Can we interpret the Bible any way we like it? If we can make the Bible say anything we want it to say, what’s the value in it? Listen in as Terry Wiens talks us through some ways to understand the Bible and interpret it responsibly.
Responsible InterpretationMessage by Terry Wiens – January 24, 2021
We should approach the Bible with this question:
What is the author trying to say?
The Bible is not:
- A book of rules
- A magic book
- A book of promises just for me
Context is information outside the immediate focus that helps or is sometimes essential to understand the meaning.
How context helps us understand the Parable of the Good Samaritan:
- Historical Context: Samaritans were hated – they were the enemy
- Literary Context: The purpose of the parable is to explain who our neighbour is
- Responsible Interpretation: Loving your neighbour means loving your enemy
Paul’s message to the Church in Galatia: If you rely on religious practices to make yourself right with God, Christ is of no value to you
Tips for interpreting responsibly:
- Try to read through a larger portion of text
- Approach the Bible with this question: What does the author want me to know or learn, not, what do I want to find
- It’s okay to get stuck. Ask questions (especially in a House Church!)
ABOUT TERRY WIENS: Terry Wiens has been attending Westheights Church for 19 years. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Religious studies. Terry works in the financial sector, enjoys technology and continues to study theology in his spare time. He has been married to his wife Jenn for 21 years and together they have three children: Katie, Emylea and Griffin.
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