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Featured Interpretation Methods

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by John Caldwell, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    On another thread @Anthony D'Arienzo brought up a good point when it comes to differing doctrines, and that is the hermenutical principles and methods used in interpreting Scripture.

    @Anthony D'Arienzo rejected the "literal" or traditional method as subjecting God to a "dictionary". Instead of using the meaning conveyed by a words grammatical construction and historical context, @Anthony D'Arienzo suggested words in the biblical text have a different meaning - a "biblical meaning".

    I need to be forthright and say I am a SBC baptist. As a denomination we have had experience with liberal hermeneutics that colors many of our perceptions to this sort of liberal interpretation.

    I hold to a "literal" method of interpretation which asserts that the biblical text is to be interpreted according to the plain meaning conveyed by its grammatical construction and historical context

    For this reason I do not believe in "biblical" meanings for words as opposed to "literal" meanings ("literal" being according to the plain meaning conveyed by its grammatical construction and historical context).

    Holding a traditional view of Scripture I believe several interpretive factors come into play when we interpret a text. We have to determine the "plain meaning" of the word and its English equivalent (as best we can). But we also have to examine the historic context and consider how the text would be recieved by the original audience.

    What we (traditionalists in this regard) NEVER do (as best we can help it) is assign to these words "biblical" meanings. We try NOT to read theology back into the text but attempt to derive theology from the text itself.

    I believe that God spoke through the authors (Scripture is "God breathed") to include word choices (not to redefine words into a sort of bible code but to have a "literal" meaning).

    I hope to have a discussion about the topic. I have a few questions for those who share @Anthony D'Arienzo 's position. I do not understand how those who employ the liberal method can help but be subjective in their interpretations as it seems they read theology and philosophy into the text itself.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  2. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    A very reasonable approach. :)

    Once we start inventing "biblical" meanings for the words of the bible....we are well on the way to subversion of the biblical message.

    A case in point is with the word "impute". The "biblical interpretation" method makes the word to mean the very opposite of what it means in every other usage in English.

    In English to impute means to attribute a condition based on evidence. As in...the smoke was imputed to a forest fire. That is the usual context of the word "imputed" in English. That is it's CORRECT usage.

    But a biblical indoctrination changes the meaning of the word to fit a skewed interpretation of the bible making the word mean that God attributes something to someone that isn't there. IOW a FALSE imputation.

    So we are dealing with lies and half truths based on subversion of the English language in order to get the desired meaning out of the biblical text. The word then is changed to mean it's exact opposite. As in...something that is in error attributed to someone or something that has nothing to do with it.

    So then using the modern "biblical" usage of the word "impute"...we could say that the invention of television was imputed to Mickey Mouse. (Of course the same level of fiction is involved in this statement as with much of popular Christianity)
     
  3. Giuliano

    Giuliano Well-Known Member

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    Generally speaking, I think the first time a word is used in the Bible provides a clue about its "biblical" meaning, and that is generally consistent from Genesis to Revelation. Sometimes later passages will give us insight into the matter as well.

    If all scripture is profitable for doctrine, it has to be more than "facts." While it may be "facts," there has to be a reason for it being included in the Bible.

    If a passage is not meant to be taken too literally in earthly terms, it will contain clues. Is this passage describing an earthly mountain or a heavenly one?

    Deuteronomy 4:11 And ye came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the midst of heaven, with darkness, clouds, and thick darkness.

    Can anyone stand "under" a mountain? My guess is they were standing "next to" a physical mountain and "under" a spiritual one. What kind of "mountain" was this:

    Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

    I know of no earthly mountain that you could see all the kingdoms from. I think those passages give us clues about Revelation when it mentions mountains.
     
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  4. Willie T

    Willie T Well-Known Member

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    I'll bet some of you guys have trouble with camels.... being swallowed, and passing through the eye of a needle. LOL
     
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  5. firstthings1st.

    firstthings1st. Well-Known Member

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    I would say along with the above is that by having an opened mind toward an issue especially in the scriptures.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  6. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    word. A child could tie all that up in knots in about 5 seconds imo.

    Guys, i dont know much anymore ok, but i do know we all use satan's dialectic from birth, and wouldnt he comfortable with Naive Dialectic--the way the Bible was written, which is hidden from us--even if/when we ever discovered the diff, which i mean who has done that right, evabody runs like a...ahem, little girl from the subject, imo.
     
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  7. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    i'm still waiting for the first guy to admit "i have a closed mind" tho?
     
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  8. Davy

    Davy Well-Known Member

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    I can grasp what Anthony may mean by a "Biblical meaning". It's about the 'revealed' Word of God, and not the letter.

    Grammar and the letter are tools only, and inherently limited. It's really impossible to truly describe God in all His Glory using words. We can't even understand how The Godhead can be 3 Persons, yet that idea is well written of in both Old Testament and New Testament Scripture.

    Then there's men's doctrines trying to adopt the word 'tradition' to describe the proper way to interpret God's Word. It's not about men's traditions, the ultimate interpretation relies on The Holy Spirit guiding us in God's Holy Writ. We are to use God's Holy Writ to interpret itself, not just rely on grammar or earlier traditions of beliefs.

