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Sabbath: The Uniqueness of the Bible — 18 Comments

  1. Just a few questions and thoughts that may be useful this quarter:

    What do we mean by interpretation?
    Can there be more than one interpretation?
    Does interpretation mean application?
    Does interpretation change with time?
    How do we communicate the significance of the Bible to a disinterested and even a hostile secular culture?

    • Hi Maurice?
      So the questions...

      1. What is interpretation?

      I think this simply means to find the exact meaning of a text. Not what we think it means.

      2. Can there be more than one Interpretation?

      Yes and No. Yes because everyone uses eisgesis and comes up with his own stories, fixing them so that force the Bible to say them. No because should the Bible language and historical distance be understood, the interpretation will be one, but with varied applications.

      3. Does Interpretation change with time?

      No. May be the evolution of language may lead to more versions, but the same old thought is static.

      4. How do we communicate the significance of the Bible to a disinterested and even a hostile secular culture?

      This is now the Gospel work. The Holy Spirit will help impress the truth to people whether they hear of forbear.

      • Does interpretation means application? I was looking forward to your comment on that question so I was a bit disappointed when you didn't.

    • I would think that the objective of interpretation is to arrive at the Author's intention.

      There could be more than one interpretation, but only one that conveys the intention of the Author.

      If application is called for by the Author, then interpretation will lead to application where there is correct interpretation and genuine belief in it(Matt 4:4).

      Where the Bible is concerned, and the unchanging nature of its Author, I would conclude interpretation would only change with time if it was more accurately understood compared to the former interpretation(s). "Knowledge will increase".

      The only way to communicate the significance of the Bible is to live out its principles through living by every word that proceeds from God. However, in many/most cases, hostility will only increase where Satan remains in control. Isn't this the conclusion of the Beatitudes(Matt 5:10-12)?

    • For the answer to this question, we need to keep in mind who inspired the Scriptures in the first place and the fact that the Word is "living and active."

      Without the Spirit interpreting His Word to us, we are not likely to hear the living Word of God. Rather, we will extract a meaning according to our own experience/preference.

      It seems to me is that the interpretation the Spirit gave to someone in the first century may be quite different from the one the Spirit gives to someone in the twenty-first century.

      By the same token, the interpretation the Spirit gives to a peasant in the high Andes may be quite different than the one the Spirit gives to an office worker in Dallas, Texas.

      That said, there are certainly passages whose interpretation is unlikely to change much, while others will be quite variable, according to the needs of the reverent reader.

      • Inge, you wrote: "the interpretation the Spirit gives to a peasant in the high Andes may be quite different than the one the Spirit gives to an office worker in Dallas, Texas."

        Is it possible you meant "application" rather than "interpretation"? For instance, how would there be a different interpretation on the 4th(or any) commandment, or "In the beginning God created...", the parable of the 10 virgins, etc?

        I guess I'm just trying to understand if we are all defining "interpretation" in the same way.

    • The principle/s contained in Paul’s summary conclusion in Philippians 3:15 would seem to be one relevant dimension (among others) to the conversation taking place here.

      • I believe the LORD has given me the Spiritual Gift of teaching and has shown me these texts below which outline my mission.
        To be able to teach I must first learn and must keep on learning continually and I need to study carefully any new ideas before accepting or rejecting them. Please bear with me on my journey to discover even more treasures in the Word of the LORD.

        1Peter 3:15 always be ready to give an answer for your faith, gently
        2Timothy 2:24-25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition
        Titus 1:9 hold fast the word as taught so she can by sound doctrine encourage and convince those who contradict
        Philippians 3:15 those who are mature think the same as Paul and if any think otherwise God will reveal the truth to them.

  2. The uniqueness of the Bible for me is

    1) We are created in the image of God

    2) I choose to deliberately rebel against the image of God.

    3) Christ came to save the world to offer the gift of salvation

    4) All who accept him and fall in a loving relationship with Him will be rejoined together with Him.

    No other religion in the entire earth teach about the unique Love of God for humanity.

    What is your human response to such love?

  3. There are so many ideas and philosophies in the world, it is confusing, so I am glad that the LORD has given us His Word as our anchor in this storm tossed sea.
    I am looking forward to exploring and understanding and discovering the treasures in the message sent to us from the Almighty Creator.

  4. The Bible is unique in that it answers a multitude of questions to birth, life, and death. Answers that come from wisdom from on High.

