The Ancient Reader
In order to begin to grasp the depths of meaning contained within the text of the Bible, we need to become more like its ancient readers. For Jordan this involves becoming more alert to the kind of literary structures and devices that shape the text. He also notes that the Bible was originally intended to be heard, rather than read silently, and that this would promote greater awareness of the patterns and meanings of the text:
God shapes our consciousness through its cadences and repetitions. The Bible abounds in numerical symbolism, large parallel structures, intricate chiastic devices, astral allusions, sweeping metaphors, typological parallels, and symbolism in general. The ancient servant of God was able to hear these aspects of the text, because he heard these passages read over and over, week after week, in worship. 
Learning to read according to the conventions of ancient literature is just one of the necessary skills of the good Bible reader. To explain more of what it means to be a literary reader, Jordan draws heavily on C. S. Lewis’s essay, An Experiment in Criticism. 
Basically, the literary reader is a person who is open and receptive to the text, and allows himself to be molded by it. The unliterary reader is a person who uses the text for his own purposes, whether that purpose be the gathering of information or sheer recreation. Lewis then goes on to say that ‘good literature’ is literature that tends to compel a literary reading, while ‘bad literature’ is literature that does not have the depth to withstand a literary read. 
Openness and receptivity are vague terms, hard to quantify or assess, and impossible to prescribe a method for. They depend on the character and skill of the reader. It is this focus on the reader rather than the method of interpretation that worries Jordan’s critics so greatly. Here Greg Bahnsen expresses his concern for the lack of objectivity and the corresponding potential dangers of Jordan’s hermeneutic:
One must always be concerned when a certain method is so ambiguous as to allow for conflicting conclusions or arbitrary conclusions to be drawn from it. I have maintained for quite a long time that Jordan’s approach to the Bible is a matter of rhetorical and creative flourish on his part and does not reduce to principles of interpretation which are public or objective and predictable, and for that reason you can go just about anywhere once you try to interpret the Bible in the manner observed in his publications. It’s just a matter of whose creativity you are going to follow this week. 
However, it is not the case that there is no method at all to Jordan’s interpretation, as we have seen. There are clear principles to be followed: use insights from general revelation; pay attention to the detail; interpret theologically; recognise the conventions of the ancient literature; and be open and receptive to the text. More important than any of these, perhaps, is the principle of ‘repeated exposure.’  Simply reading the Bible more often and more open-mindedly is the surest way to becoming a better Bible-reader. 
An excerpt from ‘The Maximalist Hermeneutics of James B. Jordan’ by R. S. Clarke, 2009.
Volumes 1-3 of Ecclesia Reformanda are now available online, so you can read the entire article. The direct link is here.
 James B. Jordan, Handwriting on the Wall, 123.
 C. S. Lewis, An Experiment in Criticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1965).
 Jordan, ‘Apologia on Reading the Bible’, 33.
 Bahnsen, ‘Interview’.
 Alastair Roberts, Some Thoughts on Interpretive Maximalism.
 Jordan, Handwriting on the Wall, 117, 124.