August 26, 2016
Principles Of Basic Scriptural Viewing
1. A student interested in truth must view entire texts and not selected pieces. Refusing to consider this rule necessary will engender many errors. Devotionals teach devoted students to err in this way.
2. Texts often ‘presuppose’ other texts that pertain to the same topic. It is a great error to assume that a text stands alone and can be disconnected. (Many texts ‘assume’ that readers have already read and understood the basics found in the first books of the Bible.)
3. No matter what one may already doctrinally believe, the Scriptures are not intended to be a volume for proving one’s own point! (Rather, one’s doctrines must always be subject to the Scripture’s correction.)
“Yet I am certain that Yehovah designed the Bible so that folks who love error and will not believe the Truth can construct their error from the Bible”.
Religion in general is good for society since it gives a ‘temporary anchor’ for the soul and an ethical and moral framework. Very few religions are totally evil in this regard…. NO ‘Religion’ leads to everlasting life. .
Faith in Yehovah leaves to the one true religion that the Bible describes:
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, “To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” .
This pure Biblical religion declared above, is almost unknown (even if it is described in just one verse in the Bible.) Anyone desiring truth will NOT find it ‘through religion’ though the person might ‘accidentally’ hear truth through many false religions. .
4. It is vital to perfectly establish and consider the following points (if pertinent) when examining texts: .
Who is the speaker? This doesn’t ONLY mean, ‘To whom was the prophecy given to speak?’ Just because Isaiah was speaking does not mean that he is the speaker. He is the ‘quoter’. The speaker is the ‘originator’ of the statement. (All prophecy is the testimony of Messiah Yeshua), but that doesn’t make Him the speaker. Asking, “Who is the speaker?” is the same as asking, “To whom is the Scripture directing our attention as we listen to that person’s words?” .
To whom is the speaker speaking? Follow the same principles as mentioned above. Assuming that the speaker is speaking ‘to me’ is illegitimate. That will rarely be the case, and the reader will have to supply proof if it is. .
About whom is the speaker speaking? .
What is the timing of the passage? That is, when is it true? When is it not true or not pertinent? When is it promised to happen? When are ALL the events of the text fulfilled? This will usually call for careful consideration.
Assuming that a passage is intended for ‘today’ makes ‘us’ seem pretty important. That is arrogance. Some see themselves as the object of all of God’s blessings in every generation. They hope to be free from all results of the ‘Fall’ and to avoid all God’s curses. .
They take the attitude (though usually not stating it this way), “All the blessings are for me and the “cursings” are for Israel that turned away from God.” Such dishonest readings will lead to ‘excellent’ handling of texts with all consideration of all points, and with the wrong understandings and answers. .
Yehovah designed the Bible so that folks could freely misuse it, almost with consistency. It is also designed so that the rare person who desires to know truth will see it clearly, and will not understand how another could see error on its pages. .
What is the location of an event? Many errors occur if a reader doesn’t consider that a specific location is the target of a text. For example, if Yehovah promises destruction to Babylon, He isn’t promising destruction to [Greenland]. .
What authority does the speaker have? Just because Bildad says it’s so doesn’t make it so. .
The Spiritual status of a person must not be considered good enough evidence to accept or deny a statement he makes. Balaam was a truly damned fool, but his prophecies are true. .
View texts literally unless there is COMPELLING evidence to do otherwise. If taking a text literally leads to violation of other texts in the Scriptures, determine how it must be taken. If it doesn’t, believe it the way it is. For example, the opening chapters of Genesis teach that a man is not a tree. The seed of a man is different from the seed of a tree, and they were created on different days. Yet the Assyrian is called ‘a cedar’ in Lebanon in Ezekiel. This text must not be considered instructing about a racial ‘tree’ that comes to power. The Assyrian is being likened to a giant cedar in certain aspects. The reader who understands these aspects will understand the text. .
Texts that cannot and must not be taken literally must be viewed through Scriptural usage examples and not through understandings derived from American culture, personal preferences or opinions. “Ye are the salt of the earth” is about tastiness of food and preservation in American culture. The Scriptures explain that salt increases palatability in food, and the Israelis likewise have been assigned to increase palatability in life. .
‘Truth’ is not fully hidden from those outside of faith. Therefore, it does not always take a ‘Spiritually’ living person to handle a text properly. Assuming that one must view a text through ‘spiritual eyes’ in order to properly understand it is a great error. Most who view texts through such filters are arrogating ‘high callings’ to themselves. .
“Those who spiritualize…Tell spiritual lies…Because they lack spiritual eyes”. .
Because the Scriptures are meant for children, proper understandings of texts will usually not be complex. If the text appears complex or Spiritually deep, the reader has probably misunderstood it. .
Identify all ‘pronouns’ in a text. Establish this with proof or very strong evidence. Do not assume. Determine whether the pronouns are singular or plural. The King James Version has often been of great help in this area. Thee, thou, thy and thine are singular while ye, you and your are plural. .
Know Biblical terms and their definitions used when the translation was completed. For example, ‘prevent’ in the King James Version is ‘precede’ in modern English. .
5. Consider one text:
2 Chronicles 7:13 (If I shut up heaven that there be no rain, or if I command the locusts to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people;  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.)
To what CAN this text refer?
To what DOES this text refer?
Do you get the point?
Original page August 26, 2016 | Updated December 7, 2020