SPF 085: How Do We Accurately Interpret the Bible Part 2

What does the Bible say? What does the Bible mean? Great questions and Today we are talking more about how to accurately interpret Scriptures when we are reading them or even listening to people teach them.  

Listen to Part One Here: sheprovesfaithful.com/podcast/episode84

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Some of our favorite books: Paddington Bear books, Winne the Pooh, Little House on the Prairie Books, The Jesus Storybook Bible.

Summer Drink: Spicy Lemonade

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This is a recipe from Trim Healthy Mama called Good Girl Moonshine. Adjust these measurements according to your taste buds.

1 Quart of water with ice

1-2 TBSP of Lemon Juice

1-2 TBSP of Apple Cider Vinegar

1 TSP Ground Ginger

Sweetener to Taste (I like about 20 drops of liquid stevia)

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Interpreting Scripture Part 2

Two red flags of personal interpretation:

1. Relativism: If we read the Bible and come away thinking - this doesn’t apply because it was a different culture or time, we are coming away with a view that the Bible is relative.

2. Subjectivism: is when the truth of a statement is absolutely determined by the subject. This happens when we read Scripture and distort the objective meaning of the terms to suit our own interests.

If subjectivism is true regarding God’s Word, then it would mean God is hypocritical, contradicting Himself, because there would be many different meanings for different people.

Eisegisis - coming to the text and read into the text something that isn’t there at all

Exegesis - coming to the text and drawing out of the text what is there

Hermeneutics

The primary principle of hermeneutics we talked about last episode is Scripture is to interpret Scripture.

The second principle is the Bible should be interpreted according to it’s literal sense.

  • Literal comes from the latin word “litera” meaning letter. To interpret something literally is to pay attention to the litera or the letters being used.

  • RC Sproul writes “the Bible may be a very special book, being uniquely inspired by the Holy Sprite, but that inspiration does not transform the letters of the words or the sentences of the passages into magical phrases. Under inspiration a noun remains a noun and a verb remains a verb. Questions do not become exclamations, and historical narratives do not become allegories."

  • To be accurate interpreters we need to know the rules of grammar, and know what is called genre analysis.

  • Genre analysis is the study of things like literary forms, figures of speech and style.

Keep Learning, Keep Growing, Keep Trying

“We fail in our duty to study God’s Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.” RC Sproul

A few things you can do to keep growing in your skills as an interpreter:

  1. Learn the rules of hermeneutics

  2. Brush up on grammar

  3. Learn the historical information about the book of the Bible you are reading - who wrote it, when? To who? What was going on at the time? This will help you accurately understand what was being written and help you apply it personally to your life.

  4. Invest in some resources for your bible study like an ESV Strong's Concordance

  5. Read Scripture - get to know the stories and history to become better at cross-referencing

Resources:

Hermeneutic Principles: http://www.generationword.com/notes_for_notesbooks_pg/hermeneutics_web_files/psoft.masonry(1).htm

Ligonier.org - RC Sproul's ministry will a ton of free resources

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Knowing Scripture
By R. C. Sproul
Bible by Olive Tree
HarperCollins Christian Publishing