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The Bible

The Hermeneutical Spiral

Colossians 1:9
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

Interpretation of Scriptures can be a tricky thing. For starters, only the believer, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, is in a position to understand the spiritual things of the Bible. But, there are many unsaved "scholars" in the world who contribute their "two cents" to the meaning of Scripture.

At the same time, our preunderstandings and presuppositions change with true understanding of God's Word. This is part of the process of maturing in Christ, the process of sanctification. So, an individual must remain open to change. This is a progressive process which comes with growth and increased spiritual knowledge. This is why it is so important to spend regular time in God's Word, meditating therein and praying to God about its meaning and application.

"The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus became for early Christians the hermeneutical key for their interpretation and application of the Jewish Scriptures. Since the Scriptures could be relied on for clarification of eschatological events, and since Jesus was the eschatological agent, there could be no doubt that the Scriptures were fulfilled in him." (1)

When interpreting the Scripture, one does not do so "literally" for this has no precise meaning. "Ours is a day of abuse; sexual abuse, emotional abuse, verbal abuse. But what about biblical abuse? By that I mean being deceived by the improper use of Scripture. Who of us has not witnessed someone twisting Scripture, forcing it to mean something it does not mean? Those who don't know better start believing it with all their heart, only to discover later on that both the interpretation and the application were fallacious perhaps dangerous to their spiritual health and growth." (2) Therefore, rather than speaking of interpreting the Bible literally, one should talk of its plain or normal meaning. Keathley lists the following justifications for such an approach: (3)

In applying these rules, the same author states the following principles of interpretation:

1. Hubbard, Page 131, quoting Evans.

2. Keathley, Page 42, quoting Swindoll

3. Keathley, Page 43




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