The Word - The Science of Biblical Interpretation - Part 2

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This presentation is the second part of the science of Biblical interpretations, or hermeneutics.

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The Word - The Science of Biblical Interpretation - Part 2

  1. 1. The Word The Science of Biblical Interpretation Part 2
  2. 2. ―I study my Bible as I gather apples. First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest might fall. Then I shake each limb, and when I have shaken each limb, I shake each branch and every twig. Then I look under every leaf.‖ - Martin Luther
  3. 3. Hermeneutical Process 1. Observation – what do I see? 2. Interpretation – what does it mean? 3. Application – how does it apply? The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  4. 4. Isn‘t that just YOUR interpretation…? The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  5. 5. ―I acknowledge that Scripture is a most rich an inexhaustible fountain of all wisdom; but I deny that its fertility consists in the various meanings which any man, at his pleasure, may assign.‖ - John Calvin The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  6. 6. Recommended Hermeneutical Philosophy Literal-Historical-Grammatical Method The aim of the historical-grammatical method is to discover the meaning of the passage as the original author would have intended and what the original hearers would have understood. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  7. 7. ―You don‘t take the Bible literally do you…??!‖ ―Is Jesus really a door?‖ (John 10:9) ―Does God have wings?‖ (Psalm 61:4) ‗Reductio ad absurdum‘ argument The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  8. 8. Literal Interpretation Phenomenological language Phenomenological language is language that is used to describe everyday things in common speak: "It came about at sunset that Joshua gave a command, and they took them down from the trees and threw them into the cave where they had hidden themselves, and put large stones over the mouth of the cave, to this very day."(Joshua 10:27). Even today meteorologists don‘t speak of ―tomorrow‘s earth rotation will make the sun disappear at 9pm‖, but speak of the ‗sunset‘. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  9. 9. Literal Interpretation Hyperbole Hyperbole: ―obvious and intentional exaggeration; an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as ―to wait an eternity.‖‖ "So the Pharisees said to one another, ―You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him.‖"(John 12:19) We use hyperbole all the time: ―I‘ve gotten a cold a million times this year.‖ The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  10. 10. Literal Interpretation Metaphors Metaphor: ―a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.‖ "―For I proclaim the name of the Lord; Ascribe greatness to our God! ―The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He."(Deuteronomy 32:3-4) "―I am the door…"(John 10:9) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  11. 11. Literal Interpretation Anthropomorphism Anthropomorphism: ―The representation of God under a human form, or with human or other living attributes and affections.‖ "Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings." (Psalm 61:4) "―Your right hand, O Lord, is majestic in power, Your right hand, O Lord, shatters the enemy." (Exodus 15:6) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  12. 12. Literal Interpretation Personification Personification: ―the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notion.‖ "―For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands."(Isaiah 55:12) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  13. 13. Literal Interpretation Symbolism Object Meaning Miraculous Symbols Sword at east of Eden (Gen. 3:24) Breach of God/man fellowship Burning Bush (Ex. 3:2) God‘s holiness and presence Visionary Symbols Dry bones given flesh (Ezek. 37) Israel physically restored Four beasts (Dan. 7) Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome Seven stars (Rev. 1:12) Ministers of the seven churches Material Symbols Blood Life Bread and wine Christ‘s body and blood The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  14. 14. Literal Interpretation Symbolism ― The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed."(Exodus 3:2) Fire=judgment. A judgment is coming upon Egypt but Israel will not be consumed. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  15. 15. Literal Interpretation Symbolism A tree becomes the physical source of death for mankind and affects the first Adam; a tree becomes the physical source of life for mankind and is brought about by the last Adam (Jesus)… The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  16. 16. Literal Interpretation Symbolism " Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea."(Revelation 21:1) The sea oftentimes represents judgment, chaos, wicked humanity in Scripture. Eternity will contain none of that. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  17. 17. Literal Interpretation Tips for Distinguishing between Literal and Figurative • Use the literal sense unless there is some good reason for a departure (e.g. Rev. 7:1-8) • Use the figurative sense when the passage is stated to be figurative (e.g. Zech. 126: - ―like‖) • Use the figurative sense if the literal involves an impossibility (e.g. Rev. 1:16) • Use the figurative sense if the literal commands immoral action (e.g. John 6:53 ―drink blood‖) • Use the figurative sense if the expression fits into one of the figures of speech (e.g. Zech 12:2 – a metaphor) • Use the figurative sense if the literal involves a contradiction with a parallel passage The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  18. 18. The Difference Between Law & Proverb Proverbs are generalized statements that include acting with wisdom for certain situations "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Or you will also be like him. Answer a fool as his folly deserves, That he not be wise in his own eyes.