Elizabeth Groves on Context, Context, Context

Every Bible teacher wants to be liked and appreciated by those he or she teaches. As a lecturer in Biblical Hebrew at Westminster Theological Seminary since 2009, Elizabeth (Libbie) Groves doesn’t have to wonder if her students appreciate her. She has repeatedly been the highest-ranked professor on student evaluation forms at the seminary. On the day I was there, not only had she dressed up like Elvis to make her point in Hebrew grammar memorable, she also fed her classes burritos. No wonder she’s a favorite! She’s also known for her dramatic recitations of passages in the Bible in Hebrew, including this presentation of the entire book of Jonah. 

We’ve heard the saying over and over: “A text without a context is a pretext for a prooftext.” We want to understand the passage we’re teaching in context. But how do we work through context in a way that affects how we’re teaching? In our conversation, Groves walks listeners through two passages—Daniel 1 and Proverbs 3—demonstrating how exploring the various aspects of context in these passages saves us from teaching them insufficiently.

You can listen to the episode here.

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Editors’ note: 

It’s not too late to register for our 2018 Women’s Conference, June 16 to 18 in Indianapolis, to hear Nancy Guthrie teach from God’s Word. Browse the list of 56 speakers, 51 talks, and 14 “listening in” discussions. Register today!

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