INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURES

The interpretation of scriptures or hermeneutics is the science that tells us what a scripture really means.  There are different ways to interpret the scriptures.  Most agree that the best one is the literal/figurative.  Some of the most common methods are given below.

1. Literal/Figurative interpretation

This method tries to interpret the Bible by dividing it into portions that are literal and portions that are figurative. The events in the Bible really happen, there were real persons that did or say those things.  Yet at the same time the Bible also uses figure of speech, much in the same way we use it today.  There are expressions like, hills leaping, or Jesus being the Lamb of God.  It takes some studying to learn the separate what is literal from what is figurative.

2. Typological interpretation

This is a method of using all the events and things in the Old Testament as types or shadows fulfilled in the New Testament. Everything is interpreted as symbols representing either Jesus Christ, the Church or some other new testament person or event. Elijah is seen as a type of John the Baptist, Joab as a type of Judas or Abraham's servant as a type of the Holy Spirit.

3. Christocentric interpretation

In this method Christ is seen as being in every text or Book in the Bible. Every passage of scripture is interpreted as a symbol or representation of Jesus. He is a spiritual Adam, he is Noah the builder and he is also the ark He is Isaac and he is also the ram. Everything in the Bible is made to point to Christ.

4. Moralistic interpretation

In this method the Bible is exclusively used as a book of morality.  It is using every historical event and parable as a moral lesson. The bible stories are interpreted as examples to follow or to avoid. The lessons are to show the individual and society the best ways on how to conduct our present life.

5. Sociological interpretation

In this method the Bible is seen merely as a sociological book. The interaction between individuals and societies is the main focus in this method of interpretation. How Abraham related to his brother Lot, How Jesus had discussions with his disciples. The focus is in the personal relationships between the characters in the Bible or in the interaction between different cultures.

6. Personal interpretation

In this method of interpretation, the person applies every scripture and verse to his own life and self. Everything in the Bible is seen as having a personal application in one's life. David fighting the Giant is seen as the person fighting his own personal giants. Noah going through the flood as going through life troubles in the safety of Jesus.

7. Practical interpretation

In this method the Bible is interpretation as a how to manual. The practical purposes or uses of the scripture are emphasized. Like using the kosher laws as a guide to sound nutrition. To know which animals or what crops can grow in what biblical area. Like how the temple was built, how to raise your children, or how to have a strong marriage.

8. Factual interpretation

This method uses the Bible merely as a factual book; it looks at the Bible as a source of historical, geographical, archeological, and political data. It is reading the stories mainly for the facts that they can provide. It is making the bible serve the function of an almanac

9. Allegorical interpretation

This method uses the events in the Bible as symbolic of some deeper meaning.  Every event in the Bible is perceived to contain a hidden message or to be an allegory. This method of interpretation has its uses, but it is very prone to abuse, this method has often been used by liberals, agnostics and cults to teach false doctrines and heresies.

10. Theological interpretation

This method interprets the scriptures seeking to determine its theological doctrine or content. Unfortunately this method has been horrible abused by every denomination and cult. Instead of deriving the doctrine from the scripture, a doctrine is forcibly inserted into the scripture and the scripture is then reinterpreted to fit the doctrine.

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