― (Proverbs 26:4-5) Which is it? The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  19. 19. Context is Key for Literal Interpretation How often have you heard this verse used to describe Heaven: "but just as it is written, ―Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.‖‖ (1 Corinthians 2:9) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  20. 20. Context is Key for Literal Interpretation Now in context: "Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God‘s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory; the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written, ―Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.‖ For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised."(1 Corinthians 2:6-14) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  21. 21. Historical-Cultural Impact on Interpretation The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  22. 22. Cultural Impact on Interpretation "The younger of them said to his father, ‗Father, give me  share of the estate that falls to me. . . . the So he [the prodigal son] got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." (Luke 15:12, 20) In the near-east culture, what the younger son did disgraced his father. But the father runs to the son; had to pull up his garments so he could run, which exposed his legs and was considered disgraceful; Pharisees didn‘t walk thru unplowed fields because of this. He did this not only because he missed him but he was going to save him from wrath. In the near-east, when a son dishonored his father, the town would break a pot of bitter herbs on the path which he used to leave, indicating cutting him off from the community. If the son returned, the town would form on both sides of the path and would stone the son as he came down the path. In history, there is no account of anyone ever having lived through this ritual. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  23. 23. Cultural Impact on Interpretation "The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. . . . those who followed, were shouting, ―Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!‖― (Matthew 21:6-9) When Kings rode into other kingdoms on donkeys it meant they were coming in peace. A manuscript from 3100 B.C. described this practice. But when they were coming to conquer, it was a white horse… " And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war."(Revelation 19:11) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  24. 24. Historical Impact on Interpretation " In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men."(John 1:1-4) There was a prevailing philosophy at the time, championed by philosophers such as Philo of Alexandria (taking a cue from Heraclitus) that spoke of a Logos that was a divine energy that created everything. John is telling his audience – you know that Logos you talk about? Let me tell you Who that really is. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  25. 25. Historical Impact on Interpretation "Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, ―Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,‖ says the Lord. ―But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.‖" (Romans 12:19-20) The coals on the head likely refers to a ritual in Egypt in which a person showed his repentance by carrying a pan of burning charcoal on his head. Helping rather than cursing an enemy may cause him to be ashamed and penitent. The coals symbolized his change to a tender mind, which fits in the context of Romans 12 where a love deed could help melt a person to repentance. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  26. 26. The Difference Between Principle & Custom "But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed man was not created for the woman‘s sake, but woman for the man‘s sake. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels."(1 Corinthians 11:3-10) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  27. 27. The Difference Between Principle & Custom The preponderance of evidence points toward the public head covering of women as a universal custom in the first century in both Jewish culture (3 Maccabees 4:6; Mishnah, Ketuboth 7. 6; Babylonian Talmud, Ketuboth 72a-b) and Greco-Roman culture (Plutarch Moralia 3. 232c; 4. 267b; Apuleius The Golden Ass 11. 10). The nature of the covering varied considerably, but it was commonly a portion of the outer garment drawn up over the head like a hood. It seems that the Corinthian slogan, ―everything is permissible,‖ had been applied to meetings of the church as well, and the Corinthian women had expressed that principle by throwing off their distinguishing dress. More importantly they seem to have rejected the concept of subordination within the church (and perhaps in society) and with it any cultural symbol (e.g., a head-covering) which might have been attached to it. According to Paul, for a woman to throw off the covering was an act not of liberation but of degradation. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  28. 28. Grammatical Impact on Interpretation The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  29. 29. " In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.― (Genesis 1:1) ‫― :בָרא‬Bara‖ ―initiating something new‖ ָ Every time the Hebrew word ‗bara‘ is used in the Old Testament, it has God as its subject The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  30. 30. " And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."(John 1:14) Eskēnōsen ―live temporarily‖; ―tablernacle‖ A movable cultic tent Lexicon: Yahweh‘s tabernacle the Tabernacle or Tent of Testimony (Ex 27:21; 29:4; Lev 1:1; Num 1:1) "And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ―Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them,"(Revelation 21:3) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  31. 