15 September 2015

General Principles Bible Interpretation

General Principles on Interpretation

Bible interpretation

A1 The person

B1 Help of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 2:13

B2 Prayer

B3 Attitude

C1 Bible is God's word

C2 Bible is 100% truth

C3 Faith is taking the Bible in the plain, normal sense

C4 Humility

D1 To accept what it says rather than making/forcing it to say something that we want it to say.

D2 To understand that what God says is correct and perfect, whereas our understanding is corrupted.

D3 To believe and act in such a way that shows we believe that God is the boss, the final authority. What the Scripture says and teaches is final. It is God's teaching.

C5 Understand the concept that the Bible is the final authority. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

A2 The Method

B1 Plain, normal sense

C1 Definitions would be in the plain, normal sense

C2 Definitions need to be understood in their context

C3 Definitions need to take in consideration the Greek or Hebrew word

B2 Setting

C1 History

C2 Geography

C3 Language

C4 Culture

B3 Difference

C1 Between Old Testament and New Testament

C2 Israel and the Church

B4 Context

C1 Vertical

C2 Horizontal

B5 Cross references

B6 We are not to force an interpretation but simply understand it means what it says. 2 Peter 1:20-21. For example, the Apostle John wrote in the Book of Revelation many things had to understand. John did not see something and then hide the meaning in some mysterious terms. What John saw, he wrote, so we should accept that. We may guess at the meaning but must be careful not to force an interpretation. Also this passage refers to the idea that the prophets did not express their opinion, guess, or anything from themselves but were expressing God's words.

C1 The Greek word has been taken in two ways.

D1 A loosening, that is, a prophet gives what God has given him/her. Numbers 16:28, Jeremiah 23:16

D2 An interpretation, that is, what does this mean. 2 Corinthians 4:2, Ephesians 4:14, 1 Thessalonians 2:3-5

C2 It does not mean that only a certain class of people have a special authority to interpret. Many look to the Pope, or the living Prophet of the church, or to headquarters.

B7 The Bible was given in a progressive revelation where God revealed further information in time. Thus the New Testament helps us to understand the Old Testament. This does not mean that what was revealed first is incorrect but incomplete.

B8 Take note of modifiers as adjectives and adverbs that help define the word.

B9 See Principles of Literal Bible Interpretation for further explanation and examples. The original article is here.

A3 The Application

B1 Not what does it mean to me, but what does it mean.

B2 We learn

C1 Things we must do. For example Ephesians 4:25-32 for both some things we must do and some things we must NOT do.

C2 Things we must NOT do.

C3 Principles of what to do or what not to do. Proverbs 16:18-20, Proverbs 19:11

C4 Examples of success or failure. 2 Samuel 11, Matthew 26:75, Luke 10:25-37, Luke 17:11-19

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