PDA

View Full Version : Discussion Top ten rules for interpreting the bible



crawfish
Jun 30th 2008, 07:50 PM
I just heard a few lessons from Mark Moore, professor of theology at Ozark Bible College, on how to read and interpret the bible. I thought these were some pretty simple and valuable ideas about studying the bible, although it's given from a restoration church (church of Christ, Independent Christian Churches, Disciples of Christ) standpoint. I'd like to hear ideas from other groups on these and other rules you apply when reading scripture.

I believe the most questioned item will be #8. I kindly request that we do not turn this thread into a KJV vs. <other version> battle, there are plenty of other threads for that argument.

1. AIM - author's intended meaning.
2. Context is king.
3. A passage cannot mean what it never meant.
4. Meaning is not in words or sentences, but in paragraphs.
5. A word means what the author intended it to mean.
6. The first commentary on any biblical text is the author himself.
7. Your theology ends with the text with which you began.
8. The best translation of the bible is...the one you read.
9. If your application exceed the author's intention, then it ceases to have God's authority.
10. The Holy Spirit is not only interested in being an author.

There one was other item he mentioned that was not a bullet item, but I really think needed to be one:

11. Jews knew their bible!

My commentary on each of these items will be in a thread below (just in case someone comments before I finish posting it).

crawfish
Jun 30th 2008, 08:14 PM
My commentary:

1) AIM - author's intended meaning.

Any scripture must be grounded in the meaning for which it was intended. This is not always easy - cultural context, writing style, history, parallel scriptures, etc. must often be taken into account to discover the true meaning.

2) Context is king.

How often have you had some verse quoted to you for a certain purpose, only to find that if you read the verse in context of the passages around it you find that it cannot possibly have that purpose? It is easy to support a theology by finding individual verses, or parts of verses, that seem to defend your opinions; but if their in-context meaning conflicts with that usage, then it is being misused.

3) A passage cannot mean what it never meant.

Things can mean different things in different cultures. When we try to read scripture from our own cultural context, we will apply meanings that the ancient Hebrews could not possibly have meant. The only way we can see scripture in its true sense is to subtract our sense of culture and read it as closely to its original culture as possible.

4) Meaning is not in words or sentences, but in paragraphs.

A word can mean just about anything. A sentence limits the meaning of the word. A paragraph limits the meaning of the sentence. As was implied by #2, we must apply meanings based on their full context. A verse itself might be nice by itself, but by itself it is irrelevant to our usage. I can often mean too many different things. Only in context of the surrounding text does it have meaning.

5) A word means what the author intended it to mean.

Words can have varied meanings. If I say, "Wow, the weather is cool today!", what does the word "cool" mean? It could mean at least two different things: one, that it is the opposite of "warm", or two, that it is "great weather for what we are planning to do". What is the true meaning? Obviously, the one I intended, and if you take the other meaning you are misinterpreting me.

evrgreenjhawk
Jun 30th 2008, 08:40 PM
Hey what happened to #8 :rofl:

I completely AGREE with #8 btw

The rest is great also ;)

crawfish
Jun 30th 2008, 08:41 PM
6) The first commentary on any biblical text is the author himself.

When interpreting scripture, we often turn to commentaries to understand what is being said. The best commentary comes from scripture itself - parallel passages. If you want to know what I believe, the best person to ask is me. Scripture is the same way; when studying a subject, you should use other scripture on the same subject to interpret what it is trying to say.

7) Your theology ends with the text with which you began.

You should always let the bible drive your theology; NOT let a theology drive your study and interpretation. It is very easy to justify a lot of bad theology by picking the theology and then finding scriptures to prove it. It is difficult to set aside our traditions and histories when studying the bible and approach it fresh, but that is the only way we can be pure in ensuring that it is scripture speaking to us and not our background.

8) The best translation of the bible is...the one you read.

Controversial to some, I believe this is an important point. For some people the KJV speaks to them best; some, the NIV. Others, other translations. Even though individual words meanings can be lost, in the light of #4 (meaning is in paragraphs), paragraph meanings are very much easier to translate.

9) If you application exceeds the author's intention, then it ceases to have God's authority.

It is common for us to read a passage and to see a specific application to our life circumstances. This is good, and is a proper way to read; however, we must ALWAYS remember that the personal applications are not inspired and not applicable to others. When we start forcing our personal faiths on others, we move away from God's word.

10) The Holy Spirit is not only interested in being an author.

This one is the biggest challenge to restoration churches. The Holy Spirit speaks directly to us and works through us, outside of scripture. How do we determine if it is the HS talking to us? Well, it won't contradict scripture. But scripture is not the end-all of God's communication with us.

