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Principles of Literal Bible Interpretation
Bible Truth ^ | Revised, Aug 2001 | Cooper P. Abrams, III

Posted on 10/29/2002 5:18:29 AM PST by xzins



TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: actual; allegorical; bible; figurative; interpretation; literal; real; symbolic
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1 posted on 10/29/2002 5:18:29 AM PST by xzins
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To: hopespringseternal; drstevej; fortheDeclaration; winstonchurchill; ShadowAce; P-Marlowe; ...
The principles detailed above are fairly standard within a literal methodology. Some of the author's comments, explanations, and illustrations are unique to him.

The issue is the effort to establish a consistent methodology for literal bible interpretation. It is necessary to remember that "literal bible interpretation" is the name for a PROCESS that properly places symbols, allegories, figures, types, metaphors, etc., in their proper context.

It is not a way to say that the "symbolic" does not exist in the Bible.

As near as I can tell, the closest synonym to "literal methodology" is what scholars mean when they say "exegesis."
2 posted on 10/29/2002 5:31:49 AM PST by xzins
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Comment #3 Removed by Moderator

To: BibChr; xzins
The method that God gave is the literal method, or what man has labeled the Grammatical-Historical Method.

Where is that in the Bible?

4 posted on 10/29/2002 6:50:44 AM PST by B-Chan
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To: B-Chan
It is the Bible. Read the whole essay.

Dan

5 posted on 10/29/2002 6:54:38 AM PST by BibChr
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To: xzins
Unless the passage says otherwise, or is clearly using metaphorical languate give Scripture a literal meaning. .....

. Often the Bible does use figurative speech. The art or skill of an interpreter, using the proper rules of interpretation combined with good sense can easily understand the meaning.....

It should be understood that this does not mean we are to take metaphorical language literally.

Of course, all this hand waving is to obscure that a major source of differences in interpretations is in identifying which passages are literal and which are metaphorical.

Likewise, it is fairly naive to state that we can "easily undestand" the meaning of figurative passages. Exactly what these passages mean, what message is being conveyed is another source of differences.

GRANT ONE INTERPRETATION TO EACH PASSAGE.
When the words of Scripture were penned they had only one meaning. We should search for that one meaning. To accept multiple interpretations for one scripture passage causes confusion. Scripture itself does not allow for multiple interpretations of a verse.

Right. So the story of Abraham and Isaac, or of Noah, or of the Exodus, only has one, literal, meaning. We are not to read these as foreshadows of things to come?

SD

6 posted on 10/29/2002 7:14:59 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: xzins
Thanks for a good article. I got half way through and am going to make a hard copy. I do better with hard copies:)

Becky

7 posted on 10/29/2002 7:18:23 AM PST by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
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To: xzins
"If the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense."

Then the Jews started arguing with one another: "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" they said. Jesus replied: "I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him."

Makes perfect literal sense to me!

8 posted on 10/29/2002 7:18:58 AM PST by american colleen
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To: xzins; Jean Chauvin
How did you read this? Kind of a long article.
9 posted on 10/29/2002 8:18:05 AM PST by Wrigley
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: xzins; BibChr; sheltonmac
The correct interpretation of the passage is that Christ will literally reign for one thousand years on earth!

This man is an idiot. He doesn't even follow his own rules of interpretation. Someone please show me where the word earth appears in Revelation 20: 1 - 6. It doesn't. There is no mention where the "reigning" takes place. No literal word earth in that passage.

I am very hesitant to read someone who doesn't follow his own rules. What a dispensational joke this it.

11 posted on 10/29/2002 9:02:21 AM PST by sola gracia
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To: american colleen; sheltonmac
Makes perfect literal sense to me!

So the literalists make us out to be cannibals. What blasphemy!! In fact, the early Christians were persecuted because they were accused of being cannibals.

12 posted on 10/29/2002 9:04:40 AM PST by sola gracia
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To: B-Chan; BibChr; xzins
The method that God gave is the literal method, or what man has labeled the Grammatical-Historical Method.
Where is that in the Bible?

B-Chan,
I think scholars sometimes can lose people through the use of big words and complex construction of simple concepts enveloped in brilliant essays that are just so so long.

I think the author of the piece would agree that the literal method (or the other big word method) are high foolitin terms for just reading what it says without monkeying with it. By example: when you balance your checkbook, do you take the numbers as they are and add them up? You are using the literal method. That is all they are saying.

