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Brother Mark
May 2nd 2008, 07:34 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.

karenoka27
May 2nd 2008, 07:45 PM
I believe that God says what He means and He means what He says.

John 3:16-"For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"

There is nothing that could mean something different to someone else in this verse. God does love the whole world. God did give His Only Son...and "whosoever" believes in Him will be with Him for all eternity.

You can't decide which verses God means what He says and then in a different verse say He leaves room for interpretation.

Rullion Green
May 2nd 2008, 07:46 PM
I believe that also and is the beauty of the scriptures, but can lead to disputes also, as i can see from just looking at any post on this website, no doubt there will even be a disagreement with this :P

Although depends on the scripture in point, there are scriptures that have a definite meaning and can be twisted to suit a pre concieved idea. E.G i listen to Dr Michael Brown debating on a gay radio show today and they have totally taken and twisted the scripture calling homosexuality wrong and said it is not saying that ? ( i forget the argument given for it, as it was not worth remembering) but just a case in point they can have a definite meaning. So i'd agree in general but not in specifics.

Brother Mark
May 2nd 2008, 07:48 PM
I believe that God says what He means and He means what He says.

John 3:16-"For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life"

There is nothing that could mean something different to someone else in this verse. God does love the whole world. God did give His Only Son...and "whosoever" believes in Him will be with Him for all eternity.

I have no problem with that. Though I will add to it in a moment.


You can't decide which verses God means what He says and then in a different verse say He leaves room for interpretation.

What if scripture refers back to those verses and gives more insight? For instance, look at what Paul wrote here.

2 Cor 4:4-6
5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
NASB

What is Paul quoting here? Genesis 1. But why quote Genesis 1? Is it only about creation or is it about more than creation?

amazzin
May 2nd 2008, 07:54 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.

Scripture is not only historical in nature or even retrospective. It is also revelatgory in nature. This means that the HS opens the eyes of our heart to fresh and new revelations that is supported by scripture itself.

This is why the Word of God is complete. when God gives us a fresh revelation scripture itself tesifies that this revelation is true and not something that is being added to the already God breathed word.

Brother Mark
May 2nd 2008, 07:56 PM
Scripture is not only historical in nature or even retrospective. It is also revelatgory in nature. This means that the HS opens the eyes of our heart to fresh and new revelations that is supported by scripture itself.

This is why the Word of God is complete. when God gives us a fresh revelation scripture itself tesifies that this revelation is true and not something that is being added to the already God breathed word.

AMEN my brother. That is what I am getting at. It is more than history it is revelation! Scripture interprets scripture. And our understanding of a verse or a chapter can grow over time as God reveals more and more of what that passage means. Revelation is an awesome thing. You clarified what I was struggling to communicate.

Ta-An
May 2nd 2008, 08:07 PM
I believe there are 4 different levels of interpretation to scripture.....


The four levels of interpreting scripture are:

pashut = The simple straight forward, literal meaning

remes = symbolical : numbers/colours/ etc

darash = to be interpreted / exegesis

sud = hidden... to be revealed by Holy Spirit.....= Secret

Many people do not see past the pashut level....
this is where Jer31:33/34 comes in, the closer your walk with G_d, the more aware you become of what the Holy Spirit reveals to you...

Br. Barnabas
May 2nd 2008, 08:45 PM
I believe there are 4 different levels of interpretation to scripture.....


The four levels of interpreting scripture are:

pashut = The simple straight forward, literal meaning

remes = symbolical : numbers/colours/ etc

darash = to be interpreted / exegesis

sud = hidden... to be revealed by Holy Spirit.....= Secret

Many people do not see past the pashut level....
this is where Jer31:33/34 comes in, the closer your walk with G_d, the more aware you become of what the Holy Spirit reveals to you...

I was going to bring up the exact same thing. In fact I had to write an essay to day on a final where we chose a story in the Hebrew Bible and explained in in each of these ways.

Another example going back to the OP. Is look at how the book of Revelation has been understood though out the centuries. It was not until 150 or so years ago that people started to read it in a dispositional perspective. If there were not more then one way to read or understand Scripture then there would not be reformed and non-reformed perspective. Or once saved always saved vs. not once saved always saved, or division on the Eucharist. But because there is there must be different ways to understand/read the Bible. Because both sides back up what they say with Scripture.

awestruckchild
May 2nd 2008, 08:57 PM
Good thread!!
I can't understand what you mean when you say that "scripture interprets scripture" though. I think the only way to really understand it is if the Holy Spirit decides to show us. If not, we are stuck with the human understanding of it.
As far as more than one truth in a vs - you bet!!
Although the way I would phrase it is that even a single vs. has so much truth in it and He gives a portion of the truth in it to one person but the danger is in saying you now know the complete truth of that vs.
Very good thread!

2 Peter 2:20
May 3rd 2008, 11:35 AM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.

I believe that it ultimately has one meaning but that meaning MUST be applied to the whole of scripture and the leading through the Spirit to get that meaning. I do believe that although it has one meaning it can speak to you in different ways depending on what trails or troubles you are going through. That to me is the beauty of scripture.

Why?? When Paul wrote his letters I believe that he was straight forward in what he was saying. I believe that those who received his letters knew exactly what he was saying but we don't always have that luxury.

BTW...I am not saying that the meaning I have come to understand is the correct meaning and everyone else is wrong. I would not be so bold!

Redeemed by Grace
May 3rd 2008, 01:05 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.Mark,

If scripture does not have one meaning, does not have one intent, does not have one understanding, then it is relative; to the individual, to a group, to time, and thus is whatever anyone wants it to say….


For example, if I read your post correctly [to my hypothetical understandings], I see that you want to discuss angels… where do you want to begin? Right? Of course not.

Anything written has one purpose, your thread for example… you have one intent, one purpose, and as background have shared that you have captured this idea from another thread…. Those here who post in this thread and saw the other thread , better know your meaning, know the background behind it and know the reasoning behind it better than the one who just stumbled on this post.


However, those folks who don't know and this is their first seeing this thread - could now do a bit of research, do a post search, seek to find more data, based on searching… and confirm to see the one reason and intent of your thread.

They may stumble and find the background to the deleted posts that occurred, or they may not… or they may formulate their own opinion and call it yours, and it may be right, or would be wrong…

Mark, brother, words in thoughts have one direction, one meaning, and it’s from those giving those words that shows the window of the heart and intent. Same with Scripture, as it stands alone, it has one intent of the author in being written… and together it is the sum of truth… truth never changes. This is good hermeneutics and exegesis of scripture.

And Scripture is replete of warning in watching our words and ears… such as being quick to hear scripture, slow to respond to what you hear, slow to anger.

To watch the tongue, a little rudder that can move the mighty vessel into trouble.

Now I think you may be thinking of ‘application of the word’ instead of ‘multiple meanings’, for which Scripture does serve well by application…. But the meaning is always, always the same… never changing based on man’s thoughts or ways…

But see in saying this, this is my interpretation of what you are saying… so am I right or wrong? Is this your original intent? If so, why didn’t you use ‘application’ instead of ‘meaning’? And if I am wrong in saying you meant ‘application’, then my understandings were given in place of yours, and I wrongly interpreted your intent. So then you did have only one meaning. Or if you say that you meant both application and meanings are right, then your thread is lukewarm for all understandings are good to your intent, and that becomes postmodern thinking with no wrong answers, for example.


So I guess I stand alone stating that there is one true meaning given in scripture, and the goal and desire of every believer is to find that which is true and discard that which is not…

Thessalonians 5:21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

2 Timothy 3:16, 17
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

How can one be corrected if scripture has more than one meaning? Can't that's why scripture demands to have one meaning... for it's consistant, tried and true.



For His glory...

Brother Mark
May 3rd 2008, 01:51 PM
So I guess I stand alone stating that there is one true meaning given in scripture, and the goal and desire of every believer is to find that which is true and discard that which is not…

Thessalonians 5:21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

2 Timothy 3:16, 17
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

How can one be corrected if scripture has more than one meaning? Can't that's why scripture demands to have one meaning... for it's consistant, tried and true.

Then what of the example I provided. Paul spoke of Gen 1 in Corinthians. Was Gen. 1 about creation or about salvation? Or could it be about both?

2 Cor 4:6
6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
NASB

Hawkins
May 3rd 2008, 03:02 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.

The Scripture verses can have multi-folded meanings other than their literal meanings. That's how things are usually prophesied, and that's why we can't understand the Scripture fully without guidance from the Holy Spirit and/or even revelation.

