Question on Scripture

Feb 10, 2015
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I have personally been part of conversations here on the Rapture where I had to walk away because of the Intense anger that was being on display by some of our brothers.

Would you call that SIN???
I would point out that the SIN was not in disagreeing, but in being disagreeable.
 
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I would point out that the SIN was not in disagreeing, but in being disagreeable.
I would agree but then isn't Sin still SIN and in the context of this conversation would it then be just as unacceptable??? I think so.

1 Timothy 1:5 tells us...…..
“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.”

Paul was never against confrontation, he just wanted it done in a proper way.
 
Sep 3, 2009
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Hmm,
I must admit to few little misgivings here that are based on a dislike of the word “hermeneutics”. Plank is in my eye. I know it. But there it is.

This stems from experience. At a time when I was formally asking to join a congregation, I was asked to affirm conform to their statement of beliefs. But I could not agree with all parts. The pastor and I had many discussions about the disagreement. He would present the churches views and its basis. I would respond with mine.

We rarely disagreed with the meaning of individual words and phrases of scripture, although where there were alternative meanings within context, we might select different ones. Application often were far apart,

The big difficulty was that he relied extensively on what the ancients and church fathers thought. But he was dismissive when I shared writings from Augustine and St Francis.

I am probably wrong, but it seemed to me that his evaluation credibility or applicability of any extra scriptural source was dependent on whether it supported his views.

The upshot of all this is that in my view, if he was using hermeneutics correctly, and I am not trained in this area, hermeneutics is flawed by too heavy reliance on human authority.

Too be clear, In most cases the views of the saints down through history are immeasurably valuable. But consider:

The views of the Hebrews concerning the messiah prevented them from recognizing Christ. Hermaneutics relying on human authority for interpretation would not have corrected this.

All the substantive refinements in understanding brought about during the Reformation could not have occurred if no one could disagree with the previous authorities.
Excellent thoughts!

It would seem to me that the Pastor you were talking to was relying too much on "Traditions" instead of the Scriptures themselves.

As you said...…"In most cases the views of the saints down through history are immeasurably valuable", that is correct.
But it is also just as correct that Paul recommended some Traditions that were rooted in the Scriptures and NOT in the thoughts of men themselves.

As I am sure you know, Bible "hermeneutics" is the study of the principles and methods of interpreting the Bible and NOT men or church regulations.

2 Tim. 2:15 commands believers to be involved in hermeneutics...………
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who . . . correctly handles the word of truth.”

So then, the purpose of biblical hermeneutics is to help us to know how to properly interpret, understand, and apply the Bible.

IMO, the most important law of biblical hermeneutics is that the Bible should be interpreted "literally".

We are to understand the Bible in its normal or plain meaning, unless the passage is obviously intended to be symbolic or if figures of speech are employed.

I would also add here that the Hebrews that the writer of the book with the same name, actually were being warned against "Backsliding to the Jewish economy".

He was trying to warn those Hevrews that the same God who they knew in the Old Test. was the very same God of the New Test. and the SON of that same God was better than all of the old examples that they were used and now we (They) were to listen to and obey that SON of God and not to backslide into Jewism.

Any thoughts on that?
 
Feb 10, 2015
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IMO, the most important law of biblical hermeneutics is that the Bible should be interpreted "literally".

We are to understand the Bible in its normal or plain meaning, unless the passage is obviously intended to be symbolic or if figures of speech are employed.
I would say that we must be careful to understand the meaning of the text as originally written. We must not be dismissive of that original intent and use words like symbolic or allegorical to dismiss the truths in scripture.

The problem with calling that “literal” is that much of scripture, and the parts that make it particularly helpful in understanding God and His relationship to man is necessarily figurative.

Whenever we try to talk about a concept removed from the concrete everyday life, it is necessary to build upon something in the concrete world.