    Relying on traditions of men can quickly throw the Bible student into the parable example our Lord Jesus gave about the new wine isn't put in old bottles, lest they break. The old bottles represent those on men's traditions which causes their understanding to be tethered like being tied to a stake with a rope. You put the new wine (full Word) into new bottles, so both are preserved. (The parable is really about wine skins. Old wine skins are brittle and won't handle newly fermenting wine. New wine needs a skin that can expand.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
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  9. Ernest T. Bass

    Ernest T. Bass Active Member

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    I think two 'musts' in Biblical interpretation that get ignored more often than not are:

    1) the Bible is truth (John 17:17) and truth never contradicts itself so any interpretations that creates logical contradictions must be wrong.

    2) any particular subject one verse speaks about, then ALL verses with the same subject must be studied and taken into consideration else one's interpretation would be incomplete and inaccurate.
     
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  10. John Caldwell

    John Caldwell Well-Known Member

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    I understand Anthony's method, but I find it flawed. Again, my rejection of the liberal method may be in part my experience in the SBC over a turbulent period.

    Words are used biblically, but I do not believe they can be redefined to mean anything other than what they mean. My concern is the damage the liberal method has caused. "Inerrancy" no longer means "without error", "foreknowledge" no longer means "prescience".

    For example-

    How do you determine the meaning of "so" in John 3:16? The literal meaning is "thusly" (this is the only way the Greek can be interpreted). I define "so" as "thusly".

    BUT others view it as "so much". Theologically this is true (in Ephesians 2 Paul soeaks of God's great love for us....with a different word).

    But that is not what the word actually means in John 3:16. If we change the meaning of "so" to "so much" we maintain a biblical truth. BUT we miss the truth John 3:16 actually conveys.

    Words are SYMBOLS for thoughts. We have to be careful when redefining the symbols others have used to convey their thoughts.
     
  11. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    That is called *inventive interpretation* or *imaginative interpretation*. Where you can make anything mean anything else. Obviously, that's more fun.

    The Bible interprets itself and the first responsibility of a Christian is to understand what is stated in ITS PLAIN LITERAL SENSE. Which allows for the acceptance of figures of speech and metaphors.

    When the Lord spoke about the difficulty of a camel going through the eye of a needle, it was a very powerful metaphor for the difficulty of the rich in entering into the Kingdom of God. Death and Hades are personified in Revelation. Sarah and Hagar allegorically represent the New and Old Covenants (the freedom of the New Covenant versus the bondage of the Old). And so on.
     
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  12. Giuliano

    Giuliano Well-Known Member

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    So what does "foreknow" mean? Does God foreknow everybody?
     
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  13. ScottA

    ScottA Well-Known Member

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    To even attempt to "interpret" the word of God, is to propose to understand God before the appointed time.

    The context for every word of God, is Him working "together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." But what "purpose" is to be understood of walking out tribulations unto judgement by interpretations?

    No, it is not by "interpretation" that we come to know God, but rather by "hearing" and "seeing." But "understanding" and "perceiving" only come by revelation from God. And the means and access, is not by interpretation, but comes by asking, that all interpretation might be from God in spirit.

    To the contrary, religion and the teachings of men, are the result of failed interpretations. For this reason we are told to be silent in church, that every word is from God rather than from men.
     
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  14. Anthony D'Arienzo

    Anthony D'Arienzo Well-Known Member

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    Of course JonC does what he does what he does best,which is to lie and bear false witness.
    I do not hold a liberal view of scripture in any way.
    That does not matter to a person who lies and seeks to undermine individuals who have pointed out his lies, and errors.
    In times past I have repeatedly asked JonC to stop trying to speak for me.
    He is a deluded stalker who cannot stop his sinful desire to make personal attacks in his smug condescending way.
    Most times his posts are rambling double talk, that has no point except to slander people.
    Pray for JonC to be restored to his right mind.
     
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  15. Anthony D'Arienzo

    Anthony D'Arienzo Well-Known Member

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    The opening series of posts explains exactly the biblical meaning and use of the term.
    No one has addressed it directly.
    No one will.
     
  16. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    .
    Good point!

    God loved the world in such a way that He gave His only begotten Son . . .

    This is a good example where the truth understood isn't wrong, but it's not what that verse is saying. Other verses say that.

    I find I run into this a lot!

    Much love!
     
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  17. marks

    marks Well-Known Member

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    The LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him. We all need this POV. Will we hang on His every word?

    Much love!
     
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  18. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Now this is really profound. Which means that Christians should simply sit on their hands and confess ignorance about what God has said in His written Word.

    And pray tell, when is this imaginary *appointed time*?????
     
  19. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    If we consider that these words of Jesus were meant to convey how hard it is for a rich person...like ourselves...from entering into the kingdom of God...then we can't miss the meaning for it being how easy it is for us for us rich Westerners to be saved. Although we do just that!

    Then it is a question of ignoring the text. It becomes a question of how honest we are with the truth.

    This thread would not be then about the things we ignore in the bible...but the twisted interpretations people put on it in order to justify a carnal life lived in the flesh...but with religious beliefs that would seem to erase the truth of that.
     
  20. ScottA

    ScottA Well-Known Member

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    In one sentence, state your idea of the biblical meaning of "foreknow", and I will address it directly (probably in one sentence).
     
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