11) Jews knew their bible!

Not one of Moore's top ten, I think this is a valuable tip. Jesus, Paul, John - in fact, all of the NT authors - knew their scripture intimately, and the full meaning of any text that references OT scripture cannot be fully understood without knowledge of that scripture. As an example: When Jesus cleansed the temple, he says "My house was to become a house of prayer, you have made it a den of robbers". This is quoting two verses: the first part comes from Isaiah 56:7, the last from Jeremiah 7:11. To understand the first, read Isaiah 56:1-8; it speaks of the temple being opened up to ALL men, including eunuchs. To understand the second, read Jeremiah 7:1-29; it talks about the destruction of the temple. Jesus understood exactly what he was saying, and the Pharisees knew exactly what he meant. Which was one of the reasons they wanted to kill him.

Joey Porter
Jun 30th 2008, 08:58 PM
The only one of those I can say I really, really agree with is number 10.

I pretty much live by one rule of biblical interpretation:

The bible doesn't mean what it says. It means what it means.

The Jews of Jesus' day probably followed similar rules, and they didn't have a clue as to who He was or what He came to do, even though the entire OT spoke of Him! Even the disciples didn't have an understanding of all that had to happen to Him. And yet, we know that He said that the scriptures had told about Him and what would happen to Him. And if we are being honest with ourselves, none of us, if we had lived in that day, would have understood either, based on OT writings.

Yahweh speaks to man in types, shadows, and parables. We can't even begin to comprehend His ways or what He is saying by using earthly logic with our earthly minds, even if we try to construct "rules of biblical interpretation" and so forth. This is why there are 20,000 differing and contradicting church denominations in the world - when they all use the same book!

This is why I always get a chuckle out of somebody saying "The scripture clearly says..."

In all honestly, scripture rarely if ever clearly says anything.

Zack702
Jun 30th 2008, 09:00 PM
Never really got into all the details of it but yet they all make sense in a way. I'll throw my thoughts out there although they probably won't be in a proper elaboration...

Number 3 can get complex however especially when it comes to visions and prophets.

Numbers 1 and 5 will keep you thinking and might even make it more difficult to read. But still a good one if you can handle it.

Number 2 is rightfully named so

Number 4 paragraphs and beyond.

Number 6 is good to keep in mind

Number 7 a perfect circle?

Number 8 no arguments from me there

Number 9 interesting one

Number 10 praise God

Let me add a few although these pretty much cover them they are in different wording.

Number 11 you got to believe!

Number 12 put the history and the era into proper perspective.

crawfish
Jun 30th 2008, 09:20 PM
The only one of those I can say I really, really agree with is number 10.

I pretty much live by one rule of biblical interpretation:

The bible doesn't mean what it says. It means what it means.

Yes, but how do you determine what it means? What if somebody else sees meaning that conflicts with yours? Are both of you right? Both of you wrong? How can you know what to believe if there are no rules for approaching the text?


This is why I always get a chuckle out of somebody saying "The scripture clearly says..."

In all honestly, scripture rarely if ever clearly says anything.

That makes me chuckle, too. The message of the gospel of the cross is clear, and shared by pretty much every denomination out there; the devil is in the details.

Joey Porter
Jul 1st 2008, 02:58 AM
Yes, but how do you determine what it means? What if somebody else sees meaning that conflicts with yours? Are both of you right? Both of you wrong? How can you know what to believe if there are no rules for approaching the text?

That makes me chuckle, too. The message of the gospel of the cross is clear, and shared by pretty much every denomination out there; the devil is in the details.

Well, that goes back to reason 10. It takes guidance from the Spirit. There are certainly multiple layers or levels of meanings for many scriptures, I would say. So it is possible people could see different things in a given passage, but the differences should pretty much be harmonious overall.

The problem is that so many people in the church world see contradicting things in the scriptures. That's a sign of a problem. OSAS/NOSAS, Pre-Trib/Post-Trib, to tithe or not to tithe, the church has/hasn't replaced Israel, etc. It's apparent that the scriptures must be confusing to the human mind when so many eagerly seeking people are seeing so many contradicting things.

crawfish
Jul 1st 2008, 03:05 AM
Well, that goes back to reason 10. It takes guidance from the Spirit. There are certainly multiple layers or levels of meanings for many scriptures, I would say. So it is possible people could see different things in a given passage, but the differences should pretty much be harmonious overall.

The problem is that so many people in the church world see contradicting things in the scriptures. That's a sign of a problem. OSAS/NOSAS, Pre-Trib/Post-Trib, to tithe or not to tithe, the church has/hasn't replaced Israel, etc. It's apparent that the scriptures must be confusing to the human mind when so many eagerly seeking people are seeing so many contradicting things.

