Natural Interpretation


Chicago Statements


Basic Process

Common Mistakes

Religious Violations

Special Notes

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Natural Interpretation

Special Notes

Determining applicability of promises and commands:

  1. Promises or commands given to the church in the epistles are directly applicable.

  2. Promises or commands pertaining directly to redemption, worship, and covenant which are given in dispensations other than the Church Age are not directly applicable.

  3. 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.

  4. Promises or commands in other contexts may or may not be directly applicable and need to be considered carefully.

Interpreting parables:

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

Identifying Types - Five tests:

What is a Type? A type is a special kind of symbol used by God to help us understand His truths, and usually clearly identified in Scripture. Examples of types for Christ are Adam and the rock Moses struck which gave water to the Israelites in the wilderness.

  1. Resemblance - The resemblance between the type and antitype must be clear and natural.

  2. Reality - A type must be a real person, place, object, or event.

  3. Prophetic - A type must point to a future antitype, it must be prophetic.

  4. Inferior - A type will always be inferior to, or less significant than, the antitype.

  5. Divine - A type is designed and created by God, not by the imagination of man. This is substantiated for many types by identifying references in the New Testament Scriptures.

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