Discussion Board

Discussion 1–pt. 2

by Nathaniel Pearce • 3 years ago

Mack also argues that extra-biblical insights are not needed in biblical counseling. Explain in your own words what Mack meant my extra-biblical insights, why this position was argued, and the student’s agreement or disagreement with the position advanced. 

P.S. The student’s first response to part 2 of the discussion should be the same answer previously submitted in part 1 of the discussion.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Mack uses Psalm 19:7-11, 2 Timothy 3:15-17, and 2 Peter 1:2-7 to prove his claim on the sufficiency of Scripture and Christ in handling man’s problems. Secular psychological principles are unnecessary and may even be harmful in trying to understand and help people. He used three reasons for denying the notion that Christian counselors need extra-biblical insights to do the work of true effective counseling. First, to the finiteness of man’s knowledge, Adam, the first created man, was a finite human being who required God’s revelation for understanding God and himself, right and wrong, true false, believed and not be believed. Second, depravity of man’s nature since the fall of Adam, any biblical discussion of how man comes to know truth must include thoughts on what other theologians discuss as the “noetic” effects of sin. Scripture teaches that sin has affected every facet of human beings. Human’s character, speech, and behavior have all been corrupt by sin, as well as their emotions and desires, conscience and will, intellect, thought processes, goals and motives, the way human beings view and interpret life. Not a soul has escaped the corrupting, corrosive, perverting, and debilitating impact of sin. Lastly, the Word of God says God has given us everything that is necessary for living and for godliness (2 Pet 1:3). Scripture clearly says that it contains all the principles and practical insights that are necessary for understanding people and their problems. God’s Word is sufficient and necessary of counseling and Godly living. the Scripture’s is its very own witnessing testimony about its sufficiency, adequacy, and superiority in abundance of living ones’ life.
After reading the chapter written by W. A. Mack and posting my assignment to the questions on and surrounding biblical counseling, my stance on the authors view on extra-biblical insight, I agree whole heartily with Mack. This chapter helped me clean up some thoughts I had concerning counseling. I liked how he used the scriptures to further agree his claim why scripture is sufficient in healing and curing people of their sins, it forced me to take a look at the man that staring back at me in the mirror, questions their attitudes.

Azizi Coleman • 3 years ago

Johanna, this is a great and in-depth post. I enjoyed reading it. I completely agree with you that gaining this knowledge has afforded me the opportunity to tear down some misconceptions. Personally, Mack’s perspective shines the light on my life and past theoretical perspectives learned to show my views [learned] on counseling is not sound. Over the years, I have continuously learned about psychology and counseling from man’s perspective; however, I don’t believe there was ever a time in my learning that educators/professors ever addressed counseling and the study of one’s soul from God’s perspective. He is supreme, and all knowing; and we must learn to submit “everything” to Him. 
I am reminded of the scripture [Isaiah 55:8], “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. — As counselors, we cannot fail to use God’s living word, and seek Him for direction in counseling.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

JoHanna, I enjoyed your statement regarding the finiteness of man’s knowledge the best. “Adam, the first created man, was a finite human being who required God’s revelation for understanding God and himself, right and wrong, true false, believed and not be believed.” This is the most promienent reasoning for Biblical counseling as opposed to secular counseling and I used this repeatedly in my Master’s Thesis on “Counseling Anger, Biblically vs. Non-Biblical.” The Supernatural wisdom of the Holy Spirit has no competition except for in the debased minds of sinful, limited humans. Your scripture from Isaiah 55:8 is a perfect example of how sufficent God’s Word is in getting to the essential point. We are not God. If psychologist such as Freud had submitted his life to the plan and will of God, no telling how many lives would have benefited and more importantly, how many could have been healed and recieved salvation. Instead he fell into Satan’s trap to think himself to be the same or better than God. This and many other secular psychologist through history have been the Devil’s success stories. As Satan did in the garden, they have believed the lie, “…then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen.3:5)

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Johnna, I enjoyed reading your posts, and I think your right it does force you to reflect on yourself. It makes you think biblically about all things and what occurs. The way you worded the word of God having everything we need was great. In the past I have heard people say that the word of God has everything we need, but trying seeing it from this perspective gave new insight into to word “everything”. I think sometimes we tend to look at the word of God as just a book and not realize all the power it has because we are trying to view it naturally. Can you imagine what this world would be like if everyone saw the word of God like the all powerful book, with all the answers to life, and we totally relied on it? Lives would be changed it miraculous ways, and the reverence of God would be amazing!