I feel that God uses ambiguity for a purpose. If it isn't crystal clear, then it's not a "salvation issue", and we shouldn't fight over it.

However, letting the Holy Spirit tell us what to do without any basis in scripture is to throw things into even more anarchy. Without scripture, there is simply no way to tell what is really the HS working in us and what is simply delusion.

Joey Porter
Jul 1st 2008, 03:28 AM
I feel that God uses ambiguity for a purpose. If it isn't crystal clear, then it's not a "salvation issue", and we shouldn't fight over it.

However, letting the Holy Spirit tell us what to do without any basis in scripture is to throw things into even more anarchy. Without scripture, there is simply no way to tell what is really the HS working in us and what is simply delusion.

Ahhh, but there's a problem there. And this is the problem that has led me to many of my conclusions about carnal man, and the church, and the scriptures, etc.

These contradictions and disagreements on the scriptures DO deal with salvation issues!

Within the many denominations of the church, there are sharp disagreements over exactly what the gospel is. Obviously, they all agree on the crucifiction and resurrection. But past that, there is much confusion. They agree on what has been done for salvation, but they disagree on what still needs to be done on our part for salvation.

Let's take the eternal security debate for example. Calvinists and Arminians have been having scripture wars for centuries over this issue, and it still continues to this very day, even right here on these forums. And most certainly, everyone on all sides of the debate has plenty of scripture to back up their arguments.

The issue of whether or not a man can lose his salvation IS a salvation issue, wouldn't you agree? Now, the Arminian would say a man can be saved and then lose his salvation by either committing certain sins or falling away from belief. The Calvinist would say that a man who is saved is eternally secure, and will generally bare the fruits of salvation. (But there are some who have evolved from the Calvinist camp who believe that a saved person can live a life completely void of any spiritual fruits.)

Now within those two main camps are all sorts of different beliefs. Some Arminians believe that one sin causes a loss of salvation. Others believe than backsliding into a life of sin will cause a loss of salvation at some point. Still others believe that only if a person stops believing will he lose his salvation.

As for Calvinists, well let's just address the group of "Eternal Security Believers" as a whole. Some who believe in "Lordship Salvation" believe that someone who is truly saved will consistently live a life of fruitfulness and obedience, and if certain sins are committed, salvation is in question - even if a person believes in the crucifiction and resurrection. Some believe that repentance is required for salvation, while others insist that saying that repentance is required is adding "works" to the gospel. "Free Grace" believers teach that all one has to do is say a sinner's prayer, and salvation is eternally guaranteed regardless of any behavior after that. Many free grace believers insist that putting any focus whatsoever on behavior and fruits is adding "works" to the gospel.

And, of course, many eternal security believers accuse those who believe a person can lose his salvation of adding "works" to the gospel, hence they are preaching a damnable heresy. While many who believe in loss of salvation accuse eternal security people of deceiving people straight to hell by getting them to believe they can be saved without any true change of heart.

And after all this, we must keep in mind that Paul said that if anyone else preaches a "different gospel," then they are to be condemned. But within the church are many, many different variations of the gospel!

So, you can see that even and especially within the realm of salvation issues, confusion and disagreement runs rampant.

I'm sorry I rambled there, but this particular issue is an issue that troubled me for some time, an issue that I have spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours contemplating. And it was when I began to bring these concerns and questions before Yahweh that He began giving me some exciting insight into a lot of these issues dealing with the scriptures and the guidance of His Spirit to understand the Truth contained in them.

Frances
Jul 1st 2008, 08:02 PM
11. Jews knew their bible!

and they never doubted that God existed and that He Created the universe and everything in it - including Moses and His Laws.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 1st 2008, 08:25 PM
Here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1693153#post1693153) is a thread that I posted somewhat in response to this one. Though many of the concepts overlap, mine attempts to explain how to understand the context and passage.

Braves27
Jul 1st 2008, 08:47 PM
The top rule for interpreting the Bible is simple, but relatively few people seem to get it. Let the Word of GOD interpret itself, not some silly traditions, not questionable history (though other historical records are always good to back up Scripture), and certainly not man's crazy ideas. There are always an array of other Scriptures to back every one up and clarify it further.



Isaiah 28:9-11
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts.
...Meaning once you learn the basic things, you can understand things on a higher level. Everything has an order...
For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:
That's clear. That means you put precept upon precept, and line upon line, or one Scripture upon the other, to clarify and interpret it. Any Scripture you use to prove doctrine, you can always find others to back it up (or in the case of false doctrine, many others to prove a different meaning).
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

crawfish
Jul 1st 2008, 08:50 PM
Here (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1693153#post1693153) is a thread that I posted somewhat in response to this one. Though many of the concepts overlap, mine attempts to explain how to understand the context and passage.

