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Natural Interpretation

Foundations of Natural Biblical Interpretation

  • The inerrant Word of God - Work from the assumptions of absolute authority, inerrancy, timeliness, and internal consistency throughout the entire Bible.

  • The Holy Spirit agrees with the written Word - Do not be confused by the spiritual aspect of understanding Scripture - this is the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit which helps the believer to understand Scripture properly and to apply Scripture personally, but which does not contradict, add to, take from, or change the meaning of the written Scripture.

  • Normal grammatical language - Work from the best knowledge of the original biblical languages and manuscripts, use the best available resources, and normal linguistic methods. Normal language includes the use of symbols, figures of speech, poetic language, and colloquial expressions.

  • Context, context, context - Work within the context of the original historical audience, and also within the context of the relevant surrounding (and/or referenced) passages.

  • Single meaning - Work from the assumption that biblical texts have only single meanings (not unstated multiple or progressive meanings) communicated via ordinary written language (not specially coded for spiritual elites, or for especially clever archeologist/ mathematician/ cryptologists).

  • Ask, don't tell - The interpreter must not read-in preconceptions. The work of interpretation is finding out what the Bible says - it is an act of honest observation and investigation, not trying to prove or justify existing beliefs or ideas.


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(C) Copyright 2012 Dainel Stanfield, this document may be distributed freely, but may not be sold or modified.