Bible Sanity - What's in a name?
The Bible wasn't even complete when false teachers started coming in to the first century churches, distorting the Scriptures and intentionally leading people away from the doctrines of the apostles.
The Continuing Confusion:
"Inherited apostolic authority" of the Catholic Church
Distorted interpretations by major deviant religions and cults
Prolific discrediting of Scripture by unbelieving scholarship
Charasmatic "revelations" and "personalized interpretations"
General ignorance of Scripture by modern Christians
Many people now believe that whatever they read in the Bible could mean just about anything...
The truth is that the Bible is meant to be read and interpreted normally, just like you would read any other book. It means what it says, and doesn't mean what it doesn't say - how hard is that? When read normally, the Bible is both meaningful and self-consistent - communicating the truths of God to mankind!
The Word of God is clear and specific. Historic accounts, teachings, praises, prophecy, or whatever - it should all be treated as any other book in terms of interpretation. Granted, the Bible was written long ago by multiple authors and translated, so there is an inherent complexity and some degree of difficulty in comparison to a modern publication, but the distinction of being the Word of God does not imply that the text of the Bible is comprised of some mystical or symbolic double-talk with hidden or encoded meanings! Rather, Scripture can be clearly understood through normal grammatical study. Additionaly, our understanding increaseds through the durataion of our lives - but by normal experiece and study, not by special divine revelations or by unique symbolic interpretations.
The role of the Holy Spirit in scriptural interpretation - The illumination of the Holy Spirit allows us to understand God's Word correctly, from a spiritual perspective, and to see personal applications for our own daily lives. This ministry of the Spirit does not go against Scripture or revise Scripture. As the Spirit leads us through the Word, it is our own personal application which changes, never the textual meaning!
Then and Now - The Bible should be understood in the context of the direct, historical audience. In the New Testament, this includes the modern church. In the Old Testament, there are several passages which have direct application to the modern believer, but otherwise, it should not be forced to 'apply' by the use of artificial or symbolic interpretations. These OT passages develop our understanding of God and His relationship with us, as well as establishing a spiritual and historic perspective appropriate for proper understanding of the New Testament.
Purpose of BibleSanity.org
My Pupose here is to Demystify and Clarify the Bible using:
Careful Hermeneutic Methods - Natural, or "Literal" interpretation of Scripture reveals the original intended meaning of a passage. This requires careful attention to context, to the original historic audience, and to various aspects of the original languages. Natural interpretation is based on honest observation and methodical investigation!
Biblical Chronology and Timelines - Many of the Books of the Bible are not written in strict chronological order, and the Books themselves are not arranged in the Bible in order. Also, a great many of them occur at the same time as each other, or overlap. A reasonable understanding of biblical chronology is essential to a proper understanding the Scriptures.
Covenants, Dispensations, and Prophecies - How God deals with man. Covenants and prophecies are the promises of God to specific men, and dispensations are how we describe the different periods of time in which God deals with these men. An understanding of God's specific interactions with mankind is a vital component of understanding the Scriptures as a whole, gives contextual understanding to biblical events, and also has direct bearing on unfulfilled prophecies.
Topical and Book Studies - Topical studies and studies of various books of the Bible are presented here in the from of articles, or in the form of weekly lesson notes. These studies vary quite a bit, but all are focused on developing a solid understanding of God's Word.
Conservative Systematic Theology - Scriptures must be tied together for doctrines to be established. Scriptural truths echo from the patriarchs, to Moses, to the prophets, to Christ, and to the apostles. Many passages are specifically tied to the scope of their immediate context, while other scriptures are universal in nature.
Bilblical Origins and Modern Translations - The Bible reveals a great deal about its original authors - people like Moses, Samuel, Ezra, Luke, Paul, and John. The Scriptures have a tremendous history to be studied in manuscripts and ancient translations, and there are questions about canon and apocrapha which must be answered. There's also a great parade of English translations of the Bible, from William Tyndale's first English translations to the recent flood of modern English translations. These newer translations originate from a much broader base of manuscripts and 350 years of archeological and linguistic advances - but must be carefully and individually qualified!