Eisegesis question

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Pastor_Bob, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. Pastor_Bob

    Pastor_Bob
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    Recently, I overheard a conversation in which a preacher was being gently rebuked by a friend for what he considered to be a "mishandling the Word of God." This preacher used a portion of a verse to support a position relative to the political arena. His preacher friend quickly pointed out that the verse had nothing to do with politicians but rather with false teachers.

    I understand that each passage has but one literal "interpretation," but can have many different "applications." My question that I pose for discussion is simply this, "Does using an application of a verse instead of the literal interpretation constitute mishandling of the Word of God?"
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Now you've got my curiosity stirred. What was the scripture verse in question? I'd be interested in how the preacher applied the verse.


    That said, there are plenty of scripture passages that may more than a literal interpretation. I'm thinking of some prophecies which at the time, I doubt that the prophet complete understood his prophecy. We could not know about some Messianic prophecies until they were interpreted for us in the New Testament as applying to Jesus.

    On the other side of the issue, if you want to get a debate started, bring up tithing. A lot of folks believe tithing is a New Testament principle since Jesus endorsed it. Others say it is an Old Testament concept only and not for NT Christians.

    Oh, the answer to your question? Sometimes yes and sometimes no.
     
  3. Scarlett O.

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    My curiosity is stirred also.

    And I am going to have to say sometimes yes and sometimes no like Tom did. I have heard pastors and Sunday School teachers try to force a passage to say something that it doesn't. And I, myself, have done that a time or two.

    Probably the full meaning of the verse in context of the passage in context of the chapter in context of the book would be the best guide as to whether or not a scripture passage has applications elsewhere than literally stated.
     
  4. Winman

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    Well, the scriptures themselves do this.

    1 Cor 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?
    10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.
    11 If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?


    Verse 9 if taken literally says you should not muzzle an ox that is treading out corn. Paul explains that this verse speaks of paying someone for their labor, and that a preacher should be paid for his work.
     
  5. dwmoeller1

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    If one is using the verse to argue "this is what Scripture says" for an application, then yes, it is a mishandling of Scripture. Applications are personal and should be treated and recognized as such. Instead, one should approach it in terms of "This is what I see.", or "I think this reveals a principle that applies in this case." Too often people treat applications in the same way they treat clear "Thus says God."
     
  6. dwmoeller1

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    Of course, Paul was inspired by the HS and his application is considered authoritative because of it. So, what Paul can do with authority, we cannot. So deriving application is fine, but one should be very clear to both self and the hearer that your application is distinctly personal and non-authoritative.
     
  7. Deacon

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    Sounds like 2 Peter

    *****************

    A literal interpretation of a passage leads one to timeless principles.
    Did the exposition of the text impose something upon it that the passage doesn’t support?

    Applying teachings of false teachers to politicians seems to be a natural but probably doesn’t fit with the intent of the author.

    Rob
     
  8. michael-acts17:11

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    I believe that it is always wrong to take Scripture out of context to make a point that is not clearly stated within the text. Too many preachers take liberty with Scripture in order to elevate personal preferences & church traditions/rules to the authority of Scripture.

    If all preachers were held accountable every time God's Word was taken out of context to support their point, there would be far fewer false doctrines in our churches. There would also be much shorter sermons.
     
  9. canadyjd

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    First of all, the friend shouldn't have rebuked him in the hearing of someone else. He should have brought it to his attention in private, imho.

    There are plenty of O.T. references to non-religious leaders influencing the people to walk contrary to God. When former president Bush announced his belief that Muslims were going to heaven, too, he became a false teacher, imho, as well as a politician.

    peace to you:praying:
     
  10. SolaSaint

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    dw, I think you make an excellant point. We should always clarify our application of any passages from scripture as to not be taken the wrong way. I think if more pastors and teachers did this it would be of great benefit.
     
  11. Thinkingstuff

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    Depends on how its presented. If its presented in such a way that the hearers of the word realize its being placed out of its historical context for the moral principle it applies in a modern setting. I don't think anything is wrong with that. As long as it doesn't contradict the rest of scripture. However, if its presented in such a way that the hearer cannot make that differentiation between the original meaning contextually and sprititual principle placed in a modern context then there might be a serious problem.
     
  12. Pastor_Bob

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    You be the judge

    The preacher was warning us to beware of a clear but subtle shift in language from "Freedom of Religion" to "Freedom of Worship" on the part of the current White House administration and the national media. He was explaining that there is a significant difference between the meanings which could actually limit our freedom to evangelize. He then went on to say that this type of deception is referenced in II Peter 2:19, where the Apostle Peter says that, "While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption..."

    The preacher who objected expressed that Peter was clearly not talking about any governmental authorities in that passage. He was speaking of religious men, not a group of "megalomaniacal politicians." He explained that the men who speak 'great swelling word of vanity' are the false prophets of verse one and that we should not be prone to making God's words say what we want them to say.
     
  13. Dr. Bob

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    Having smuggled bibles into the old USSR block, I know what freedom of worship is. They had it. Private. In the heart. But NOT freedom of open practice of religion like we enjoy.

    To apply texts that have a clear literal meaning and use deductive/inductive logic to see parallel or application is not bad.

