Common Sense Christian

The Thinking Christian’s Site

Daily Devotional – June 16

 

Interpretation

 

Have you ever heard someone say, “There are many interpretations of the Bible.”?  If that is true, then wouldn’t every interpretation out there be correct?  If one interpretation contradicted another then obviously one of them would be incorrect. Peter indicates that there is only one interpretation and that it is not subject to man’s individual understanding. 

II Peter 1:20  Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

This then raises the question; IS there a correct interpretation of the Bible, and can we know what the right one is? Paul tells Timothy that one can come to the correct (approved) interpretation through study: 

2Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 The correct(approved) interpretation is available but it requires study.  Study.

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June 16, 2006 - Posted by | Daily Devotional

5 Comments »

  1. What if each of those “interpretations” (and therefore denominations) has a tiny part of the “Truth” (the whole big true truth that God has and we do not for “we see in a glass darkly” I Corinthians 13:12)? And what if, rather than trying to find the unfindable alone (with just like-minded Christians, who have agreed on certain biggies), we put all the bit of truth together? Could we not then have a bit more of the Truth and live more nearly the way God intends us to live? And what of the peace in both the means and the end?

    It has been said (can’t quote by whom) that a preacher should preach with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other. Why do people insist that “study to show thyself approved” means only study the Bible? That seems a shallow “interpretation” of the pathway to Truth.

    Putting the three verses in this devotion together feels like proof-texting to prove that a simple formula (study) will lead a Christian to Truth. I think “God’s ways are not our ways” and that we will not know everything (have complete Truth) in this world. We will, however, have all the truth we need to follow Jesus and treat other people like we would treat Him.

    Comment by Helen Losse | June 16, 2006 | Reply

  2. This is an interesting topic. We are all different people with different backgrounds and different ways of thinking. There have been all kinds of wars, and rumors of wars over what this or that scripture says.

    We recently dealt with this ourselve’s at our church. Calvinism infiltrated through our pastor. Whisper campaign ensued from people who disagreed. We were split on the meaning of different verses. Pastor resigned, people left. We are starting over. What a mess. I believe God was pruning. Free will is cool, till man messes it up.

    I don’t think Jesus was thinking about church doctrine when he went to the cross. I don’t think he was arguing with himself either.

    Do you?

    Larry

    Comment by Larry | June 18, 2006 | Reply

  3. Hi Larry, Helen!

    Well, Larry, I DO think that Jesus was thinking of church doctrine and everything else when he went to the cross. The whole reason he went to the cross was because of falsehood–a lie vs. the truth. Truth, absolute and pure, is God’s nature–so much so, that people will be eternally separated from Him because of their failure to find it. It is belief in that truth that leads one to Him–nothing else. So I think that truth is important in a world that has dismissed it as irrelevant.

    In the end times, man will turn away from truth and seek out common ground in error:

    2Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    2Timothy 3:7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    And then we see eventually that all of the religions in the world unite (the great whore of Revelation–a whore is someone who unfaithful and takes in anyone–in this case an amalgamation of all doctrines, faiths, etc.) completely ignoring Paul’s solemn command:

    Galatians 1:8-9 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

    It is truth that unites, error that divides. Truth will separate itself from error so splits will happen. (In the case you mention who had truth? You’ll never know without study:)

    Helen,

    I understand some of what you say, but a tiny part of the truth is often used to perpetrate a lie. In Genesis 3 Satan gave a little bit of truth. Jim Jones, Heaven’s Gate, and many other cults preach a little truth. There is a little truth in Islam, Hinduism, and even in the tribal religions we worked among (which taught headhunting and cannibalism as part of religious ceremony).

    I guess we have God’s word to go on concerning the issue:

    Romans 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    Good to hear from you both and look forward to continued discussion!

    -j

    Comment by bereans | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  4. When Jesus said, “it is finished,” I think he meant it is finished. Now everyone can be united with God through His sacrifice on the cross. “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to me” sounds like all men are drawn to Jesus, because He was “lifted up” onto the cross. I agree with Larry. Jesus was thinking of people (all people) not doctrine. The little bits of truth that Jim Jones, Muslims, et al. have are needed to complete “the truth [that] will set us [all] free” to live as brothers and sisters and children of the Most High. We must “compare spirtual things with spiritual,” not just study the Bible. If Bible study were the only necessary thing, the world would be different by now, and it isn’t.

    Comment by Helen Losse | June 19, 2006 | Reply

  5. Helen, I don’t quite buy into universalism, as to do so would be to do away with such basic truths as:

    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    Take for instance the simple plan of salvation–for by grace one is saved, through FAITH (only one way), but if one doesn’t know the truth, faith in WHAT?

    Keep in mind that the master deceiver’s plan is not to do away with the truth(he knows he cannot do that), but to obfuscate and twist it. His plan never changes (read Genesis 3)

    Also, I would never say that Bible study was the only thing. Christian growth and maturity is based on eating, exercise and resting. Eating – 1Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: exercise – James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. resting – prayer and meditation – Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

    I think I see what you’re saying, though, Helen, and I agree that all of life’s experience, life’s learning contributes toward our greater understanding!

    -j

    Comment by bereans | June 19, 2006 | Reply


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