Nathaniel Pearce • 3 years ago

JoHanna, thanks for your detailed and balance argumentation. You have really hit the nail on the head by arguing that the “Scripture is its very own witnessing testimony about its sufficiency, adequacy, and superiority….” It is not awesome to come to realize that God does not stand in need of any help from man? Let us not forget, by the way, that Eve took and ate the forbidden fruit only after the devil successfully convinced her that there was something better outside of what God had provided. So, do we want to trust God now or continue to be convinced to seek something “better” outside of God?

Azizi Coleman • 3 years ago

MacArthur identified extra-biblical insights/theories as one who is able to quote scripture and merge theories and counseling therapies with secular psychologists such as Sigmund Freud. This position is argued because it eludes one to believe that the Word of God needs help [from a Sigmund Freud]. I agree with MacArthur that extra-biblical insights are not needed in biblical counseling. The word of God is complete, and powerful. The Word of God and the direction/wisdom of the Holy Spirit can transform the lives of those who are bond [counselee]. 
I believe that counselor seeking outside help [from secular psychologist]; only reveal the counselor’s personal lack of trust and ability in God. This counselor has not truly fellowshipped with God, and may be broken in areas in which he/she may not be able to deliver truth/freedom to those in need. A counselor who functions in sin or who may be broken may search for outside help (extra-biblical insights) to deflect the Word of God from exposing their own personal sin. The use of extra-biblical insights rejects truth, through the acknowledgement of sin; and searches for other avenues to address sin. The light of the Word of God will not afford the counselor to minister truth to the counselee, without exposing the sinful ways of the counselor — this is why I believe counselors search for extra-biblical insights.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

I definitely enjoyed reading your post response! The Word of God and the direction/wisdom of the Holy Spirit can transform the lives of those who are bond, is the only way to real regeneration, nothing else. Anything else would be the band aid effect.

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Wow, Aziz! I didn’t think about it from that perspective! You know we as people do this all the time. Often times we try to find a copout for issues, because we don’t know what to say or do. So they grab another persons thought may that sound good. It may sound intellectual and all it really is, is a whole bunch of fancy words that don’t really mean anything. My Pastor says often that ” You can’t tell someone about something you don’t know about”. It takes a lot of spiritual exercise and fellowship with God to be able to counsel his people. You must really have a strong relationship with God to really give thoughtful insight. Reading your comment made me think of counselors using secular psychologists as like a cheat sheet. Like a lazy way of counseling. When the truth of the matter is that the counselor must be strong in Christ and Christ operating in their life so they can share with others.

Nathaniel Pearce • 3 years ago

Azizi, let me first thank you for your transparency in reflecting on the training in psychology received in earlier academic pursuits. It is refreshing, to say the least, to see you arriving at a juncture where you now realize some of the deficiencies of secular psychology and the adequacy and superiority of the Bible. Also, you have gone at length equating extra-biblical insights with secular psychologies. What level of importance, then, do you place on pastors/ministers study of the Scripture?

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

I definitely enjoyed reading your post response! The Word of God and the direction/wisdom of the Holy Spirit can transform the lives of those who are bond, is the only way to real regeneration, nothing else. Anything else would be the band aid effect.

Azizi Coleman • 3 years ago

I completely agree. I have personally learned that truth and healing comes from being in the presence of God. We would do our clients/patients a dis-service to not usher them into the presence of God our Healer.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

Azizi, You have expressed it beautifully in speaking about the broken areas and the lack of fellowship with God, these are areas that even counselors fall into and end up showing thier own lack of healing especially with the use of secular psychology. Christian counselors or Biblical counselors should be obviously aware of these temptations of man-knowledge and pride in using secular resources to prove they have the same ability as non-believers and to try to achieve self-centered academic recognition. It is a redundant tactic of Satan and it is a trap that often even Christian/Biblical counselors fall prey to. It is a spiritual warfare battle. As you stated it “rejects truth” because the pressure from the world to not exposing sin has become “the new normal”.

