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Galatians 5:16-23 teaches that at any moment we are either walking by the Holy Spirit or according to the sin nature. Walking by the Spirit, enjoying fellowship with God, walking in the light are virtually synonymous. During these times, the Holy Spirit is working in us to illuminate our minds to the truth of Scripture and to challenge us to apply what we learn. But when we sin, we begin to live based on the sin nature. Our works do not count for eternity. The only way to recover is to confess (admit, acknowledge) our sin to God the Father and we are instantly forgiven, cleansed, and recover our spiritual walk (1 John 1:9). Please make sure you are walking by the Spirit before you begin your Bible study, so it will be spiritually profitable.

Tue, Mar 11, 2014

9 - Literal Interpretation

The maxim of literal interpretation has a noble heritage reaching back to the Reformation, even though it has fallen into disuse among contemporary scholars. Part of the problem is its negative associations. It seems archaic and passé because its concerns are no longer the primary concerns of a contemporary culture. In addition, few can agree on the meaning of “literal.”

In this essay, I agree in part with the criticism of the use of “literal.” But I also believe that correctly understood it specifies a primary concern for biblical interpretation.

First, I agree that in biblical interpretation, we do not begin with a modern or postmodern worldview. Rather, we begin with a worldview expressed by Augustine: we believe to know. As Christians we believe the Gospel to know ourselves and to come to know God. When we turn to Scripture, we believe what the Scripture claims to be true of itself: God speaks and what He says is truth (John 17:17). Of course, interpretation is necessary to know the meaning of that truth.

Within this pre-modern worldview, there are two qualifications. First, textual criticism is essential to know what God has written. In addition, where historical-critical problems remain unresolved, these problems need to be addressed. Yet the claim of Scripture to be true remains a viable premise in textual interpretation.

Series:2014 Chafer Theological Seminary Bible Conference
Duration:1 hr 47 mins 48 secs