Take for example the Greek word for spirit. It is PNEUMA. It literally means breath. This does not mean that the Holy Spirit was exhaled out of some holy lungs of God. The Greek word is used as a basis for greater understanding: Breath makes a good starting point. It is necessary for life. If you have no breath you can be declared dead. Breath is also unseen, though many of its effects can be appearant. I would not really call this symbolic, but it is not truely literal. It is teaching about an unknown using the known as a basis.

The Bible is full of this. Many persons in the Old Testament are identified as ‘types’ of Christ. This is when something about their life fore-shadowed something about Christ (the archetype). They are not literally Christ, but they teach about him. These passages are not really symbolic, but they do point to Christ.
 

bobinfaith

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I agree that a different theology may lead to false ideas which is why proper hermeneutics and contextual correctness is vital. I think that you will agree with me that not everyone is using good hermeneutical skills to interpret the Bible. Also that being “learned” doesn’t guarantee that you’re using what you’ve learned, or even that you learned it in the first place. When you see that people have different interpretations, dig a little deeper. Find out WHY!
Hmm,
I must admit to few little misgivings here that are based on a dislike of the word “hermeneutics”. Plank is in my eye. I know it. But there it is. This stems from experience. At a time when I was formally asking to join a congregation, I was asked to affirm conform to their statement of beliefs. But I could not agree with all parts. The pastor and I had many discussions about the disagreement. He would present the churches views and its basis. I would respond with mine. We rarely disagreed with the meaning of individual words and phrases of scripture, although where there were alternative meanings within context, we might select different ones. Application often were far apart, The big difficulty was that he relied extensively on what the ancients and church fathers thought. But he was dismissive when I shared writings from Augustine and St Francis. I am probably wrong, but it seemed to me that his evaluation credibility or applicability of any extra scriptural source was dependent on whether it supported his views. The upshot of all this is that in my view, if he was using hermeneutics correctly, and I am not trained in this area, hermeneutics is flawed by too heavy reliance on human authority. Too be clear, In most cases the views of the saints down through history are immeasurably valuable. But consider: The views of the Hebrews concerning the messiah prevented them from recognizing Christ. Hermaneutics relying on human authority for interpretation would not have corrected this. All the substantive refinements in understanding brought about during the Reformation could not have occurred if no one could disagree with the previous authorities.
Hello brothers;

I'm enjoying and learning from this discussion and would like to join in. Brother Siloam, thank you for your honesty sharing your testimony, theology and doctine, basing your dislike for "hermeneutics." I know, there's more, but that statement stood out with me.

I have a somewhat rebellion spirit for the study of hermeneutics and I'll explain. For me, it's hard. When I took Hermeneutics at seminary I couldn't keep up with the text, the research and the papers I wrote. I earned only an average grade on my final. Hermeneutics is the deeper study of interpretation and there are lessons. Regardless, it wasn't cut and dry for me and was really challenging.

But what little I did achieve the application did benefit because the Bible aided me in ministering to others. But then I would run into another believer of the Word that offered their interpretation. I'm not talking just a scripture, but a doctrine or theocracy from a church leader, for example.

Major, Is the difference in interpretation based on the application of another's faith, life experience, cultural, or generational? I feel what I learned most from hermeneutics has to do with exegesis. To be honest and admit with myself hermeneutics will continue to be a challenge for me as God grows me, but a deeper study and understanding why, can be accomplished, for His glory.

One other benefit of the study of hermeneutics that helped is, if a brother or sister has a different interpretation than me, we can still discuss it without drawing swords, lol! Even if we still disagree, we can, and God knows, their disagreement could teach me.

God bless you all and your families.
 
Feb 10, 2015
794
953
93
Maryland
Hello brothers;

I'm enjoying and learning from this discussion and would like to join in. Brother Siloam, thank you for your honesty sharing your testimony, theology and doctine, basing your dislike for "hermeneutics." I know, there's more, but that statement stood out with me.

