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Thursday, July 28, 2011

How Do You Interpret Scripture & Approach The Bible?

How do you interpret the Bible? Do you take an analytical approach to the text? Do you take a holistic approach to the text? Do you take a literal approach to scripture? Do you just see scripture as something to prove your opinions or views on different topics? Is it important how people approach the Bible? Is everything in the Bible to be taken literally? Why or why not? Is there danger in using scripture to prove points of a opinions? Why or why not? Is there more than one way to approach scripture? How do you approach the text? How should we?

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

17 Comments:

Anonymous Sarah said...

Awesome question. I try to take a literal approach to the bible (in order to avoid twisting & misinterpretation of the text). When I study I do a comparative study - I have the Access Study Bible (NRSV), my KVJ, and I have a free download version of a interlinear greek/hewbrew bible. I'm just beginning my study... I try to follow this outline for an unbias study: http://overcomingdarkness.com/unbias-bible-study/.

I don't know if scripture should be used to prove our opinions. Christianity is just a religion, created by man, divided many times over... the Bible was penned by man, I do not think it is without error 100%. The ONLY version that may be the actual inspiration of God is the original hewbrew & greek texts... but even that is speculation (in my opinion.)

What I take from my faith and from the Bible is this: We should live our lives as morally as we can and follow Christ's example. We should show God's love - not judgment and condemnation. We shouldn't focus so much on fixing other people's lives, but instead fixing/working on our own lives. LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Joshua Tucker said...

I believe the Bible is God's inspired Word. Without it I wouldn't have anything reliable about God or Jesus at all. We can all make up a religion about what we think Jesus was like or what God is like, but the only reliable information we have is the Bible. Our speculations are just speculations. I believe in the Bible because I believe that God wants me to submit to who He says He is, not create a god in my own image based on what I think God should be like.

How we approach the Bible is extremely important, and from it comes how most people practice Christianity and understand what God is like. If you approach the Scriptures trying to prove something you already believe, you can twist them enough to make them say it. Plenty of people do. If you approach the Scriptures believing that it's only partly accurate, then you'll start throwing out things that don't make immediate sense to you, which will end up being a religion you have created over what God has revealed.

However, if you approach the Bible because you want to know God and genuinely see the truth, regardless of how difficult that truth is, you will find it.

I try to approach the text with humility and common sense. I approach with humility, realizing that I am not better than the Bible. My modern ideas and culture do not supersede what God has spoken. I also approach it with common sense, in that I try to read it in context of the Bible as a whole, realizing it was never intended to be picked apart a verse at a time.

The Bible was never meant to be interpreted in an academic bubble, either. The Bible was meant to be a guide to experiencing God and becoming a disciple of Jesus. If you try to interpret it without a heart to follow God, you will inevitably come up with some strange conclusions. It is a map through which you experience the real mountains. Without taking a trip through the mountains it's just a piece of paper.

I love the Bible, because through it my life becomes clear, meaningful, God-filled, and passionate.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. tough questions.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I don't take everything in the Bible literally. I do think the Bible is helpful to living. It contains wisdom.

1:37 AM  
Blogger Billy said...

I do not think the Bible is infallible, I do think it is for the most part, inspired by GOD! The Bible should be read as a history book and for guidance, but remembering that it is actually a collection of books and letters that was not written to us in our generation. All of the O.T. and a large part of the N.T. was written to the people of Israel! The parts that were written to the Gentiles, was addressed directly to people of that Century!! There were 11 Apostles that were appointed by Jesus to teach about the love of GOD! This collection of books and letters only contains three of them and their teachings!!
If you are a true follower of Jesus Christ, read The Bible and use it for reference, but follow the Holy Spirit's lead. That's why He was given to you at the point that you believed!!
The love and guidance of The Holy Trinity is all you really need, and without that, The Bible is just another book!!

3:27 PM  
Blogger Just Another Thought Online said...

Given the history of the Bible I have a hard time believing that it is "the word of God." The books and gospels were chosen by men while other books and gospels were excluded. How are the books that made it more holy? I also notice that the books that acknowledged women as leaders or that were more progressive for their time were excluded.

I read the Bible while keeping in mind historical context and the fact that it has been translated (and mistranslated) many times. I believe that taking the Bible literally is reading, but not understanding the Bible.

The overall message is what is most important...Love one another.

4:11 AM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I think my interpretations improved over the last decade just because I started looking for meaning behind fuller passages rather than focusing on one verse. Also, although my Greek is still at the baby stages, and Hebrew still scares me, I'm getting better at using the original languages to guide me. Comparing wording in the Hebrew and the LXX helps me made sure I'm not reading too much into the text. And comparing NT's OT quotes with the LXX wording helps me understand the broader meaning.

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Blogger Jenny said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

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