While certain verses are not even allowed to be read out of their context. Such as,

2 Peter 3:16
He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.

1 Corinthians 14:37-38
If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.

They don't hinder your reading generally and to apply to teaching contained in general. We can't understand certain parts in specific, which can be very multi-folded and may not be targeting general audience.

Consider that Paul basically wrote those letters to the churches, his audience at that moment were thus the churches. Yet he wrote thing to them that "are hard to understand". You don't write something hard to understand to your targeted audience, do you?

So other than the churches, what audience did Paul addressed his speeches? I conclude that the "hard to understand" parts are reserved for the Prophets. So the same verses, the churches may read their general meaning, while the Prophets may their specific meanings, and the false prophets will read yet another for their own destruction. ;)


Discernment is never easy, but still we need to discern. We need to discern sound doctrines from the false doctrine, to discern true prophets from the false prophets. I don't think there's easy clear-cut to say that all the verses can't bear multi-folded meanings, or to say that God will send no more Prophets. Just to ease our discernment, I don't think so. As an ultimate author and sender, He writes and sends only from His point of view, by His own will and for His plans to be achieved.

GodlyDads
May 3rd 2008, 05:20 PM
If by "Meaning" you mean application, then yes. With scripture there is 1 INTERPRETATION (what it is literally saying) and many APPLICATIONS (what it is saying directly to you).

Romans 5:8 says, "God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

This verse literally means that God loves us and proves it by the fact that Jesus died for us even though we were sinners.

It APPLIES to me in that no matter how little I think of myself sometimes, God thinks very highly of me. It may apply to you differently.

That's my take on it.


----------------------
GodlyDads.com - Godly Men Talking About Being Godly Dads...And Other Random Guy Stuff

Frances
May 3rd 2008, 05:33 PM
I believe there is the literal meaning of the written Scriptures, and also what the Lord reveals to me personally through those words - which may be from a different perspective each time I read the same passage. . . . and, as the Bible is a Living book, my perspective 'today' - Guided by the Holy Spirit - may, or may not, be relevant to other folk too.

Mograce2U
May 3rd 2008, 06:38 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.
(2 Pet 1:19-21 KJV) We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: {20} Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. {21} For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Spiritual revelation is most clearly seen in the prophetic foretelling of events. Which we also see did not help Israel all that much when they refused to believe it. But every word we have in the scripture is revelation from God and unless He gives us ears to hear it we will find it rather obscure. The cryptic nature of scripture is therefore to be expected else the natural man would understand it readily. Yet there are some things easier to understand than others. But sin is the cloud of darkness that veils it to us. That is why Christ must give us light. And if our focus is on finding the knowledge of Christ that scripture contains, we will find the light we need to understand and our faith will be built up.

But those who go to the scriptures to find something else, end up lighting their own sparks. And the light they find from them will not bring them into the glory of God revealed in Christ.

Which is why we find these verses:

(Luke 11:34-35 KJV) The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. {35} Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

(Mat 6:22-24 KJV) The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. {23} But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! {24} No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

If our carnal desires are what motivates us then what seems to "enlighten" us is bound to be confusing as to what its true source is. For there are many kinds of voices in the world and none are without significance (1 Cor 14:10), but until you are able to test what you hear, you will not be able to discern the spirit behind it. It is therefore only that which builds up our faith in Christ which must be discerned and either received or discarded - IF we hope to escape being deceived by a false hope from another gospel or another "Jesus" who is not the Lord.

Peter learned his lesson well once the Lord restored his faith. And his understanding of prophecy was transformed from a carnal hope to a spiritual one. This is the same thing that must happen in us, because all scripture is prophetic of what our hope in Christ is. It is not literal vs spiritual because it is ALL literally spiritual!

Redeemed by Grace
May 3rd 2008, 07:24 PM
Then what of the example I provided. Paul spoke of Gen 1 in Corinthians. Was Gen. 1 about creation or about salvation? Or could it be about both?

2 Cor 4:6
6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
NASB

So were do you want to go Mark? Are you open to see that scripture has one true meaning and understanding, or are you set in you ways that it has many?

Brother Mark
May 3rd 2008, 07:35 PM
So were do you want to go Mark? Are you open to see that scripture has one true meaning and understanding, or are you set in you ways that it has many?

All of scripture has an overriding meaning that is often lost in the letter. But the point I am making is a valid point. Is Gen 1 about creation or about salvation? Or about both?

When we limit the word to one thing in the letter, we miss much of what God is wanting to say.

Said another way... is the OT history? Or is it about Jesus? Was Isaac being offered as a sacrifice simply a historical moment in time where we learn to fear God? Or was it also a shadow of Christ that was offered for sins in our stead?

th1bill
May 3rd 2008, 08:01 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.
Scripture is self interpreting and the meaning is always the same but there are almost always multiple applications. Mark, I've almost never disagreed with you and I'm not sure we disagree here. My definitions are very old school because the migration of definition is of the New World Order and is being done so as to cause confusion among the faithful today.

Brother Mark
May 3rd 2008, 08:03 PM
Scripture is self interpreting and the meaning is always the same but there are almost always multiple applications. Mark, I've almost never disagreed with you and I'm not sure we disagree here. My definitions are very old school because the migration of definition is of the New World Order and is being done so as to cause confusion among the faithful today.

We probably agree on this one too my brother. I definitely believe that scripture is self interpreting. That is a biggie for me. And the applications are very, very numerous. I have learned to, that when I understand something on the surface, often that is only the beginning of my understanding. God takes a verse and it goes deeper into my heart requiring more death to myself and giving more resurrection life than ever before!

As you read through the thread, let me know if you disagree and I'll try to explain myself better.

Redeemed by Grace
May 3rd 2008, 08:26 PM
All of scripture has an overriding meaning that is often lost in the letter. But the point I am making is a valid point. Is Gen 1 about creation or about salvation? Or about both?

When we limit the word to one thing in the letter, we miss much of what God is wanting to say.

Said another way... is the OT history? Or is it about Jesus? Was Isaac being offered as a sacrifice simply a historical moment in time where we learn to fear God? Or was it also a shadow of Christ that was offered for sins in our stead?

So much for answering a direct question... ;) but your question is framed wrong for where you want to go...

You quoted 2 Corinthians 4:6

but missed the context that Paul was saying...


Allow me to paraphrase to show the understanding...

For God [Who is the creator of the universe who commanded physical light into existence], who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," [creation and your Gen reference] is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ [by the same God who also creates supernatural light in the soul of the believing].


So Paul uses this as a comparative... Just as God created the universe and created physical light, He also gives supernatural light to those He has called.


In the context of 2 Corinthians 4, fits perfectly...

Brother Mark
May 3rd 2008, 08:46 PM
So much for answering a direct question... ;) but your question is framed wrong for where you want to go...

You quoted 2 Corinthians 4:6

but missed the context that Paul was saying...


Allow me to paraphrase to show the understanding...

For God [Who is the creator of the universe who commanded physical light into existence], who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," [creation and your Gen reference] is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ [by the same God who also creates supernatural light in the soul of the believing].


So Paul uses this as a comparative... Just as God created the universe and created physical light, He also gives supernatural light to those He has called.


In the context of 2 Corinthians 4, fits perfectly...

But what of Genesis 1? Can we learn anything about salvation from it? Is it only now a narrative of creation but not a narrative of salvation?

Is Isaac being offered only history? Or does it also preach to us Jesus?

Scruffy Kid
May 3rd 2008, 09:14 PM
When earnest Christians strongly disagree about the question Brother Mark asks -- "Can Scripture have more than one meaning?" -- I think that part of the disagreement is just misunderstanding: the various sides are understanding what the question asks in different ways, and thus seem to disagree when perhaps they do not.

Reasons for answering the question: No!

The scriptures are true, reliable, accessible, and sure. They do not lie or misinform us. They are, in a sense, clear, perspicuous. They aren't aiming to trick us. Paul (II Cor. 5:18-20) says "But as God is true, our word toward you was not yes and no. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, ... was not yes and no, but in him was yes, For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." Paul is telling us that his message was not deceptive, seeming to give and yet taking away, but reliable and sure. Jesus instructs us with respect to our own speaking to "Let your yes be yes and your no be no!" (Matt. 5:37) Jesus is telling us not to be tricky or deceptive in our speech, but straitforward and reliable. How much more so, then, we can be sure that God in speaking to us is straitforward, trustworthy, and reliable.

