One Interpretation, Many Applications

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by richard n koustas, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. richard n koustas

    richard n koustas
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    I was asked if I agree with the following statement: for any (or every) passage of scripture there is only one correct interpretation, but, many applications.

    I'm not sure if I agree because I don't understand what it means.

    If you agree, maybe you can help me...

    Consider, for example, Leviticus chapter one. Moses is receiving instructions for the continual burnt offering. Now, for this passage, what is the one interpretation and what are the many applications?
     
    #1 richard n koustas, Jan 26, 2007
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  2. reformedbeliever

    reformedbeliever
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    What God never intended to say to the original audience, He does not intend to say today. There is one truth. That truth can be applied in a manifold fashion.... as long as its contextual truth remains.
     
  3. swaimj

    swaimj
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    The interpretation of a passage has to do with the original intent and meaning of the passage. "What was the original writer saying to his original audience" is the question that interpretation seeks to answer.

    From the interpretation, we derive timeless principles or a timeless principle. The timeless principle may often be applied to many specific situations.

    So, there is one interpretation because the original writer was saying only one thing to his original audience, but the principle derived from that one interpretation usually has more than one application.
     
  4. richard n koustas

    richard n koustas
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    So, in the case of Lev. 1, the 'original writer', Moses, is recording the instructions that he received from God, to the Israelites for the burnt offering. This would be the 'interpretation' and it seems to be straight forward.

    What are the timeless principles or 'applications' based on this interpretation?

    When I look at the burnt offering, I see Christ pictured in many different ways. I also see it representing the relationship of the believer with God....are these interpretations? applications? neither, or both?
     
  5. swaimj

    swaimj
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    Richard,

    Leviticus 1 is a specific instruction to the Jews about how to offer animal sacrifices to God. As Christians, we do not offer animal sacrifices. This Old Covenant practice has been done away with in Christ. The passage, when interpreted literally is not an instruction for us today.

    It is neither wise nor profitable to delve into typology nor allegorization of this passage. Those methods are methods by which one uses their imagination to interprets the passage and gives it new meaning that the original writer did not intend nor conceive of and those methods give it meanings that the original readers would have never derived.

    Are there New Testament statements that describe Christ as a sacrificial lamb? Yes. So the NT writers, under inspiration, give insights about the Leviticus 1 passage and apply them to Christ. When they do this under inspiration, I am completely comfortable with what they say. When other believers who are not apostles take the same passage and come up with insights in addition to what the NT writers say, I am skeptical as to whether those insights are valid or profitable.
     
  6. richard n koustas

    richard n koustas
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    agree...
    I think that it IS both wise and profitable to delve into typology here. I'm not not using my imagination, just the New Testament...

    Funny, I don't see the word LAMB in Leviticus chapter one...
     

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