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Extra biblical insights means to use books other than the Bible in counseling people with their problems. Basically, a secular view of life is adopted in conjunction with secular resources and ideas, with a secular approach on how to handle issues. Extra biblical insights would take a more scientific approach, in an effort to get a clear analysis of people. The bible is to be viewed as supporting documentation because the bible is thought to not be enough. It is thought to not contain enough about human problems to help people so other resources are needed.
I believe that both can be used. I would strongly prefer and focus greater on the Word of God as a main source. I agree with the other areas of the book in that everything we need can be found in the Word of God. There are some things man just can’t do. And some things we just can’t understand. I think the reason why sometimes times people are put on medication for issues that occur in life is because as man, we don’t know how to help, and everything we try doesn’t work. I think the reason behind this is because those things have a spiritual reason behind them. We can’t fix spiritual issues or sin issues with worldly solutions. It just won’t work. With this being said, I do think it could be useful to have other resources as references to support what the Bible has said. However, even if other resources aren’t available the Bible is sufficient enough to stand alone as long as there is clear understanding of scripture and clear interpretation of the word of God.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

In sever cases medication must be administered. I know a wonderful person who loves God and His word, and she believe that God will heal her of her present situation. She tries to go without medication, she hates to depend it, in her words, its makes her “feel adnormal”. If she goes a few days without out it she becomes manic. With her faith in the Almight and His Word of Truth, one day His Sufficiency will cure her of the medication and rely only on one source of meds and that is God the Healer

Azizi Coleman • 3 years ago

Good morning Desiree’,
My first thoughts when reading your post is broken people [through counseling] trying to assist people with their brokenness. We are so misguided in that we

[have]

believed that the philosophies and theologies of other counselors are greater than God [the Great Counselor]. For Christians, this should be a no-brainer. I’ve learned that we have missed that the bible is its own resource, it is complete. I remember my former Pastor would always say how if it is said in the bible once, you should be able to verify it in the bible, twice. 
You state, “We can’t fix spiritual issues or sin issues with worldly solutions.” — I completely agree. I believe this is why over the years pastors/counselors have been so easily coerced into believing worldly approaches to counseling, rather than God’s way. I believe this offset is due to the holy lifestyle one must carry when counseling. One cannot counsel/minister healing and truth into one’s life if they are deliberately operating in sin. I believe biblical counseling comes to not only address truth in the lives of those being counseled, but also in the lives of those counseling. When God is the focus… when He is present, everyone’s lives will be transformed.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

I agree Desiree with your explaination of why medication is often used. This lack of ability to handle issues that I believe are based on the spirit man but are attempted to be handled in a scientific way can have devastating results. This is way it does not make sense to go outside of God’s Word in counseling. The part of a person that is not in a healthy state, mentally, emotionally or spiritually, effects all areas of thier life including the physical. But to use outside sources for anything other than scholarly help in understanding God’s Word on certain subject matter, is futile at best. Prayer and praying for discernment with counselees is the most successful life changing tool that God has made available to us. The Holy Spirit working with us to give understanding and Christ supernatural healing has no viable competition except in the minds of those that reject Godly wisdom because they want to believe that they supercede what God has to offer mankind. Jay Adams, James Dobson, David Powlinson, Tim Clinton, Edward Welch, Larry Crabb, Tim Lane, Paul Tripp, Norman Wright, Les Carter, Gary Collins and many others in the field of Biblical Counseling, all get the knowledge of successful counseling from scripture. To quote from the fore mentioned book by Gary Collins, he speaks about what the Apostle Paul wrote about his life work of “admonishing and teaching” everyone with all wisdom so that he might present everyone complete in Christ.” That as Collins put it; “for us to work, empowered by Christ, with the intention of helping others to become complete in Christ.” This is the goal of Biblical counseling and it has to be done with God’s Word.

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Johanna, Yes, I think medication should be administered in extreme situations. I was thinking of when people use medications as a solution to push people away because they may not be very understanding to others situations or when people use medication because they don’t know what to do, because the dilemma doesn’t make sense to them. I think in cases like those when you just can’t understand what’s happening it’s because it’s a spiritual situation which needs a spiritual healing.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Biblical counseling is the counseling in which the Bible is used as the guide to counseling clients wherein God becomes the center of the counseling, the counselee is committed to God through prayer, sin becomes the issues referenced, the Bible becomes the answer to the vulnerable, and righteous living before God is emphasized, and encouraged. Biblical counseling is geared toward the task of defining, the task of edifying, and the task of evangelizing.
Task of defining means in order to fully understand what the Biblical counseling entails, those things that embody the counseling should be divine associated instead of human associated such as psychology. God must be the center of the counseling, commitment to God must be emphasized, sin should be pointed out, the Gospel of Jesus should be the solution to the problem, and God’s characters should be emphasized. It impossible to minister to patient effectively and productively when God is taken out of the photo as to implore human wisdom that leads to no fruition.
Task of edifying means the counselor must implored activities to heal the souls. These activities include using the Bible as the basic, involving the person to pray and encouraging the individual to rely on God’s source of help.
Task of evangelizing means that during the counseling, the counselor uses this time to witness to the individual who is involved in the counseling process while at the same time; the person’s problem is the focus of the discussion. It will be impossible to make the person understand the spiritual side of his or her problem if God is not being honored in his or her life; therefore, giving Christ to the client is paramount to enhance the counseling process thereby taking the person into the camp of healing for God’s glory.