Thus, many who answer a question like Mark's "no" mean, very rightly, to deny that the Scriptures are unsure, deceptive, ambiguous and therefore not a reliable guide, up for grabs, not having definite meanings, and so on. Of course they are right in denying any such thing. The Scriptures are saying definite things, and if we think they are saying something other than what they actually are saying (or don't accept that they are saying what they actually do say) we are plain wrong.

II Peter 1:16-20 tells us that Scripture is sure, and that we mustn't suppose that its meaning is subjective: "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." This passage, saying "no ... scripture is of private interpretation" means that there is objective truth that the Scriptures are teaching to the church, and that it's our job to diligently seek out what the Scriptures are actually telling us.

Reasons for answering the question Yes!

Yet it is also true that there are in the Scriptures many meanings which are not immediately apparant. This is not just a matter of God giving an individual special revelations for their circumstances, but a more general phenomenon.

Thus, I Peter 1:8-12 states that "though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." There's lots that the Prophets didn't know about the meanings of the very things they themselves wrote, Peter is telling us. There are things that God has hidden so that the Blessed Angels do not understand them. And there's things we now (in the first century AD) understand, about what the Scriptures meant, that people did not understand before Christ came, he's saying.

Does Peter mean that the prophets wrote things and understood nothing of what they wrote? Of course not. They did understand what they wrote, but they didn't understand it fully. There was more there than they grasped at the time. They understood the meaning of what they wrote, but there was additional meaning that they didn't get at the time. That is not only because the NT authors were privy to additional history, and knew Jesus in general, but for other reasons as well: Jesus explained to them -- after the resurrection, as well as before, the meaning of the (OT) Scriptures and how they spoke of Him. In this sense, I think, we might say, yes the Scriptures have several meanings, and we may catch only part of what they are saying at a given point.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, indicates that the Law, the Scriptures, the Torah are utterly true and reliable. "Not one jot or tittle will pass away until all is fulfilled" or "Not one jot or tittle will pass away; but all will be is fulfilled" (5:18) for "I have not come to abolish, but to fulfill" (5:17) the Scriptures. But Jesus, in that same sermon, gives additional meaning to the law, again and again, for instance in Matt. 5. "It was said ... 'do not murder' ... but I tell you that whoever is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." (5:21-22) "It was said 'Do not commit adultery' but I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart" (5:27-28) "It was said ... 'do not break your oaths' ... but I tell you do not take oaths at all ... Let your yes be yes and your no be no" and so on. Jesus, far from superceding, or revealing some inadequacy in, the Mosaic law, is indicating that the true intention of the law was much deeper than people often supposed. Jesus is, I think, saying that the true meaning of "do not commit adultery" included a prohibition on all sexual uncleanness, even in the mind. He's saying that the prohibition of murder included a prohibition of all desire to injure others, and even of most kinds of anger. He's indicating that "do not steal" includes a command to give to those in need who ask you for monetary help, without your expecting anything back.

In saying this, Jesus is, I think, indicating that the meaning of the law, including the 10 commandments -- "do not murder" or "do not steal" -- included the limited meaning that is on the surface, but also included other, deeper and more far-reaching meanings as well. In this sense the meaning is not obscure, or wavering, or changable, yet it is multiple in the sense that there are depths to it which we come to discover gradually.

In Genesis, God's first act of creation was "Let there be light." Does this simply mean that God created physical light before all other things? Or does it have multiple other meanings and resonances. I think that it does, and that the Scripture makes that abundantly clear. Thus John opens his Gospel by saying "In the beginning was the Word" and says of Him (Christ) "In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, which can never grasp it!" And John's epistle tells us that "this is the message we heard from Him (Christ) and proclaim to you: God is light and in Him is no darkness at all!" James says a similar thing when he tells us that "Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights with whom is no shadow or variableness." The Psalms are making a related point, when for instance David says "if I say the darkness will cover me and the light around me turn to night, behold, darkness is not dark to Thee, to Thee the night and the day are both alike."

The significance, or meaning, of many of the things which occurred in the Genesis texts is both an account of creation and an exposition of who God is, and who Christ is, in my opinion. In this sense there are several overlapping meanings. The same would be true of various other primary texts in Genesis. Thus the echos and meanings of "God made Adam of the dust of the Adamah" condition the various kinds of meaning conveyed by other texts which refer to humanity (Adam) and the ground (Adamah) together in these chapters, although it would take too long to explore that right here.

Again, I believe that what is described in Genesis 22 (the binding of Isaac) is a literal, accurate, historical account. But its meanings are multiple: IMO, it is obvious, for the Christian, that this refers also, in several ways, to what God did for us in Christ and his cross. I think that the story of Joseph in Genesis 38-50 accurately recounts historical events which occurred, long long before Christ was born. Yet I think that the events of his life -- Joseph's rainbow coat, dream of his brothers and ancestors bowing to him, his betrayal by his brothers into a grave, his being falsely accused, his meekness in suffering and trust in God, his being raised at the right hand of power, and giving bread to all -- refer to Christ and what happened to Him and what He has done for us. These narratives have typological as well as historical meanings. Therefore, the stories each have, in one sense, "more than one meaning".

Summary

I think that Scripture "has one meaning" in the sense that it is not equivocating or unreliable, but sure and eternal, clear and true, and speaks to us objective meaning and truth.

But I think that the Scripture "has more than one meaning" in the sense that there are many meanings that may be contained in a passage, so that the full depth of the meaning that God has actually put in the Scriptures is something that we only gradually come to know.

timmyb
May 4th 2008, 02:51 AM
While there is only one interpretation to Scripture (the Holy Spirit's) there can be many meanings to scripture... there are plenty of places where the Bible is clearly saying it's being symbolic and everything else is what it says face value... When you interpret the meaning of a scripture, it has to fit the interpretation of the rest of scripture. When a verse shows up that seems to contradict your interpretation of another scripture, then your understanding has to change. God doesn't change....

th1bill
May 4th 2008, 02:56 AM
We probably agree on this one too my brother. I definitely believe that scripture is self interpreting. That is a biggie for me. And the applications are very, very numerous. I have learned to, that when I understand something on the surface, often that is only the beginning of my understanding. God takes a verse and it goes deeper into my heart requiring more death to myself and giving more resurrection life than ever before!

As you read through the thread, let me know if you disagree and I'll try to explain myself better.
From all I read I find that we just use a different term. God bless.

th1bill
May 4th 2008, 03:00 AM
But what of Genesis 1? Can we learn anything about salvation from it? Is it only now a narrative of creation but not a narrative of salvation?

Is Isaac being offered only history? Or does it also preach to us Jesus?
Your right. The very first verse should give pause and when coupled with the creation of man being made in their image, it is the first glimpse of the Trinity.

Diggindeeper
May 4th 2008, 05:47 AM
I believe the Bible has obvious meanings and also deeper meanings. Here are just 2 such examples--

God told Abraham this:
Genesis 22:2-8
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

Now, I have heard that Mt. Moriah later was to be called "Mount Calvary!"

And in verse 8...GOD INDEED REALLY DID PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB!


Now, think back to the 3 hebrew boys thrown into the fiery furnace. After they were thrown in there, that old King Nebuchadnezzar said asked this--

Daniel 3:24-25
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Hey, you know what? I see Christ Jesus walking with them, in the midst of that fire! And so did Nebuchadnezzar! (But don't ask me how he knew what the Son of God looked like, way back then! I can't tell you that. It was hundreds of years before the birth of Christ!)

I get all excited when the Holy Spirit shows me deeper things in the Bible!

Redeemed by Grace
May 4th 2008, 11:23 AM
But what of Genesis 1? Can we learn anything about salvation from it? Is it only now a narrative of creation but not a narrative of salvation?

Is Isaac being offered only history? Or does it also preach to us Jesus?

Mark, with all due respect, you've got to keep your question still, for you asked it this way


Then what of the example I provided. Paul spoke of Gen 1 in Corinthians. Was Gen. 1 about creation or about salvation? Or could it be about both?

2 Cor 4:6
6 For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
NASB

And to the verse Paul quoted, Paul's usage of Genesis 1:3,4 within 2 Corinthians 4:6 is to show that God is both light of creation and of salvation, whereas it's all God....

Good exegesis of Genesis 1:3,4 demands to show that these verses are about creation, without a doubt.

Now to your newer question, 'is Genesis 1 about salvation...' Where do you see this?

Are you reading this into the verse your desires, or do you really see somewhere in that this is the plan of salvation?

It ain't there in Genesis 1, let alone verses 3 and 4 that Paul quotes from to his letter to the church of Corinth. It's not there Mark. But I will say that God does reveal His redemptive plan to man, starting at the fall, in Genesis chapter 3.


