“God in his infinite wisdom decided to give us a book, a very long book, and not a portrait or an aphorism. God reveals himself in his image, Jesus, but we come to know that image by reading, and that takes time. God wants to transform us into the image of his image, and one of the key ways he does that is by leading us through the text. If we short-circuit that process by getting to the practical application, we are not going to be transformed in the ways God wants us to be transformed. ‘Get to the point’ will not do because part of the point is to lead us through the labyrinth of the text itself. There is treasure at the center of the labyrinth, but with texts, the journey really is as important as the destination. ‘Get to the point, man’ is the slogan of the liberal theologian; it is a demand for the kernel without the annoying distraction of the husky twists and turns of the text itself.
We cannot get the meaning of a text without taking time. And as the text takes time, the meanings of earlier texts shift with the introduction of later texts. The meanings of the text emerge through the time of reading.
-Peter Leithart, Deep Exegesis: The Mystery of Reading Scripture.