Monday, August 27, 2012

Education or Imitation?: Bible Interpretation for Dummies Like You and Me

My Pastor always says...

The MacArthur commentary states....

Well I heard Piper say...

That's not what it says here in my study Bible notes.....

Is Bible interpretation only for the experts? Can we, or should we, read the Bible for ourselves?

Curtis Allen, tackles this question in his book Education or Imitation?: Bible Interpretation for Dummies Like You and Me. In the course of church history interpretation wasn't always left to a few scholars. A seminary education wasn't a requirement for understanding scripture. It seems God gave us his Word so that all could know him. So why do we let others tell us what scripture means?

So, how do I do it?

The answer to this dilemma is that we need to focus on imitation as opposed to education. We need to imitate Jesus. While he walked this earth Jesus rightly interpreted God's Word, most noticeably in the face of the Pharisee's wrong interpretation. But why were the Pharisees so wrong?

They focused all there interpretive powers on finding themselves in scripture. They wanted to know what was right and wrong for them. (well, mostly for others!). They wanted to see their role in this world. They fell into the error of believing the Bible was written about them. So who is it about?

God of course! The scriptures reveal God and more specifically Jesus as the fulfillment of all scripture. When we seek to understand the Bible without looking for and to Jesus, we begin to see things that aren't really there.

Education or Imitation? is an easy to read book, pointing and encouraging us towards a firsthand and correct interpretation of God's Word. It seeks to remove fear and equip us to take up the message of the Bible for ourselves. He walks us through some of the dangers as well as through some good examples, showing us how to walk on our own.

This is a great book for those who are taking their first steps into discovering the message of the Bible for themselves.

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