Original Research

The need for a canonical reading of the Exodus narratives in finding its present-day theological significance

Gregory C. Pereira
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 34, No 1 | a754 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v34i1.754 | © 2013 Gregory C. Pereira | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 June 2012 | Published: 19 August 2013

About the author(s)

Gregory C. Pereira, Department of Old Testament Studies, University of Pretoria; North-West University, Potchefstroom campus, South Africa


This article deals with the approach to exegesis of biblical narrative, especially in Exodus, in finding its theological significance for contemporary and relevant biblical interpretation. It shows that the historical-critical method is unable to span the divide between the original context and our contemporary context, and to provide the present relevance of Scripture. After arguing for the validity of a set canonical text, this article shows that biblical narrative in general, and the Exodus narratives in particular, are best explored theologically by means of a canonical approach. It shows that the theological significance translates more easily into life-application. It demonstrates how the Exodus narratives are employed canonically for its theological significance throughout the Bible. It concludes that the Church needs teachers who recognise their responsibility to accurately interpret their whole Scriptures, the Bible, with the necessary historical, linguistic (rhetorical) and theological considerations, and that this is best done in a canonical context - whether we use a synchronic or a diachronic approach.


Canonical method; historical-critical method; revelation; biblical; history; exegesis; synchronic; diachronic; faith-community


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