How To Decide Which parts of Bible "Culturally" And Which For Today?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. JesusFan

    JesusFan
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    Are there rules of Interpretation to govern how to see what was culturally addressing in Bible, just for that time, and what was meant to be apllied to all times?
     
  2. Jerome

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    John Calvin addresses this in the Institutes:

    the hours set apart for public prayer, sermon, and solemn services; during sermon, quiet and silence, fixed places, singing of hymns, days set apart for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, the prohibition of Paul against women teaching in the Church, and such like. . . .Let us take, for example, the bending of the knee which is made in public prayer. It is asked, whether this is a human tradition, which any one is at liberty to repudiate or neglect? I say, that it is human, and that at the same time it is divine. It is of God, inasmuch as it is a part of that decency, the care and observance of which is recommended by the apostle; and it is of men, inasmuch as it specially determines what was indicated in general, rather than expounded. From this one example, we may judge what is to be thought of the whole class—viz. that the whole sum of righteousness, and all the parts of divine worship, and everything necessary to salvation, the Lord has faithfully comprehended, and clearly unfolded, in his sacred oracles, so that in them he alone is the only Master to be heard. But as in external discipline and ceremonies, he has not been pleased to prescribe every particular that we ought to observe (he foresaw that this depended on the nature of the times, and that one form would not suit all ages), in them we must have recourse to the general rules which he has given, employing them to test whatever the necessity of the Church may require to be enjoined for order and decency. Lastly, as he has not delivered any express command, because things of this nature are not necessary to salvation, and, for the edification of the Church, should be accommodated to the varying circumstances of each age and nation, it will be proper, as the interest of the Church may require, to change and abrogate the old, as well as to introduce new forms. I confess, indeed, that we are not to innovate rashly or incessantly, or for trivial causes. Charity is the best judge of what tends to hurt or to edify: if we allow her to be guide, all things will be safe.
    Things which have been appointed according to this rule, it is the duty of the Christian people to observe with a free conscience indeed, and without superstition, but also with a pious and ready inclination to obey. They are not to hold them in contempt, nor pass them by with careless indifference, far less openly to violate them in pride and contumacy. You will ask, What liberty of conscience will there be in such cautious observances? Nay, this liberty will admirably appear when we shall hold that these are not fixed and perpetual obligations to which we are astricted, but external rudiments for human infirmity, which, though we do not all need, we, however, all use, because we are bound to cherish mutual charity towards each other. This we may recognise in the examples given above. What? Is religion placed in a woman’s bonnet, so that it is unlawful for her to go out with her head uncovered? Is her silence fixed by a decree which cannot be violated without the greatest wickedness? Is there any mystery in bending the knee, or in burying a dead body, which cannot be omitted without a crime? By no means. For should a woman require to make such haste in assisting a neighbour that she has not time to cover her head, she sins not in running out with her head uncovered. And there are some occasions on which it is not less seasonable for her to speak than on others to be silent. Nothing, moreover, forbids him who, from disease, cannot bend his knees, to pray standing. In fine, it is better to bury a dead man quickly, than from want of grave-clothes, or the absence of those who should attend the funeral, to wait till it rot away unburied. Nevertheless, in those matters the custom and institutions of the country, in short, humanity and the rules of modesty itself, declare what is to be done or avoided.
     
  3. Skandelon

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    I heard a message from RC Sproul that spoke of customs and principles where he did a real good job describing these issues, but I don't remember the name of it.
     
  4. webdog

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    I believe John MacArthur touches on it frequently in his study Bible.
     
  5. freeatlast

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    Can you think of any passages that are cultural and have no practicle use for today?
     
  6. JesusFan

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    MUCH of the OT rules and regulations God gave unto isreal to keep...

    Also, things like woman forbaded to teach, or has to wear head covering, or must have long hair...
     
  7. freeatlast

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    For now lets just stick to the NT since you have made it clear else ware that you do not believe in following the OT.

    Your reply about the NT is not uncommon. When ever someone cannot support their view by scriptural context they misquote passages. The first one is about women teaching. Your statement is false. Women are not forbidden from teaching in fact they are commanded to teach other women.

    The second one about the head covering. What is there in that passage that makes you think it is cultural? She is not told to be covered at church or any time except two times in her daily life and that is when she prayeth or prophesieth. The men also have a command to not cover their heads but you seemed to miss that one. I know for me I never pray with a hat on. I remove it out of respect for my Head. Nor would I preach with a hat on, I would remove it out of respect for my Head. The women have the opposite command and it is still for today.


    Then about the hair length. Again you have sought to press your ill-fated doctrine by twisting God's word. You need to be in fear. The passage about the hair does say it is a shame for a man to have long hair and it is glory for her to have short hair. When anyone is trying to use God for their benefit He always blinds them as He has done here. The passage doesn't specify what the length of hair is which constitutes long and short. The passage gives a contrast between the man and the women in their respective lengths of hair. So in any given society the mans hair would need to be shorter then what the women's hair was as a rule. If the average mans hairs was two inches long in a particular society then her hair needs to be what would be considered long compared to his. Not just a length that would make it legal but a length that would make a distinct showing of difference between the male and female. She needs to have long hair and his should not be long when compared to a woman’s hair length.
    So what passages are you speaking about that are cultural as these certainly are not as they still apply today even if not obeyed?
     
  8. TCGreek

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    The hermeneutical challenge is to discover those principles that are not culturally bound and therefore applicable to all.
     
  9. webdog

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    Why only stick to NT when the Bible says ALL Scripture is God breathed?
     
  10. TCGreek

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    I find these principles in both the OT and NT.
     
  11. webdog

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    Apologies, my post was for freeatlast. Didn't hit the quote button.
     
  12. DHK

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    God commands some people to do some things that he would never command others to do.

    1. He commanded Isaiah to wander naked for three and a half years.

    2. He commanded Hosea to marry a prostitute.

    3. He commanded Esther to become a part of a harem of an ungodly king.
     
  13. TCGreek

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    And if those who were commanded obeyed, then they highlighted the principle of "obedience," which runs all through Scripture.
     
  14. TCGreek

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    Cool, bro.
     
  15. JesusFan

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    because the OT in its laws/rules/regulations have all pretty much been fulfilled in ministry and work of jesus, so would need to be able to disvcern what actual applies to us from His time forward...
     

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