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Rules for Bible interpreting...

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by rkbo, Jan 17, 2002.

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  1. rkbo

    rkbo Member

    I would like to know how many would accept these rules of
    Bible interpretation. Not that I am so arrogant that I will set
    these rules. They are rules of Hermeneutics. This is the art
    and science of explaining written documents or
    deciphering the message of and author.

    1. We should at all times endeavor to explain biblical
    passages the same way that the author originally intended.
    If he intended to relate history, or a parable, poetry and the
    like. we must know if what was written was hyperbole, or
    meant to be exaggerated. If it is poetry we must give it
    poetic licensee.

    2. We must have an objective rational method for
    determining the use of words. If we don’t we have non
    experts making expert claims of what words mean. We
    must have the etymological root of words and their
    meanings. We must determine the value of comparative
    philology of these words. That is the history of word usage.
    We must understand the fact that words change meanings
    over the years.

    3. We must pay attention to the “grammatical-historical
    sense” of passages. That is what a passage means in it’s
    time, place and authorship. We must pay attention to
    historical and grammatical context.

    4. What scope or plan does the author reveal to us about his
    writing? What does he show that the passage should relate
    to? This folks is what we call “CONTEXT”

    5. We must compare passages with passages. We must
    interpret difficult passages with the light of clear passages.

    6. We must strive to understand the figures of speech:
    Imagery, metonymy, synecdoche, personification,
    apostrophe, interrogation, hyperbole, irony, simile and
    metaphor, fables, riddles, enigmas, parables allegories,
    proverbs types and symbols and dreams.

    Shweeew.....what did I just say anyway? To cool huh?

    well did I just use hyperbole? or irony, simile, maybe

    What’s a metaphor you ask?
    Well nothings a metaphor me
    What’sa metaphor you.......I know, I know but with humor sometimes you gotta take a
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. MizDoulos

    MizDoulos <font color=6c2dc7><b>Justified by grace through f

    Amen and amen, rkbo!

    Couldn't have said it better myself. I agree with you that Scripture must be interpreted in context and divided rightly, to put it in a nutshell.

    I enjoy reading your many posts!

    Grace and blessings to you. :)

  3. Christsoldier

    Christsoldier So, I'm an apologetic!

    One of the things I get so upset about is when someone quotes something from the Bible using it to prop their stance up and not realizing they've taken it out of context. In other words, read the Whole chapter before saying this is what it means.

    I also get tired of people who pick and choose from His word what to believe and what not to believe.
  4. man in the box

    man in the box New Member

    Great piece of writing here. Cults seeem to be famous for not following these rules. Take Islam for instance they say that Jesus never said worship me. I always respond that yes He did over and over when you see it through the historical and cultural context of Scripture. Christians also run into problems when they don't follow these rules. All types of strange doctrine come about. I would like to see more churches teach these rules of interpretation. I think that Christians would greatly benefit from this sort of thing.
    Take care.
  5. Christsoldier

    Christsoldier So, I'm an apologetic!

    For anyone interested, I am reading a book right now called "Ten Lies About God" by Erwin W. Lutzer. While I'm not finished with it yet, by a long shot :D it has some really good stuff in there and kinda goes along with the discussion in this thread.
  6. rkbo

    rkbo Member

    1 Tim 4:13-16
    13 Until I come, give attention to the {public} reading {of Scripture} to exhortation and teaching.
    14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.
    15 Take pains with these things; be {absorbed} in them, so that your progress will be evident to all.
    16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

    1 Tim 4:16
    16 Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.

    2 Tim 4:2-4
    2 preach the word; be ready in season {and} out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
    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,
    4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

    Jude 1:3-4
    3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.
    4 For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    I take this very seriously. I have talked to many JW's , Christian Science, and mormans. Not mention witches, satanist, atheists, and pagans. They all have one thing in common and that is they all deny the deity of Christ. We must defend the Lord that saved us. we are commanded
    1 Pet 3:15
    15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always {being} ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;
  7. Apologist

    Apologist 2 Tim. 2:24-26


    What bible version is the "NAU" after your bible quotes?
    Is that the New American Standard Upgraded?

