Guidelines for Contributors

We are happy to receive unsolicited manuscripts for publication. However, please note that this is a discriminating website! We have a specific aim and so have prepared the following guidelines to aid contributors. Please read them carefully.

What we are looking for in the Briefings is a cross between the finished sermon and an exegetical paper that discusses how to handle the text in terms of biblical theology. There is often a significant leap between even the most helpful of commentaries and what you actually say in the pulpit - what we want to put on paper is the process you have gone through to make that leap. After you had studied the text and read the commentaries, why did you decide to express things as you did? What led you to have the introduction you did? Why those points expressed in that way? We have in mind you working backwards from the text of your sermon notes as you prepare this piece, or writing the whole piece as if you were preparing to preach the passage.

Please include sections of prose where you interact with both the biblical text and your sermon to show us exactly why you went in the direction you did. This is an invitation to 'think out loud' about the text and how you expressed it in the sermon, and to show us very clearly your working out.

Please include sections of your sermon verbatim (if you preach from full script), as we want to see how you finally delivered your exegetical and hermeneutical ponderings. These sections will work best as illustrations of your methodology in action.

It may help to imagine the Briefing as you giving your own justification of your sermon to a listener who is unconvinced by what you said; or as you giving your own critique of your sermon to a preaching group who are new to biblical theology.

Please seek to address the following the types of question throughout your Briefing:

  • If relevant for your passage, what are moralising and pietistic approaches to this text?
  • How would they show themselves in a sermon?
  • Why are they wrong and how can you show this from the text?
  • What are the NT controls helping your 'big picture' understanding of this OT text and how did you know to use them?
  • What are the key OT texts informing this NT passage and how can you best show that to a congregation?
  • Why are certain commentaries particularly helpful/unhelpful with your passage?
  • What is there in the passage that unlocks it and takes us to its heart and how do you know this?
  • Very importantly, if moralising applications and the like are misguided, what is the correct application?
  • How does biblical theology help provide fresh and penetrating application of your passage?
  • This is a vital part of your piece as we don't want academic essays on biblical theology. Please feel free to show as much of your thinking out loud as you want. For example, 'I used this illustration to show that' 'these were my two points and I chose them for this reason' ...

Please organise your piece with clear headings which outline the steps in your methodology and the key ways biblical theology has made a difference to your sermon. Please also state if you think biblical theology as a discipline was not sufficient to handle the passage in the best way and do use other appropriate headings to reflect this. Here are some sample headings that you might like to use. These are not definitive and not all are relevant for each Briefing, but they are representative of the kind of article we're after:

  • The sermon text: context issues
  • What this passage is not about: false trails in the sermon
  • What this passage is about: the difference biblical theology makes
  • A turning point in redemptive history
  • Sermon shape and structure
  • Application issues
  • Resources/Recommended Reading

We want the piece to be no more than 6,000 words long and submitted to in a Word document, with your name and email address supplied. The piece will be read by the Editors and, if suitable for publication, commented on for any changes you may wish to make before it is placed on the website.

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