I have a somewhat rebellion spirit for the study of hermeneutics and I'll explain. For me, it's hard. When I took Hermeneutics at seminary I couldn't keep up with the text, the research and the papers I wrote. I earned only an average grade on my final. Hermeneutics is the deeper study of interpretation and there are lessons. Regardless, it wasn't cut and dry for me and was really challenging.

But what little I did achieve the application did benefit because the Bible aided me in ministering to others. But then I would run into another believer of the Word that offered their interpretation. I'm not talking just a scripture, but a doctrine or theocracy from a church leader, for example.

Major, Is the difference in interpretation based on the application of another's faith, life experience, cultural, or generational? I feel what I learned most from hermeneutics has to do with exegesis. To be honest and admit with myself hermeneutics will continue to be a challenge for me as God grows me, but a deeper study and understanding why, can be accomplished, for His glory.

One other benefit of the study of hermeneutics that helped is, if a brother or sister has a different interpretation than me, we can still discuss it without drawing swords, lol! Even if we still disagree, we can, and God knows, their disagreement could teach me.

God bless you all and your families.
Yes, I have a somewhat rebellious spirit in some aspects. I am really not a generally rebellious person, but when things touch on areas I feel rightly or wrongly to be knowledgeable, at least in a layman's sense, I get a little testy.

After searching inward, My frustration comes less from what is considered and how, but what is NOT considered.

Here I am thinkng of the principle of Sola Scriptura (scripture only). This principle was adopted to counteract claims of personal and ecclesiastical authority of men and organized religion. So far so good. But, when it is used as a shield against God's Creation, it is taken too far.

For myself, my earliest serious considerations of who God is and how He relates to man came as a consequence of meditation on the sciences. I am loathe to dismiss the witness of God's creation for its creator.

Look at the way nature is used in Psalms and Proverbs (as obvious examples). God is revealed in the natural world, but many either refuse to consider what God has revealed in the natural world, or adopted truly untenable views based on whether it challenges their view of scripture.

God spoke the universe into being. It is also the word of God. You cannot be true to the text of scripture and be dismissive of the witness of God's creation.

1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 admonishes us to honor the scriptures by testing everything (including the scriptures) and holding what is good. This is a 1st century version of the scientific method. Its not that you consider the scriptures themselves to be suspect, but that your understanding of them may be faulty.

In Romans 1:20, Paul makes it clear that one purpose of creation (what God made) is to teach us about God. To dismiss this gratuitously is like taking a course to be taught and telling the teacher he is wrong because the information he is giving you is not what you previously thought. Why take the course if you refuse to consider the information.

There are churches that practically ignore the Old Testament, often being proud of being a "New Testament" church. But you cannot truly understand the book of Hebrews, or even the Ministry of Christ, without a good understanding of Old Testament. Nor can you appreciate the Old Testament apart from the sacrifice of the cross.

just as the Old Testament gives context and support to the New Testament (and vice-versa), the physical world gives context and support to scripture.

To reject the teachings of science out of hand because it challenges previously held interpretation of the Bible is like choosing one book in scripture, deciding within itself what is meant, and only allowing interpretations of the rest of scripture that does not challenge that belief.
 
Sep 3, 2009
11,944
4,592
113
Florida
Hello brothers;

I'm enjoying and learning from this discussion and would like to join in. Brother Siloam, thank you for your honesty sharing your testimony, theology and doctine, basing your dislike for "hermeneutics." I know, there's more, but that statement stood out with me.

I have a somewhat rebellion spirit for the study of hermeneutics and I'll explain. For me, it's hard. When I took Hermeneutics at seminary I couldn't keep up with the text, the research and the papers I wrote. I earned only an average grade on my final. Hermeneutics is the deeper study of interpretation and there are lessons. Regardless, it wasn't cut and dry for me and was really challenging.

But what little I did achieve the application did benefit because the Bible aided me in ministering to others. But then I would run into another believer of the Word that offered their interpretation. I'm not talking just a scripture, but a doctrine or theocracy from a church leader, for example.

