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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Ben Asher

POLL QUESTION: How do you interpret the Bible?

How do you interpret the Bible?   

11 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the following do you use to interpret / understand /appoarch the Bible?

    • Confessional Interpretation
      1
    • Systematic Theological framework
      2
    • Canonical framework / approach
      1
    • Analogical approach (Allegorically, Figuratively, etc.)
      0
    • literary analysis
      1
    • linguistic analysis
      1
    • Pain or literal sense
      0
    • Devotionally , or prayerfully asking the Holy Spirit for guidance
      4
    • Two or more of the above
      9
    • None of the above. Other.
      0


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Posted (edited)

There are apparently a number of different ways of approaching and understanding Scripture represented on these forums as was as amongst Protestants in the wider world.

Sometimes we see eye to eye other times we might disagree passionately and perhaps this is partly do to the various ways in which we understand and interpret Scripture.

 

How do you interpret the Bible?  

If you have the time and do not mind please take part in this poll. 

(I believe it is possible to vote for more than one choice)

Edited by Ben Asher

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I generally lean toward the method of scripture interpreting scripture.  That is to say I use the contextual approach.  Any time I see someone pull a verse out and use that to support their presupposition I will go back to the chapter in which it is included and look for the actual context in which it was written to get a better understanding of actual doctrine.

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Learning how to read Scripture outside of my presupposed dispensation views is/has been a long process. Seems there are times for interpreting in different ways.  God wrote His Word so it covers all the aspects of our life. What is proper for a theological discussion may not be right for a funeral . 

Example who would quote this verse to a new parent? 

Ecc 7:1  A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. 

Interpretations can vary for the different times of our life. 

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2 hours ago, atpollard said:

Magic 8 ball.

Darn it, you stole my answer before I thought of it.

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Just informing members that one can select more than one option when voting. If you've already voted you can select show voting options and just recast your selection.

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There are so many steps in proper hermeneutics. My weakest being the original languages. I rely on English translations perhaps more than I should. But there are several "gates" I try to pass my exegesis through. First, immediate context. The verse must be controlled by immediate context and than I impose broader context. Next Systematic Theology, what does the whole bible say on the subject? Next, I try to check Confessions and see whether I align. My first 4-5 years I wasn't so bold to go against the Westminster Divines for example but recently I broke away on the subject of Cessationism. I realize they left the door open for Continuist some 400+ years ago but I'm pretty comfortable slamming that door all the way closed now.

 

I think besides immediate and broad context an interpretation needs pass through Creeds and Confessions. Lastly, I look into various commentators and there's no secret here that I favor John Calvin. But since Calvin a lot of his theology has been developed further. I do not doubt that Calvin would be an Amillennialist today!

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Posted (edited)

Before I open my Bible I ask that the Holy Spirit would help me understand what I read and that I would see Jesus. 

 

As I gotten older I find my mind wanders, and I sometimes chase the root words and what the English words mean in the original language. Before I know it a 10 minuet reading has past into several hours. Sometimes a few verses has taken a couple of days. 

 

I do Devotional,  Plain or Literal Sense and at times  Systematic Theological Framework. I find my mind seems to categorize things into nice places for later recall. As a young man I memorized the KJV and it  does not always fit well into what I am thinking about a verse.

 

I look forward to the time I am able to spend with my Bible open before my eyes and mind. I often than God for the written WORD as so many people before the printed WORD relied on what they were taught and prayer. We are so blessed.

Edited by Just Mike
correction of word
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Posted (edited)

Empirically.

I AM saved.

I HAVE met God.

He DID transform my heart, mind and then Life.

 

So how does what I am reading in scripture agree with other scriptures, with Christians that have thought about this before me (Creeds and Commentaries) and most of all, how does it align with the empirical evidence that God has given me ... that is irrefutable to me and uniquely mine.  You cannot convince someone who was saved monergistically that God REQUIRES our permission - He did not have mine and God saved me anyway.  You cannot convince someone that was transformed before baptism that water is essential to salvation - God transformed THIS sinner from dead to alive long before his baptism. 

 

"Never doubt in the dark, what God has shown you in the light."

Edited by atpollard

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I like to read passages in several different translations from different points along the formal-to-functional spectrum.

 

I try to observe the immediate textual context.  When comparing Scripture with Scripture, I look for insights first within a particular authorial corpus before going to Scripture at large.

 

I like to consult notes and commentaries, especially Gordon Fee, Craig Keener, and Ben Witherington.  I appreciate their insights on linguistic, cultural, and "socio-rhetorical" issues (Witherington can go a bit overboard on that one).

 

I don't think I've ever had the thought, "Gee, I wonder what such-and-such Creed or Confession has to say about this issue."  I'm not from a tradition that emphasized such things; in fact, many Pentecostals (in my years-ago experience, at least) tend to regard them with some suspicion as "traditions of men."

 

I have a few ST books (Grudem, J.R. Williams, Geisler, Oden).  I consult them, but only very rarely.  From my online interactions, I've gotten the impression that people who have a high view of STs have a relatively lower view of Biblical Theology; I'm inclined in the opposite direction.

 

I'm a big fan of Gordon Fee's "How to..." books.  How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth is basically a hermeneutics book for laypeople.

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I try to figure out what a given text meant to the original readers it was intended for and what principles apply to my context today.

 

Principles don't change, but application may.

 

For instance, when the Bible commands us to "greet one another with a holy kiss", I don't believe we have to take that application literally since it would be inappropriate in our cultural context, but the principle behind it to greet one another warmly and lovingly would still apply.

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37 minutes ago, Crossings Collinsville said:

I try to figure out what a given text meant to the original readers it was intended for and what principles apply to my context today.

infinity war yes GIF

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11 hours ago, Crossings Collinsville said:

I try to figure out what a given text meant to the original readers it was intended for and what principles apply to my context today.

 

 

This is about my approach also. Context is very important to understand what subject is being addressed. Especially the Pauline epistles because he does go on and on. I feel his epistle to the Romans was an all encompassing approach to how we apply God's word to our lives, and how we should view circumstance. For example:

 

Rom. 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

 

Rom. 8:31 "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"

 

Just two verses but such reassuring thoughts!        

 

 

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