For some time now, I’ve worked, on and off, in my own modest way, on understanding the structure of a Bible book, in order to appreciate better its message and the meaning of a given passage. If context is meaning, and it is, this would seem to be an important task.

Before we can do the task of analysis, so the thought goes, we must see the whole picture, the synthesis. Continue reading

Bible TeachingIn order to justify their error, many people like to think that the Bible permits a wide range of interpretations. When they see evidence that contradicts their opinion, they come out with, “That’s just your interpretation!”

But when the Pharisees saw this they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is against the law to do on the Sabbath.”
Matthew 12:2 NET

Answering this accusation with two examples from Scripture (David and the priests) and another citation about the divine priorities (mercy over sacrifice), the Lord Jesus demonstrates that the Pharisees’ interpretation of the law was wrong. Continue reading

The several interpretations of Scripture abounded no less in the past than in the present. Hence in his Millenial Harbinger, Alexander Campbell began his first article, “On the Laws of Interpretation,” with these words.

A more essential service, in our judgment, no man can render the present generation, than to call the attention of the readers of the Sacred Scriptures to the standard rules of interpretation. We are daily more deeply convinced that the confusion, ignorance, enthusiasm, and superstition of this generation are attributable more to false principles, or, perhaps, to the lack of all principles of interpretation, than to all other causes combined. Continue reading