It's a good post. Both will hopefully allow people to step forward and see scripture for what it is and not what they want it to be.

crawfish
Jul 1st 2008, 09:00 PM
The top rule for interpreting the Bible is simple, but relatively few people seem to get it. Let the Word of GOD interpret itself, not some silly traditions, not questionable history (though other historical records are always good to back up Scripture), and certainly not man's crazy ideas. There are always an array of other Scriptures to back every one up and clarify it further.



Isaiah 28:9-11
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? [them that are] weaned from the milk, [and] drawn from the breasts.
...Meaning once you learn the basic things, you can understand things on a higher level. Everything has an order...
For precept [must be] upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, [and] there a little:
That's clear. That means you put precept upon precept, and line upon line, or one Scripture upon the other, to clarify and interpret it. Any Scripture you use to prove doctrine, you can always find others to back it up (or in the case of false doctrine, many others to prove a different meaning).
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

Not to disagree with you - I don't in principle - but listed above are rules on HOW to use scripture to interpret scripture. For instance, you CANNOT understand the true meaning of the scripture above if you don't read the context around it and understand who Isaiah was speaking to, and why.

Consider the following verses:


5 "The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out;
the flame of his fire stops burning.
6 The light in his tent becomes dark;
the lamp beside him goes out.
7 The vigor of his step is weakened;
his own schemes throw him down.
8 His feet thrust him into a net
and he wanders into its mesh.
9 A trap seizes him by the heel;
a snare holds him fast.
10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground;
a trap lies in his path.
11 Terrors startle him on every side
and dog his every step.
12 Calamity is hungry for him;
disaster is ready for him when he falls.
13 It eats away parts of his skin;
death's firstborn devours his limbs.
14 He is torn from the security of his tent
and marched off to the king of terrors.
15 Fire resides [a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=22&chapter=18&version=31#fen-NIV-13292a)] in his tent;
burning sulfur is scattered over his dwelling.
16 His roots dry up below
and his branches wither above.
17 The memory of him perishes from the earth;
he has no name in the land.
18 He is driven from light into darkness
and is banished from the world.
19 He has no offspring or descendants among his people,
no survivor where once he lived.
20 Men of the west are appalled at his fate;
men of the east are seized with horror.
21 Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man;
such is the place of one who knows not God."


Certainly, this is speaking pretty harshly towards the wicked. It is a severe pronouncement of judgement against those who are faithless to God.

Or is it?

The quote is from Job 18, and the speaker is Bildad the Shuhite. And, if you know the book in question, you will know that he is WRONG. The context tells you that you cannot take the text at face value.

seamus414
Jul 1st 2008, 09:15 PM
I would add that the earliest Christian understanding/interpretation of a passage has priority over later understandings/interpretations.

crawfish
Jul 1st 2008, 09:21 PM
I would add that the earliest Christian understanding/interpretation of a passage has priority over later understandings/interpretations.

That would make non-biblical commentary inspired, would it not?

Braves27
Jul 1st 2008, 09:34 PM
Not to disagree with you - I don't in principle - but listed above are rules on HOW to use scripture to interpret scripture. For instance, you CANNOT understand the true meaning of the scripture above if you don't read the context around it and understand who Isaiah was speaking to, and why.

Consider the following verses:



Certainly, this is speaking pretty harshly towards the wicked. It is a severe pronouncement of judgement against those who are faithless to God.

Or is it?

The quote is from Job 18, and the speaker is Bildad the Shuhite. And, if you know the book in question, you will know that he is WRONG. The context tells you that you cannot take the text at face value.

That's definitely true - to a point. There was a reason for everything that was said in ancient times. But your almost going to far with that idea. You certainly can't say that what Isaiah said only applied to the group of people who heard his voice at that exact moment. That's like the people who justify female "pastors" by saying that Paul was only speaking to the church at Corinth. There was a reason for these things to be said - but that doesn't mean they only apply to the ones they were said to. If You have to remember that truth is not specific to some people, and different for others.

2 Peter 1:20
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.


2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Joey Porter
Jul 1st 2008, 11:04 PM
I maintain that it is a mistake to place too much emphasis on trying to keep passages withint the context of what is written around them. We can miss out on many deep insights waiting to be revelaed to us by doing so.

For instance, look at how many OT passages were referenced in the NT, in manners that are completely and totally out of conext. We know that the Lord Himself referenced certain passages from the Psalms that were not within the context of how David had originally written them.