31. Was Jesus really a Man or Not? "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  32. 32. Was Jesus really a Man or Not? "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11) Form=‗Morphe‘: shape; nature He was transfigured (μετεμορυώθη), μετά, denoting change or transfer, and μορυή, form. This latter word denotes the form regarded as the distinctive nature and character of the object, and is distinguished from σχῆμα, the changeable, outward fashion: in a man, for instance, his gestures, clothes, words, acts. The μοτυή partakes of the essence of a thing; the σχῆμα is an accident which may change, leaving the form unaffected. Compare Mark 16:12; Christ ―appeared in another form‖ (μορυή) - Word Studies in the New Testament The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  33. 33. Was Jesus really a Man or Not? "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11) likeness=‗homoiōma‘: likeness of form; image; similarity "For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,"(Romans 8:3) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  34. 34. Was Jesus really a Man or Not? "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:5-11) appearance=‗schema‘: outward appearance; way of life; as comprising everything in a person which strikes the senses "and those who use the world, as though they did not make full use of it; for the form of this world is passing away."(1 Corinthians 7:31) So was Jesus a man? Yes, He had a true human nature/essence, but He was only similar to our sinful flesh. Everything about Him that could be empirically tested would positively identify Him as human. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation rest of mankind
  35. 35. Watch Out for Chapter and Section Breaks Remember that there were no chapter or section breaks (or even punctuation breaks) in the original language texts – sometimes the breaks you have in your Bible helps and sometimes they don‘t… "But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man. Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews;"(John 2:24-3:1) John is telling us we‘re about to meet a man just as was previously described… The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  36. 36. Implicit vs. Explicit Can someone on their own come to faith in Christ? Implicit "―For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."(John 3:16) Vs. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day."(John 6:44) Explicit The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  37. 37. Implicit vs. Explicit How is someone ‗saved‘? "For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy.― (1 Corinthians 7:14) "Yet she will be saved through childbearing— if they [women] continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control."(1 Timothy 2:15) Even the explicit statements must be determined by context and the ‗analogy of faith‘ / what Scripture clearly declares The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  38. 38. Interpret the Bible with the Bible " Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure."(1 Peter 1:1-2) What does ―sprinkled with His blood‖ mean? "Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. Then he arose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain with twelve pillars for the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the sons of Israel, and they offered burnt offerings and sacrificed young bulls as peace offerings to the Lord. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, ―All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!‖ So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ―Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.‖"(Exodus 24:4-8) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  39. 39. Exegesis vs. Eisegesis Eisegesis is reading something into the text that isn‘t there; exegesis is getting out of the text what is there. "For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords,― (1 Corinthians 8:5) Mormons teach there are many gods who govern many planets and use the verse above as part of their support for their belief. This simply isn‘t supported by the context of the passage. Paul is speaking about idols and the many Greek/Roman gods of mythology that were worshipped – false/non-existent gods. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  40. 40. How many meanings does a verse of Scripture have? One A verse may have many applications, but it can only have one actual meaning in the context of a passage. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  41. 41. Is this easy? No… "As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow." (1 Peter 1:10-11) Even the prophets themselves had to work at their own inspired writings to know what they meant. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  42. 42. Why is right interpretation so important? So that we may intimately know God and obey Him. Imagine a set of people who receive a mandate from their king and they go about syntactically breaking the mandate down, analyzing its structure, etc. , when all along the king simply wants them to obey his command. The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  43. 43. "―These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. ―You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. ―You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. ―You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deuteronomy 6:6-9) But why…? The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  44. 44. "―Then it shall come about when the Lord your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget the Lord who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. ―You shall fear only the Lord your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name." (Deuteronomy 6:10-13) The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation
  45. 45. The Word The Science of Biblical Interpretation Part 2 The Word – The Science of Biblical Interpretation

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