The question why extra biblical insight is not needed in counseling as stated by the author requires one to define the word “insight” and “extra.” The word “extra” means additional, more than what is needed, or not necessary at the time. The word insight means an understanding of a specific cause and effect in a specific context regarding a piece of information, the act or result of understanding the inner nature of things or of seeing something intuitively, an introspection, the power of acute observation which has to do with deduction, penetration, discernment, perception ete. Biblical counseling need extra insight of how it should be carried out; however, the tools of the Bible should be used in the process without adopting psychologies. The word of the God should be considered the yardstick in which people problem should be measured while at the same time accepting intuition. The counselor should use the word of God and the dependence of the Holy Spirit to carry out the counseling in a realistic institutional environment. On the hand, extra insights are also needed to determine the cause of what is going on in the life of the counselee. The counselor is able to develop insight during the counseling session as he or she asks the client questions. Something might be going on which cause certain things to trigger in the life of the patient; therefore, using open ended questions during the interview session while depending on the Holy Spirit can birth insights the counselor will need to diagnose the problem of the patient with help of the Holy Spirit. I do agree that the counselor will need insight to approach the issue faced by the patient.

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JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Yes..Brother God is the Center of it all…and He need not be seperated from the schem or the foundation, the root of any problematic issue. He breathed live into everything, so the one who breathed the breath of life is the One who can resolved their creation.

Azizi Coleman • 3 years ago

Jallah, 
This is an excellent post… very detailed and accurate.
Your introduction was perfect, “ Biblical counseling is the counseling in which the Bible is used as the guide to counseling clients wherein God becomes the center of the counseling, the counselee is committed to God through prayer, sin becomes the issues referenced, the Bible becomes the answer to the vulnerable, and righteous living before God is emphasized, and encouraged.”
This is my first semester of learning about biblical counseling. My previous education through obtaining a degree in psychology and human services did not make room for God to be the center of anything. And naturally when I show up to this class I feel inadequate. I have felt like my previous years of learning and wanting to make a difference in someone’s life has not been sufficient. I know I am on the right track now.
Thanks for a great post.

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Brother Jallah, I agree the Holy Spirit should definitely be relied upon. I think this is the only way you can clearly hear from God in order to help his people. I think that the Holy Spirit will tell you what you need to share with people to help them. The Holy Spirit will reveal things to you! This is why that counselor should have a close relationship with Christ, and the Holy Spirit operate in their life. Thus, a heavy reliance on extra biblical insights wouldn’t be necessary. Good as references, but not crucial in biblical counseling.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Sis. Monson, in the context in which I look at extra Biblical insights could be also listening to the Holy Spirit as the counselor interviews the patient using open ended questionnaires to dig into the life situation the client is facing at the time. The Bible should not be divorced in the process and the dependence on the Holy Spirit.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

Always praying and seeking that wisdom from the Holy Spirit with what questions should be asked. As counselors, we must take this responsibility as seriously as a pastor does about his flock. We will be accountable for those that God allows us to minister to. Can we “out do” the Master? Jesus used scripture continously to minister to those He encountered. There are times when, if we are asking for Godly wisdom, The Lord will let us know through the Holy Spirit what to ask and many times what not to ask. He knows where someone is emotionally better than anything we can discern on our own. There are times when it is not beneficial to go in a direction of counseling that the person is not ready to handle. God must be our guide to the appropriate steps in the process of healing and breathing of that life back into the dead or damaged parts of those that He gives us the honor and privilege to counsel. This is why our spiritual disciplines in our own lives and our prayer life is crucial to how much God can use us successfully in His plans. He will accomplish His will with or without us. My hearts desire is that it will be with me. It is so important to be reminded of the scripture in 1 Timothy 1:15, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” Timothy should not be alone in this understanding and stance of humility before our God. Other than my soul, worship, respect, love and life devotion, what other way can I even try to say, “Thank you God for having mercy on me.”

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Sis. Coleman, the way MacArthur defined it referencing theories and counseling therapies along with psychologies developed by Freud, in my opinion, extra Biblical counseling should be involved in adopting questionnaires during interview sessions to develop introspection and discernment in order to penetrate into the problem the clients is facing at the time using the Bible, intuition, and dependence of the Holy Spirit.