But there are other instances of this in the New Testament as well.

Let me share with you another example:

Matthew 2
14So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, 15where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."

Now, the book of Matthew says that Jesus leaving Egypt was the fulfillment of a prophecy from the book of Hosea. But what does that OT passage say? What is the context around it?

Hosea 11
1 "When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son.
2 But the more I called Israel,
the further they went from me.
They sacrificed to the Baals
and they burned incense to images.

You can see here that the book of Matthew applies an OT passage to Christ that had absolutely nothing to do with foretelling of Christ - that is, at least not within the "context" of the 11th chapter of Hosea.

The scriptures are truly living and active, and if we rely on Yahweh's Spirit, we can actually take portions of scripture "out of context," at least what would seem to be out of context to our carnal minds, and apply them in prophetic ways to our lives right now, and to the church, and to the world around us. The scriptures will then open up to us in a whole new way. I guarantee it.

crawfish
Jul 2nd 2008, 01:38 AM
The scriptures are truly living and active, and if we rely on Yahweh's Spirit, we can actually take portions of scripture "out of context," at least what would seem to be out of context to our carnal minds, and apply them in prophetic ways to our lives right now, and to the church, and to the world around us. The scriptures will then open up to us in a whole new way. I guarantee it.

Again, you can do that for your own personal faith, but it is NOT inspired or binding. And if your reading CONFLICTS with scripture, then you are not prophesying but delusional.

There are just too many disturbing and flat-out wrong things you can do with scripture if you handle it that way.

OldChurchGuy
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:22 AM
My commentary:

1) AIM - author's intended meaning.

Any scripture must be grounded in the meaning for which it was intended. This is not always easy - cultural context, writing style, history, parallel scriptures, etc. must often be taken into account to discover the true meaning.

2) Context is king.

How often have you had some verse quoted to you for a certain purpose, only to find that if you read the verse in context of the passages around it you find that it cannot possibly have that purpose? It is easy to support a theology by finding individual verses, or parts of verses, that seem to defend your opinions; but if their in-context meaning conflicts with that usage, then it is being misused.

3) A passage cannot mean what it never meant.

Things can mean different things in different cultures. When we try to read scripture from our own cultural context, we will apply meanings that the ancient Hebrews could not possibly have meant. The only way we can see scripture in its true sense is to subtract our sense of culture and read it as closely to its original culture as possible.

4) Meaning is not in words or sentences, but in paragraphs.

A word can mean just about anything. A sentence limits the meaning of the word. A paragraph limits the meaning of the sentence. As was implied by #2, we must apply meanings based on their full context. A verse itself might be nice by itself, but by itself it is irrelevant to our usage. I can often mean too many different things. Only in context of the surrounding text does it have meaning.

5) A word means what the author intended it to mean.

Words can have varied meanings. If I say, "Wow, the weather is cool today!", what does the word "cool" mean? It could mean at least two different things: one, that it is the opposite of "warm", or two, that it is "great weather for what we are planning to do". What is the true meaning? Obviously, the one I intended, and if you take the other meaning you are misinterpreting me.

In the example given for point 5, how would I know which meaning you intended for the word "cool"? Would it not boil down to a guess on my part even if I took into account the items mentioned in point 1 (cultural context, writing style, history, parallel writings)?

The other points seem to embody the old addage "the Bible says it, I believe it and that settles it". So, since neither Jesus nor Paul nor any of the other writers condemned slavery, did people go against God's will when opposing slavery? Why or why not? Even more interesting, using these 10 points, is the creation story in Genesis 1 a symbolic story or to be interpreted literally?

Every curious,

OldChurchGuy

Joey Porter
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:28 AM
Again, you can do that for your own personal faith, but it is NOT inspired or binding. And if your reading CONFLICTS with scripture, then you are not prophesying but delusional.

There are just too many disturbing and flat-out wrong things you can do with scripture if you handle it that way.

Yes, there ARE many wrong things you can do with scripture. Many cult leaders get many people to do many wild and crazy things by using scripture out of context.

But when I say "out of context," I am talking about "out of context" to the earthly mind, but perfectly IN context with things that are spiritual.

For example, if I were to say that the tower of Babel story is as alive and living and active today as it was when it actually happened, what would you think? If I said we can read that story in Genesis 11 and see that it refers to what is happening in our world right now, would you say that I would be taking it out of context?

I'm not trying to be argumentative here. I'm seriously discussing this issue.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:31 AM
Yes, there ARE many wrong things you can do with scripture. Many cult leaders get many people to do many wild and crazy things by using scripture out of context.

