So far we’ve looked at the Preacher’s Checklist for selecting a text and for introducing a sermon. Today, I want to offer a checklist for exegeting a text.

1. Have I explained the historical background and canonical context?

2. Have I taken account of the genre of the passage?

3. Have I explained who wrote the text, when, why, and to whom?

4. Have I distinguished between what is central and what is peripheral?

5. Have I shown the connections between the text and the previous verses?

6. Have I explained every significant word in the text? (the most common area of failure)

7. Have I incorporated relevant Scripture cross-references?

8. Have I connected the passage with systematic theology, biblical theology, and Christology?

9. Have I checked my exegesis with reliable commentators?

10. Where is the Gospel in this text?


Here are my Top 10 Books on Preaching. And if you want to read more about how to exegete a text, here are the relevant passages in various preaching books.

Jay Adams, Preaching with Purpose, pp. 27-33.
D. L. Akin, Text-Driven Preaching, 135-218.
J A. Broadus, The Preparation and Delivery of Sermons, pp. 32-75.
Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Preaching, pp. 59-128.
H. B. Charles, On Preaching, pp. 58-67.
R. L. Dabney, Sacred Rhetoric or a Course of Lectures on Preaching, pp. 74-104, 154-167, 179-213.
Mark Dever, Preach, pp. 107-108.
Mark Dever, The Westminster Directory of Public Worship, pp. 94-96.
T. D. Gordon, Why Johnny can’t Preach, pp. 43-60.
S. Greidanus, Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text, pp. 48-121, 188-337.
D. R. Helm, Expositional Preaching, pp. 39-60.
D. Kistler, Feed my Sheep, pp. 61-128.
C. W. Koller, Expository Preaching Without Notes, pp. 28-33, 61-75.
D. M. Lloyd-Jones, Preaching and Preachers, pp. 45-63.
Sam Logan, The Preacher and Preaching, pp. 192-272.
John MacArthur, Preaching: How to Preach Biblically, pp. 93-135, 171-182.
John Macarthur, Rediscovering Expository Preaching, pp. 119-224.
J. C. Meyer, Preaching: A Biblical Theology, pp. 257-279.
C. Miller, Preaching: The Art of Narrative Exposition, pp. 61-77, 125-172.
Al Mohler, He is not Silent, pp. 65-75.
A. Motyer, Preaching: Simple Teaching on Simply Preaching, pp. 29-88.
David Murray, How Sermons Work, pp. 35-58.
Denis Prutow, So Pastor, What’s Your Point, pp. 61-70.
Haddon. W. Robinson, Biblical Preaching, pp. 57-114.
S. W. Smith, Dying To Preach, pp. 63-76, 113-135.
C. H. Spurgeon, Lectures to my Students, pp. 97-109.
John Stott, Between Two Worlds, pp. 213-227.