    God Bless,

  8. Debbie

    Debbie Active Member

    Wow what a great thread. It is sooooooo important. I like that last quote too about loving the truth or else we cannot know it. With that in mind I would like to add 2 things to the original list of interpretation rules. One is to always pray first, let the Holy Spirit guide you to correctly understand. The other is to overcome PRIDE. Pride is the sin which over took the once annointed angel, satan. He even saw the face of God. How powerful pride must be. I have noticed through some other study of scripture, that the word "idolatry" & "fornication" can also mean to be "stubborn". (1 Sam. 15:23) "...... stubborness is...idolatry.." (the word "as" was not in original). The word "fornication" comes from the Greek word "****euo" which besides intercourse can also mean: idolatry. What I'm getting at is this: pride in our own interpretation of the Bible could be someone's downfall or they could be sinning & not knowing it. This is what leads to false doctrine. Pride in intelligence. Idolatry of our self knowledge. No offense to anyone intended. This is why some of the most intelligent people are confused. I used to be considered intelligent. Now I'm considerd a Christian. Praise the Lord.
  9. rkbo

    rkbo Member

    Hi Debbie

    Wise words you've posted there. Thank you.

    I have never considered myself inteligent and no one has ever accused me of it either. So I guess it's unanimous. I hope in these verses.
    1 Cor 1:19-21
    19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
    20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
    21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    I have been accused of foolishness by the way.
  10. M.O.G.

    M.O.G. New Member

    RKBO, ;)

    You have done a fine job here! I've always shortend it by telling others 20 before & 20 after. You've put it in long form and it's a winner!

    God Bless, M.O.G.
  11. Christsoldier

    Christsoldier So, I'm an apologetic!

    I would rather be thought a fool by men, than thought a fool by God. :D
  12. Thunderchild

    Thunderchild Sheep in Wolf's clothing

    I have found often that the people who most loudly scream about hermeneutics and/or context are the same that don't have a clue about how to apply those principles.

    There are a number of rules for determining meanings - the most compelling is that facts have a habit of being repeated by a number of authors. If something is not repeated, either it is not important - or - the reader messed up the interpretation.
  13. InspectorVol

    InspectorVol Regular Member

    Folks I agree with most of what has been said in this thread but there is one thing I haven't seen
    mentioned and we must not forget this or we will get too wrapped up in our own knowledge and
    how smart we think we are. The bible was written where the average person would be able to
    understand, not just for scholars and theologians or wouldbe scholars and theologians.
    Sometimes we make it more complex than it is to suit our itchy ears. God's plan is simple when we
    don't try to over analyze the bible and try to make it say something it doesn't.
  14. Christsoldier

    Christsoldier So, I'm an apologetic!

    That is a very good point!!!!
  15. snw7

    snw7 New Member

    Thanks for this thread. Very informative to say the least.

    Perhaps I'm way too naive, but I typically think that this type of stuff is widely used among the brotherhood - I guess once again I've missed the mark.

  16. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Monkey Boy

    Eastern Orthodox
    Great thread. Good job rkbo! If anyone wants a good book about Hermenautics "Knowing Scripture" by RC Srproul is very good. Even if you do not agree with all his theology you will like this book.

  17. edjones

    edjones Active Member

    I don't think any of those rules should apply to Gods Holy words.
  18. snw7

    snw7 New Member

    If you can't properly read and understand what you are reading in the context in which it was written - then you're going to do nothing but preach bad doctrine, opinion, bad interpretation, etc.

    You need a guide or some ground rules to follow in order to read the Word for all it's worth and understand what and how certain passages of scripture apply.

    Without standards we're reduced to the blind leading the blind.

  19. edjones

    edjones Active Member

    Only a saved person can understand Gods Word and still we will never understand it all. The Holy Spirit guides the believer into all truth.

    John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    1 Corinthians 2:13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

    The only STANDARD for a child of God is His words, do you have them?
  20. Apologist

    Apologist 2 Tim. 2:24-26

    That is true to a degree InspectorVol, but God gave us pastors and teachers for a reason. The plain things of scripture a child can understand, but things like understanding God's nature can drown even a theologian. Theology, Eschatology , Hermaneutics, Ecclesiology and other disciplines of study require stingent rules to follow so that the text is interpreted properly.

    God Bless
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