But when I say "out of context," I am talking about "out of context" to the earthly mind, but perfectly IN context with things that are spiritual.

For example, if I were to say that the tower of Babel story is as alive and living and active today as it was when it actually happened, what would you think? If I said we can read that story in Genesis 11 and see that it refers to what is happening in our world right now, would you say that I would be taking it out of context?

I'm not trying to be argumentative here. I'm seriously discussing this issue.

Of course I'd say you're taking it out of context. You aren't Christ, nor did you have the Holy Spirit guiding you (not in the way the authors of the New Testament did) in such an interpretation.

crawfish
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:36 AM
Yes, there ARE many wrong things you can do with scripture. Many cult leaders get many people to do many wild and crazy things by using scripture out of context.

But when I say "out of context," I am talking about "out of context" to the earthly mind, but perfectly IN context with things that are spiritual.

For example, if I were to say that the tower of Babel story is as alive and living and active today as it was when it actually happened, what would you think? If I said we can read that story in Genesis 11 and see that it refers to what is happening in our world right now, would you say that I would be taking it out of context?

I'm not trying to be argumentative here. I'm seriously discussing this issue.

I understand. I consider this "debating", not "arguing". :)

Here's my pov: if you read the tower of babel story and it speaks to you about a situation or a mission in your life, then that is the Holy Spirit talking to you through scripture in a way that it wasn't intended but is valid. But that message is intended for you and you alone; it isn't doctrine and it isn't the true message, and if you were to TEACH that message as a truth in a bible study then you would be wrong.

I hope that clears it up.

Joey Porter
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:49 AM
:confused

You both said I was wrong but haven't even yet heard the application for it. But that's not really a huge issue now. I just gave the first example that came to mind.

I can tell you something interesting about the gospels, and if you look at them closely, you will be able to see that same thing I see in them. And even discover much more that I haven't even seen yet! And there won't be any worries about taking the scriptures out of context or anything like that.

Let me throw this out there for you:

Each individual gospel has been divinely inspired to reveal Truths about the Kingdom of heaven that are masked from plain view. However, when comparing gospel to gospel, we can see undeniable truths come to light. The secrets are in the very slight variations each gospel writer included or excluded in each book.

I have dedicated a good portion of the last year studying this issue, and what is brought to light is a clear and consistent theme throughout these gospels variations. It is so clear and undeniable that you'll never look at the bible nor the times we are living in the same way.

What do you think?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 02:52 AM
:confused

You both said I was wrong but haven't even yet heard the application for it. But that's not really a huge issue now. I just gave the first example that came to mind.

I can tell you something interesting about the gospels, and if you look at them closely, you will be able to see that same thing I see in them. And even discover much more that I haven't even seen yet! And there won't be any worries about taking the scriptures out of context or anything like that.

Let me throw this out there for you:

Each individual gospel has been divinely inspired to reveal Truths about the Kingdom of heaven that are masked from plain view. However, when comparing gospel to gospel, we can see undeniable truths come to light. The secrets are in the very slight variations each gospel writer included or excluded in each book.

I have dedicated a good portion of the last year studying this issue, and what is brought to light is a clear and consistent theme throughout these gospels variations. It is so clear and undeniable that you'll never look at the bible nor the times we are living in the same way.

What do you think?

This is the allegorical method of interpretation. It teaches that the basic word is simply too plain in order to display spiritual truths, thus such spiritual truths are hidden.

This, however, is a faulty view of God's communication with man. It is saying God is incapable of communicating with human beings in our own language - this, of course, would limit God.

Zack702
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:02 AM
Again, you can do that for your own personal faith, but it is NOT inspired or binding. And if your reading CONFLICTS with scripture, then you are not prophesying but delusional.

There are just too many disturbing and flat-out wrong things you can do with scripture if you handle it that way.

Yea this can get out of hand.

But when I read on things I know that God created everything.
God created everything thats a powerful statement.
We can go many different directions with that statement.

But for me it means something like this...
God created our minds gave them to us and gave us the choice to take the knowledge of good and evil.
We named things we made our cities we made our culture. Not God but we did these things. God only sent his messengers to help us because we kept falling to wickedness. He had mercy upon us. But some ask mercy from what himself? NO from our own actions and our own causes.

God does not control us God does not "allow things to happen" we do.
Yea God can control us yea God can "allow things to happen" but God has given this control over to us within the earth.

Our choices have brought about the past present and future.
We do not have the full concept of that. It is such a simple thing and some have a basic understanding of that but yet only God knows the full truth of anything.