If you decide to use some other more creative method based on what you think the amounts should have been, you will eventually screw up your balance and perhaps the bank will garner your wages to pay it. This relates to your question, where it is in the Bible that it is supposed to be taken literally. All of creation as revealed by the Bible and confirmed by science follows real literal natural laws, conforms to the literal method. Curious what you think :) Where you looking for passages/references?
13 posted on 10/29/2002 9:25:49 AM PST by Scarlet_Pimpernil
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To: xzins
The principles detailed above are fairly standard within a literal methodology. Some of the author's comments, explanations, and illustrations are unique to him.

The only interpretative principle which I didn't see is an important one: Take into account the genre of the book.

For example, it is highly reasonable to assume that in writing a letter, or a summary of current events (i.e. a Gospel) or a history, one intends the simple declarative meaning of one's sentences. However, the same cannot be said of one relating his dreams in allegorical language. The fact that a writer continuously represents his actors as seven-headed beasts, etc is a clue to most any open-minded reader that he does NOT intend the simple declarative meaning of his sentence, but something hugely allegorical.

So, an important principle (which would save the author from his 'literal millenium' error) would be: Accept the literal, simple declarative meaning of a writing unless there are clues from the author (in the context or genre of the the writing) that he did not intend to convey such a literal recitation.

That is why I, like some others here, do not generally enter into the 'millenium' discussions: the 'dispensationalist' theories are based on the two most clearly allegorical books of the Bible (i.e. Daniel and the second half of Revelation). As such the hugely allegorical presentations are almost useless to us. The secret decoder ring for the allegoties has long since been lost (although I think that old John was probably providing a dream-like (politically safe) explanation of what was happening right then).

But the important point is that there is no question that the authors intended that a decoder ring was required. Once we take note of that fact, then treating them as simple declarative sentences capable of literal application is an abuse of the author's work.

The Lord will come again. When, I don't know. What He will do after He comes, I don't know. Call me stupid, but extracting anymore than that from dream-sequence allegories is merest speculation -- no matter what your preferred outcome.

14 posted on 10/29/2002 9:26:58 AM PST by winstonchurchill
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To: Dutch-Comfort
" It is much more apparent that all the different views have their values and validity, their small piece of knowledge of the infinite mystery, and not just one. "

It is hard to determine if one agrees or disagrees with your statement,as its logical construction is faulty.

>You say that each interpretation is a small piece of the infinite mystery (singular), which implies that there is one literal truth and we perhaps don't have a complete grasp on it. Yet, you also state that only one point of view of the Bible could not accurately reflect the divine mystery. Which is it, one literal truth or many co-existent truths?
>You then go on to say that all different views are valid...contradicting what you said earlier where you state that the literal interpretation is foolish and therefore invalid.



15 posted on 10/29/2002 9:39:54 AM PST by Scarlet_Pimpernil
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: xzins
<>II Timothy 3:16-17, clearly states that God gave us the Bible. The verses tell us that the Bible is " . . . profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." <>

<>Accepting what the words literally mean is a vital part of this first rule.<>


that the man of God may...may..may help make the man of God complete and equipped.....not that scripture in itself is complete and equipped...man of God is also clergy not a layperson..
17 posted on 10/29/2002 10:41:06 AM PST by Irisshlass
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To: Dutch-Comfort
It is much more apparent that all the different views have their values and validity, their small piece of knowledge of the infinite mystery, and not just one.

If you recall, the original objection was that contradictory theses are derived by people using the same Scriptural texts. Now God may be infinite, but He is not contradictory. Some things are true and others are not.

Every opinion and thesis about God is not simply a matter of perspective, is not a partial view of a larger infinite truth.

Some of them are just plain wrong. Period.

For example, some people, using the Bible texts have found that Jesus is God, the He is the Second Person of a Trinity. Others, using the same texts, found that He was just a man, and not a divine being.

Now God is infinite and all, but these two views are not just different perspectives on the same reality, the same infinite Being. They contradict.

One must be true, while the other false. Either Jesus is divine, or He is not. There is no way that both can be true.

SD

18 posted on 10/29/2002 10:53:27 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: Irisshlass
<>Accepting what the words literally mean is a vital part of this first rule.<>

James 1:4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."

