The body of Christ, the universal church of Christianity, made up of brothers and sisters in Christ is riddled with divisions. Yet largely these differing groups rely upon the same scriptures. So it is in our understanding of scripture where we part company, with each group sincerely believing their view while not perfect appears to be closest to the intended message of God. Even the approach we use to gain our understanding of scripture varies, so no wonder that what we derive differs. But even when folks use very similar rules of interpretation, hermeneutics if you will, they still come to very different conclusions. Looking at it dispassionately from outside, it is easy to conclude that largely we do not know what we are talking about. Yet rather than address this obvious truth, we keep issuing degrees to students of the bible, providing the impression that these students have been qualified by the process so that they can be relied upon to present God’s truth. If you look at some of the well-respected modern translations, the NKJV, NIV, NASB, ESV and HCSB, you see that the same Greek word is translated differently within the same version and differently from version to version. It appears that historical consistency trumps any effort at coherency, where the same word is translated in as few different ways as possible. Words such as “all” are thought to mean “everything imaginable” in one verse of an author, and then in a very limited way in another verse by the same author. In order to avoid unwarranted extrapolations, only the most limited scope of meaning should be presented. Any expansion should be placed in notes or commentary, especially where views differ. Only when we adopt a minimalist approach to the text will we find a wider area of mutual agreement. But this necessary action has not been taken because of our devotion to the doctrines born of non-conservative exegesis from the likes of Augustine, Luther, Calvin and so forth.