So do verses 3 and 4 of Genesis 1 speak to salvation? If you say they do, then how did you arrive at this understanding?


Basically, systematic theology has to have good hermeneutics and exegetical foundation of scripture for doctrines to be true and consistent thus to stand the test of time, for one can't just read into the text stuff that ain't there. Genesis 1: 3,4 that Paul quotes from - was to support that God is the Light of Creation -- and to then teach to the Corinthian church that God is also the Light of Salvation, but Paul is not offering interpreting that Genesis 1: 3,4 is about salvation... That would be an incorrect understanding of 2 Corinthians 4:6 and reading something that isn't there within Genesis 1:3,4.


For His glory...

Brother Mark
May 4th 2008, 12:11 PM
I believe the Bible has obvious meanings and also deeper meanings. Here are just 2 such examples--

God told Abraham this:
Genesis 22:2-8
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

Now, I have heard that Mt. Moriah later was to be called "Mount Calvary!"

And in verse 8...GOD INDEED REALLY DID PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB!


Now, think back to the 3 hebrew boys thrown into the fiery furnace. After they were thrown in there, that old King Nebuchadnezzar said asked this--

Daniel 3:24-25
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Hey, you know what? I see Christ Jesus walking with them, in the midst of that fire! And so did Nebuchadnezzar! (But don't ask me how he knew what the Son of God looked like, way back then! I can't tell you that. It was hundreds of years before the birth of Christ!)

AMEN!

There is so much more to the story about Abraham and Isaac than simple history.


I get all excited when the Holy Spirit shows me deeper things in the Bible!

Yes indeed! Me too! It is the hidden treasures that are simply amazing.

Brother Mark
May 4th 2008, 12:21 PM
Good exegesis of Genesis 1:3,4 demands to show that these verses are about creation, without a doubt.

Yes, they are about creation.


Now to your newer question, 'is Genesis 1 about salvation...' Where do you see this? Paul tied it to salvation in Corinthians. We know from the NT that God often compares the earth to our heart. Seed is sown in the earth and it either does or does not bear fruit. In Genesis, we see where the Spirit of God hovers over the earth (heart). The earth is without form and void. It is empty. But God is working. Convicting the earth (heart) that is in total darkness. Then God speaks to that heart "Let there be light" and the heart then comes alive to God!

God then begins the process of sanctification until he ends up with man, created in His image.

If that isn't an agreeable scripture to examine. Then perhaps we could look at Isaac being offered as a sacrifice. Diggin pointed that out above. Was Isaac being offered as a sacrifice only about Abraham and Isaac or was it also about the offering of Jesus by God?


Are you reading this into the verse your desires, or do you really see somewhere in that this is the plan of salvation? I see much about salvation in Genesis 1.


It ain't there in Genesis 1, let alone verses 3 and 4 that Paul quotes from to his letter to the church of Corinth. It's not there Mark. But I will say that God does reveal His redemptive plan to man, starting at the fall, in Genesis chapter 3. I also see the redemptive plan of man in the offering of Isaac on the altar as well as in Gen 1. I think Paul saw it there and that is why he quoted it.


So do verses 3 and 4 of Genesis 1 speak to salvation? If you say they do, then how did you arrive at this understanding?Yes, I think they do. I went into that a little above. Perhaps Isaac and Abraham are a better example to examine. I just happen to love Gen 1. But I love all of Genesis because of the richness of what is found there.

Want me to expound more on Abraham's offering of Isaac? That has a ton of stuff in it about God's plan to offer Christ for our sin. It was about way more than just Abraham and Isaac.

Son_kissed
May 4th 2008, 05:41 PM
I also see the redemptive plan of man in the offering of Isaac on the altar as well as in Gen 1. I think Paul saw it there and that is why he quoted it.



I think John saw it in Genesis 1, too…



Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.




Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

John 1:4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not…

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.




Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness

John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

I think the separating of light from darkness in Gen 1:4 was our first revelation of judgment. In fact, although some might disagree, I think all of Genesis is very prophetic. That is not to say that it isn't also historically accurate and true.

awestruckchild
May 4th 2008, 07:10 PM
Diggin deeper and Brother Mark-
Please when you have time could you give me some more teaching of this.
Some more examples please.
I don't care about the debate - I know that the entire book is about Jesus and I have no desire to convince anyone else.
But this is so wonderful and I would please like more examples.
Thank you for this thread.

CFJ
May 4th 2008, 07:57 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.

I have to agree with you Brother Mark. Most passages can have a literal, spiritual and symbolic meaning at the same time. I know that Messianic Jews interpret the Bible in 4 dimensions, similar to the three mentioned above. The Bible is shallow enough for children to swim in and deep enough for theologians to drown in. The Word feeds you with milk when you are young and with meat when you're older. There is a message on the surface and a deeper message beneath...

Diggindeeper
May 4th 2008, 08:09 PM
Diggin deeper and Brother Mark-
Please when you have time could you give me some more teaching of this.
Some more examples please.
I don't care about the debate - I know that the entire book is about Jesus and I have no desire to convince anyone else.
But this is so wonderful and I would please like more examples.
Thank you for this thread.

You know, paintdiva, to me, when we can begin not only to READ the Bible, but to begin to see more spiritually defined things in the scriptures...that is when our understanding is being opened up by the holy Spirit.

I really don't think we can get all we need to get by just simply reading from Genesis to Revelations. With me, the more I read, the more I can understand. I have been an avid student of scriptures for many, MANY years, and still learning new things! The Bible really is the LIVING WORD!

I dare say there is NO other book, or preacher, or teacher that is so fasinating and that I can learn so much from, and especially for all the years I have been reading and studying the Holy scriptures!

Like I said earlier, I see Christ Jesus all the way through the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament. Here is another example of a "deeper meaning" as well as scripture INTERPRETING scripture.

Read this-
John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Now, notice verses 1-3, 10 and 14 (Just to show you an example)

Compare these verses with
Genesis 1:1-
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Now, stop and think before reading farther...notice this, over and over:
verse 3 - And God said...
verse 6 - And God said...
verse 9 - And God said...

Tell me, can you SEE the WORD all over the first chapter of Genesis? Boy, I can! Now, go back up in this post and read John 1:1-3 !!

Now, consider John 1:14 -
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...

You see, that SAME Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!

And paintdiva, Christ Jesus is known all over the New Testament, even into the book of Revelation, as the WORD! But, Genesis was written long before Jesus was born as a babe in a lowly manger! Genesis was written thousands of years before that!

Does this help any? I sure hope so. (Sometimes I really wish that I could just HAND people the same excitement that I get, when studying the Word of God, the Holy scripture...!)

I'll write more later tonight. Got to get ready for church tonight. (You see, I go to a church where the Pastor also studies and studies, and I love to hear him. He is more of a teaching Preacher, than just a preaching Preacher. Hope that makes sense....)

Redeemed by Grace
May 4th 2008, 08:29 PM
Yes, they are about creation.

Paul tied it to salvation in Corinthians.

Paul tied it to God’s sovereignty as in both being the light of creation and the light of salvation within his teachings to the Corinthians …. You my friend are reading Genesis 1:3,4 and saying it’s the same as what Paul is saying to the Corinthians… You are reading this into Genesis 1:3,4… You cannot interpret the OT with the New…. For the OT was written way before the New…. It be like saying that your DOS applications were written for Windows Vista.

You can't put new wine in old skins... ;) Now... Am I using this verse correctly? If it has multiple meanings, then yes I would be.... But if it has one meaning, then am I using this outside of context....? or within? :saint:




We know from the NT that God often compares the earth to our heart. Seed is sown in the earth and it either does or does not bear fruit. In Genesis, we see where the Spirit of God hovers over the earth (heart). The earth is without form and void. It is empty. But God is working. Convicting the earth (heart) that is in total darkness. Then God speaks to that heart "Let there be light" and the heart then comes alive to God!


This is your isogesis of scripture speaking. You are taking the word of Genesis 1 and reading into it to say this is metaphorical to the call of salvation by saying that God hovers over the heart…. This is your emotion and desire to see something that’s not written there. Your hermeneutics that ties 2 Corinthians back to explain Genesis 1 is again flawed and… I disagree with this 100%.





God then begins the process of sanctification until he ends up with man, created in His image.

If that isn't an agreeable scripture to examine. Then perhaps we could look at Isaac being offered as a sacrifice. Diggin pointed that out above. Was Isaac being offered as a sacrifice only about Abraham and Isaac or was it also about the offering of Jesus by God?

