What is Scriptural Excavation?
Scriptural Excavation is not an easy process to teach, largely because it is solely dependent upon the Holy Spirit. With that said, I’m going to introduce you to this method, giving you some basics. However, if you wish to implement it yourself, it requires practice, diligence, tenacity, and consistency that is led by the Holy Spirit. Only then is it effective. That level of dependency and reliance comes through an intimate relationship of prayer and submission that is willing to seek Him, wait upon Him, and obediently hearken to Him. That is something most believers today have failed to cultivate in their own spiritual lives. Our Christian culture is accustomed to seeking the voice and opinion of man through alternative resources such as books, tapes, conferences and other media. Although these may not be wrong, or bad– they should be carefully tested by the Word via the Berean approach, and we need to understand that these are not firsthand knowledge coming from the LORD. When we readily seek or accept secondhand knowledge as ‘gospel truth’, we become vulnerable to deception. This can also be a form of idolatry if we are not careful. Christ Jesus is our LORD and Teacher, for whom there is no substitute.
As a young Christian I had an insatiable thirst and hunger for God’s Word, which continues to this very day. I spent hours upon hours in God’s presence as He took me through the scriptures. What I began to realize is that there was a pattern in how He did so which kept repeating itself. I was continually amazed at how He tied these truths together for me, taking me from one book to another, or from one passage to another — many of them which were not readily related by similar words or phrases. Yet their messages validated the Word of God on any given point.
As I grew this process began to mature, and with the help of biblical tools, my study time grew deeper and more advanced. The Holy Spirit continued to bring revelation, unfolding the depth of the scriptures. What always amazed me was that regardless of what He was teaching, I saw the following pattern repeated:
• He took me through the whole Word of God which brought validation and confirmation.
• The study of one topic was always greater than the sum of its parts.
• A specific word itself was never the sole means to exhaustive research; but rather the concept or principle being taught.
His goal was never mere knowledge, but a revelation of Him.
The Consistent Principles
(1) Accuracy is dependent upon the unveiling of the following key elements:
• Proper Context
• Knowledge of the original Hebrew or Greek
• Defining the literal or symbolic interpretation with regard to its central message and purpose
• The contiguous consistency of the scriptures throughout the Word of God (via the Berean approach)
• Proper application of a truth or principle
(2) The Word of God can never transgress or contradict itself.
Many times there are passages that may appear contrary to one another. However, when we understand the writing and its purpose using the above elements, there is always congruence and agreement. The Word of God will always support itself, bringing further revelation. It comes in layers. But this only happens as we dig deeper tying the entire Bible together with the common thread of accuracy.
(3) Scriptural Excavation is utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit who is our Teacher and Guide.
He is the One who breathes revelation upon His Word, imparting the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, and prophetic interpretation.
(4) Proper Scriptural Excavation will always result in the following outcomes without fail:
• Greater intimacy with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
• A personal knowledge and revelation of Jesus Christ
• Wisdom, knowledge and understanding
• The conviction and discipline of the LORD in your personal life as hidden areas of your heart are being exposed
• Opportunities for repentance
• A personal pruning of your own life
• An understanding of absolute Truth which brings perfect liberty
• The power of God unto Transformation & Sanctification
• The ability to properly apply God’s Word to your life in a manner that enables obedience to Him
• The blessings that come with an obedient life, which include His protection, manifest presence, perfect peace, and the other manifest fruits of the Holy Spirit
(5) Scriptural Excavation cannot be realized if we practice or accept the following:
• Worldly knowledge and wisdom
• Man’s interpretation
• The addition or subtraction of scripture
• Doubt, Unbelief or Disobedience
All of these leaving gaping holes giving way to deception.
(6) To practice Scriptural Excavation appropriately you need to become very comfortable with saying the following:
• “I don’t know.”
• “I don’t understand.”
• “LORD, please teach me.”
(7) To practice Scriptural Excavation appropriately you need to become very comfortable with doing the following:
• Taking God at His Word, being willing to believe what you may not always understand.
• Ask Him as many questions as you can. Many times the questions we ask are prompted by the Holy Spirit, being indicative of the answers He wants to give and the truth He wants to reveal.
• Waiting on God indefinitely, and doing so with patience and perseverance.
• Seeking His face earnestly in prayer.
• Declining to seek esoteric knowledge via alternative resources.
• Testing and proving the opinions of others by the scriptures using the Berean approach.
• Declining the sins of assumption and presumption. Know your spiritual boundaries and never go beyond the knowledge or understanding He’s presently given you.
• Be faithful with what He’s given, practicing it obediently and faithfully. And when the LORD sees fit, He will give you more.
• Practicing the Berean approach by which you test and prove all things by the scriptures, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.
The Basic Process
There have been many times when I’ve studied the Word, only to find the revelation He brought to be beautifully overwhelming. I was racing to keep up with Him as He would take me throughout the whole of God’s word on any given point or topic, tying them together. How He did so was different each time, but the outcome was always the same: I was transformed by His truth and the sanctification of my life continued to grow deeper. I knew Him more intimately than I did before. There was a greater wisdom imparted, a greater knowledge of Christ Jesus and the glory of God, and an ability to apply His truths to my life in a very practical way that literally changed my life.
God’s Word has immeasurable depth, height, width and breadth. There’s no limit. However, to utilize the process of Scriptural Excavtion, you require proper tools and you must understand the process.
There are two primary ways Scriptural Excavation can be practiced:
WHOLE ⇒ PART
PART ⇒ WHOLE
Regardless of which direction you choose, both will provide a clear picture of the following:
• Your point of origin
• Each individual intricate connection within God’s Word
• The whole picture, which is the grand conclusion of the principle truth being taught
God’s Word is full of hidden treasures, even as it is filled with obvious truths. The superficial truths which are readily seen and understood can always be traced to deeper hidden mysteries which must be carefully mined. The awesome beauty and power of that revelation is something you only have to experience one time to understand the value Scriptural Excavation offers.
There are three allegorical examples we will examine: