more like the God we love.

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