For The Truth

Thursday, January 17, 2013

How are we to interpret the Bible when the ancient customs were so different from our own?

Three tools help us in the task of interpreting events that happened so long ago and so far away:
  1. The best interpretive tool in understanding a Bible passage is its immediate context. Surrounding verses will often yield clues to the observant about foreign or unusual details in a particular account.
  2.  One part of the Bible often explains, expands, and comments on another part. An ever-growing familiarity with all of Scripture will equip a student with significant insight into the culture of those who lived the history.
  3.  Some insight can be gained from ancient sources outside of Scripture but these only supplement our primary sources in the Bible itself.
 Once we're at home in the exotic and unfamiliar context of Scripture we meet people in the Bible pages who are very much like us. These are not aliens, but our ancestors across the ages. Their struggles are ours. Their failures are all familiar to us. The God who spoke to them still speaks to us.

Taken from Day 17 of The MacArthur Daily Bible, p.55, ISBN: 0718006399.


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