How to Read – Chapter 4 (1st Period)

how-to-read-the-bible

Looking forward to hearing your questions.

Advertisements

15 thoughts on “How to Read – Chapter 4 (1st Period)

  1. Q: On page 79, the author says that those who make a big deal about the abstinence of certain traditions (certain food, clothing, hair, or recreation) believe it makes them appear holier to God. With cultural relativity in mind, what practices from back then would bring glory to God?

    A: When tradition becomes ritual, then it isn’t good. Things like reciting the Lord’s Prayer, taking communion, attending church, all can become ritual if performed without the wrong mindset or attitude. All of these practices can bring glory to God if they are done with an attitude of worship and thankfulness to Him. Obedience is more important than repeating mindless rituals.

    Q: In your opinion, what is the most controversial topic up for debate from the Epistles?

    https://bible.org/gsearch?search=tradition
    http://blogs.bible.org/heartprints/susan_greenwood/whats_the_big_deal_with__tradition_

  2. Q: If the basic rule that a text cannot mean what it never could have meant to its author or his or her readers, then why do a lot of verses seem up for grabs in meaning?
    A: There are certain implications of this for biblical interpretation. The first is that the human authors had a specific historical audience, context and purpose. These authors used their own language, writing methods, style of writing and literary form of writing. The divine authorship of the Bible gives it its unity and the ultimate source of all interpretation is from God. In the book of Genesis Joseph was asked about the meaning of some divinely given dreams and he replied, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? (Gen 40:8).
    1. Interpretation must be based on the author’s intention of meaning and not the reader.
    2. Interpretations must be done in the context of the passage.
    3. Interpret the Bible literally (or normally) allowing for normal use of figurative language.
    4.Use the Bible to help interpret itself. Interpret difficult passages with clear ones.

    Source: https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-6-principles-biblical-interpretation (Principles of Biblical Interpretation)
    Q: Despite the examples in the book, can you expand on how our society dictates what is common sense for us? (in present time)

  3. Q — On pg. 77, the book references Arminian tradition and Calvinists. What are those?

    A — Based on different interpretations of scripture, there are two basic views of Christian salvation that have developed: Arminianism and Calvinism. In a rough overview, Arminianism emphasizes the human responsibility of salvation, while Calvinism emphasizes God’s will in salvation. Both views agree that humanity is sinful and Christ died and rose again so that we might be saved. However, the main difference is that Calvinism believes that God predestined certain people for salvation. Those elect are drawn to Christ and will not fall away. Arminianism believes that Christ died for all people, that men can accept or reject God’s call to faith, and that those who have accepted Christ are capable of losing their salvation.
    Source: https://bible.org/article/divine-sovereignty-vs-human-responsibility

    Q — At times, the meaning or application of certain Biblical passages can be very difficult to understand, whether it be cultural differences or the weight of the message. Since God longs for us to know him, why didn’t he make the Bible easier to understand?

  4. Q – Sometimes Scripture commands all people to do things, but other times the commands do not relate directly to us, rather to a specific group of people. Since Paul was writing to a specific audience, how do we know the difference between what was specific to them and what also applies to us? And, what should we take literally?

    A- Just because a biblical command is intended to be understood literally, does not mean it is intended to be applied laterally, that is, universally across the board to all peoples at all times in all places. For example, Jesus told Peter to cast his net into the water. But, because Jesus said “Cast your net into the water,” we should not necessarily go do that. It is important to understand the context of the situation.
    https://bible.org/article/taking-bible-literally

    Q for Webster – If a specific command in a letter was intended for a specific audience in Bible times, isn’t it potentially dangerous for people in our time to use that same command for a different application in their life, especially if that application was not around when it was written?

  5. Q —The chapter talked a lot about different possible meanings of different passages and the fact that we can’t really know what some things mean for us today. It was kind of discouraging to me because it made the Bible seem really complicated. If parts of the Bible are confusing and it is nearly impossible to discern their meaning, then why should I even try to study them?
    A — We cannot understand what the Bible is saying on our own, but it is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit “of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17). The Holy Spirit helps believers to understand and apply the truths in the Bible by illumination.
    1 Corinthians 2:12-13 says “Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.”
    1 John 2:27 says “But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.”
    These verses give encouragement when we feel like giving up trying to understand something in the Bible.
    Source — The Bible and https://bible.org/seriespage/8-interpretation-illumination-and-application

    Q — If some things in the Bible apply only to first-century believers, then why would the Holy Spirit have inspired them to be in the Bible for us to read today?

  6. Q: Why are women not allowed to lead/teach in the church?
    A: 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9 shares qualifications for elders, which clearly are framed with men in view: “husband of one wife,” “manages his household well,” etc. Also, 1 Cor. 11:3-16 clearly presents the hierarchy: God, Christ, man, woman, which applies both to the church and the home. Since elders/pastors both teach and exercise authority, 1 Tim. 2:11-15 prohibits women from occupying this office (the reasons given in that text are not culturally determined). There are no NT examples of women elders or pastors serving over men.
    (Source): https://bible.org/article/women-church-what-can-they-do-or-not-do

    Q: If a lot of what Paul is talking about is directed to a specific audience, how do we apply it to our lives while keeping from becoming the Corinthian church, who thought their ideas in their own social setting made better sense?

  7. Question: What are Hermeneutical Questions and how do they relate to the Bible?
    Answer: Hermeneutical questions deal with interpreting texts, especially dealing with the Bible. Bible.org says, “Each lesson is based around the hermeneutical principle that the original authors wrote in a similar manner as we do today—with the intention of being understood.”
    source: https://bible.org/seriespage/preface-11
    Question: How will we be able to tell when to interpret texts literally?

