Bible texts study

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by sunflogun, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. sunflogun

    sunflogun
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    What's your perspective on the bible texts and study, do you consider that we should follow those texts literally or are those texts presented in a symbolic way so that we can try to dig deeper and deeper on their meaning while become closer to god?
     
  2. agedman

    agedman
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    Welcome to the board.

    It depends on what text you are discussing.

    There are places in the Scriptures in which allegory and simile are used. There are places they are not. Sometimes they are both. For instance, there was a physical, literal tabernacle and it was also a picture of redemption. The psalms and prophets may be declaring a truth applicable in their day, but also be indicating the shadows of the future.

    Documents outside of the Scriptures can be used as helps in many ways, as long as those documents stand as aligned with the doctrines and principles of the Scriptures and not teach something contrary.

    Was there something more specific you desired?
     
  3. Darrell C

    Darrell C
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    There is a general course we should follow in study, which is not really much different than reading other literature. We understand that God has given us His Word for the express purpose we know Him, His will, and His Redemptive Plan. So we can safely say He has not given it to us to confuse us.

    If we can properly place all teachings in their proper context, it helps us clear it up. We understand people have not changed much in how they talk to each other, so when we come to figurative language this is usually fairly easy to spot. For example, we see Scripture define what "sleep" means, in that it is a figure of speech for death. We still do that. We wouldn't say of someone who died, "Hey sorry your relative kicked the bucket," but we might say "I am sorry to hear of your relative's passing." Another example would be we don't view Satan as a literal dragon, or lion, but that those are descriptive terms used to present him as dangerous. We don't view Christ as a literal lamb, but that "The Lamb" represents His Atoning Work, His sacrifice. He was the "Lamb/Sacrifice of God."

    The best way to understand Scripture is to approach it in a way you would if someone wrote you a letter, that is, you take it as though someone wrote to you with the express purpose of conveying something to you. You would, if this friend used a different language you were not familiar with, find out what those words mean in order to know what your friend was trying to say to you. Thankfully, we have had people who have done much of that work for us. We can go to Strong's Online Concordance and refer to work that took years in the making, and in just a few minutes know what the original language means, and how it is used (specific words) in other passages. If you go to the link, you will see I have searched the phrase "Word of God." you can hit "tools" at the left of the verse and then look at every word used in each verse. When you pull that word up, you can then see where that particular word is used elsewhere in Scripture.

    Sometimes the original language loses a little in translation, but in general the translations are pretty good. Most people can read most translations and still conclude the same thing on core doctrinal issues. And it is these core doctrinal issues that I think the Word of God intends for us to know first. As we progress in our studies, God helps us to place the parts into the whole. God did not give His Word only to scholars, but to all men, with an expectation that men would understand what He is saying.

    So my advice would be read Scripture with the knowledge that God will make it clear to you, and He will do so according to the diligence you put into seeking after knowing Him better. As you grow things will fall into place.

    Most people who come to forums stand out in the Body as people that have been gifted in areas where study is more of a priority than we might see in the general Body. I would guess that this means you, and encourage you to develop the gifts God has given you. Be diligent in your studies, and trust God, Who is our First Teacher. You can benefit from books by men that explain in detail the disciplines required in interpreting Scripture, and if I had to recommend one, it would be Expository Preaching by John MacArthur. There are smaller books you could look at, I think R.C. Sproul has one called Knowing God, but not sure that one goes into too much detail. But there is a definite discipline we should follow in our efforts.

    So again I encourage you to be diligent in your studies, which evidences a true seeking after God. There is no reward I see in this life quite so rewarding as having God reveal His Word to us. All divine truth is divinely revealed, and all we have to do to receive that truth is seek after God in the one resource we all have available to us, His Word.


    God bless.
     
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  4. TCassidy

    TCassidy
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    What texts are you talking about? English language texts? If so, which version? Hebrew or Greek language texts? If so, which text type? We can give a more informative response if we have a better idea of what you are asking. :)
     

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