The Nature of Scripture and Revelation

How should scripture be interpreted? Is it all infallible and absolutely true? Is it all literal, or is it all metaphorical? Or is it somewhere in between?

My personal feeling is that scripture is a little bit of all that, but I'm trying to iron it all out, so any input you have is very very welcome.

There's a radio station in the Bay Area (where I live) that has an adverstisement for their home Bible study course, and they say bluntly that scripture should interpret scripture.

I can hang with that. But then they go on to say that, accordingly, we don't need to consider the initial intentions, meanings, cultures, or circumstances surrounding the Bible. Something there sounds a little fishy to me. I don't see the Bible making that claim for itself--though in II Timothy, Paul says that all scripture is indeed profitable for many things. Why, if the Bible is infallible, would we need to make the ADDITIONAL claim ON BEHALF of the Bible that it is indeed infallible--would an infallible book not make that claim for itself?

So how should we, as followers of Jesus, approach scripture? Sometimes, I think I see Jesus revering the scriptures he had, the Law of Moses--like during his wilderness temptations. Other times, though, it seems like he dismisses the Mosaic Law--particularly those scriptures regarding the Sabbath, the purity scriptures, and the scripture on divorce. Lots of people I know like to say that because Jesus was God he could do whatever he wanted in regard to the Word--but if God never changes, why did He change his eternal Word?

And, if we must then conclude that the law is just a temporary expression of an eternal Word, and then apply it to the New Testament canon, we have something of a loose standard for interpreting scripture. So, uh, that's where I'm at--how SHOULD we approach interpreting the Bible?

Clay's picture

Jesus never stated that the woman was undeserving of stoning.

My point of view is that the Law was not dismissed but negotiated through the cunning of our Lord.

Jesus did not disagree with the crowd. He cleverly dispatched them so there were no accusers left and therefore none to stone her.

All of that aside; We must recognize that not only did Jesus complete the Law but He WAS the Law.

The Spirit is higher than the Law in that the Law was written to pattern the Spirit so that those who follow the law strictly would simulate the Spirit, even if poorly. The Law is perfection but the Spirit is excellence and greatness upon perfection. Perfection is merely the absence of flaw. The Spirit is not defined by the absence of anything but by the abundance of things so awesome that I'd rather not cheapen them by attempting a list.. Those who are carnal are judged by the Law. Those who are Spiritual judge the Law. The Spiritual live by faith and according to what manner of faith they have toward God.

Therefore on that day when the adulterous woman was brought before the Lord He did three things; He judged the crowd, He judged the woman, and He judged the law in this matter.

I think it is a wonderful trick God played on the enemy. You see the power of our adversary is the Law. It is by the Law we stand accused. The law is relevant to the unlawful. But to the lawful there is no relevance in the Law. Therefore the law itself turns to the Spirit to seek how it should judge in all matters.

And here in lies the trick; the devil brings us into judgment by the power of the law and when he has made an end of his case the law then turns to us, who are spiritual, and asks how it should judge us in these matters. So in the end the spirit, which is lawful, has the last word.