Bible Interpretation

The general principles for Bible interpretation are, foremost, the literal interpretation followed by historical, grammatical and contextual interpretation.   Another major principle, Scripture-Interprets- Scripture Principle,  is to let other relevant Scripture passages interpret the passage under study.

Yet there is one overarching principle concerning the important doctrines and major prophecies which is very important.   I will call it the Harmonization Approach Principle.   When we say the Bible is infallible, we mean that the Bible is never wrong and is completely trustworthy as God is infallible.  2 Pet 1:19; 2 Tim 3:16-17.  So when we are interpreting a particular doctrine or prophecy with all relevant Scripture verses, we must believe all verses, including apparently antinomic verses, are true and without error.

This Principle will lead to either one of the following conclusions regarding paradoxical doctrine and major prophecies in my opinion.

  1. Acceptance of Apparently Antinomic Beliefs By Faith In One Single Doctrine.  

Take the example of the Christology doctrine.   We find all relevant verses support both the premise that Jesus is 100% man and 100% God at all times.  Although it is paradoxical to our understanding, we accept this doctrine by faith.   Same for other paradoxes such as Predestination and Free Will.  Take another example in the Holy Trinity doctrine.  We find all relevant verses support both the premise that God is One and yet there are 3 distinct Divine Persons who are God individually.   The term Holy Trinity is thus given to accept this reality that there are 3 distinct Divine Persons in One Essential God-head.

 

  1. The Belief That Can Best Accommodate All Relevant Scripture Passages As True. (Some theologians call it the Harmony Of Scripture Principle.)

Take the argument whether salvation is by faith alone;  or salvation is by faith and works together.   The belief that salvation is through faith alone by the grace of God and evidenced by works is that one single belief which can accept all relevant and apparently antinomic verses as true.

Take another example in the argument whether the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah or whether the Rapture and the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus is one single event or 2 separate events.  The belief of 2 separate events best accommodate all relevant verses pertaining to these 2 subjects.

Have you not noticed that for most paradoxical doctrines or prophecies,  we accept the 2-events prophecy and  2- positions stand –  even 2 apparently antinomic stand – which best accommodate all the relevant Scripture passages instead of holding on to one extreme position or stand ?

By saying  “best accommodate”,  I do not mean to come to a compromise or best guess position of all the verses.  On the contrary, I believe and accept all verses,  even apparently antinomic, to be true since it is God’s Word which is infallible or inerrant.  Besides,  human finiteness cannot fully explain the infiniteness of God and His ways.

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Blessed Be His Holy Name

I will bless the Lord all the days of my life

His praise shall always be in my mouth

My soul shall boast in the Lord and be glad

Magnify the Lord always with me

Chorus:

Blessed be His Holy Name; blessed be His Name.

Blessed be His Name; blessed be His Name.

Faith And Obedience

Obedience without Faith is Legalism;
Faith without Obedience is Cheap Grace (aka hyper grace).

Legalism is running away from bondage of sin into another similar bondage; while Cheap Grace is never getting out of bondage of sin at all – believing that setting free from guilt of sinning is setting free from bondage of sin.

Faith and Obedience will travel together for it is by Grace through Faith that Obedience is made possible.

Faith in Christ will produce Obedience in Christ !

John 14:21

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.

Rom 16:25-26

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith

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Trinitarian Or Unitarian God ?

Recently I heard the following 2 arguments arguing for the belief of Unitarian God:

  1. Arguing for literal interpretation hermeneutics, one must accept Jesus as the Son of God and that He can do nothing aside from God the Father as mentioned in the Scriptures;
  2. Arguing for faithful adherence to the exact words from the Bible, there is no such term as Trinity mentioned in the Bible so one will be inviting a curse if one adds this new word into the Bible.

Arguing further since mutually exclusive events cannot possibly happen together, similarly it is impossible to have 3 distinct Persons in one Essential God, thus proving conclusively the Unitarian nature of God.  And that the doctrine of the Trinity of 3 distinct Persons in One God-head is mere tradition handed down the centuries.

As for me, I believe in the Holy Trinity – that God is 3 distinct Persons in one Essential God-head. And Jesus is 100% God and 100% man.

I will narrow the argument to only one very important question :

Is Jesus fully God?  

For our salvation is at stake if we believe a different Jesus.

The Unitarian-God belief essentially denies Jesus is God.

All the greatest scientific minds in the world cannot explain how Light can have dual nature in being particulate and wave in nature. But that contradiction does not deter scientists from accepting the observable truth and create new invention out of such knowledge.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wave%E2%80%93particle_duality

It is not surprising that the article in the above link says this : “Although the use of the wave-particle duality has worked well in physics, the meaning or interpretation has not been satisfactorily resolved; see Interpretations of quantum mechanics.” And Niels Bohr regarded it as a duality paradox.

So likewise if we cannot explain satisfactorily how light can have dual mutually exclusive nature, are we to dismiss the doctrine of Christ being 100% God and 100% man as well due to our limited knowledge ?

I will also appeal to interpret Scripture literally as well for my argument that Jesus is fully God. Read these verses and consider whether Jesus is equal to God and is fully God.

John 1:1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the WORD WAS GOD.

Phil 2:5-7
5 Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard EQUALITY WITH GOD a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.

John 20:27-29
27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and MY GOD !” 29 Jesus *said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”

Rev 4: 9-11
9 And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and OUR GOD, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.”

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