We don't need anything including scripture except steadfastness?????
19 posted on 10/29/2002 10:57:59 AM PST by Irisshlass
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To: SoothingDave
For example, some people, using the Bible texts have found that Jesus is God, the He is the Second Person of a Trinity. Others, using the same texts, found that He was just a man, and not a divine being.

But the people who are denying that Jesus was not divine are not taking ALL scriptue literally. Jesus claimed divinity several times. What about the times God spoke from above while Jesus was on earth, This is my Son....

Becky

20 posted on 10/29/2002 11:06:17 AM PST by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
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To: Irisshlass
KJV- James 1:4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.

I may not be understanding your point.Are you saying this to refute that we do not need anything but the bible for knowledge of God? or that we need something else to be saved?

IMO, this verse is talking about christians maturing through the tyring of our faith.

Becky

21 posted on 10/29/2002 11:16:55 AM PST by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
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To: PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain; Dutch-Comfort
But the people who are denying that Jesus was not divine are not taking ALL scriptue literally. Jesus claimed divinity several times. What about the times God spoke from above while Jesus was on earth, This is my Son....

Totally beside the point, Becky. Our Dutch friend was arguing that every view has some validity, that every opinion is just a viewpoint on an infinite truth that we can not ever describe fully.

Many, many views are indeed, varying viewpoints on the same truth. But not all of them. There are those with valid ideas and there are those with wrong ideas. To say every view has validity is to deny that there is such a thing as wrong.

SD

22 posted on 10/29/2002 11:23:34 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain; irishlass
I may not be understanding your point.Are you saying this to refute that we do not need anything but the bible for knowledge of God? or that we need something else to be saved?

It is a linguistic refutation of the 2 Tim 3:16 "argument" for the sufficiency of Scripture. When Scripture says "if you have x, then you may be perfect," if x is "Scripture" you use this argument to say that Scripture alone is sufficient to make one "perfect."

When x is "steadfastness," you do not argue that steadfastness alone is sufficient to make one perfect.

The wording is identical, yet the idea taken is not. You are not consistent. 2 Tim 3:16 does not aruge for the sufficiency of Scripture alone, anymore than James 1:4 argues for the sufficiency of "steadfastness" alone.

SD

23 posted on 10/29/2002 11:32:07 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave
There are those with valid ideas and there are those with wrong ideas. To say every view has validity is to deny that there is such a thing as wrong

I really do need to get better at keeping in mind that you all can't know what I am thinkging:)

You are right. MY post was meant to show that things that are wrong can be shown wrong from the bible. That to say "every view has vailidity is to deny that there is such a thing as wrong."

Sorry for not being clear.

Becky

24 posted on 10/29/2002 11:32:34 AM PST by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
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To: PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
MY post was meant to show that things that are wrong can be shown wrong from the bible.

Many of them. But not all. Many things require interpretation, and we all know that interpretations differ.

SD

25 posted on 10/29/2002 11:39:09 AM PST by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave
Do you think you take the bible literally? Do you believe that the parts you say are symbolic, or metaphorical have clear indications of such? Or is it just that you know it was meant that way, rather stated or not?

Becky

26 posted on 10/29/2002 11:49:24 AM PST by PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
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To: american colleen
"If the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense."

Then the Jews started arguing with one another: "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" they said. Jesus replied: "I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him."

Makes perfect literal sense to me!

You forgot CONTEXT.

I'm going to quote the passage starting a verse before you do.

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

At this point in the narrative, it does indeed appear that JESUS could be talking about a literal EATING of His FLESH and DRINKING of His BLOOD.

But, ... as we continue to read the passage, we see that He has something else in mind.

60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

As occurs at other times in the narratives of JESUS' life and ministry, when His disciples get time to be alone with Him (i.e. away fron the crowds), they ask Him personally for explanations for some of the things He had just taught.

JESUS is, typically, gracious to explain to His disciples what they don't understand, as He does in the following ...

62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

So, ... in the preceding passage JESUS explains that His just previous teachings (about the issue of EATING His FLESH and DRINKING His BLOOD) is spiritual in nature.

He explains to His disciples that the LIFE (everlasting) which He gives is SPIRITUAL ... that He has nothing of eternal value to offer them which is FLESHLY in nature. (Note that this was the subject of His previous discussion with the crowd, as well.)

JESUS further explains that it is the words that He gives to them which yield the SPIRITUAL blessing He offers ... and, as such, ... these words are LIFE to those who accept them.