Azizi Coleman • 3 years ago

I agree. Using tools created to assess the depth of one’s situation is productive; however, the understanding comes from the Holy Spirit, and the focus is on God.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

As you explained earlier Jallah, there is nothing more realistic than God’s Word and the working of the Holy Spirit. I also like what JoHanna mentioned about God breathing life into everything. We are dead in our transgressions. From Ephesians 2:4-6 “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, ” Without this grace to breathe life back into us because of Christ sacrifice, so one can have healing outside of a relationship with Christ Jesus as Savior. So many counselors are doing others such a disservice and they will have to stand as we all will, in the presence of God and answer to Him for all we did and did not do in this life. Prayer and asking God to guide us always and in everything we do, including conviction if we are out of His will is desperately needed.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Yes, Sis. Johonna, Secular counseling such as psychology is irreconcilable and not compatible with scriptures for the fact that humanism is implored in the process leaving out the Holy Spirit who knows the mind of God and humans as well. You are right to the point.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Sis. AZizi, I like the manner in which you agree with people’s posts. It is an indication of excellent scholarship. You are on your way to adopt diversity of ideologies and have them incorporated into yours to make better understanding life situations.

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Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

Extra-biblical insights are different from secular psychology, but often viewed by biblical counselors as equally lacking in value. I agree with Mack’s statement on the “Limitations of Human Knowledge”and the rejecting of the use of extra-biblical insights. I am in agreement with him on what is and what is not effective for Biblical Counseling.
The “finiteness of man’s knowledge” limits our knowledge and does not offer the revelation of right understanding that God has about what is right and wrong, true or false, and what should be believed or should not be believed. As humans, we just do not have what it takes when it comes to discerning absolute truth apart from the revelations of the living God in scripture.

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Paula, I thought the comment you made about the Holy Spirit not having competition except for in the debased minds of sinful humans was interesting. What exactly does this mean? Does it mean that the Holy Spirit has to compete with our sinful nature, because sin initially begins in our minds? 
Yes, you are right we are limited in our abilities as man. Bro. Jallah incorporated a good point about the Holy Spirit and we shouldn’t exclude him, this is were the insight will come from.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Amen Sista, Well said…My mom and I had a disagreement on “Extra-biblical” resources. She is using a DSM manuel with you studies in school, I asked her what school are you attending and what’s your major, and if it’s biblical based why would you need any other sources then the one and true source written by the famous physician God. The Bible is the true and only DSM, where true diagnoses is found for treatment of man. I like what the author said and you posted Ms. P, that we are finite beings and limited in our knowledge and to be truely effective in Biblical Counseling we can only count on one true source the Bible and it’s Sufficiency. I conquer that we do not have what it takes to discern truth apart from God.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

Desiree,
The Holy Spirit does not have to do anything except bring truth. The earlier statement that I made, “The Holy Spirit working with us to give understanding and Christ supernatural healing has no viable competition except in the minds of those that reject Godly wisdom because they want to believe that they supercede what God has to offer mankind.” Is based on the two following scriptures:
1. Jeremiah 9:5 “Everyone deceives his neighbor, and no one speaks the truth; they have taught their tongue to speak lies; they weary themselves committing iniquity.” 
2. Romans 1:24-25 “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”

The competition is between mans thoughts of truth vs.deception from the enemy and rebellion of our wills against the will of God.

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Discussion 2, pt. 2

by Nathaniel Pearce • 3 years ago

Chapter three of the assigned reading is concerned with the question: “Does biblical counseling really work?” Therefore, provide an overview of Powlison’s defense to the Bible’s relevance and sufficiency in caring for man’s soul. Also, please provide your personal reflection on the author’s suggestions on a Christian’s understanding and limited use of psychology, and how to minister to the “psychologized.” Students should address this series of questions with 350 – 450 words.

Students should recall that their answer to this question should be posted on the dashboard for your classmates to view and respond. In addition, your answer should be a replica of the answer previously emailed to the professor. Finally, students who did not complete part 1 of the assignment should not participate in this segment of the discussion as they will not receive a grade for doing so. Part 1 of this discussion must be completed as specified in order to participate in and receive a grade for part 2 of the discussion.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Does biblical counseling really work?”