Let’s stay here if you don’t mind… for the focus of your topic is that Scripture has multiple meanings, and I say that it has one true meaning, with potential applications… You brought before the discussion 2 Corinthians ... The contention is that God’s word changes, that one can see one thing in a verse, and another can see another and that they’d both be right, for which I state is false.



I see much about salvation in Genesis 1.

Genesis 3 for me, for Genesis 1 and 2 are accounts of creation, whereas Adam was sinless to this time.



I also see the redemptive plan of man in the offering of Isaac on the altar as well as in Gen 1. I think Paul saw it there and that is why he quoted it.

Yes, I think they do. I went into that a little above. Perhaps Isaac and Abraham are a better example to examine. I just happen to love Gen 1. But I love all of Genesis because of the richness of what is found there.

Want me to expound more on Abraham's offering of Isaac? That has a ton of stuff in it about God's plan to offer Christ for our sin. It was about way more than just Abraham and Isaac.

Again, I want to stay to your first point as you brought this up to say that Genesis 1:3,4 deals with salvation.

Thanks

awestruckchild
May 4th 2008, 09:16 PM
You know, paintdiva, to me, when we can begin not only to READ the Bible, but to begin to see more spiritually defined things in the scriptures...that is when our understanding is being opened up by the holy Spirit.

I really don't think we can get all we need to get by just simply reading from Genesis to Revelations. With me, the more I read, the more I can understand. I have been an avid student of scriptures for many, MANY years, and still learning new things! The Bible really is the LIVING WORD!

I dare say there is NO other book, or preacher, or teacher that is so fasinating and that I can learn so much from, and especially for all the years I have been reading and studying the Holy scriptures!

Like I said earlier, I see Christ Jesus all the way through the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament. Here is another example of a "deeper meaning" as well as scripture INTERPRETING scripture.

Read this-
John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Now, notice verses 1-3, 10 and 14 (Just to show you an example)

Compare these verses with
Genesis 1:1-
1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Now, stop and think before reading farther...notice this, over and over:
verse 3 - And God said...
verse 6 - And God said...
verse 9 - And God said...

Tell me, can you SEE the WORD all over the first chapter of Genesis? Boy, I can! Now, go back up in this post and read John 1:1-3 !!

Now, consider John 1:14 -
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...

You see, that SAME Word was made flesh and dwelt among us!

And paintdiva, Christ Jesus is known all over the New Testament, even into the book of Revelation, as the WORD! But, Genesis was written long before Jesus was born as a babe in a lowly manger! Genesis was written thousands of years before that!

Does this help any? I sure hope so. (Sometimes I really wish that I could just HAND people the same excitement that I get, when studying the Word of God, the Holy scripture...!)

I'll write more later tonight. Got to get ready for church tonight. (You see, I go to a church where the Pastor also studies and studies, and I love to hear him. He is more of a teaching Preacher, than just a preaching Preacher. Hope that makes sense....)






Ah, yes, it does make sense. I was reading a book called "All Of Grace" earlier and in the preface it gives a brief biography of the man who wrote the sermons in it. I wish he was alive here and I could go to his church to hear him. He would not let his parishioners call him by the common titles of the day like pastor and preacher and when the higher ups approached him about ordination he was repulsed by it but told them if it was something that would please them he would submit to it even though he did not think this was something men passed to each other but that God passed to men and that he had already been "ordained". They never again pushed it and he was not "ordained!" He did go to some sort of seminary but since he was not a member of the official church in England, they would not give him his degree!

Just the biography was wonderful! The sermons were pure joy to read!
There was even mention of how after some years, they had to build a larger church and how he was attacked by the "denomination" because, get this...........the money could have been better used to help the poor!!! They were all silenced when a investigation of his books showed he tithed 80% of his income.

I hope to find a church one day where the man who speaks has the Holy Spirit and is not all tangled up and garbled by nonsense and tradition!

Thank you for that post. I look forward to more. I don't suppose you live in Maryland and that your church is near me? sigh.

Brother Mark
May 4th 2008, 09:23 PM
Paul tied it to God’s sovereignty as in both being the light of creation and the light of salvation within his teachings to the Corinthians …. You my friend are reading Genesis 1:3,4 and saying it’s the same as what Paul is saying to the Corinthians… You are reading this into Genesis 1:3,4… You cannot interpret the OT with the New…. For the OT was written way before the New…. It be like saying that your DOS applications were written for Windows Vista.

Not really. What it's like is that God slowly revealed his plan throughout man's time on earth. Each new revelation he gave, gave us more understanding. Gen 1 has the same meaning now it had when it was first written. Though now, we understand it more and more.


This is your isogesis of scripture speaking. You are taking the word of Genesis 1 and reading into it to say this is metaphorical to the call of salvation by saying that God hovers over the heart…. This is your emotion and desire to see something that’s not written there. Your hermeneutics that ties 2 Corinthians back to explain Genesis 1 is again flawed and… I disagree with this 100%.

If you say so. But I think you miss much of the richness of the scriptures. How did Paul interpret scriptures? A quick look at Galatians shows he did it the same way. Was Hagar and Sarah about 2 wives Abraham had or were they about 2 covenants?


Let’s stay here if you don’t mind… for the focus of your topic is that Scripture has multiple meanings, and I say that it has one true meaning, with potential applications… You brought before the discussion 2 Corinthians ... The contention is that God’s word changes, that one can see one thing in a verse, and another can see another and that they’d both be right, for which I state is false.

If you reject one example, the a second is necessary. Since you've already rejected this one, I offer a second, or a third, or a forth or how many it takes. What of Sarah and Hagar? One is Sinai and one is of the promise. Or of Isaac and Ishmael? Were the stories written of them just history or was God saying something deeper that he revealed to Paul before Paul penned Galatians?


Genesis 3 for me, for Genesis 1 and 2 are accounts of creation, whereas Adam was sinless to this time.

OK.


Again, I want to stay to your first point as you brought this up to say that Genesis 1:3,4 deals with salvation.

Thanks


I brought up Gen 1:3,4 as an example of the point but not THE point. I can expound on Gen 1:3,4 but you have already rejected that example. So let's get another example. However, I will say this, I can do an exegesis on Gen 1 however, you won't receive it. So what's the point? If you reject this example, let's get another example. Since Paul wrote about Hagar and Sarah, what do you make of that one?

The point? Scripture can have more than one meaning. Certainly it can! Paul often quoted from the OT and gave it another meaning in the new.

Brother Mark
May 4th 2008, 10:23 PM
I hope to find a church one day where the man who speaks has the Holy Spirit and is not all tangled up and garbled by nonsense and tradition!

Thank you for that post. I look forward to more. I don't suppose you live in Maryland and that your church is near me? sigh.

Amen! Lets move on past the traditions that are not something that should be held onto. Although, some traditions are worthy.

Hey, I like what Diggin was getting at. I also see Gen 1 as a shadow of the birth of Christ. The world was dark and the Holy Spirit hovered over the world and God spoke, and Jesus was born! The Light came to the earth. John 1 speaks of it. Of course, a lot of people don't agree with me.

Brother Mark
May 4th 2008, 10:26 PM
Diggin deeper and Brother Mark-
Please when you have time could you give me some more teaching of this.
Some more examples please.
I don't care about the debate - I know that the entire book is about Jesus and I have no desire to convince anyone else.
But this is so wonderful and I would please like more examples.
Thank you for this thread.

I will try to go into detail on Isaac and Abraham later in the thread. Remind me if I forget. But here's a teaser.

2 Chron 3:1

3 Then Solomon began to build the house of the Lord in Jerusalem on Mount Moriah, where the Lord had appeared to his father David, at the place that David had prepared, on the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite.
NASB

Mount Moriah was where the temple was built. The temple was the place where sacrifices were offered to God. That mount was also the same place that Isaac was offered.

Gen 22:2
2 And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you."
NASB

Awesome!!!!

Redeemed by Grace
May 5th 2008, 12:02 AM
Not really. What it's like is that God slowly revealed his plan throughout man's time on earth. Each new revelation he gave, gave us more understanding. Gen 1 has the same meaning now it had when it was first written. Though now, we understand it more and more.

How so Mark... In understanding it more and more, how has it changed? In having the same meaning as it had when it was first written [for which I agree, BTW] how can you understanding it more and more? Isn't this a religious phrase we tend to use when we want to make a point but can't show the details?




If you say so. But I think you miss much of the richness of the scriptures.