    But it IS one man's conjecture and not "thus saith the Lord". We need to preface our preaching with clear exposition of the Word and then be sure we make any application or deduction or insight known as OUR OPINION and not God's Word.
     
  14. dwmoeller1

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    The preacher was right. It seems a clear misuse of Scripture. I would argue that its not even a good application as it corrupts what is meant by "liberty".
     
  15. Thinkingstuff

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    IS it the same type of deception? I don't think so. It was a wrong inference however, it the pastor could have said the same could be said of the politicians though contextually the meaning was different.
     
  16. glfredrick

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    A good exegetical hermeneutic would establish what the passage said in the context and authorial intent of the original writer. From that inferences can be drawn that may lead to wider application.

    According to that good exegetical hermeneutic, the pastor could have exegeted the Peter passage, explained that to his congregation as expressed in the word, then said something along the lines of:

    "We can apply this same principle in the examination of other entities in our society, such as our government. While we cannot say 'The Bible says...' about those entities, we can look at what they do and see if their actions match up to the biblical expectation. It is not they who are controlled by the Scriptures, but us, so I would expect that our actions need to be dictated by the Bible in regards to how we think and pray for those in leadership over us."

    I would then turn to a passage that does speak to government, such as Romans 13 for illustrative material.
     
  17. lastday

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    Lastday

    Dr. Bob,
    You wrote:
    I agree this zeroes in on the proper approach to Biblical interpretation, i.e., if it accounts for the historical and prophetic Scripture involved.

    For instance, the Feast of Tabernacles has a special "1st and 8th" Day of special celebration to begin and complete its 7-Day Celebration. Lev.23:36.
    How important is this in the keeping of Sabbath by Orthodox Jews if their 7-Day Feast of Tabs should actually begin on a Saturday (as in 2033/5794)? If so, will they wait until 6 PM, Sunday, to light their candles and begin their Havdalah Ceremony together to end the annual reading of the Torah and other Scripture (including Zech.14 on the Day of the Lord, the Feast Day)?

    I think the problem presented here could explain why Jesus said that "no one can know the day or hour of His coming". The "signs" of His impending Presence may occur on the first Day of the Feast of Tabs, a Sabbath Day, yet He may not appear until the Orthodox Jews begin
    their Celebration at the Twilight Hour in the evening. If so, perhaps the "1st and 8th" days of the Celebration may be a Sunday...just as His resurrection occurred on the first day of the week. The Covenant of Law may end on a Saturday for Orthodox Jews and their understanding
    of the "New Covenant" per Heb.8:13 may start on Sunday.

    Am I guilty of mixing "application with interpretation"? Is there a point at
    which we may determine a line of distinction between the two? In any case,
    your point is thought-provoking.
    Mel Miller
     
    #17 lastday, Oct 8, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 8, 2010
  18. freeatlast

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    Bob this is a pet peeve of mine. The answer is yes. Any miss-handling of the word to promote ones own agenda is adding to scripture no matter how great the need of that matter is. It also destroys the true meaning and intent of the passage being used improperly. I believe that this is one reason that we are warned about a stricter judgment for teachers/preachers. James 3:1
    I strongly believe that any teacher or pastor, who certainly should be a teacher, has the absolute responsibility to teach God's word exactly as it was intended and not add to, take from, or change the meaning of any text to support something other then that text is dealing with. I even believe that using the wrong text to promote a true biblical teaching is sin and stands for rebuke and even condemnation.
     
  19. lastday

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    Lastday

    Friends,

    According to Peter's quotation of Joel's prophecy, there was a total lunar
    eclipse on the day Christ died. That is Interpretation. By Application from known lunar eclipses, we have evidence that the
    Day of His death was April 3, AD 33. Acts 2:20-22.

    By Application, we also know there will be a total lunar eclipse on April 14, 2033 (Nisan 15), first day of Passover week of Unleavened Bread. This is very interesting as this will be exactly 2000 years after his death.

    Humphreys and Waddington of Oxford University reconstructed the Jewish calendar in the first century AD and arrived at the conclusion that Friday April 3, 33 AD was the date of the Crucifixion.They concluded that:

    "This eclipse was visible from Jerusalem at moonrise....The start of the eclipse was invisible from Jerusalem, being below the horizon. The eclipse began at 3:40 pm and reached a maximum at 5:15 pm, with 60% of the moon eclipsed. This was also below the horizon from Jerusalem. The moon rose above the horizon, and was first visible from Jerusalem at about 6:20 pm (the start of the Jewish Sabbath and also the start of Passover day in A.D. 33) with about 20% of its disc in the umbra of the earth's shadow and the remainder in the penumbra. The eclipse finished some thirty minutes later at 6:50 pm."

    In Acts 2:20, the Apostle Peter mentions in the context of a prophecy from Joel that "the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood" [Acts 2:20]. A "moon of blood" is a term also commonly used for a lunar eclipse because of the reddish color of the light refracted onto the moon through the Earth's atmosphere.

    Using different computational mechanisms, based on the approach originally used by Isaac Newton, John Pratt and later Bradley Schaefer separately arrived at the same date for the Crucifixion as Humphreys and Waddington did based on the lunar eclipse approach, namely Friday, April 3 33 AD.
    Mel Miller
     
  20. Aaron

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    False magistrates and false teachers—all are men, and the motivations and corruptions will be the same.
     

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