March 31, 2010

Is There a Right Way to Interpret the Bible?

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

How to Read the Bible Book by Book

Exegetical Fallacies

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11 Comments
  1. Just listening to the debate between DR Brown and DR White I was impressed again of the hermeneutical principle that scripture must interpret scripture. To rightly exegete scriptures you must first use the immediate context of the passage and then the larger context of the book/letter and finally the whole counsel of scripture. If there is one hermeneutical principle that I would say was most important this is it.

    Blessings,

    Bob B

  2. The additional material offered on how to read scripture is sore needed by anyone, as would be simple logic philosophy courses and critical thinking insights. No one should bury the tool of the mind for our renewal or basic foundational understanding of what is written.

    Realizations too that the marketplace of ideas, products, and services these days is wrapped in the same delight to the senses which Eve responded to and Adam was subsequently deceived by.

    We have to discern truth, and separate it from false influences on our world view. Counseling literature especially needs discernment in understanding its place and process for any believer in Jesus. Other influences, such as are we entitled to prosperity foremost, absolute order and control of our belief system, etc. need to be considered in our placing our own perspectives over other ways and means of reading scripture–as was written in another time, place, culture, history, and lanuage.

  3. I think it is good practice, in interpretations of scripture, recognising false teachers, etc., to determine who is being glorified. In scripture, the Father glorifies the Son who glorifies the Father and so on. If anyone else is being glorified or lifted up, I am certain that it is not according to God’s will or His commands.

  4. Marcella, Glorification, good point. That is certainly part of the reference from Josh 13:36 through the early 16th chapter on the work and purposes of the Holy Spirit. In fact any other spirit or principle which usurps the role and name of Jesus the Messiah is wanting of truth, and its New Covenant establishments by grace and prophetic fulfillments. Our faith is not in we ourselves, but in Him and us as servants of others for his sake.

  5. Dr. Brown has said that he holds that no false teacher in scripture is mentioned as a believer in Jesus. I am not certain that that statement is upheld thereby, for, I John’s careful wording on discernment of who (then) was of us, and the relationship to fellowship, sin, and inclusion/exclusion as to love covering sin seems to state nuances of faith’s inner working in a soul. For example, if one says they are a believer and hates any of the brethren they are not–yet we see many struggle in heart on this matter in some significant ways–so, the words of caution written on that matter must have plagued those of the early church.

    It seems that sin is both an attitudinal reality and a behavioral outcome of that reality. What is left for the sanctification process by the conviction of sins which happen by degrees, as of those of confession of the writer(s) of the Psalms, and what was occurring in the soul of such when challenged outwardly as to what was planted or established, or changed by trial and life error and proof, inwardly? Where is a believer not one, and when is a believer a believer? Even King David, whom we site so often as to this prophetic Messianic attitudinal reality from the Psalms, would not measure up in marital attitude to being a believer over his lifetime. Paul the Apostle, who faults his own past and attitudes by confession in his letter over time, would be a questionable candidate for having the attitude of Christ at given mission journey points (e.g., over his take on John Mark).

    Do we know enough nuances of any other life of professed belief to, for example, decide if apostacy and unbelief go hand in hand with the inner workings of the Holy Spirit as to sanctification? When is a professed homosexual as a professed believer a false or true teacher, and when not so? Is their faith statement false, if it does not line up with their whole way of living, while, yet, the Spirit may be leading them out of such a deep soul struggle through some years of ups and downs, convictions, and indulgences?

  6. There is significant mention among the letter writers about keeping oneself from idolatry too, which must mean that brethren not so practicing such holiness must have been of a frequency we cannot really comprehend adequately these days. These days of media based advertising which openly use the appeals to senses and their indulgences–prevalent in commerce as we know it to be–stretch our misunderstanding of spiritual discernment in a cultural context. If the whole world is seated in the evil one, what does that mean and how does a believer then avoid idolatry in these times?

  7. On my Ap 10th 9:53. Josh, my son’s name found often on my lips, should read John 13:36-early 16th chapter.

  8. Clarification on the given homosexual example, I do not hold that the Holy Spirit leads in indulgences, but convicts as a result of such. It is obvious that such a soul so disposed has deep struggles involved with moving away from such toward purity of heart. Yet some professed belivers in Jesus continue in such a sinful lifestyle without repentance, some even taking the indulgent position to their graves. Are they saved? If they uphold all other teachings of Jesus, including a profession of faith, would they then fit into Dr. Brown’s statement contrasting believers and false teachers as not being one and the same in all instances of such mention in the New Testament?

  9. I needed to hear this. Lately I’ve been bombarded with the question of whether or not there is a “visible” church like some claim there was in the first few centuries of the church and how they had the true interpretation which caused there to be powerful God glorifying unity that was thought to result in much persecution. Some today think that the eastern orthodox church holds the reigns still, straight from the apostles, holding the authority that was passed down from the church fathers, and they seem to have a pretty strong case for this, and there theology does not vere away too much from what I believe although (at least so far) I’m still not convinced due to the fact that no ‘one’ person or denomination can hold the true interpretation, as if a group of individuals had to agree on every fine point/non-essential doctrine but the interpretation can be sought out by proper exegesis and inspired by the Spirit of God. Anyways, thank you Dr. Brown and praise God for these question and answer sessions.

    In the Lord,
    John

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