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How to Interpret the Bible- Hermeneutics

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Most Christian believers allow someone else to tell them what the Bible says, and what it means.  This works for a while but God wants you to know its meaning for yourself.  The Greek word for this is hermeneutics, meaning interpretation.  But the roots of this word go deep into language.

Hermes is the Greek God of war, and many other scurrilous gods as well, and “eu” is a prefix which indicates bliss, unrestrained happiness, resulting in words such as euphoria.  Hermeneutics is  a strange word indeed.

Here is what it means to you.  All understanding of the bible comes after struggle, a war if you prefer, between your natural mind and culture, which is not God’s mind but the mind of the community strugging with the ideas presented in God’s word.

Even something basic and simple, such as Jesus died for you, must sink into the inner man as a natural understanding.  In the beginning this seems irrational and not factual.  As we grow, so does our appreciation of what that means.

Each doctrine, each lesson, each scripture must face this test of personal relevance.  Here is an example.  Over 40 years ago I had a short stint as a substitute teacher.  I was asked at one point to monitor a study hall.  As you might suspect very little studying occurred.  It was a constant buzz, buzz, buzz of words.  I wrote on the board the following.

A fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. Ecclesiastes 5:3

Total silence for the balance of the time!! That was back when it was OK to quote the Bible.  The word of God has force, in and of itself.  I learned that lesson that day.  I also learned that passage forever.

The scripture says we are to learn His word precept upon precept and line upon line.  Isaiah 28:13.

And that is what true hermeneutics is, the struggle to understand and incorporate the word into our very being.

P.S. The school did not hire me again. The government schools have no place for another god.

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