History of the Bible
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Determining applicability of promises and commands:
Promises or commands given to the church in the epistles are directly applicable.
Promises or commands pertaining directly to redemption, worship, and covenant which are given in dispensations other than the Church Age are not directly applicable.
Promises or commands given to an individuals or a specific group (not the church) in the context of a unique event are not directly applicable.
Promises or commands in other contexts may or may not be directly applicable and need to be considered carefully.
The main components of a parable present a single specific, contextually applicable, truth. While the main elements of a parable may be clearly symbolic, incidental components of a parable are not to be assigned any symbolic or allegorical meanings. Parables do not have multiple meanings, nor does the meaning extend beyond the clear contextual frame.
Parables should always be compared to thier parallel accounts in the other gospels, Matthew and Luke share most parables, and Mark also includes many of the same ones. Comparing these passages can shed light on what Christ is illustrating.
Also, some parables are directly intrepreted by Christ, either in the same or following passage, or in a parallel gospel - No other meanings should ever be ascribed to the parables which Christ explains!
Maintaining the context of the original, historical audience is vital to properly interpreting Parables!
Examples and Implied teachings:
An example or implied teaching is not to be considered authoritative unless it is supported by Scriptural command or can be compared consistently with related passages. Also, unlike Christian commands which are distinctly given, the validity of examples and implied teachings may be subject to cultural and/or situational contexts. Scriptural example should be examined especially carefully when related Scriptural instruction has not been given.
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(C) Copyright 2012 Daniel Stanfield. This document may be distributed freeely, but may not be sold or modifed.