The writer, David Powlison, has lived in various camps of education to the degree that he appears very informed about human problems as the result of his professionalism and his daily encounters he had had with counselees. Sometimes, it appears that he is divided between various aspects of how humans should be helped based on his studies in various fields of disciplines. 
The question “Does Biblical counseling really work” should be answered in two contexts of investigation. One is, it works because the individual who does it believes in the authenticity of God’s word. What you believe is what has the capability to heal people that you minister to. Anything you do not believe does not work for you or another person; therefore, the belief system is very paramount to give power to the word to work. God will always back his word once preached and applied through faith, but the person who is applying the word of God should believe what he speaks to the wounded person; otherwise, it will be impossible to produce an effect of healing. God’s word of comfort and healing is activated through our faith. This is the controversy the Christian counselors faced who claimed to believe the inspiration of the Bible, but do not believe in its authenticity authoritatively. It is ironical in nature to believe the inspiration of the Bible, but do not believe its authority. It means that you do not believe in God’s attributes. The second aspect that causes Biblical counseling to work is because God is in it. If God is in it, it will not fail because God does not fail. The source of reliability and dependability come from God who is the ultimate healer of mankind. The counselor or the counselee must rely or depend on God who has the solution to human problem.

I personally believe that Biblical counseling works. The God who has created us knows our problems and how these problems can be addressed, is inscribed in Bible. We should always refer to the blueprint of our existence. Before a builder builds a house, he refers to the blueprint of the building that is being drawn or layout by the architect. God is the architect and he has given us blueprint to follow in solving human problems. The answer is found in the Bible. Why not turn to the Bible instead of turning to secular psychology which has no power to heal human problem. The word of God should be considered the yard stick by which our problems must be addressed. Anything rather than the word of God produces no lasting fruit.

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Bro. Jallah, this was very well stated. I totally agree people don’t really understand and rely on the power and authority of the Bible. What are your thoughts as to why they don’t view the Bible as authoritative and as a healing mechanism? What do you think hinders people from viewing the truth just as it is?

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

My Brotha, I loved how you formulated your thoughts to answer this question that Prof. N asked. You were right on key. God who is the great creator, knows all and is all after all He is the master mind in creating man in His own image. Thanks for a well thought scribe put together.

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Powlison’s defense to the Bible’s relevance and sufficiency in caring for man’s soul is basically having the understanding that God’s word has been spoken through the Holy Scriptures to transform our lives. The Bible is what changes people. We have to understand that knowing and understanding the scriptures helps us to understand people. It may not be exhaustive to every exact little aliment, problem, or disease but it may use words such as “like” where you can sort of generalize. The Bible is God’s perspective of how humans operate. In using the word of God and knowing that the scriptures are sufficient enough to answer all questions we can count on its relevance to care for and cure man’s soul. The bottom line to all of man’s problems is sin. 
The Christian understanding and limited use of psychology is that at the heart of all things people primarily may have deficiencies when it comes to their hierarchy of needs. According to psychology they are lacking a need in some area. The thought is that when all of these needs are met the person will then become whole. With this basic perception of psychology all answers to self and life are revealed. Yet, in turn the biblical counselor would minister to counseling the psychologized person through the word of God. They would do this by letting them know that there are no such things as self esteem and a hierarchy of need. Basically everything is sin related. Yet it would take a great amount of time to counsel and minister to this person for this breakthrough to occur. 
It is such a great challenge to see things from the perspective of the biblical counselor because the perspective of psychology is so prevalent. People have learned to think everything to be a self issue, a reason to blame themselves and others. As a culture we have grown accustomed to thinking the world has all the things we need to meet our needs we just need to dig a little deeper inside for them. As biblical counselors we must help the counselees make better biblical sense of things, see things better and clearer, and basically offer the truth. The truth will be our most valued asset in comparison to psychology. Truth of God’s word is the main idea to biblical counseling.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Ms. D, the theory of secular psychology, cure of man, has become a pit in the bottom of my stomach. Especially with the thought of Christian Counseling believing the sufficiency of The Word, but not beliving that the Word is authoritative. I ache that the church do not take a better stance in counseling their flock but instead takes the cowardly move and refer their members out to the world for man’s opinion, judgement over another man’s life, making themselves gods in the medical field. The Word is Mighter then any double edge sword, getting to the root to solve any issue. We serve a God who gave us a wonderful tool to be used, only if we just open it up and utilize it then the world would be a better place and people would be more talorable.