64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

Even upon hearing JESUS' further explanation, many of His disciples leave off following Him at this point.

Many Jews of that day were looking for a PHYSICAL (i.e. FLESHLY) deliverance (under the leadership of the Messiah) from the overlordship and oppression of Rome and for a re-establishment of the glory of ISRAEL.

However, in this passage, JESUS was successful in communicating to His disciples that this was not what He was offering. What He was offering was SPIRITUAL, not PHYSICAL.

As a result of understanding this communication from JESUS, many of His 'followers' left off following Him.

These were not interested in the SPIRITUAL deliverance that JESUS offered. Their hopes that JESUS would be ISRAEL's PHYSICAL deliverer were dashed, and they left off to continue to look for another (as the JEWS continue to do today).

The (12) disciples whom JESUS had personally selected did not leave Him at this time. Though we get the sense that they did not completely understand where JESUS was coming from at that time, they did understand that He was the One which was promised.

Now, it was just a matter of figuring out what He was promising.

JESUS asks them ... "Will you also leave ME... ?"

Peter answers Him ... "To whom else would we go ? It is only YOU who have the words of life."

Peter, himself, here recognizes that the LIFE that JESUS was promising His followers was sourced in His WORDS, rather than His FLESH.

This is completely in accord with Peter's own preaching, teaching and/or writings (the letters of I & II Peter). If literally eating JESUS' FLESH ... had been of such vital importance, than, surely, Peter would have mentioned in his own preaching, teaching and/or writings.

Peter does not.

Peter does, however, emphasize BELIEF in JESUS, in accord with JESUS' own words in the chapter you referenced ...

John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Now, ... is there any other way that this passage (in it's totality) could be faithfully interpreted, other than this ?


27 posted on 10/29/2002 12:00:56 PM PST by Quester
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To: PayNoAttentionManBehindCurtain
Do you think you take the bible literally?

Sometimes. Or some parts, rather. The parts that were written to be taken literally.

Do you believe that the parts you say are symbolic, or metaphorical have clear indications of such?

Usually. But not always.

Or is it just that you know it was meant that way, rather stated or not?

This is why just the Book is not sufficient. Part of the message conveyed by the Book is in the understanding of what the various books within are all about. Who wrote them, to whom and why. There is a parallel Tradition, also passed down, which helps us to understand how to understand the Bible.

SD

28 posted on 10/29/2002 12:04:30 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: fortheDeclaration
Romans 16:15-27
1 Corinthians 1: 17-31
1 Corinthians 2: 1-16
1 Corinthians 3: 16-20
1 Corinthians 4: 1-20
1 Corinthians 5: 11-13
1 Corinthians 6: 1-20
1 Corinthians 11: 8-34
1 Corinthians 15: 1-4,.......50-57
1 Corinthians 16: 1-9,.......22-24

2 Corinthians 4:7.......................'Vessels',......'VESSELS'........"God is the Potter,....NOT Harry!"

:-)
Maranatha!

29 posted on 10/29/2002 12:11:02 PM PST by maestro
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To: Quester
He explains to His disciples that the LIFE (everlasting) which He gives is SPIRITUAL ... that He has nothing of eternal value to offer them which is FLESHLY in nature. (Note that this was the subject of His previous discussion with the crowd, as well.)

So, you don't believe in the Resurrection of the Body? OR isn't the body "fleshly" in nature?

JESUS further explains that it is the words that He gives to them which yield the SPIRITUAL blessing He offers ... and, as such, ... these words are LIFE to those who accept them.

OK. So wouldn't it behoove us to take Jesus' WORDS very seriously? To find out and investigate what He means? Why am I supposed to believe that because He says that His Words are "Spirit" that I am supposed to then simply ignore the meaning of what He says? Does saying something is "spirit" mean that it is "metaphorical?"

Now, ... is there any other way that this passage (in it's totality) could be faithfully interpreted, other than this ?

Yes, you could assume that Jesus' words are very serious indeed. Even though they are "spirit," we are still supposed to heed them. Then one could search the Scriptures for an instance where Jesus tells us exactly how we are to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood.

SD

30 posted on 10/29/2002 12:11:28 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: winstonchurchill; Revelation 911; drstevej; fortheDeclaration
I agree that the genre has some impact on the interpretive result one gets when one is in a particular genre. With that, I think we'd also agree that the interpretive result rendered by the methodology is the bottom-line concern. We hope to arrive at the correct conclusion by a repeatable methodology such that reasonable others using the same method will arrive at the same conclusion with great regularity. (I wouldn't say "invariably" because we are dealing with humans.)

