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?

michael_legna's picture

Big difference

JStaller said -
You're very quick to point out the corruption that you see infecting the Pharisees, and then quick to point out the mistake of the Protestants in leaving what they saw as a corrupt system far removed from its initial purpose. Maybe those Protestants saw in the Catholic church what you quickly see in the Pharisees?

I have no doubt many Protestant Reformers saw in the Catholic Church what I see in the Pharisees. I think the Reformers were wrong.

JStaller said -
When you say Jesus was sinless, I agree; he died for sins not his own. And that's all the perfect sacrifice needed to be--innocent. That would meet the conditions God required for His sacrifice:

No, you are mistaken. The sacrifice had to be spotless, not just innocent. Take a look at the sacrifices the Jews were told to make in the Old Testament (which were types of Christ's sacrifice). It wasn't just any lamb that could be sacrificed. It had to be a spotless lamb. All lambs are innocent so if your theory was right any lamb could have been used for passover.




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