Thursday, November 5, 2009

Theology: Hermen Who? - Part 4

Part 4: Grammatical Historical Method of Interpretation

There is another complication that we have to deal with when reading the scripture, that is our separation/distance from the period in which it was spoken/written.

In my examples last week talking about baseball or Afghanistan in our modern American culture you know exactly what I mean. But that may not be the case if you live in Asia for example.

Let me give you five points to consider in order for us to understand what God is communicating when looking at a specific text:

1. Culture
- What life was like for the audience, traditions, customs, etc.
- What the geography is like, warm/cold, Mountains/desert, etc.

2. Setting
- For example in the book of judges there was no king to tell the people what to do.
- Were the Israelites in exile?

3. Language
- The meaning of a word is determined by context and usage

4. Time
- We have more scientific and historical knowledge that we can not impose on the understanding of the audience.

5. Covenant
- Old Testament: Quid Pro Quo
- New Testament: Spiritual

Take the time before getting into a book to research this information that is sometimes already in the introduction of some good study bibles.

Grace Gems: Earth's broken things

(J. R. Miller)

"This man welcomes sinners--and eats with them!" Luke 15:2

"I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you!" Matthew 21:31

Christ is building His kingdom with
earth's broken things.

Men want only the strong, the successful, the victorious, the unbroken--in building their kingdoms. But God is the God of the broken, the unsuccessful, of those who have failed. Heaven is filling with earth's broken lives, and there is no 'bruised reed' which Christ cannot take and restore to glorious blessedness and beauty. He can take the life crushed by pain or sorrow--and make it into a harp whose music shall be all praise. He can lift earth's saddest failure--up to heaven's glory!

Grace Gems