Even better is to arrive at the "end" intended by the author. In this case, God being the ultimate author because all scripture is "God-breathed," we hope to arrive at the "end" intended by God. We assume, as opposed to some on these threads, that God actually desires an inquiring human to arrive at the correct end. "Ask and ye shall receive; Seek and ye shall find; Knock and the door will be opened unto you."

Given that God wants us to receive, then we could surmise that there is a God-ordained methodology that would lead us to the correct conclusion by a repeatable methodology such that reasonable others using the same method will arrive at the same conclusion with great regularity.

I would propose to you that those methodologies that enable interpretation to be all over the map - those that enable personal "interpretations" to rule on the meaning of passages -- MUST be wrong.

I have great concern over allowing a "genre" to rule over the words that actually appear within a writing. There is place that must be given for genre, but it should not be place that results in scattered or whimsical or various interpretations. Reasonable people reading the writing using a standard methodology must be able to arrive at similar conclusions.

This is my way of saying that genre does not rule over "scripture compared with scripture." If the context or if other scripture interprets a word or phrase symbolically, then I have no problem with it being symbolic. Most often the scripture will tell us what a symbol means.

If it doesn't mention that something is a symbol, then we should ALLOW, at least, that it is an open question. We should look at our interpretation with a literal application of the word/phrase and we should look at our interpretation with various reasonable "meanings" that might apply were the word/phrase a symbol.

I default to the words having greater import than the genre.

31 posted on 10/29/2002 12:33:16 PM PST by xzins
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To: BibChr
Dan, I have not, but would you please post it? Thanks.
32 posted on 10/29/2002 12:35:04 PM PST by xzins
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To: Dutch-Comfort
First point: You state that infinite and singular are incompatible concepts. I disagree utilizing the following syllogisms:
1. Mathematical: the summation of a particular infinite series geometric series (mathematical expression I won't inflict on you an actual example plus from your previous notation you know them as well as me)can through careful analysis of limits be knowable, and might even be approximated as a calculable function. (the geometric series behind Tan and Sin come to mind if you want to get down and funky)the syllogism would be that 1. a series is infinite 2. It is knowable through study to a practical application of what it means
2. Linguistic: In your own posting your refer to an infinite mystery, where you correctly used mystery and not mysteries. The content of the mystery might be unknowable and unreachable, but the numer of mysteries, uno. A syllogism would be 1. There is a thing of infinite size
2. It is one thing 3. It is possible to know that thing in the sense of what it feels like, smells like,but its size/dimensions are unreachable

Second: Well I would agree with your syllogism that all constructs of the text of the Bible are finite, I might even agree that every denomination has things its wrong about, us being human.

....yet for reasons touched on above I think it is possible to know the infinite God of the Universe---being careful to say to know, not know or comprehend all that he is. Only through Jesus is it possible to know him in a personal way, for reasons of his infinity beyond comprhension that you reference
33 posted on 10/29/2002 12:39:45 PM PST by Scarlet_Pimpernil
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To: xzins
What, the whole essay? That post had the link to it.

Dan
34 posted on 10/29/2002 12:48:08 PM PST by BibChr
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To: Quester
"If the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense."

Enjoyed your post, great analysis. Like to highlight one thing perhaps lacking (or perhaps I skimmed over it too quickly) in the posted article. Perhaps the key principle to understanding the bible is self-examination: Most people would rather interpet the bible in a way that validates their lifestyle rather than objectively--myself included. If one picks a verse out of context that seems to say go ahead with this or that sinful way, I can convince myself of it. Studying in groups helps alot (or forums like this one)
35 posted on 10/29/2002 12:56:48 PM PST by Scarlet_Pimpernil
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To: BibChr
That was a link??? Oh!!

How long is it? Would it overwhelm the thread to post it? Should it be a thread all its own? Comparison of the two would have great value.
36 posted on 10/29/2002 12:59:44 PM PST by xzins
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To: SoothingDave
So, you don't believe in the Resurrection of the Body? OR isn't the body "fleshly" in nature?

I believe in the resurrection of the body and that that body most likely, would be fleshly.

My comment was made in regard to JESUS' own statement ...

