Applying Biblical Passages to Contemporary Contexts: The Final Step in Exegesis

This post is part of a series on illuminating Scripture through personal study that follows biblical exegesis methods. Read the Introduction article: Illuminating the Scriptures: A Comprehensive Guide to Biblical Exegesis.

Having meticulously navigated through annotating your passage, understanding its historical-cultural backdrop, structuring your analysis, and engaging with past scholarship, we now arrive at the pivotal phase of applying biblical passages to contemporary contexts. This final step in your biblical exegesis project is about bridging the ancient text with the modern world, demonstrating the relevance of scripture in today’s life.


This phase aims to articulate how your chosen biblical passage’s themes, lessons, and insights can inform, inspire, and challenge contemporary Christian communities and individual believers.

Identifying Universal Themes:

  1. Core Messages:
    • Extract your passage’s core messages and themes that hold universal appeal and relevance. Consider how these themes resonate with or challenge current societal, ethical, and personal issues.
  2. Contemporary Relevance:
    • Discuss how the biblical themes can be applied to modern-day contexts. This might involve drawing parallels between the historical situations in the passage and current events and exploring how biblical wisdom can address contemporary challenges.

Application in Personal and Community Life:

  • Reflect on how the passage’s teachings can be integrated into personal spiritual practices and community life. This can include practical applications in social justice, ethical decision-making, personal growth, and community service.

Challenges and Solutions:

  • Challenge: Ensuring relevance without distorting the text’s meaning.
    • Solution: Maintain a balance between drawing contemporary parallels and staying true to the text’s original context and message. Avoid overextending the application in ways that the passage does not support.
  • Challenge: Addressing sensitive or controversial issues.
    • Solution: Approach sensitive topics with humility and openness, acknowledging the complexity of applying ancient texts to modern debates. Encourage respectful dialogue and continued exploration.

Engaging with the Audience:

Invite your readers or audience to reflect on their own experiences and contexts. Encourage them to consider how the passage speaks into their lives and to share their insights. This engagement fosters a vibrant community dialogue around the text.

Example of Application:

Consider a passage that discusses themes of justice and compassion. Explore how these principles can guide responses to contemporary issues such as inequality, poverty, and community support. Share examples of how individuals or communities have lived out these biblical values in today’s world.


Applying biblical passages to contemporary contexts is a dynamic and enriching process that brings the ancient text to life in the modern world. It allows for the scripture to be studied and lived, offering wisdom and guidance for today’s complex challenges.

Next Steps:

With your exegesis project complete, reflect on the journey you’ve undertaken. Consider how this process has deepened your understanding of the Bible and its relevance to your life and those around you. Look for opportunities to share your insights and continue engaging with scripture in personal and communal settings.

Want to Go Deeper?

Share how you’ve applied the insights from your biblical passage to contemporary life. Use #BiblicalExegesisProject to join the conversation online and inspire others with the timeless wisdom of scripture. This final step is not the end but a beginning—the start of a lifelong journey of discovering and applying the profound truths of the Bible to our ever-changing world.

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