Thanks for your concern Mark, but I'm not missing the richness.

Like you, I'm striving to see the fullness in the perfect meaning that each piece of scripture offers... As a piece of a puzzle has a unique shape... so too with scripture.



How did Paul interpret scriptures? A quick look at Galatians shows he did it the same way. Was Hagar and Sarah about 2 wives Abraham had or were they about 2 covenants?

You're losing me more here... you'll need to explain were you are going in more detail.




If you reject one example, the a second is necessary. Since you've already rejected this one, I offer a second, or a third, or a forth or how many it takes.

I haven't rejected anything, I've explained that one can't use the New Testament to interpret the Old Testament....



What of Sarah and Hagar? One is Sinai and one is of the promise. Or of Isaac and Ishmael? Were the stories written of them just history or was God saying something deeper that he revealed to Paul before Paul penned Galatians?

I think I need to remind you what my objections are... I say that scripture doesn't have multiple meanings.... My statement is that it has one perfect meaning. Scripture, which is unchanging and secure is never determined by doctrine, but doctrine is framed by scripture. Usage in different areas can and does happen, and as an example I point to a lot of eschatological scripture that has a near/far application.... but the meaning remains the same.




OK.




I brought up Gen 1:3,4 as an example of the point but not THE point. I can expound on Gen 1:3,4 but you have already rejected that example.

Have you also rejected my reasoning? If Genesis 1 is about How the universe began, how can it also be about salvation if that doesn't come into play until Chapter 3?




So let's get another example. However, I will say this, I can do an exegesis on Gen 1 however, you won't receive it.

I've received what you've stated thus far, I just disagree with logic you've presented - for you've not been able to show within Genesis 1 that is deals with Salvation. You say that it does, but that's you taking the NT writing and applying it back to Genesis 1.




So what's the point? If you reject this example, let's get another example. Since Paul wrote about Hagar and Sarah, what do you make of that one?

Well then let's move on to Hagar and Sarah... Which part of the text you see having multiple meanings?



The point? Scripture can have more than one meaning. Certainly it can! Paul often quoted from the OT and gave it another meaning in the new.

OK, so pick another example and let's see what Paul says is another meaning...

Brother Mark
May 5th 2008, 12:14 AM
How so Mark... In understanding it more and more, how has it changed? In having the same meaning as it had when it was first written [for which I agree, BTW] how can you understanding it more and more? Isn't this a religious phrase we tend to use when we want to make a point but can't show the details?

Nah. It just means that when we understand salvation, we then can see what else Jesus was referring to in Gen 1 when he inspired it to be written. Paul saw it and that is what he was referring to when he wrote Cor. Of course, that's my opinion. ;)


Thanks for your concern Mark, but I'm not missing the richness.

Like you, I'm striving to see the fullness in the perfect meaning that each piece of scripture offers... As a piece of a puzzle has a unique shape... so too with scripture.

Amen! A unique shape on many levels.


You're losing me more here... you'll need to explain were you are going in more detail.

Well, in Galatians, Paul referred back to Hagar as a type of Sinai and Sarah as a type of the Jerusalem which is above.

Gal 4:24-27
24 This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
NASB

So was the story concerning Sarah and Hagar just about Sarah and Hagar? Or was it about a deeper meaning that was revealed to Paul? The story of Hagar and Sarah has two meanings, the literal that we read in Genesis and the spiritual that Paul speaks about in Galatians.


I haven't rejected anything, I've explained that one can't use the New Testament to interpret the Old Testament....

Oh yea, then we will certainly disagree. For the NT explains the shadows.


I think I need to remind you what my objections are... I say that scripture doesn't have multiple meanings.... My statement is that it has one perfect meaning. Scripture, which is unchanging and secure is never determined by doctrine, but doctrine is framed by scripture. Usage in different areas can and does happen, and as an example I point to a lot of eschatological scripture that has a near/far application.... but the meaning remains the same.

We may agree. But let me explore. What was the main purpose in God writing about Abraham, Hagar and Sarah? Why did he record that story? Was it about the simple gleanings we get when we read the historical narrative? Or was it about understanding the new and the old that Paul wrote about in Galatians?


Have you also rejected my reasoning? If Genesis 1 is about How the universe began, how can it also be about salvation if that doesn't come into play until Chapter 3?

It's about both. So I suppose I have rejected your reasonings. Man had already fallen when God gave the scripture. As such, he put things in there for us to see and read and understand! The pictures and shadows are awesome.


I've received what you've stated thus far, I just disagree with logic you've presented - for you've not been able to show within Genesis 1 that is deals with Salvation. You say that it does, but that's you taking the NT writing and applying it back to Genesis 1.

Right. The new explains the old. That's what Hebrews does. It explains the old in light of the new.


Well then let's move on to Hagar and Sarah... Which part of the text you see having multiple meanings?

The same parts that Paul spoke about in Galatians.


OK, so pick another example and let's see what Paul says is another meaning...


Do not muzzle the ox that treads the grain.

1 Cor 9:9-10
9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing." God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.
NASB

Now, was the law strictly about oxen? Or did it have a greater meaning concerning the men of God that labor in our life?

Was the law concerning the earthly tabernacle about the earthly or was it about the tabernacle not made with hands?

Redeemed by Grace
May 5th 2008, 01:00 AM
Nah. It just means that when we understand salvation, we then can see what else Jesus was referring to in Gen 1 when he inspired it to be written. Paul saw it and that is what he was referring to when he wrote Cor. Of course, that's my opinion. ;)



Amen! A unique shape on many levels.



Well, in Galatians, Paul referred back to Hagar as a type of Sinai and Sarah as a type of the Jerusalem which is above.

Gal 4:24-27
24 This is allegorically speaking: for these women are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
NASB

So was the story concerning Sarah and Hagar just about Sarah and Hagar? Or was it about a deeper meaning that was revealed to Paul? The story of Hagar and Sarah has two meanings, the literal that we read in Genesis and the spiritual that Paul speaks about in Galatians.



Oh yea, then we will certainly disagree. For the NT explains the shadows.



We may agree. But let me explore. What was the main purpose in God writing about Abraham, Hagar and Sarah? Why did he record that story? Was it about the simple gleanings we get when we read the historical narrative? Or was it about understanding the new and the old that Paul wrote about in Galatians?



It's about both. So I suppose I have rejected your reasoning's. Man had already fallen when God gave the scripture. As such, he put things in there for us to see and read and understand! The pictures and shadows are awesome.



Right. The new explains the old. That's what Hebrews does. It explains the old in light of the new.



The same parts that Paul spoke about in Galatians.




Do not muzzle the ox that treads the grain.

1 Cor 9:9-10
9 For it is written in the Law of Moses, "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing." God is not concerned about oxen, is He? 10 Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops.
NASB

Now, was the law strictly about oxen? Or did it have a greater meaning concerning the men of God that labor in our life?

Was the law concerning the earthly tabernacle about the earthly or was it about the tabernacle not made with hands?


I still think your missing what I'm saying....

I'll try spelling it out.... Go to The OT, find Sarai and Hagar, say somewhere around Genesis 16... Now what are the multiple meanings?

And to relate to your NT questions... do you think that every meaning given is always the right meaning? Can not light come and folks in the bible change their course... I.E.

For even Jesus had to correct Moses to the Jews on divorce.

Matthew 19:8 He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.


There is one meaning and each one of us strive to see that meaning, and God allows certain understandings for the time, and maybe over a long period of time, like with Moses and his allowing divorce, but then there comes a time when the true one meaning comes through....


So the real meaning is that God hates divorce... Moses' permit of it is not the real meaning... for Jesus gave the real meaning. One meaning... here shown after time passed.


The other reason why scripture demands one meaning, it filters out false teachings:

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

Matthew 24:24, 25
24 "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
25 "Behold, I have told you in advance.

Brother Mark
May 5th 2008, 01:10 AM
I still think your missing what I'm saying....

I'll try spelling it out.... Go to The OT, find Sarai and Hagar, say somewhere around Genesis 16... Now what are the multiple meanings?

The whole story. Hagar is of the flesh because Abraham, in the flesh, tried to bring the promise about. But the promise was to be a miracle of God through Sarah.

The old covenant was about performance while the new is about Grace. God used the history to illustrate the truth he was going to reveal through Paul. Hence the scripture is about history and a deeper truth.


And to relate to your NT questions... do you think that every meaning given is always the right meaning? Can not light come and folks in the bible change their course... I.E.

For even Jesus had to correct Moses to the Jews on divorce.