We tell ourselves we understand because we are educated or because we have been enlightened. But our education and our enlightenment is confounded because of our disobedience. Also because we cannot go where God goes even our most powerful microscopes cannot see the complexities of this world. We can only get to levels that are many levels above where God laid the foundation of things. And we will never understand them except to know that God created them.

So we need some kind of motivation from each other. This is where the rules for interpretation can help you or it can hinder you. So let it help you instead.

The main problem we can have with interpreting scriptures is this.
We tell ourselves we know things without question.
Some people even say that God gives them answers.
Now if your reading and God gives you answers I want you to do me a favor and write them down. Make a thread about it share it with us. I for one would like to hear some of these answers.

crawfish
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:06 AM
This is the allegorical method of interpretation. It teaches that the basic word is simply too plain in order to display spiritual truths, thus such spiritual truths are hidden.

This, however, is a faulty view of God's communication with man. It is saying God is incapable of communicating with human beings in our own language - this, of course, would limit God.

It's also very gnostic.

I should add that there is a difference between "prophecy" and interpretation of scripture. Again, I fully believe that you can read a scripture intended by the Holy Spirit to guide you in a way that may be out of context, and that is perfectly ok; however, it is NOT an inspired meaning but a personal one, and its application ends at you.

Bible study can be difficult. Not all scripture is plain and easy to understand; the more you read it and the more you study it, the more deeply you will understand it. Thank the Lord, perfect understanding is not required for our salvation; God's grace is sufficient.

Joey Porter
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:13 AM
This is the allegorical method of interpretation. It teaches that the basic word is simply too plain in order to display spiritual truths, thus such spiritual truths are hidden.

This, however, is a faulty view of God's communication with man. It is saying God is incapable of communicating with human beings in our own language - this, of course, would limit God.

This is not so. Again, my question is - if the basic word is so plain to understand, why are there so many conflicting and contradicting beliefs within all of the denominations?

Likewise, if the Word was open and plain to understand, why is that no one - not the Pharisees, not even the disciples or Jesus' own parents - had an understanding of exactly Who He is or what He came to do. :

Luke 18
31Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. 33On the third day he will rise again."
34The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

Remember what He said to Cleopas and the other disciple after He had risen:

Luke 24
25He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

And here is what He said to the other disciples:

45Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Now, pay careful attention to what He said in verse 46. "This is what is written." But, my question to you and everyone reading this is:

Where in the OT is it wrtten "The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem?"

Of course we all know that there is nothing like that written in the Old Testament! And yet, the Lord Himself says that is what was written.

Now, we can see here that Jesus is telling them that the scriptures foretold His crucifixion and resurrection. But no one - not one person - understood that the scriptures foretold of those things. And if you and I and everyone reading this is going to be honest with ourselves, we would confess that we ourselves would not have understood if we had lived in that day either. There is no specific mention of a crucifiction and resurrection mentioned in the Old Testament!

This fact alone is proof enough that Yahweh has not written the scriptures in a way that man can understand them unless He specifically opens our minds to what they mean.

20,000 different church denominations with conflicting beliefs, who all use the same book, is even further proof, is it not?

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 04:22 AM
This is not so. Again, my question is - if the basic word is so plain to understand, why are there so many conflicting and contradicting beliefs within all of the denominations?


Because man exists in a faulty epistemic state of knowledge since sin has entered the world, therefore it is impossible to have a perfect interpretation of the Scriptures. At best, we can merely hope for an extremely accurate interpretation, but it is never perfect.

And with that, the rest of your post really doesn't work because the initial premise of your post has fallen.

Naphal
Jul 2nd 2008, 09:10 AM
Consider the following verses:

5 "The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out;
the flame of his fire stops burning.
6 The light in his tent becomes dark;
the lamp beside him goes out.
7 The vigor of his step is weakened;
his own schemes throw him down.
8 His feet thrust him into a net
and he wanders into its mesh.
9 A trap seizes him by the heel;
a snare holds him fast.
10 A noose is hidden for him on the ground;
a trap lies in his path.
11 Terrors startle him on every side
and dog his every step.
12 Calamity is hungry for him;
disaster is ready for him when he falls.
13 It eats away parts of his skin;
death's firstborn devours his limbs.
14 He is torn from the security of his tent
and marched off to the king of terrors.
15 Fire resides [a (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=22&chapter=18&version=31#fen-NIV-13292a)] in his tent;
burning sulfur is scattered over his dwelling.
16 His roots dry up below
and his branches wither above.
17 The memory of him perishes from the earth;
he has no name in the land.
18 He is driven from light into darkness
and is banished from the world.
19 He has no offspring or descendants among his people,
no survivor where once he lived.
20 Men of the west are appalled at his fate;
men of the east are seized with horror.
21 Surely such is the dwelling of an evil man;
such is the place of one who knows not God."
Certainly, this is speaking pretty harshly towards the wicked. It is a severe pronouncement of judgement against those who are faithless to God.

