Some read the biblical texts looking for clues about the end times. When will the world come to an end? What is the meaning of the afterlife? There is a search for indications of when the Second Coming of Jesus will take place. The biblical apocalyptic literature is a favorite. I want to understand the visions and sayings about the end of the world. Will I be saved in the end times? Will I be able to meet my maker?
Others read the biblical texts looking for a moral sense or meaning. What am I to do? What is God calling me to do? The answer can be found in reading the Bible. By reading the Bible, I may find out how I should act. The Bible is an aid in helping me to make decisions. The Bible is my guide book in life, as it tells me what to do in difficult situations. It has the moral standards by which I want to lead my life.
The New Testament is important for any further Christian theological development. Twentieth century linguistic analysis has shown the importance of communicative word structures to express realities. Words are human expressions about reality, but words convey meaning and feeling only within an understandable shared grammatical linguistic social structure. The authentic meaning of an utterance does not lie in a dictionary, but within the mind of the expression’s originator. Words exist in a specific historic time and place. However, some words endure and transcend spatial temporal limitations, while other words get lost in a particular misunderstood context. We now know the importance of the post-biblical history of the scriptural texts, the Wirkungsgeschichte, the reception and the interpretation of the biblical texts within a historical context with their varied meanings.