    What does the Bible have to offer us?
    When is reading of it needed?
    Where in its pages will we find what we are looking for?
    Who is the theme?
    Why read, study, and meditate on its comfort, promises, wisdom, instruction, and warnings?

  5. The Memory Verse evokes beautiful visualizations for me. How pleasant to have light on one’s path. I can visualize the candles and lanterns before electricity, illuminating the path to a dark room. The cozy night light to dispel the darkness. The symmetrically beautiful night lights on an airport runway. A lighted bridal path and many more. They remind me that the written Word, the Bible, is that light in the darkness. There is no other book like it.

  6. Guide me oh thou Great three in One.

    The uniqueness of the bible. Why is the bible so unique?
    I agree with your views.

    For me it is unexplainable. Humans have tried to give us their views after studying. The bible can be used as any book to a student, teacher, Councillor, swearing in a court, etc. It can be used as a literature book for reading.
    Satan also can use the bible for his own purpose, sounds right but is a counterfeit. e.g when he tempted Jesus in the wilderness.

    But I have found the bible to be a living book. Therefore the bible speaks to the mind of people when they either read, listen to it by someone else reading it, or by simple meditating on it. It all depends on the attitude of the reader. What are you/I looking for at that given moment?

    Many times I would read a verse or passages from the bible and saw something, then I will go back the same day or another to the same text and read again. The second or third time it appeared like if a word was added that I never saw before. I asked myself how is it I never say it like that the time before.
    The uniqueness of the bible was meant to change the hearts/mind of human, from one sinfulness to a saint.

    There is an unseen spiritual force in the bible, i.e the power of the Holy Ghost. He has the power to guide human minds in a unique way, that is, all of us might be reading the same bible but we might say we never saw the passage like that before. The we are told to try it and because it worked for me, it might or might not work for the other person.
    The uniqueness is not a one size fit all, it works for each one personally in a general setting. (will explain later)

  7. Reading Bible for its Worth:

    In order to remove the tension between various biblical interpretations...

    Factors to consider:

    1. The dual nature of the Bible.
    - The divine nature: There's eternal relevance, which makes the Bible speak to everyone in every culture.
    - Historical nature:
    Every book, every chapter and every verse has historical particularity. Each corpus is conditioned by language, time and culture.

    So in order to appreciate the Bible:

    a) Let us accept that the vocabulary and thought-patterns of God's word was first THEIRS before they became OURS.

    b) We should accept that we are far removed from THEM in time and in thought.

    c) So we need to hear the word they heard, "The Then and There", and learn to hear the same word in "The Here and Now".

    d) Know the general rules that apply to the literary forms: Narratives, History, Laws, Genealogies, Chronicles, Poetry, Proverbs, Riddles, Drama, Parables, Letters.

  8. Brother Simeon Ogutu
    Greetings. I do believe that interpretation does change with time. In Corinthians 10:25Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
    Does that mean that we can eat everything they sell? Paul was talking to a group of person who bought food in a market who only sold clean food.

  9. The opening paragraph of this quarter’s lesson got my attention. For those of you that are interested and may have time on you hands right now as we self isolate to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, there is an excellent, well-written work on the authenticity of the Bible built around this very thought; 66 books written by 40 authors over 1500 years. The book is, “Jesus on Trial”, by David Limbaugh.

    Mr. Limbaugh was raised a Christian but by way of public schooling and Universities, became an atheist and later in life, found Jesus for himself. He is a lawyer and a very good writer. He builds his case like a lawyer for the authenticity of the Bible and its consistent theme of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

  10. A useful process when we are trying to discover how to apply the Word to a particular situation.
    There are three steps:
    First check if there a direct rule that applies, if not look for a principle that guides you, if not look at the character of the LORD for a final decision.

    It is my belief that the LORD's Principles never change but that applications might change if conditions have changed.

    An example - we were told that every girl should learn to harness a horse and buggy, does that apply today? No. What is the principle? Girls should be more independant, does that apply today? Yes, maybe we could say a girl should be able to change a tire?

  11. I think this is going to be another fantastic quarter. The texts for this week were really revealing to me.
    Moses speaking to Israel said it in a nutshell, Gods law IS LIFE. The 1Corinthians text was also very revealing to me. Our bodies will be transformed in a twinkling of an eye. There is no mention of character here, which tells me there will be a people living at that time, that will be living Christ’s life. Our characters will have been changed already by living Gods law, which we can only do by being closely connected to Him, and following His written word.
    I can’t wait to see where this quarter takes us.


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