I stumbled across an essay on the theological method of Adolf Schlatter that is instructive to the theological task. One of Schlatter’s overarching points is the need for interpreters to take the proper time to actually observe what is in the text. Here is one golden quote from Schlatter:
We will continue to see exegetical works appear that show how the author pored over commentaries about the text but left the text unread. We will see dogmatic treatises which reveal that the writer knows his dogmaticians, especially from his own school of thought, but that he has never seriously observed the religious matters that actually come to pass.
This quote is found is one of Schlatter’s points about the challenge of the theological task to integrate the details of the text into faithful construction of the whole, but coheres well with his overall point on observation.
Robert Yarborough has done us a service with his translation and commentary of Schlatter’s method. The entire essay is worth a read.