Or is it?

The quote is from Job 18, and the speaker is Bildad the Shuhite. And, if you know the book in question, you will know that he is WRONG. The context tells you that you cannot take the text at face value.

Is he wrong? I think you jumped to conclusions...Sorry to correct you but just because God speaks ill of him at the end of the book does not mean that every word Bildad said was wrong.



5 "The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out;
the flame of his fire stops burning.


Compare to:

Proverbs 13:9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

seamus414
Jul 2nd 2008, 12:05 PM
That would make non-biblical commentary inspired, would it not?

I don't think so. I am not suggesting putting ancient interpretation at the same level of the Bible. What I am suggesting is the following example: when reading a passage one can consult with a commontary, or comments made, by a Christian from the 2nd Century to gain insight into the passage. One can also consult with a commontary, or comments made, by a Christian from the 18th Century (or whenever) to gain insight into the passage. I suggest that the comments from the 2nd Century ought to have more weight than the one from the 18th Century.

crawfish
Jul 2nd 2008, 01:33 PM
Is he wrong? I think you jumped to conclusions...Sorry to correct you but just because God speaks ill of him at the end of the book does not mean that every word Bildad said was wrong.



5 "The lamp of the wicked is snuffed out;
the flame of his fire stops burning.


Compare to:

Proverbs 13:9 The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.

Understood. My point was that, as a whole, his text was meant to be an example of an incorrect theology. This doesn't mean that there isn't truth sprinkled in. There is some truth evident in most bad theologies. :)

Buck shot
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:03 PM
Bible study can be difficult. Not all scripture is plain and easy to understand; the more you read it and the more you study it, the more deeply you will understand it. Thank the Lord, perfect understanding is not required for our salvation; God's grace is sufficient.

:agree: This is why many are not able to understand. We live in a fast paced world and want everything now but... when we are born again we are only babes and need to start out on milk. As we grow we will be able to digest the meat! ;)

1 Corinthians 3
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

apothanein kerdos
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:12 PM
:agree: This is why many are not able to understand. We live in a fast paced world and want everything now but... when we are born again we are only babes and need to start out on milk. As we grow we will be able to digest the meat! ;)

1 Corinthians 3
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.
2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.


Exactly. A bigger problem - that is worrisome - is that we might just be lazy. Think about it - if we are to properly interpret the Bible we need to look up the historical context, the original languages, the commentaries, the other passages that relate to the one you're reading, and spend an equal amount of time (or more) in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to guide you on all this. This can often equate to spending hours upon hours in studying a passage. In the few times I've been asked to preach a sermon I generally spent 3-4 hours a day studying the passage I wanted to use - and this would occur for about a month. Even after all that study, I still felt like there was more to be discovered and more to be said.

The point in all this is that many Christians want to make it easy and say, "It's just the Holy Spirit." It allows a quick 5 minute read - or even a 1 hour read over various passages - where they can read the passage at face value and call it quits for the day. Now, this isn't to say that some Scripture can't be understood by a quick read - on the contrary, almost all of it can. The deeper meaning, however, is only understood by a deep study - something most Christians don't want to commit to (I am guilty of this all too often).

Buck shot
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:24 PM
Exactly. A bigger problem - that is worrisome - is that we might just be lazy.

The point in all this is that many Christians want to make it easy and say, "It's just the Holy Spirit." It allows a quick 5 minute read - or even a 1 hour read over various passages - where they can read the passage at face value and call it quits for the day. Now, this isn't to say that some Scripture can't be understood by a quick read - on the contrary, almost all of it can. The deeper meaning, however, is only understood by a deep study - something most Christians don't want to commit to (I am guilty of this all too often).

:yes: I agree, many are lazy, at times myself incuded :B

We must start out on milk but for good strong growth exercise it needed! We can never get to the mature christian we are supposed to grow to by not drinking the milk!

It gets very discouraging to see folks still on milk after they have been saved for many years. Our laziness stunts our growth!

Buck shot
Jul 2nd 2008, 03:31 PM
Don't mean to derail Crawfish but I'd like to share this:

I think the best thing that happened to me when I was still a babe (sometimes I still feel like a babe) was a kids Sunday School class I was asked to teach. I did not feel I was ready so I studied for any kind of question that the pre-teen class might ask about the lesson for each week. It was like throwing fertilize on a garden!

I now get to preach every Sunday but I have to admit I miss teaching those kids. They really make it fun!