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Introduction: How to Interpret Scripture — 7 Comments

  1. Quite possibly, before we start interpreting the Bible we really need to enjoy reading it. I know that there are some people who do not enjoy reading anything and I understand that, but for most of us, reading it for ourselves and enjoying the experience of reading is a distinct possibility.

    I have always enjoyed reading and trying to understand what I am reading. It took me a while to appreciate literature, in fact, it was after I had left high school that I read some of the great classics of literature and started to appreciate the craftsmanship that had made them so appealing to many. As a kid, I enjoyed reading books on science, nature and astronomy, and among them, I had some favourites. At the time I had to read the Bible right through (including the genealogies and lists) in one year as an MV requirement - that was pretty hard going for a 13-year-old.

    As I matured, however, I appreciated the Bible as literature, helped quite remarkably as it happened by an incident in a public high school. One of the requirements for my English class was to do book reviews, so being a bit of a smarty-pants and being able to lay claim to having read the whole Bible through, I wrote a book review of the Bible. My unchurched teacher responded by taking a couple of weeks to discuss the Bible as literature in class, and in doing so, laid the foundation for enjoying Bible reading for the rest of my life.

    There are many folk who do not enjoy reading and I understand that. I have been involved in teaching for long enough to know that for a variety of reasons, some people find reading difficult. One way around that problem is to join in conversations with those who do enjoy reading. Sharing ideas is as important as reading and those of who do read should be mindful that we are the eyes for those who do not read.

    If we learn to enjoy reading and sharing, then we are in a good position to understand the processes of interpretation we are studying this quarter.

  2. Holy Ghost thanks for revealing yourself throughout scriptures to me.

    As I was reading this lesson I always asked God to open the scriptures to me. I.e to reveal the true meaning of the scriptures to me.
    One day I was in church and a brother was preaching from Proverbs 31. As he was preaching the sermon for mother’s day I was listening him but my mind was drawn away to a different understanding. Suddenly there appeared to my mind a true interpretation. That chapter true interpretation is about Christ and his church.

    Isa 28: 9-10 asked 2 questions, Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?
    Answer- them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast.
    Paul a learnt man in the scriptures addressing the Corinthians said in 1Cor 3: 1-2. V2 says I have fed you with milk, and not with meat....... Many people might be reading the Bible but if they are babies in the teaching of the Bible, it doesn’t matter what or who say they will not get it. A baby is first fed with milk until they are grown physically then they can eat meat. So is someone who is spiritual as a new or unlearnt Christian. As a Christian reads, prays, study the Bible they grow spiritually. They moves from simple things to more complicated ones. With the help of the Holy Spirit they are able to interpret the scriptures correctly.
    Many don’t interpret scriptures correctly because as Isa says Isa 28:10 Precepts must be upon precepts, line upon line, here a little and there a little.

  3. Today's lesson states "... we will explore our own presuppositions, and reasoning about context, language, culture, and history and how they impact how we read and understand the Word of God."

    I would invite all readers to keep this phrase uppermost in their minds throughout this quarter. The viewing of scripture through our perceptual filters (resulting in presuppositions) is a subconscious phenomenon that we typically aren't aware we are doing. This has consequently resulted in us essentially viewing God in our image.

    Given this reality, it is necessary and beneficial to step back and note and re-examine the presuppositions that we subconsciously impose upon scriptural interpretation. The only way you can do this is to be conscious and intentional about it - guided by the Holy Spirit of course.

    Remember, God's ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8,9). If we derive an interpretation from scripture that has God acting in ways that are just like our ways, we would do well to take a careful re-look at such interpretations.

    God, guide us to see you as you really are this quarter. Help us go beyond our presuppositions to learn of your higher ways and thoughts - not so we merely see doctrine, but so we find you in a way that transforms our lives to actually become ever more like you.

  4. I agree we should be careful how we understand the Word and what it means. We must remember that holy men of God wrote the Scriptures as they were inspired by Him. We do not have the authority to say that they didn't mean what they said when they plainly wrote the words the LORD said to them or the thoughts He inspired.
    We were made in the image of God originally and through His grace are being changed into His image as we walk with Him, so it helps us to understand His character as we become like Him.
    Yes, we have learned to understand the LORD and His Word from learned people who went before us, yes, we should re-examine what we believe but we should not just disregard it because we think we have better understanding of what the Bible should be telling us about the character of God.
    We have been told that we will learn new truths but that we should not discard the foundational truths already discovered and tested.

  5. I strongly believe in the Bible. But we should not allow others to mislead us. We should be strong and correct in the way we interpret the Word of God.

  6. The introduction to the quarterly gives a good example of How NOT to Interpret Scripture. The fourth paragraph reads “the Bible itself says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God…” (2 Tim. 3:16). “All Scripture”, of course, means all Scripture”

    There is a good reason why the KJV and NKJV italicize the word “is”. “is” is a supplied word. It is NOT in the original Greek!
    2Ti 3:16  πασα G3956  γραφη G1124  θεοπνευστος G2315
    NKJV & KJV  “All Scripture is [italicized] given by inspiration of God”
    Remove the supplied italicized “is” and you have a more accurate translation. “All Scripture given by inspiration of God”
    ASB “Every scripture inspired of God is also profitable”
    BBE “Every holy Writing which comes from God is of profit”
    DRB “All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable”

    The original 1611 KJV and the KJV Bible Ellen White gave to the PUC church included the Apocrypha. Is “all Scripture” inspired?What about the Quran, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price and all the other sacred scriptures of eastern religions, Mary Baker Eddy and Ron Hubbard?

    • I would have loved if we started there.
      What makes our 66 books different from others and why we do not consider other scriptures said to be sacred


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