Major, Is the difference in interpretation based on the application of another's faith, life experience, cultural, or generational? I feel what I learned most from hermeneutics has to do with exegesis. To be honest and admit with myself hermeneutics will continue to be a challenge for me as God grows me, but a deeper study and understanding why, can be accomplished, for His glory.

One other benefit of the study of hermeneutics that helped is, if a brother or sister has a different interpretation than me, we can still discuss it without drawing swords, lol! Even if we still disagree, we can, and God knows, their disagreement could teach me.

God bless you all and your families.
Good question brother...………..
"Is the difference in interpretation based on the application of another's faith, life experience, cultural, or generational? '

Sometimes the difference is how another person's faith accepts the Bible or better, how they have changed the Bible match their own interpretation as a "Denominational Teaching".

An example that I hope will be allowed is the Jehovah Witnesses. Their New World Translation was done specifically for them and it was done to match what they believe as a Faith and not done to correctly divide the Word of God. Their "Application" then of the Word of God is flawed because their translation was flawed and they in fact do not believe the Jesus was God in the flesh.

Life experiences??? Yes I would sat that is very likely. A Mom and Dad will most likely take their children with them to the church denomination they believe in. Therefore the children can and usually do grow into that faith. However if that faith has purposefully distorted the Word of God by using incorrect hermeneutics, then they can and sometimes wind up with Jim Jones or David Koresh. WHY?????? Incorrect hermeneutics lead to incorrect exegesis.

It seems to me that the most common understanding of hermeneutics is that when it is composed of interpretation and application.
All communication involves a "sender" and a "receiver". The sender speaks, while the receiver listens. Accordingly, interpretation is sender-focused, while application is receiver-focused.

Oftentimes people are tempted to skip the interpretation and jump straight to the application. This is especially tempting when it comes to the Bible, because then we need to exercise time and energy to understand a different language, culture, and time, and get into the head of someone with a different understanding of the world.

For instance, many read Lev 26:4...……….
"I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit."

You can see that as a promise that God will bless their agricultural endeavors. However, the correct interpretation (if you read the context), is that God will bless Israel, and only if they obey God.

An application of this verse is that since God's character is to reward obedience, our obedience will also be rewarded. Thus a right interpretation ensures a right application.
 
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I would say that we must be careful to understand the meaning of the text as originally written. We must not be dismissive of that original intent and use words like symbolic or allegorical to dismiss the truths in scripture.

The problem with calling that “literal” is that much of scripture, and the parts that make it particularly helpful in understanding God and His relationship to man is necessarily figurative.

Whenever we try to talk about a concept removed from the concrete everyday life, it is necessary to build upon something in the concrete world.

Take for example the Greek word for spirit. It is PNEUMA. It literally means breath. This does not mean that the Holy Spirit was exhaled out of some holy lungs of God. The Greek word is used as a basis for greater understanding: Breath makes a good starting point. It is necessary for life. If you have no breath you can be declared dead. Breath is also unseen, though many of its effects can be appearant. I would not really call this symbolic, but it is not truely literal. It is teaching about an unknown using the known as a basis.

The Bible is full of this. Many persons in the Old Testament are identified as ‘types’ of Christ. This is when something about their life fore-shadowed something about Christ (the archetype). They are not literally Christ, but they teach about him. These passages are not really symbolic, but they do point to Christ.
No argument from me. I would add though that here’s only one true literal interpretation a verse or passage, so only one can be correct.

If we read it just as it was written giving every word its normal meaning, and then ask yourself who it was written to and what was it written about.
This is called taking the context of the passage into consideration.

Over the years I have taught the Scriptures, I have found that most arguments over the interpretation of Scripture have more to do with context than anything else.

We know we shouldn’t interpret a passage literally when the Bible tells us not to. Same thing would apply to a symbol or a poem or an allegory.
For instance parables and other obviously symbolic passages are not meant to be understood literally. A good rule of thumb is that if the literal interpretation of a passage makes sense, then we shouldn’t try to take it any other way.

In Rom. 15:4 Paul wrote,
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
 
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