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7 SHATTERPROOF Principles For Understanding or Interpreting The Bible
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There are many people who believe that the Bible can be made to support any idea, belief, philosophy, actions or words. To a certain degree they are correct. As long as there are no rules of interpretation the Bible and ANY BOOK for that matter, can be made to mean and represent anything that suits individual tastes and preferences. Fortunately, for the sincere hearted who are honestly trying to understand the Bible, there are seven INHERENT or (BUILT-IN) interpretation principles which determine whether the Bible will be understood by the person reading it.
1. CONTRADICTION - The only way to prove that the Bible contradicts itself is to refuse to let the Bible explain itself. (Many other books are often used to try and interpret and understand the Bible instead of allowing the Bible to explain itself by comparing scripture with scripture. Even in courts of law and justice, a man on trial is given an opportunity to speak for himself. Scripture must be compared with Scripture in order to ascertain the meanings.)
2. CONTEXT - A TEXT without CONTEXT is a PRETEXT to reject TEXT. (Verses separated from the context in which they are found provide a basis for rejecting them. The Bible reveals principles in its verses and every valid principle has other verses which establish it.)
3. MOTIVE - The motive for reading the Bible determines whether a person will understand or misunderstand the Bible.
a) the wrong motive for reading the Bible = the wrong understanding or a misunderstanding of the Bible
b) the right motive for reading the Bible = the right or the correct understanding of the Bible
4. CHRIST – The reflection of God's character is seen in Jesus Christ as stated by Himself and revealed in His life. Any interpretation of the Bible that claims to represent the character of God must be compared to the character of Christ to be tested for truthfulness. (Understanding God in the Old Testament is easier when the Christ who revealed His character in the New Testament is accepted.)
5. REASON – If a high opinion of human reason is cherished and exalted then the reasoning of God in the Bible cannot be appreciated or understood. (If the human mind believes it is the greatest mind there is no room or tolerance for a greater Mind)
6. GUIDANCE - The Person Who inspired the Bible is the Person who must be communicated with in prayer in order to understand the Bible. (A simple prayer to God for understanding before opening the Bible will make it possible to undertand.)
7. EXPERIENCE - The test of personal experience will shed light on the Bible if there is a willingness on the part of the individual to practice the right principles of the Bible. (This test is open to anyone. An application of the principles of moral excellence in the Bible is impossible without God's help but if aided by divine grace the principles of right in the Bible when actually practiced in the life will lead to the development of a Christ-like character giving evidence of the Bible's divine origin.)
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