63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.

It is His statement. Ask Him about it. I merely accept it within the context in which it is given.

OK. So wouldn't it behoove us to take Jesus' WORDS very seriously? To find out and investigate what He means? Why am I supposed to believe that because He says that His Words are "Spirit" that I am supposed to then simply ignore the meaning of what He says? Does saying something is "spirit" mean that it is "metaphorical?"

Once again, it is JESUS' own statement you are asking about. I suggest that you check with Him.

Yes, you could assume that Jesus' words are very serious indeed. Even though they are "spirit," we are still supposed to heed them. Then one could search the Scriptures for an instance where Jesus tells us exactly how we are to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood.

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.

27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;

28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.

30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

Mark 14:22 And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body.

23 And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it.

24 And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many.

25 Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

26 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

Well, I do believe that's pretty much how it typically goes ...


37 posted on 10/29/2002 1:04:59 PM PST by Quester
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To: maestro
LOL! Amen!
38 posted on 10/29/2002 1:05:34 PM PST by fortheDeclaration
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To: xzins; CCWoody; drstevej; Wrigley; Jean Chauvin; Corin Stormhands; Revelation 911; the_doc; ...
NEVER BASE A DOCTRINE ON ONE PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE.

Hey, didn't you crucify Woody for pointing out this very thing with the 1000 years mentioned only in Rev 20 on another thread?

Of course, I might point out that you Premillennialists don't even follow your own rules, but that might be too much fun and I doubt I have the time.

BTW, xzins, are you going to apologize to us Amillennialists for bearing false witness against us or just run and start another thread when the heat get to be too much for you?
39 posted on 10/29/2002 1:13:37 PM PST by theAmbassador
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To: sola gracia; sheltonmac; the_doc; RnMomof7; jude24; Frumanchu; Jean Chauvin; CCWoody
I am very hesitant to read someone who doesn't follow his own rules. What a dispensational joke this it.

Actually, I gave up Premillennialism when I figured out that the first resurrection mentioned in Rev 20 could not literally be the resurrection of the dead. One can literally understand this by looking no further than Rev 20, but one can also figure this out by looking at how the Bible treats any discussion of the resurrection of the dead.

Of course, being Berean is essential to figuring this out, but having the heart of Lydia is something one cannot be without.
40 posted on 10/29/2002 1:23:49 PM PST by theAmbassador
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To: theAmbassador; xzins
Of course, I might point out that you Premillennialists...

Not sure what possessed you to ping me on this one. But I don't believe I've identified myself definitely in any camp...Not that I'd particularly care about anything you pointed out anyway...

41 posted on 10/29/2002 1:30:40 PM PST by Corin Stormhands
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To: Quester
So, you don't believe in the Resurrection of the Body? OR isn't the body "fleshly" in nature?

I believe in the resurrection of the body and that that body most likely, would be fleshly. My comment was made in regard to JESUS' own statement ...

It is His statement. Ask Him about it. I merely accept it within the context in which it is given.

I'm terribly sorry. I thought you were willing to examine your beliefs and to attempt to understand the apparent contradictions between what you say and what is said elsewhere. My mistake. OK. So wouldn't it behoove us to take Jesus' WORDS very seriously? To find out and investigate what He means? Why am I supposed to believe that because He says that His Words are "Spirit" that I am supposed to then simply ignore the meaning of what He says? Does saying something is "spirit" mean that it is "metaphorical?"

Once again, it is JESUS' own statement you are asking about. I suggest that you check with Him.

I'm terribly sorry. I thought you were serious about an exchange of ideas. But I see, rather, that you are one who insists that others accept his interpreations without being capable of examining or defending them. My mistake.

SD

42 posted on 10/29/2002 1:30:51 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: xzins
If either, it should be a thread of its own, since you ask. It's substantial.

Dan

43 posted on 10/29/2002 1:32:43 PM PST by BibChr
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To: Corin Stormhands; CCWoody; Matchett-PI; Jean Chauvin; Wrigley; sheltonmac; sola gracia
Weren't you one of the one's who mocked Woody for pointing out this principle of Biblical interpretation?

As for insinuating that I am possessed, I'm not particularly interested in anything that an AOG Pentecostal would have to say any more than I'd care to watch a bunch them get into a howler monkey huddle and babble in strange tongues. How's that for throwing your argument back at you?

