Archive for the ‘interpretation of Scripture’ Category

False Prophecy of Christ’s Return

November 29, 2014

(Anabaptist John Hut) construed the Turkish inroads into Christendom as a sign of Christ’s imminent return. Appealing to Revelation 13 and Daniel 12, he interpreted the traditional figure of three and one half to mean that three and one half years – either from the recent restitution of believers’ baptism or from the outbreak of the Peasants’ War— had been given by the Lord during which the good news of a saving repentance could still be proclaimed. According to one reliable testimony, he foresaw the advent of Christ for Pentecost, 31 May 1528.

The Radical Reformation, G.H. Williams, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1962, p.163

What John Hut ignored was the author’s original intent in writing Revelation and read his own times into the book. The failure of his prophecy demonstrates the falsity of his method.

never give a word more meanings than the context requires

May 5, 2013

…a cardinal principle of semantics (is) never give a word more meanings than the context requires

Douglas Moo, The Letter of James. Pillar Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000, p.243

Scripture interprets Scripture

December 30, 2011

When controversy then happens, for the right understanding of any place or sentence of scripture, or for the reformation of any abuse within the kirk of God, we ought not so much to look what men before us have said or done, as unto that which the Holy Ghost uniformly speaks within the body of the scriptures, and unto that which Christ Jesus himself did, and commanded to be done.[16] For this is a thing universally granted, that the Spirit of God (which is the Spirit of unity) is in nothing contrary unto himself.[17] If then the interpretation, determination, or sentence of any doctor, kirk, or council, repugn to the plain word of God written in any other place of scripture, it is a thing most certain, that there is not the true understanding and meaning of the Holy Ghost, supposing that councils, realms, and nations have approved and received the same. For we dare not receive and admit any interpretation which directly repugns to any principal point of our faith, or to any other plain text of scripture, or yet unto the rule of charity.

Scots Confession, 1560

Any given text is more meaningful when related not only to its immediate context, but also to the entire plan of redemption revealed in the entire Bible

June 5, 2010

Any given text is more meaningful when related not only to its immediate context, but also to the entire plan of redemption revealed in the entire Bible.

Gospel and Kingdom, Graeme Goldsworthy [Found in Graeme Goldsworthy, The Goldsworthy Trilogy (Paternoster Press, 2008)] , p.31

The New is in the Old contained – the Old is in the New explained

November 4, 2009

The New is in the Old contained – the Old is in the New explained.

Augustine

or

The old is in the new revealed, the new is in the old concealed.

For who that has understanding will sup­pose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, ex­isted without a sun, and moon, and stars?

November 3, 2009

For who that has understanding will sup­pose that the first, and second, and third day, and the evening and the morning, ex­isted without a sun, and moon, and stars? And that the first day was, as it were, also without a sky? And who is so foolish as to suppose that God, after the manner of a husbandman, planted a paradise in Eden, towards the east, and placed in it a tree of life, visible and palpable, so that one tasting of the fruit by the bodily teeth obtained life? And again, that one was a partaker of good and evil by masticating what was taken from the tree? And if God is said to walk in the paradise in the evening, and Adam to hide himself under a tree, I do not suppose that anyone doubts that these things figuratively indi­cate certain mysteries, the history having taken place in appearance, and not literally.

Origen of Alexandria (3rd C.), De Principiis IV, 16

The debate over the literal/allegorical interpretation has been going on for a while…

the more I see – the more I know …The more I know – the less I understand

October 8, 2009

the more I see – the more I know …The more I know – the less I understand. …I’m the changingman.

Paul Weller

The acquisition of knowedge does not itself provide the interpretive key for knowledge. To know many things leaves unanswered what, if anything, unites them all in a common frame of reference. In that sense, nothing is really known. What is the unity that interprets the diversity of experience?

All our conversation on the subject of religion ended in nothing. He was convinced that he was right, and all the texts I produced were, according to him, applicable only to the times of the Apostles

September 28, 2009

A certain person, though well-intentioned, tried to dissuade Henry Martyn from going to India as a missionary. Martyn remarked:

“All our conversation on the subject of religion ended in nothing. He was convinced that he was right, and all the texts I produced were, according to him, applicable only to the times of the Apostles.”

 …When called to encounter the ridicule of those who, not knowing the hope of Christ’s calling, nor the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, nor the exceeding greatness of his power towards those who believe, despised all labors of love amongst the heathen as wild and visionary ; the Lord helped (Martyn) to keep his ground, and to bear his testimony. “With my Bible in my hand, and Christ at my right hand,” said he, “I can do all things: what though the whole world believe not, God abideth true, and my hope in him shall be steadfast.

From, John Sargent, The Life and Letters of Henry Martin, Banner of Truth, 1985, p.60

Biblical Interpretation – the importance of context

October 29, 2008

“Curse God and Die.” is in the Bible.

A text out of context becomes a pretext leading to ridiculous interpretation. Many people use the Bible as if it’s a fortune cookie – when you crack it open, it tells you something you should do no matter what the context is. If we were to open the Bible looking for some kind of instant-instruction, and take the verse in the title of this post (Job 2:9) out of context, we would be influenced to do what the text says, “Curse God and die.” When we read the verse in context, though, we realize that it is actually a quote that Job’s wife made to him when things started not to go favorably for him (in human terms), and afterward, he rebukes her. The following video expounds upon the importance of reading the Bible, and everything for that matter, in the context of which it is written.