  8. Question: Why does the Bible say that slavery is okay?

    Answer: As Ephesians 6:5-8 says “Bondservants,[a] obey your earthly masters[b] with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord,whether he is a bondservant or is free.” This obviously does not say that slavery is right but it says that if you find yourself in that situation that you should not fight back but submit. It shows that wherever you are in life that God put you there for a reason and you should not try to fight it.

    Source: Bible Gateway Ephesians 6:5-9
    Question for Webster: Since a lot of verses in the Bible might be called outdated for our time why didn’t God include more information about what we might face today?

  9. Q: Slavery is a terrible thing, why doesn’t the bible criticize slavery and try to speak against it?\

    A: The modern slavery that we know cannot be compared to slavery in the first century. Most slaves long ago were taken as prisoners of war or sold themselves into slavery. While the slave owner had complete control over their slaves there was generally a mutual respect. Slaves could marry, accumulate wealth, purchase their own freedom, run a business, etc. Slavery in the first century was nothing in comparison to modern day slavery they were respected and in most cases could receive freedom. Paul does not speak outright about slavery because he knew it wouldn’t have done anything. But he did plant the seeds for freedom to go along with the gospel.
    Source: https://bible.org/article/some-initial-reflections-slavery-new-testament

    Q2: How can we know when to interpret a text literally, and when to interpret it in reference to life thousands of years ago?

  10. Question: Why are Hermeneutics so important?
    Answer: We can see the value of the use of hermeneutics in the English translations of the Bible from the Hebrew in the Old Testament and the Greek in the New Testament. This is very important when expositional preaching of the Bible is done. The original words that differed from the English translation of it may give greater insight and meaning to the context. In hermeneutics no preconceived study formats are required. Hans Gadamer has said, Hermeneutics consist of the natural penchant of humans to ask questions (voiced or unvoiced) and the natural function to perceive, interpret, understand, shift one’s mental parameters and so grow. Hermeneutical inquiry is a manner of pursuing truth and wisdom that can function as an umbrella for all efforts to seek truth including scientific inquiry.

    https://bible.org/article/holy-spirit-and-hermeneutics

    Question: Is it okay to take things from the Bible that may not be completely applicable to your life and manipulate them to do so.

  11. Question: How should the New Testament believer relate to the Old Testament law?
    Answer: The hermeneutic above is intended to follow in the tradition of the distinction between interpretation and application. The interpretation includes the meaning of the words in their original setting AND the principle that gives them meaning. Applications of that meaning are many and necessary if the meaning is to be meaningful to us. The Scripture itself reveals applications, and those applications are inspired. Our applications are not. But ours may and should be true to the Divine revelation. I believe that the New Testament does affirm the O. T. Law for N.T. believers, but per principle not necessarily verbatim.
    Source: https://bible.org/question/how-should-new-testament-believers-relate-ot-law

    Question: Why are some things in the OT kind of disregarded now? (i.e. tattoos: Leviticus 19:28 , “Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD.”)

  12. Question: What is the stumbling-block principle and how does it relate to us?

    Answer: Romans 14:13 reads, “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.” Here Paul is concerned that people who have liberty protects people who don’t. The word “obstacle” refers to something in the road that causes one to stumble. A strong believer who puts an obstacle in the way of a weak believer could set them back temporarily or cause harm to their conscience. The term “stumbling block” is where we get the word “scandal”, which refers to a triggered mechanism on a baited animal trap. So as Christians we are taught to share the Gospel with non believers but to do it in a way that comforts and helps them, not to scare or force it on them.

    Source: https://bible.org/seriespage/28-handle-care-romans-1413-23

    Question: What are the Hermeneutical Questions exactly?

  13. Question: Why are hermeneutics important?
    Answer: We can see the value of the use of hermeneutics in the English translations of the Bible from the Hebrew in the Old Testament and the Greek in the New Testament. This is very important when expositional preaching of the Bible is done. The original words that differed from the English translation of it may give greater insight and meaning to the context. In hermeneutics no preconceived study formats are required. Hans Gadamer has said, Hermeneutics can consist of the natural penchant of humans to ask questions and the natural function to perceive, interpret, understand, shift one’s mental parameters and so grow. Being a function of all human beings, hermeneutical inquiry is a manner of pursuing truth and wisdom that can function as an umbrella for all efforts to seek truth including scientific inquiry.

    https://bible.org/article/holy-spirit-and-hermeneutics

    Answer: Is it okay to take things from the Bible that may not be completely applicable to our lives today and manipulate them to do so.

  14. Q: How can we best interpret the Bible? Or what steps can we take when reading a passage to best understand it?

    A: We must first understand that there is no single formula to use to understand all of scripture. There are steps we can take for specific passages, but they may not work on everything. However, there are some basic rules we can follow when trying to interpret. The first principle is that the author defines the text. This is true no matter what passage you’re reading. The second is we must understand the context of the specific passage. Understand the setting and circumstance the passage was written in. The third is to pay attention to the type of literature or how literal the passage is. We don’t read Proverbs the same way we read Matthew because they are different forms of literature. And the last principle is to distinguish between interpretation and application. Don’t assume that every single passage is directed specifically to you.

    Source: https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-6-principles-biblical-interpretation

    Q: How should we interpret scripture that isn’t directed towards us?

  15. Q: What is the purpose of Revelation?
    A: (3 reasons) To complete the prophetic theme presented earlier of the Old Testament. In view of the early addresses in chapters 2–3 to the churches John desires to comfort and encourage believers in the midst of suffering and persecution at the hands of evil ones by assuring them that Jesus Christ, and thus they themselves, will ultimately and finally triumph.To challenge the churches to godly living in view of the certain return of Christ and the certain judgment of evil
    Source: https://bible.org/article/introduction-book-revelation
    Q: What is rapture? What does that mean?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s