Rhythms of Grace | Wednesday, Week 4

Spiritual Practices: Couch to 5k

Once again, designate a time during the day or the evening you can be alone but this time for 20 minutes.

As you read Genesis 2:4-25, pray for insight from the Holy Spirit.

How is the creation reading today different from Monday?

Putting It Into Practice

Rule #3 Let Scripture Interpret Scripture

The Scriptures consist of multiple authors spanning across at least two millennia. The first five books of the Bible have been attributed to Moses, the leader of the triumphal exodus from Egypt, written sometime in the mid-late 2ndmillennium BC (1500-1200 BC). Most of the other books in the Old Testament were written by prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Joel—just to name a few, written in the 1st millennium BC (1000-300 BC). The New Testament contains numerous authors, all in a relatively short amount of time in the first century AD (50-100 AD). To add another layer of complexity, the Scriptures were written in the ancient languages of Hebrew, Greek, and a little bit of Aramaic. Sometimes this can make reading and understanding the Bible difficult—some might even admit a bit burdensome.  
A helpful tool in Bible reading is to let scripture interpret scripture. Because the New Testament writers were very familiar with the writings of the Old Testament, they often borrow terms, phrases, and concepts from the OT to use in their own writings. And the prophets do the same with the first five books of the Bible. They describe their current (or future) circumstances in light of the written text from the past. 
An example of this is in John’s book Revelation, the last book of the Bible. An initial reading seems wild and crazy, full of over-the-top images and visions. For this reason (and many others), interpretations run rampant. But when one realizes that John is using key terms and concepts developed throughout the Old Testament, interpretation becomes less subjective. When you allow the Scripture to interpret Scripture, you are attempting to place your interpretation under the authority of the pre-written Word. 
To assist you, most Bibles have small letters next to key terms or phrases to link you to a similar idea or concept somewhere else in Scripture. Arriving at a proper interpretation of a passage can sometimes feel like investigative work, but the reward is in the process, as you become more familiar with the Author of the book. 
Yesterday, in your daily reading, you read John 1:1-18 (not the “Putting Into Practice” part, for that you read Genesis 2:4-25). When John wrote the beginning of his gospel, what do you think he had in mind? The first few verses read like this: John 1:1-5 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Why does John begin his gospel with, “In the beginning …”?  Where is John redirecting us? What other Old Testament book begins this way? Who is “the Word?” What is John saying about “the Word?” What is the connection between “the Word,” in John 1 and how God brings creation into existence in Genesis 1:1-2:3? Why does John use terms like “light” and “darkness”?