Reading Scripture and its practices continue to be very important to me. I am a Christian, as such I hold that the Scriptures have a certain and intended ontology; an order relative to its place within the economy of God and His Self-revelation in Jesus Christ. As such when I approach Scripture I approach it confessionally and Dogmatically; which means that I approach, as noted, as a Christian from within a frame of reference that logically understands that God precedes Scripture just as He does creation itself. Of course the difference between creation simpliciter and Scripture is that Scripture becomes Holy because it, as John Webster so elegantly develops, reposes upon its genesis as God’s triune speech-act for us as it is given for us, first and ontologically, in its real text, in the Logos ensarkos, the enfleshed Word, in the Incarnate son of God, Jesus Christ.
What I would like to do for the remainder of this post is to continue to highlight the impact that approaching Scripture this way has upon the way we read it as Christians; or the way it should impact the way we read it. As I noted, there is an order and thus ontology to Scripture. Scripture therefore is not the ultimate, but its reality is, Jesus is. Scripture from this frame of reference is subordinate to its reality found in Jesus Christ; once we recognize this we can appreciate Scripture and its ‘being’ in God’s economy the way we ought to, and as a result read Scripture the way it was intended to be read from within the Domain of God’s Triune life. Here’s how Thomas F. Torrance unfolds this:
The Holy Scripture is not Jesus Christ, the Word of God incarnate. We may express this differently by saying that Jesus Christ the incarnate Word of God is not merely a reflection of divine Light, a transparent medium through which that Light shines into the world, nor is he therefore merely a witness to the Light, for he is identical with the Light to which he bears witness. He is in fact “the real Light,” the Reality of the enlightening Light of God of which all created light is a reflection and to which it bears witness (John 1:9). In the same way we must say that the Holy Scriptures are not themselves the real Light that Christ is, but are what they are only as enlightened by him and as they therefore bear witness to him beyond themselves. In no way can the light of the Scriptures substitute for the Light of Christ, for they are entirely subordinate to his Light. Indeed it may be said that if the Scriptures are treated as having a light inherent in themselves, they are deprived of their true light which they have by reflecting the Light of Christ beyond themselves—and then the light that is in them is turned into a kind of darkness.
Does that make sense? It seems quite self-evident to me that this is the way we ought to approach Holy Scripture. I.e. Scripture does not precede God in Christ, but God in Christ precedes Scripture; if we get this backwards Scripture’s ontology can only at that point be derived from the authority and reality we give it, and its meaning can only be reduced down to the sense that we make out of it as we analyze its literary structures, grammatical connections, syntactical arrangements, historical situations, its historical development, its traditioned sources etc. This is a concerning and profound thing; I think that largely this has become the frame through which modern Biblical Studies operates (whether that be in so called Liberal or Fundamentalist locations).
Torrance extrapolates further; he provides a way forward for how reading Scripture within its proper orientation and ontology in relation to Christ ought to look. He writes,
so far as the New Testament Scriptures are concerned, the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ constituted the ground on which they were understood and validated, brought about a radically new conception of God and a complete transformation of man’s outlook in terms of a new divine order, and—thus bracketing within them the whole life, activity, and passion of Jesus Christ—gave rise to the basic framework within which the New Testament Scriptures are set and have to be interpreted. That is to say, the incarnation, passion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ gave the New Testament the comprehensive scope within which all its writings took shape and form. Thus these realities forced themselves upon the mind of the Christian community in sharp antithesis to what people had believed about God and in genuine conflict with the framework of secular thought or the prevailing world view; they took root in the church, which they had called into existence, only through a seismic restructuring of people’s religious and intellectual beliefs. Through the New Testament Scriptures the self-revelation and self-communication of God in the incarnation, passion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ continue to supply the objective framework within which the gospel is to be understood and the Scriptures are to be interpreted. But they are ultimates, carrying their own authority and calling for the intelligent commitment of faith, and they provide the irreducible ground upon which continuing theologico-scientific inquiry and formulation take place.
This seems quite radical, I think, to typical North American evangelical and mainline Biblical Studies (i.e. the discipline) ears. It takes the Bible back from the naturalist approach that has come to dominate what it means to do Biblical exegesis (see Gabler ), and places the Bible itself, again, back into its proper orientation and ontology relative to God. Torrance’s challenge is for Christian exegetes and students of Scripture to repent and come back to reading Scripture with Jesus Christ as its theological and real life center. As we can see from the prior quote, as Torrance develops it, the ground of Scripture’s meaning is particular to ‘the whole life, activity, and passion of Jesus Christ.’ If this is the case it is not possible nor advisable to attempt to roam over large areas of academic discipline when attempting to read Holy Scripture; it is important instead to attend to Scripture’s scope and reality grounded and conditioned by Jesus Christ Himself. If we do this we will be in a good place to actually hear from the Lord of Holy Scripture, and will be able to avoid our attempts to adoptionistically attach our readings and exegetical conclusions of Scripture onto God (this is what happens if we follow naturalistic or maybe we could say Ebionite readings of Scripture).
 T.F. Torrance, Reality and Evangelical Theology: A fresh and challenging approach to Christian revelation (Philadelphia, The Westminster Press, 1982), 95.
 Ibid., 105-06.