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Johanna, you’re right! I also think it has something to do with responsibility. Everyone always wants to pass the buck! Pass it off to someone else because they don’t want to deal with it. They have their own issues and they don’t have time to consider others and their issues. This is what people think! They have the, “That’s not my job” , “Someone else can do it” attitude. People don’t want to be accountable. I also think it could have something to do with self guilt. They don’t want to address the speck in someone else’s eye because they want to ignore and they don’t want anyone else to addresses the log in their own eye.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Sis. Desiree you have asked a very profound question regarding why people don’t trust the authenticity of God’s authoritative word. There are several reasons why people don’t trust the word of God. The number one reason could be based on their orientations of church setting or how the word of God is being presented to them formerly when they became believers. For example, I became a Christian originally in a church that teaches on faith and exercise it practicality. The church did not only teach on faith and exercise it, but it also believes in holiness and taught that the pre-requisite for one to be used of God is to live holy life before God. The Pastor taught, preached, and lived the word of God practically. This kind of spiritual activities greatly affected my life the way I live and trust the word of God. You can not give out what you do not have. The reason why people don’t trust God is because they have failed to live it and exercise it in a realistic confrontational environment. Faith operates in Africa as the result of the daily upheaval and diabolical encounters people experience. You can not pray for God to bring food if you have lot of food in the refrigerator. People don’t have food in Africa, but they pray and believe God for provision; then, God provides.

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Jallah, I agree! Your foundation does play a key role in your view and relationship with Christ. I must constantly remind myself that not everyone came from Christian homes and backgrounds. There are some people that are new to the faith in adulthood. Which makes things a little different for them. So some of those things that may seem elementary to us is foundational for them. 
You know I’ve been reading Tony Evans Life Essentials to knowing God better ( abbreviated title) and it’s been so powerful to me. It’s helped me to really see the spiritual life/ realm from a more in depth perspective. It’s one thing to hear that the word of God can heal, but it’s another thing to know it because you’ve seen God do it. Or experience that type of prayer life where God has moved because of the power of prayer, and the speaking of His holy word. I think it’s hard for people to understand that an invisible God can work in such a way!

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Jallah, I agree! Your foundation does play a key role in your view and relationship with Christ. I must constantly remind myself that not everyone came from Christian homes and backgrounds. There are some people that are new to the faith in adulthood. Which makes things a little different for them. So some of those things that may seem elementary to us is foundational for them. 
You know I’ve been reading Tony Evans Life Essentials to knowing God better ( abbreviated title) and it’s been so powerful to me. It’s helped me to really see the spiritual life/ realm from a more in depth perspective. It’s one thing to hear that the word of God can heal, but it’s another thing to know it because you’ve seen God do it. Or experience that type of prayer life where God has moved because of the power of prayer, and the speaking of His holy word. I think it’s hard for people to understand that an invisible God can work in such a way!

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Sis. Desiree, that is true regarding our understanding of God’s word to make God’s word to effectuate healing in the lives of the sick. Not only teaching or preaching, but we must pray with understanding for God’s word to make a difference to the people we minister to.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

sis. Desiree, how do you reconcile the statement from your post between truth and psychology as quoted, “The truth will be our most valued asset in comparison to psychology.”

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Dr. David Powlison, make a very important observation, “The net effect in every integrationist’s system is that secular error eats up biblical truth, so that false views of human nature and of the change of the counseling process control the system.” Then what Jesus did for us was in vain. Secular theology becomes all might power over Scripture and the Cross a lie. 
Psychologist diagnosis people in order to determine what treatment module need to be applied in order to fix people and their problem. Once a problem is defined, a resolution follows. After reading works written by Jay Adams, if our primary problem is sin: rebelliousness, lusts, inordinate desires, idols (the world /the devil) then we need to look towards the Cross for answers to God-centered solutions, techniques, and methods – such as evangelism and discipleship. 
For years, world view has taught us to look to man (media) for solutions for inward battles of the soul and to place blame on where blame lies, teaching us that the answer lies deep within. The world taught us to be selfish, to think of self in order to get ahead and to get over our problems, be it shacking up, clubbing, greed, working…whatever your fix is, it is alright, go for it, do you became the model of the world. Where does God fit in to this new world view? Exactly, He doesn’t. The church has adopted the same mythology, pointing members to secular practices and turning away from the old and embracing the new; no wonder the world is full of searching, lost souls. 
As a teenager, lost in search for answers to whys seeking help from the church to help overcoming a zealous controlling addiction, just to be thrown back to the wolves. I was referred to hospital recovery units, then transferred to so call Christian recovery units never learning the Truth about my addiction or myself, I was fed, instead, to feel guilty and a shame for my actions and to seek forgiveness for the people that I hurt. Not once was I told that my behavior was rooted in sin, and true freedom from my addiction was rooted in the foundation of Christ and that I will find answers in the Word of God, Jeremiah 29:13. Is the church any different today than when I was a teenager? 
Powlison hit on some key issues that are substantial in biblical counseling in the cure of man which I believe wholeheartedly. Scripture is all about counseling. The Bible is importance and adequate with an abundant of wisdom for curing the heart. The Bible is full of Jesus and the Old Testament prophets teaching about change, providing counsel, reprimanding, encouragement, enlightenment, especially challenges. Lastly he states, “Scripture goes into action and changes people. The Bible’s relevance and sufficiency for the cure of souls is immediate and practical… counseling must proceed within the general boundaries of a Christian worldview. .. The instructions Paul wrote in his epistles were designed to change lives in particular ways. Biblical Christianity speaks a better and truer word to the problems of living … because Scripture is about what counseling is about, it makes sense that the cure of souls will continue to be a major cultural and religious battlefield …a battlefield where God will greatly glorify Himself by changing lives.” 
God’s written Word is the only real counseling manual, if psychologist would just look toward Jesus Christ, the only Saving Force, as our most wonderful counselor and friend, relying upon His sanctifying Spirit as our advocate and comforter, then and only then would lost souls be cured and saved.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Sis. DuBose, why do you mean by secular theology? Is there any secular theology? If so, please elaborate on this statement made in your discussion.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

