Can we agree on Rules of Scriptural Interpretation?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Wittenberger, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Wittenberger

    Wittenberger
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    My Baptist/evangelical brothers and sisters:

    In order for us to be able to debate one another effectively on Scriptural doctrines, we have to be in agreement in how we interpret Scripture. Can we agree on the following Rules of Scriptural Interpretation?

    1. The Bible must be used as its own interpreter, so that passages which are not clear in themselves must be interpreted with the help of other Scriptural passages which speak of the same thing?

    2. A basic principle of fair interpretation: if the plain and obvious literal sense makes good sense, seek no other sense.

    3. The Bible should be the highest/final authority, source, and norm of our faith and life, not only in principle but also in practice.

    4. Human reason and its conclusions should never be placed above the statements of Scripture. If there appears to be a conflict between the Bible and our reason, or the apparent results of human science, psychology, and such, in questions pertaining to the Christian faith, we should follow the Bible, not human reason, psychology or science.

    5. Our confession of faith and doctrine must be corrected according to the Word of
    God… and not the Bible corrected according to the doctrine of our denomination/church.

    6. All interpretation of the Bible which is in conflict with the simple rules of grammar and logic must be wrong. How could we ever know what the Scriptural text means if we did not take it in its simple grammatical sense, when that sense makes good sense?

    7. We agree that a thing is in harmony with the spirit of God’s Word if it can be logically deduced from its plain statements, although it is not expressly stated. For instance, although women are never mentioned as having participated in the Lord’s Supper, we may deduce it from the fact that it is never forbidden, and that, according to the teachings of the New Testament, there is neither man nor woman, but all are one in Christ.

    Are we in agreement, brothers and sisters, on how to interpret Scripture?
     
  2. saturneptune

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    No actually we cannot. Number five sticks out like a sore thumb. What is "our confession of faith?" Baptists do not use creeds, chants, magic spells or rituals. The Bible is our confession of faith. Number six is not true. Not all verses in the Bible are simple. You are basing your observation on someone's grammer who translated the verses into English. Some verses require very deep understanding. This is not one fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish. Number seven is probably true except you started a thread of the exact opposite nature.

    I do not see how you can print number three and four and believe theology the way Lutheran's and other denominations that come out of the Catholic church believe. (ie, infant baptism, church hierarchy, etc)

    Number two may or may not be true. Many parts of the Bible are not literal, such as parts of Daniel and Revelation.

    Congrats, one out of seven is not bad.
     
  3. kyredneck

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    K.I.S.S.

    Charles Hodge's three simple rules:

    1. The Scriptures are to be taken in the sense attached to them in the age and by the people to whom they were addressed.

    2. Scripture cannot contradict Scripture.

    3. The Scriptures are to be interpreted under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which guidance is to be humbly and earnestly sought.
     
    #3 kyredneck, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2012
  4. billwald

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    As there was no punctuation in the autograph, the translation must be in error.
     
  5. Scarlett O.

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    Brother, I found these rules for interpretation here:

    http://www.geocities.ws/resourcesforlutherans/infantbaptism2.htm

    I'm having issues with #2, #5, #6, and #7.
     
  6. OldRegular

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    Let me say that there is some merit to all seven of the rules but "some merit" really isn't sufficient. Consider for instance Rule #1. That rule is called "the Synthesis Principle". Though I certainly understood that Scripture must interpret Scripture I first saw it used in a book by John MacArthur. I present his remarks and the source:

    Now consider the part above I have bolded:

    By this they meant that obscure passages in Scripture must be understood in light of clearer ones. If the Bible is God's Word, it must be consistent with itself. No part of the Bible can contradict any other part.

    Now consider two passages of Scripture:

    John 5:28, 29
    28. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
    29. And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.


    Now this passage is very clear, not obscure at all. It teaches that there will be a general resurrection of all the dead followed by a general judgment. In fact your rule #2 demands the same interpretation.

    Daniel 9:24-27
    24. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
    25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
    26. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
    27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.


    I assume you will agree that this passage of Scripture is very difficult to understand. That is particularly true of verse 27.

    Yet John MacArthur, who wrote the referenced quote, and premillennial dispensationalism use verse 27 to justify a seven year period of "great tribulation" between the Rapture of the Church and a second resurrection 7 years later. How often do we hear the words: "What about Daniel's 70th week?