Matthew 19:8 He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.

Sure. That is one way. And that is part of the equation. But we know of truth that God is concerned about oxen and that law was for the ox. But the deeper level was that we are more important than the ox so the law was for us. Not muzzling the ox benefited the ox but the proper understanding was it was about the men of God that labored and fed the flock spiritually.


The other reason why scripture demands one meaning, it filters out false teachings:

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

Matthew 24:24, 25
24 "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.
25 "Behold, I have told you in advance.

Gotta disagree with you on that one. Nothing in those passages say one meaning. But it does mention false teachings. Just as the earthly tabernacle wasn't only about the earthly, it was about the heavenly. The physical illustrates the spiritual. Now, I will agree with you in this, the earthly tabernacle was never the full meaning of the scripture. It was later revealed to be about the heavenly tabernacle and had that one overriding meaning.

Just as God determined to use Abraham and Isaac as an example or shadow of Christ, the overriding meaning is about Jesus. But there are historical truths to be found in the passages. Yet, the one clear meaning is that God will provide Jesus to die in our stead.

Diggindeeper
May 5th 2008, 03:16 AM
Ah, yes, it does make sense.

I hope to find a church one day where the man who speaks has the Holy Spirit and is not all tangled up and garbled by nonsense and tradition!

Thank you for that post. I look forward to more. I don't suppose you live in Maryland and that your church is near me? sigh.

Paintdiva, thought I'd tell you...no, I don't live in Maryland. I'm in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee--East Tennessee, about 45 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountains. Its in the upper right hand corner of all my posts.;)

It is good to have a Pastor who studies, really studies! It is always refreshing to go to church.

I can relate to what you said about hoping to find a Preacher who is "not all tangled up and garbled by nonsense and tradition!" We had to visit and visit and visit to find a church where we felt God wanted us. It does not mean that I agree 100% with everything he adheres to. But, its not biggie issues, and both me and my husband feel this is where the Lord has planted us. We've been going to this church for 5 years or more.

But back to the topic....
Please don't think that I mean verse for verse there is something in the Old Testament that verifies it. But, there is enough that when I first began to see JESUS in the Old Testament, it seemed the scriptures really opened up for me. Well, either that, or perhaps it was just the Holy Spirit teaching me more. After all, the Bible does say in John 14:26 that the
Comforter, Holy Ghost, will teach us all things.

Don't you think that story in Daniel chapter 3, where the 3 Hebrew boys are thrown into the fiery furnace, is INCREDIBLE? Wow! That just reinforced to me that no matter WHAT kind of trial or fiery furnace we are going through...we can count on the same Jesus walking through it with us! Just as he did with them...

I sure hope you find a church soon, paintviva, where you can take part in the fellowship of studying with other believers, and where you can all grow together. Don't give up. They may not be as plentiful as the others, but they are still around.

awestruckchild
May 5th 2008, 04:06 AM
I was excited when I saw Jesus in the king that rescued Mephibosheth. And how he ate at the kings table and received his grace and his words to the king about how he could have expected only death at his hand, etc.

And then the other day I really heard some things more in depth about it like how Mephibosheth means shameful thing and how he was crippled in a fall (like us all!) and how the man he went to live with before he was saved by the king means something like...."sold" and the town they lived in was lodebar which means no pasture. The whole thing really blew my mind!

IamBill
May 5th 2008, 04:08 AM
I believe the Bible has obvious meanings and also deeper meanings. Here are just 2 such examples--

God told Abraham this:
Genesis 22:2-8
2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.

3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.

4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.

5 And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together.

7 And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?

8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

Now, I have heard that Mt. Moriah later was to be called "Mount Calvary!"

And in verse 8...GOD INDEED REALLY DID PROVIDE HIMSELF A LAMB!


Now, think back to the 3 hebrew boys thrown into the fiery furnace. After they were thrown in there, that old King Nebuchadnezzar said asked this--

Daniel 3:24-25
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king.

25 He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.

Hey, you know what? I see Christ Jesus walking with them, in the midst of that fire! And so did Nebuchadnezzar! (But don't ask me how he knew what the Son of God looked like, way back then! I can't tell you that. It was hundreds of years before the birth of Christ!)

I get all excited when the Holy Spirit shows me deeper things in the Bible!

"""Mt. Moriah later was to be called "Mount Calvary!"""
"""how he knew what the Son of God looked like"""

Wow, Thank you, Awesome points :)

awestruckchild
May 5th 2008, 04:19 AM
"""Mt. Moriah later was to be called "Mount Calvary!"""
"""how he knew what the Son of God looked like"""

Wow, Thank you, Awesome points :)

Yeah, they were cool. But then someone else in here said Mt. Moriah was where the temple was built and I got confused. But still cool!

IamBill
May 5th 2008, 04:45 AM
:) yeah.
I'll have to read the rest of this tomorrow ..either way the connection put a Big smile on this mug.

Diggindeeper
May 5th 2008, 05:26 AM
Yeah, they were cool. But then someone else in here said Mt. Moriah was where the temple was built and I got confused. But still cool!

Well, from all I have read, BOTH are correct.

Here is one of many sites that explain it. This one has a map and that's why I decided to post the link here. But mainly, it is agreed that Moriah was where the temple was built, and also was Golgatha! Moriah was not just one mountain peak, but several make up Moriah.

Making it even more fasinating!

Here is the link-

Where is Moria?
http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/moriah.html (mhtml:{0C048784-E3B5-414F-A0D2-C6AA51A5DADE}mid://00000027/!x-usc:http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/moriah.html)

Matt 13:44
May 5th 2008, 10:37 AM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.

Hey Brother Mark,

You bring up an interesting point. I believe the scriptures are written in such a way that they go two ways simultaneously. Let me explain what I mean.

A good question we Christians need to ask ourselves besides who is Jesus Christ is what is Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Rev 19:13). The Bible is also known as the word of God or the living word (Heb 4:12). You've heard the expression of a word body. Well that is exactly what the Bible is. You see truth follows a pattern after that which is made (Rom 1:20).

Just as we have flesh and blood that runs through our human bodies so
too the Bible has flesh and blood that runs through Christ's word
body. The flesh is the knowledge of the word and the blood is the life
or understanding of it. The Bible is our spiritual food made up of
Christ's flesh and blood (1 Cor 10:2-4). This is the flesh and blood
we are commanded to eat and drink (John 6:53-56).

Now the scriptures have two sides to them. One is the carnal
interpretation which is based on the flesh or outer literal message
and the other is the spiritual interpretation which is based on the
blood or inner spiritual message. In our human bodies we have two eyes
to see the truth but only one mouth to speak it. So too, there are two
ways of looking at the scriptures, figuratively and literally, but
only one way to write it. Evidence of this truth can be found in
Deuteronomy 30:14&15

But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart,
that thou mayest do it. See, I (the Word) have set before thee this
day life and good, and death and evil;

and again in 2 Cor 2:16

To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the
savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

From the above passages we can clearly see the word goes two ways
simaltaneously. In them are life and death, good and evil. The Bible
is written this way to hide the truth on one hand from the wise and
learned (Matt 11:25) but reveal the truth on the other hand to those
who have pure intent and motive (Heb 4:12). The Word says, "I love
those that love me and those who seek me find me" (Prov 8:17). This
find me implies The Word of Truth is hidden.

So, yes I believe the Word of Truth has two meanings similtaneously Biblically speaking. So hang in there. Most Christians I would say eat the flesh of Christ or the literal interpretation but do not eat the blood which is found in the figurative interpretation of scripture. Why? Because it dehumanizes all the characters in the Bible stories and spiritualizes them. This is scary for some - but we brethren know that the law is spiritual.

Take care Brother Mark! Hope this helps and doesn't just get lost in this thread.

Brother Mark
May 5th 2008, 12:14 PM
Yeah, they were cool. But then someone else in here said Mt. Moriah was where the temple was built and I got confused. But still cool!

Sorry about that Paint. Moriah is an area and more than one mountain. Diggin makes a good point about that.

Want some more way kewl stuff on that story in Genesis... Here's a few questions.

1. Who carried the wood up the mountain?
2. How many days was it from the time Abraham left till Isaac came back down the mountain?
3. Abraham said God would provide for himself a Lamb. What was provided on the mountain? Was it a lamb? What do you think that means? :hmm:

Interesting stuff!!!!

Brother Mark
May 5th 2008, 12:20 PM
Hey Brother Mark,

You bring up an interesting point. I believe the scriptures are written in such a way that they go two ways simultaneously. Let me explain what I mean.

