Abstract

The purpose of this lecture, which begins by tracing the author's pilgrimage as an evangelical NT scholar, is to urge that the ultimate aim of exegesis is the Spiritual one—to produce in our lives and the lives of others true Spirituality, in which God's people live in faithful fellowship both with one another and with the living God, and thus in keeping with God's purposes in the world. It is further argued, therefore, that the exegesis of the biblical texts belongs primarily in the context of the believing community who are the true heirs of these texts. These concerns are then illustrated by an exegesis of Phil 4:10–20, where it is argued that the predicates of friendship and orality not only make sense of this passage in its present placement in Philippians, but are intended likewise to lead the community into the climactic theology and doxology of 4:19–20 as the letter is read in their midst.

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