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The Bible

Preunderstandings

John 12:48
He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him - the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.
NKJV

Preunderstandings describe what the interpreter brings to the task of interpretation. These are based upon a wide variety of factors and may be viewed as the philosophy of the interpreter.

These preunderstandings will change or modify one's presuppositions and views of Scripture. If one assumes there is no God, there is no room for the existence of miracles, which are by definition an act of God. If one believes in evolution, Genesis 1 and 2 on the creation of the earth and its contents, including man, become myth. If one believes that works play an important part in salvation, passages will be interpreted with this in mind. If the Bible itself is not supernatural, then man may seek its "true" meaning by the application of the same literary methods used on other ancient works to determine what is "truth" and what is fiction.

"For example, neoorthodoxy's basis of authority is Christ, which sounds good until you begin to investigate how substantial their idea really is. The Barthian (another name for neoorthodoxy) says that his authority is Christ and not the Bible, for that is a fallible book. But since it is a book full of errors (and if it is our only source of information about Christ), then how do we know that Christ has any authority unless we arbitrarily assign Him authority on the basis of our faith or of our reasoning?" (1)

1. Keathley, Page 1.

 

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