Now, I'm willing to be civil in a discussion, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't insinuate that I am possessed, even if you think that you are being funny. And I, in turn, will not have mental visions of you jumping on a trampoline with a howler monkey huddle preparing for the rapture.
44 posted on 10/29/2002 1:51:25 PM PST by theAmbassador
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To: theAmbassador; CCWoody; xzins
Now, I'm willing to be civil in a discussion...

Your actions often speak louder than your words.

I merely said that Woody's argument was weak. I thought he could do better.

And, if I've learned anything here on these threads, it's that I'd much rather cast my lot with a bunch of pew-jumping holy rollers than (most of) the Calvinists that frequent these threads.

45 posted on 10/29/2002 1:55:57 PM PST by Corin Stormhands
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To: SoothingDave
I'm terribly sorry. I thought you were willing to examine your beliefs and to attempt to understand the apparent contradictions between what you say and what is said elsewhere. My mistake.

I have been examining my beliefs for the last (20) years or so and I persist in continuing to do so. I believe that understanding what God has to say to me is my most important occupation.

Consequently, I believe that when one has questions about what JESUS meant when He said ... that it is best to ask Him about it.

That's what His disciples did in this passage. They, apparently, were satisfied with His explanation. I am also satisfied. If you are not satisfied with His explanation, the best thing to do is to ask Him about it.

I'm terribly sorry. I thought you were serious about an exchange of ideas. But I see, rather, that you are one who insists that others accept his interpreations without being capable of examining or defending them. My mistake.

I am less interested in an exchange of ideas or a defense of my ideas than I am about understanding what it is that God is saying to me. When I believe that it might be helpful, I will share my understanding with others.

However, I do not insist (or even suggest) that you or anyone accept my interpretation or understanding of anything. I would much rather that you accept JESUS' understanding. I, ultimately, am not the right person to ask.

Seriously, ... have a little talk with JESUS. It'll do you good.


46 posted on 10/29/2002 2:02:24 PM PST by Quester
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: Quester
That's what His disciples did in this passage. They, apparently, were satisfied with His explanation. I am also satisfied.

You are satisfied with your own interpretation and are also quite satisfied that it contradicts your beliefs about a bodily resurrection.

I am not satisfied with holding conflicting thoughts in my mind, nor am I satisfied when someone answers a question with a "ask Jesus."

Like I said, if you don't want to examine your beliefs, that is fine by me. Just don't pretend to, and then cut off any inquiries.

All I did was ask you if Jesus saying something is "spirit" means that it is "symbolic." You have not been able or willing to entertain the thought. You accept that "spirit" equals "symbolic" dogmatically. That is fine.

I, however, will attempt to understand what Jesus said, instead of accepting my own interpretation as dogma.

Good luck with your journey.

SD

48 posted on 10/29/2002 2:20:23 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: Corin Stormhands; CCWoody; Jean Chauvin; RnMomof7; jude24; Wrigley; sola gracia; sheltonmac; ...
I merely said that Woody's argument was weak. I thought he could do better.

A Principle of Literal Bible Interpretation What you are really saying is that arguing that a doctrine should NEVER BE BASED ON ~ONE~ PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE, that is ~NOT~ established on at least 2 witnesses, is a ~WEAK~ argument. This is despite the fact that the "Principles of Literal Bible Interpretation" say that this is wrong and the Bible itself demands that a word be established on by 2 or 3 witnesses. And that argument you are calling weak.

Yet, the reason that all of you Premillennialists said that Woody's argument was weak is precisely because it is so sound and it absolutely makes an iron clad argument against Premillennialism. The Premillennialists is a hypocrite for BASEING A DOCTRINE ON ~ONE~ PASSAGE OF SCRIPTURE when he tells us about the 1000 year reign of Christ on this earth before the new heavens and new earth.

If you dispute this, then take the Woody challenge: And, if I've learned anything here on these threads, it's that I'd much rather cast my lot with a bunch of pew-jumping holy rollers than (most of) the Calvinists that frequent these threads.

Fine with me!
49 posted on 10/29/2002 3:24:22 PM PST by theAmbassador
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To: Quester
Now, ... is there any other way that this passage (in it's totality) could be faithfully interpreted, other than this ?

Yes; there is another way and apparently the disciples themselves understood it in another way. Are you suggesting that they were mistaken?

50 posted on 10/29/2002 3:30:49 PM PST by St.Chuck
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