Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Accuracy and Credibility as a Teacher

I’m currently reading the introduction to David A. deSilva’s volume on Galatians in the New International Commentary on the New Testament series (Eerdmans, 2018). In an excursus on rhetoric and letter-writing in antiquity, he writes, “Speakers must have our trust and confidence if they are to persuade us to do anything; conversely, doubts about credibility prove the quickest and most effective means to undermining a particular speaker’s message” (p. 68).

I have often noted in the past that if a teacher or preacher can’t get the raw facts (characters, locations, basic order of events) of a biblical story correct, then it becomes much more difficult for those hearing the message to accept the speaker’s interpretation and application of that text.