Approaching the Interpretation of Scripture

Charles s09 01 14 cartin chair

This matter of understanding scriptures  and how to interpret them we first must look at ourselves rather critically, to see what kind of intellectual baggage (from our upbringing from our preachers we have set under)  and what sort of ideological agenda we are bringing with us where it is consciously or unconsciously  and how these presuppositions  influence, for good or bad, our understanding of the Bible.

We often say, “This is the way I understand the Bible.” and that is because of the way we have been trained to think. “Well that is the way I have always here that is what it meant.”

Our minds have been forming what we think, and that thinking comes up when we are reading the Bible or hearing someone preach on Sunday.

We filter our thinking by our presuppositions.  If we hear certain terms, like, Calvinism, or Reformed Faith, or Covenant Theology, or Eschatology, or Israel, The Church, etc. we have already formed in our mind what we believe about those subject, even if we really don’t know.

Of course when it comes to our personal worldview of what we believe our lives should be, and we are faced with a Christian worldview………

And what causes us to stop and think again about what the meaning of life that we are living, means, we would have to relinquish or even change our   way of thinking about life as we know it.  And to reevaluated our lives in view of a different Christian worldview vs, our worldview would be most difficult.  And this would cause us to call into question all that we think we know.

So to have our thinking about life or even the Bible often causes us stress.  

I have tried to learn over the years to study the Word, in some systematic way that will give me the best way of understanding the text. 

As to the teaching of the Word, its hard to remove the uncertainty in interpretation, it seems we bring into the text our own thinking of what we would like it to say, which is to say that is  my worldview of life and godliness.

The truth is, what you and I have been learning in our life time, goes into our underrating of what we are reading in the Bible.  We fit into our understanding and meaning with our previous knowledge.

We all have assumptions and presuppositions or preunderstanding about what we believe about the meaning of life, how we know things.

We are to form presuppositions, that is we do have background belief or training. IT is a belief system. Evidence and arguments are only developed after the fact in an  attempt to justify the theological assumption already made. Example: God’s existence  presupposes that God exists.


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