Doug Newton: We Need Fresh Eyes for Scripture Today

We need fresh eyes for Scripture so we don’t tire of thinking we’ve seen it all and heard it all. Wouldn’t it be great if we could see Scripture in a new way? An exciting I-never-saw-that-before kind of way?

Developing Fresh Eyes for Scripture

Do you remember the Etch-a-Sketch? That prehistoric, low-tech flat screen instrument you could draw on by turning two knobs and make black lines on a gray screen? Remember how you could “delete” the image by turning it upside down and shaking it vigorously? That’s similar to what we often must do with our minds in order to see something new in a familiar Scripture passage.

Jesus’ teaching method often took the form “You have heard how it was said, but I tell you…” He invited his listeners to erase a well-worn way of thinking to see something new or different. There are many reasons why sincere Christians may have an incomplete or even incorrect understanding of some well-known passages of Scripture.

  1. The passage may have become disconnected from its biblical or historical context.
  2. A reader may not be aware of his own cultural, social or theological biases that limit or channel his insights.
  3. In some cases an unquestioned dominant interpretation gets passed along like an urban legend.
  4. A reader has heard the passage so often she has reduced it to one main point and cannot see anything new.

Whatever the reasons may be, many Christians are locked in to those fixed interpretations and applications. And they don’t even realize it.

Using the Fresh Eyes Technique

In the new Fresh Eyes series from David C. Cook, I reveal fresh biblical insights in familiar passages, but even more importantly I describe 31 Fresh Eyes techniques I used—always depending on revelation from God’s Spirit—to make those discoveries, so anyone can do it too.

Many people are already familiar with a handful of Bible study techniques, like cross-referencing, using a concordance, doing word studies, checking commentaries for historical and cultural data. Think of them as coming to Scripture with a magnifying glass. Skilled use of those techniques will often result in seeing passages with fresh eyes. However, in these books I also employ and describe other reflection techniques that are not in that classic category. Some of those techniques fall into a category I call “Virtual Reality Goggles.”

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Source: Church Leaders