What Does the Bible Say?
The purpose of doctrine and interpretation of God’s Word is to know God, to make Him known and to live a holy life that pleases the Lord. Citing examples from Scripture, as well as many methods that lead to common misinterpretations, Dr. Webber details nine distinct errors the Bible student should avoid, as well as multiple principles and factors that should guide his study. Interpreters are accountable to history, church and to God when studying Scripture. God’s Word transcends time as well as cultural, geographical and language differences; but it can be difficult to overcome our prejudices and there are many pitfalls that can inhibit precise understanding of the original intent of Scripture. Context, various literary genres, human traditions and contributions such as chapter and verse divisions, punctuation and book order all contribute to the confusion in understanding God’s Word. Complex methodologies in interpretation of Scripture can distract people and take away from the simple message of Scripture, so the earnest student of God’s Word should be diligent to apply sound principles in interpretation. God has revealed mysteries in His Word to genuine believers – not just to an elite few who are intelligent enough to find truth. The Word of God was never intended to be studied merely for mental assent, but for application as a guide to believers in their relationship with God. Interpretation of God’s Word can be dizzying with all that there is to consider, but the sincere seeker will rightly divide the Word of God by being aware of – and not permitting – abuses, and by praying for the Holy Spirit to aid in his understanding.
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