    So you see that these folks throw out the plain and obvious literal interpretation of John 5: 28, 29 and cling to a very obscure passage. Not proper, but done!

     
  7. billwald

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    >Are we in agreement, brothers and sisters, on how to interpret Scripture?

    Obviously not! Does it matter? Is there ANYTHING for which BB is in agreement?
     
  8. Yeshua1

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    Scriptures are to be read and understand in the light of their plain and literal meaning, in contex, compared to ALL other scriptures on that doctrine/practice, taking into account the literary genres, and NO doctrine proved by isolated "proof texting!"

    the Coming pf the promised messiah central theme in bible, and all scriptures are inspired reveltion from God, but there is a doctrine of progressive revelation!

    The Bible infallible teacher is the Holy Spirit, and what he reveals NEVER contriducts/adds too scripture!
     
    #8 Yeshua1, Aug 6, 2012
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  9. reformed_baptist

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    No I cannot agree to this, what if the plain and obvious literal sense contradicts the plain and obvious lieteral sense of another text - do we set scripture against scripture!

    Besides I look at these rules and wonder how you can note them when you misquote texts like Acts 2:38-39 time and time again?
     
  10. Wittenberger

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    To all: I have started a new thread which picks up from this topic:

    Is Baptism the New Circumcision?

    I would appreciate and enjoy your comments on this new thread. Please kindly read all my comments/posts in the thread before responding.

    Wittenberger
     
  11. The Biblicist

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    Yes, the unclear must be interpreted by the clear and doctrine and practice should be established by clear precepts and principles. Parables, figures, examples should NEVER be the sole basis to determine doctrine and practice but ALWAYS used to support clear and explicit precepts.

    Unless the immediate context and other axiomatic truths demand otherwise.

    No! It should be the ONLY authority for faith and practice.


    There is a difference between APPARENT conflicts based upon faulty interpretation of scriptures. However, where the interpretation is contextually founded and grounded - yes that is true.

    Confessions of faith are not inspired and are NEVER the basis for faith and practice.


    Generally yes! However, this all hinges upon the correctness of "interpretation."

    Too much interpretative leeway in this statement. Doctrine is NEVER based upon silence of scripture. Practice that harmonizes with Biblical precepts and principles may be considered unauthorized traditions but never doctrine. There is necessary inference grounded upon precepts. Women are identified as members of a local body and the Lord's supper is for the members of that body.
     
    #11 The Biblicist, Aug 10, 2012
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  12. Yeshua1

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    think that we also must factor into this discussion of the OP the truth that both the RCC/Lutheryns have taken their theologies from more than "just the bible!"

    they have authorities taken from their 'proper interpretation" granted the RCC leadership and from the pens of Luthor, so even if we agree on 'correct bible principles" to be applied while studying it, their held notions of what constitutes already 'good doctrine' trumps the bible , for IF the theolgy gleaned from it rightly understood goes against their already held theolgy...
     
  13. reformed_baptist

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    gulp - not sure about that! I would say that the bible has spoken as a final and ultimate authority on everything it says, but it is never the only authority. That means it is also authorative on matters of science, history, geography etc that it mentions as well - if it is not then it is not infallible and inerrant :D
     
  14. Yeshua1

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    Think that he is referring to all things spiritual, the Bible ALONE determines what is to be taught and practiced!

    And for the areas that you mentioned, would say that no 'scientific" facts or history/georgraphy that is found in the bible would have to be amended if there is a contridiction, as IF expressed in the bible , that would be the truth...
     
  15. billwald

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    "Faith and practice." "Faith" refers to the Christian religion and "practice" refers to Christian worship.
     
  16. TCGreek

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    Please, don't forget our humanness in all this. Church history is a great indicator in all this.
     
  17. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist
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    There is no other authority for "faith and practice" that God has provided His people. He did not provide tradition for that. He did not provide science for that. He did not provide georaphy for that. In Isaiah 8:20 he did not say "If they speak not according to science, geography, etc." The only authority for faith and practice is "this word" - if they speak not according to "this word" it is because there is no light in them.
     
  18. DHK

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    If you could find a link to the book, the entire fourth chapter is devoted to principles of hermeneutics and would be well for all to read. He gives some very beneficial principles for interpreting the Word of God.
     
  19. Yeshua1

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    Another useful book would be knowing scriptures by RC Sproul, as he gives good guidelines to follow, profitable regardless if one is calvinistic or not!
     

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