Presentation on theme: "“The Bible needs no interpretation because it interprets itself.” Herbert W. Armstrong."— Presentation transcript:
“The Bible needs no interpretation because it interprets itself.” Herbert W. Armstrong
He also taught that God had revealed to him alone the key to interpreting scripture. He alone was the legitimate interpreter of Scripture
Spiritual/Pneumatological Interpretation Inspired Authors and Inspired Readers But ….
Principle’s One and Two Good interpretation requires: 1. Many readers who bring various expertise and experience 2. Ongoing research into the language, customs and culture of the Bible
1. Many readers who bring various expertise and experience 2. Ongoing research into the language, customs and culture of the Bible 3. Understanding the context for which a passage or text was written 4. Recognizing to whom the passage or book is addressed 5. Recognition of patterns (meaning is encoded but the code is not a secret) 6. Keeping the big picture in view (both the book and the entire canon) 7. Following the cues of the literary form or genre 8. Looking for the structure of the passage 9. Finding the appropriate comfort, aesthetic pleasure or emotional response to a passage
Every reader depends upon a large community of scholars stretching back to the autograph: for transcription for translation for lower criticism: determination of what constitutes the best available Greek or Hebrew manuscript
The Bible is the product of a complicated process of transmission
The Bible is composed by many poets and narrators and authors over a span of several millennia
The Bible we have is not a facsimile of the autograph.
The Bible is not a book but a canon (a list) determined by a series of committees after much debate
The Hebrew Canon - 24 books - Yavneh ca 100 c.e. (signature for a series of discussions from ca 400 b.c.e to 200 c.e.) The New Testament Canon African Synod of Hippo 393 c.e. Councils of Carthage in 397 and 419 c.e Council of Trent of 1546 c.e.
The Samaritans DNA evidence - share a common ancestor with Jews Torah - scripture Worship - Mount Gerizim, high places which the OT prophets denounced Nehemiah’s wall excludes them Hasmoneans destroy their temple Excluded from Jerusalem temple Treated as unclean
What are these three Gospel stories about? Luke 10:25-37 The Good Samaritan Luke 17:11-19 The Ten Lepers John 4:1-42 The Samaritan Woman at the Well
Samaritan Woman at the Well Roman Catacomb ca. Second Century C.E.
Implications Interpretation is always on a trajectory rather than a terminus Interpretation is a risky venture When the purpose is personal inspiration, a misinterpretation is not necessarily a problem. Meir Sternberg - The Bible is Fool Proof When the purpose is doctrine and church order, good interpretation needs to involve many readers and many forms of expertise and experience.
What makes a Book scripture? What makes the Bible authoritative? Can we trust the product of tradition and discernment?
Representation of Reality: being good counts more than being powerful Theology: God cares about the least of these Community Ethic: I am my brother and sister’s keeper. Purposeful Life: I have a choice to get with God’s plan and make His light shine.
What does it mean to call the Bible the Word of God?
Testament - Covenant: an agreement that creates a relationship between two parties, a reciprocal promise between two parties