A good question we Christians need to ask ourselves besides who is Jesus Christ is what is Jesus Christ? Jesus Christ is the Word of God (Rev 19:13). The Bible is also known as the word of God or the living word (Heb 4:12). You've heard the expression of a word body. Well that is exactly what the Bible is. You see truth follows a pattern after that which is made (Rom 1:20).

Just as we have flesh and blood that runs through our human bodies so
too the Bible has flesh and blood that runs through Christ's word
body. The flesh is the knowledge of the word and the blood is the life
or understanding of it. The Bible is our spiritual food made up of
Christ's flesh and blood (1 Cor 10:2-4). This is the flesh and blood
we are commanded to eat and drink (John 6:53-56).

Now the scriptures have two sides to them. One is the carnal
interpretation which is based on the flesh or outer literal message
and the other is the spiritual interpretation which is based on the
blood or inner spiritual message. In our human bodies we have two eyes
to see the truth but only one mouth to speak it. So too, there are two
ways of looking at the scriptures, figuratively and literally, but
only one way to write it. Evidence of this truth can be found in
Deuteronomy 30:14&15

But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart,
that thou mayest do it. See, I (the Word) have set before thee this
day life and good, and death and evil;

and again in 2 Cor 2:16

To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the
savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?

From the above passages we can clearly see the word goes two ways
simaltaneously. In them are life and death, good and evil. The Bible
is written this way to hide the truth on one hand from the wise and
learned (Matt 11:25) but reveal the truth on the other hand to those
who have pure intent and motive (Heb 4:12). The Word says, "I love
those that love me and those who seek me find me" (Prov 8:17). This
find me implies The Word of Truth is hidden.

So, yes I believe the Word of Truth has two meanings similtaneously Biblically speaking. So hang in there. Most Christians I would say eat the flesh of Christ or the literal interpretation but do not eat the blood which is found in the figurative interpretation of scripture. Why? Because it dehumanizes all the characters in the Bible stories and spiritualizes them. This is scary for some - but we brethren know that the law is spiritual.

Take care Brother Mark! Hope this helps and doesn't just get lost in this thread.

Your post reminds me of the scripture...

Matt 13:12-14
13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 "And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

'You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
NASB


Jesus is the exact image of God. They are the same. Jesus taught in parables to hide the truth. God taught with history to hide the truth. If one reads the OT and all one sees is history, then seeing, they do not perceive, and hearing, they do not understand. The OT is like a parable that has a deeper spiritual truth behind it. It is all historically true, but there is more to it than history or law. It is important that we see what is behind it just as we see what is behind the parable. Jesus and God teach the same way because they are the same in character and nature.

Matt 13:44
May 5th 2008, 12:53 PM
Your post reminds me of the scripture...

Matt 13:12-14
13 "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 "And in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

'You will keep on hearing, but will not understand;
And you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive;
NASB


Jesus is the exact image of God. They are the same. Jesus taught in parables to hide the truth. God taught with history to hide the truth. If one reads the OT and all one sees is history, then seeing, they do not perceive, and hearing, they do not understand. The OT is like a parable that has a deeper spiritual truth behind it. It is all historically true, but there is more to it than history or law. It is important that we see what is behind it just as we see what is behind the parable. Jesus and God teach the same way because they are the same in character and nature.


You know what Brother Mark. It is refreshing to know someone like you. I agree with what you have said one hundred percent. You might find this website interesting. Check it out when you have about a half hour.

http://embracingthecontradiction.org/page2.html

It goes into why Biblical contradictions were set forth; how they are overcome and how the truth hath more abunded through them.

Until then take care.

seamus414
May 8th 2008, 02:16 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.

What do you mean by "meaning"? Could you given an example of what you mean?

I think that Scripture has more than one application: literal, allegorical, historical, and spiritual. Each, I suppose, could be described as a "meaning" but they not conflict with one another.

Scruffy Kid
May 8th 2008, 03:24 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words. What do you mean by "meaning"? Could you given an example of what you mean?

I think that Scripture has more than one application: literal, allegorical, historical, and spiritual. Each, I suppose, could be described as a "meaning" but they not conflict with one another. I agree that the meanings don't ultimately conflict
II Peter 1:16-20 tells us that Scripture is sure, and that we mustn't suppose that its meaning is subjective: "For we have not followed cunningly devised fables ... there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ... which ... we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount." there is objective truth that the Scriptures are teaching to the church, and that it's our job to diligently seek out what the Scriptures are actually telling us. ... But I think more is involved than various applications:
Yet it is also true that there are in the Scriptures many meanings which are not immediately apparant. ... Thus, I Peter 1:8-12 states that "... [To the prophets] it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister ... which things the angels desire to look into." There's lots that the Prophets didn't know about the meanings of the very things they themselves wrote, Peter is telling us. There are things that God has hidden so that the Blessed Angels do not understand them. [The Prophets] did understand what they wrote, but they didn't understand it fully. There was more there than they grasped at the time.

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, indicates that the Law, the Scriptures, the Torah are utterly true and reliable. "Not one jot or tittle will pass away until all is fulfilled" ... But Jesus, in that same sermon, gives additional meaning to the law, again and again, for instance in Matt. 5. "It was said ... 'do not murder' ... but I tell you that whoever is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment." ... Jesus ... is indicating that the true intention of the law was much deeper than people often supposed. Jesus is, I think, saying that the true meaning of "do not commit adultery" included a prohibition on all sexual uncleanness, even in the mind. ... Jesus is... indicating that the meaning of the law ... included the limited meaning that is on the surface, but also included other, deeper and more far-reaching meanings as well. In this sense the meaning is not obscure, or wavering, or changable, yet it is multiple in the sense that there are depths to it which we come to discover gradually.

I think that Scripture "has one meaning" in the sense that it is not equivocating or unreliable, but sure and eternal, clear and true, and speaks to us objective meaning and truth.

But I think that the Scripture "has more than one meaning" in the sense that there are many meanings that may be contained in a passage, so that the full depth of the meaning that God has actually put in the Scriptures is something that we only gradually come to know. Just with respect to the moral meanings, for instance, I argued above that there could be multiple (but non-conflicting) moral meanings in the commandments. Similarly there could be various "typological" aspects to a particular set of events, or to a story such as a parable, which are going on simultaneously but more or less independently.

seamus414
May 8th 2008, 03:28 PM
I agree that the meanings don't ultimately conflict But I think more is involved than various applications: Just with respect to the moral meanings, for instance, I argued above that there could be multiple (but non-conflicting) moral meanings in the commandments. Similarly there could be various "typological" aspects to a particular set of events, or to a story such as a parable, which are going on simultaneously but more or less independently.

I would not say Jesus was giving a different "meanings" to the commandments against murder and adultery. I would say that Jesus was exploring the depths of their meaning.

Athanasius
May 8th 2008, 03:29 PM
Absolutely, but the meanings won't contradict if there is 'more than one'.

crawfish
May 8th 2008, 07:35 PM
Count me as feeling that there is usually only one meaning, but multiple applications.

One thing that concerns me is how many people interpret scripture on a verse-by-verse basis. I think that a verse MUST be interpreted in the context of the verses around it; those verses, in the context of the chapter; that chapter, in the context of the book; and that book, in the context of the bible as a whole.

Too many times, I see interpretations based on collections of scripture throughout the bible, but that interpretation requires a different meaning for individual verses that you would get when taking them in their immediate context. It becomes very easy to support multiple meanings for a verse when approached in this way.

Good thread! I've appreciated everybody who has posted in it.

HisGrace
May 8th 2008, 09:28 PM
Scripture can have many different meanings. Often one scripture will target your own personal need, just between you and God.

Look at the Book of Job. Some see it as great lesson in faith and strength. I also see it as a great lesson in humility, where Job finally submitted himself totally to God and was purged of all pride and was given back twice what the enemy had stolen from him.

Also the Song Solomon is a great romantic story between and a man and woman. Some also see it as a story of Jesus' great love for the church.

I also agree with crawfish that you have to be careful not to take certain scriptures out of context. We should use caution in what we read.

Teke
May 8th 2008, 09:37 PM
I read in another thread where someone said that scripture can only have one meaning. Do you believe this? Why?

I will go ahead and tell you that I do believe scripture can have more than one meaning but that scripture always interprets itself to show those meanings. God can say many things with few words.

I tend to think that any meaning from scripture to a Christian is a meaning of Christ. Does Christ mean different things to different people, yes He does.;)