Pericope-By-Pericope: Transforming Disciples Into Christ’s Likeness Through The Theological Interpretation Of Scripture -- By: Gregory K. Hollifield

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 15:1 (Spring 2018)
Article: Pericope-By-Pericope: Transforming Disciples Into Christ’s Likeness Through The Theological Interpretation Of Scripture
Author: Gregory K. Hollifield


Pericope-By-Pericope: Transforming Disciples Into Christ’s Likeness Through The Theological Interpretation Of Scripture

Gregory K. Hollifield

Gregory K. Hollifield is Assistant Academic Dean and Registrar at Memphis Center for Urban Theological Studies in Memphis, Tennessee. [email protected]

A fundamental requirement and marker for the maturation of disciples of Jesus Christ is their ability to interpret Scripture theologically. As the Bible’s timeless theological truths are correctly understood and applied pericope-by-pericope,1 disciples are slowly transformed into Christ’s likeness. This paper will define then attempt to locate the concept of pericopal theology within the larger framework of authorial intent for Scripture; consider how the Bible intends to persuade the whole person to a Christiconic end; and survey how signs operate within biblical pericopes to administer their authors’ intended theological thrusts.

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby…”

(1 Pet 2:2)2

“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…”

(Heb 5:12–6:1a)

Introduction

Believers have long cherished God’s inscripturated Word as their personal treasure and soul’s sustenance. More desirable than gold and sweeter than honey, David extolled the Lord’s law as his means for reviving the soul, making wise the simple, rejoicing the

heart, and enlightening the eyes (Ps 19:7–10). Within the pages of Scripture the newborn Christian finds milk, and the mature finds meat. Each discovers nourishment to the degree and in the form he3 is capable of receiving it.

As the writer of Hebrews notes, not all handling of God’s Word produce equal results. Different levels of spiritual maturity exist, in large part, due to how the Scriptures are handled. There is a “lawf...

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