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Thursday, November 03, 2005

How do You Read the Bible?

Have you ever been told that’s your interpretation, or I don’t take the Bible literally, or that’s symbolic? These are three examples of what usually turns out to be nothing more than taking the easy way out. This is because these phrases are usually used in order to attempt to shut someone up rather than in order to come to an understanding. All interpretations were not created equal. Some are based on proper hermeneutics and some on preconceived notions, liberalism, denominational pressure, etc.

If you have been told something of this sort you may have noticed that generally, nothing followed the phrases, in other words the people making such statements do not usually say that’s your interpretation and I believe that it is incorrect due to this and that and I believe that a more appropriate interpretation is thus and such. Neither do they usually say I don’t take the Bible literally and so I believe that symbolically it means so and so.

Rather, when you are sharing some doctrine, in particular an orthodox doctrine, this is when you may be told that’s your interpretation but that is the end of it and you will not be offered any hermeneutical reasons for why your interpretation is in error instead it is a way to use the phrase as a means to say I do not agree with you even if I cannot even articulate a reason as to why I don’t agree.

Likewise, the phrase I don’t take the Bible literally is not usually followed by a rational or contextual reason for why the text in question (or the Bible as a whole) should not be taken literally moreover, why it should be taken symbolically and what the symbolism means.

Do not let that’s your interpretation and I don’t take the Bible literally be conversation enders but rather turn them into conversation starters, ask why and if it is not literal then what is it and what does it mean?
Challenge them because it is very likely that they have never though beyond I know that I disagree with you, attempt to make them ask themselves why do I disagree and are there any viable reasons for doing so. You may also consider an amusing and perhaps enlightening tactic, if you are told that’s your interpretation you may try asking do you find me to be so ignorant that if it was my personal interpretation it would instantly be discredited?

1 comment:

  1. Hi

    Bible is a holy book of Christian and they are believe on this book.Muslims are also believe on this book.Because this book is also send our God Allah and muslims read only Holy Quran.


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