I am using “secular theology” in the context as a form of thought, a truth, a belive, In othe word, “secular world view”

Desiree’ Monson • 3 years ago

Johanna, I think a great deal of thought on secular psychologist providing another option to biblical solutions and sin is that their faith may be questionable. Like Bro. Jallah said you can tell someone about something you have no knowledge about. Like when people can’t rationalize an answer they just make one up. I also think because they may not believe everything the Bible says they fill in their own blanks and try to convince people that this is the answer to their problems and the person with the issue believes it. It almost seems like a form of brain washing like what people do in cults. What do you think?

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

I do agree. I remember when the church was responsible for their flock. Going out ministering to the sick and the shut in, helping out widows, especially if she had unruly children. Now the churches are more concern with the quality not the quanity. Sad…

Azizi Coleman • 3 years ago

Psychology should not play a role in counseling. However, we are challenged to use secular psychology as a force that drives us back to the bible to seek out and develop our biblical models in underdeveloped areas for counseling purpose. We are also challenged to use secular psychology as illustration models to help illustrate biblical models. However, the consensus of the counselor’s mind should be secular psychology is not to blend with biblical counseling. 
Personal challenges stem from obtaining a bachelor’s and master’s degree centered around secular psychology. For example: learning and understanding Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory never focuses on God/Scripture; however, focuses on SELF— 1physiological, 2safety, 3love/belonging, 4esteem, and 5self-actualization. Maslow’s theory specifically voids the need for God. I remember a professor stating how if these needs are not a person can become anxious, tense, and frustrated about life. However, this theory does not acknowledge God as our source, provider, confidant, lover, etc. This theory forces the counselee to focus on self and one’s abilities. The fear is transforming the minds of counselors to prevent the continuous cycle of “Band-Aid” counseling. My understanding is that counseling from secular psychology will cause a counselee to never be whole, and to always be dependent on a counselor or psychological system/medication. Abraham Maslow never intended for true liberty to take place, but to create a dependency and need for counselee’s to continue to seek after psychology. 
When ministering to the psychologized, we are informed to “gather the facts that truth calls us to know.” We are encouraged to dig deep and to seek out the true diagnosis of the problem. Once a true diagnosis has been determined we are in a position to place the sins before God; then are we in a position to deliver truth through the Word of God. Also, we are encouraged to not expect immediate changes in the psychologized, and to not become discouraged. We must remember that renewed minds happens daily, meaning this is a process, and doesn’t happen overnight. However, if we continue to pray and lead the psychologized to truth, we will begin to see the transformation of one’s mind. 
Hindson, Ed & Howard Eyrich, Gen. Eds. Totally Sufficient: The Bible & Christian Counseling. Christian Focus Publication: Great Britain, 2004. ISBN: 9781857929607.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Azzizi Thanks! You have put thorough thought into the assignment. I enjoyed reading it. You taught me about someone that I truely forgot. I embarked upon Maslow during my undgergraduation studies, but never gave him a second thought. Because of him the world is messed up. I agree with your stance, especially Psychology should not play a role in couseling.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Sis. Coleman, the attempt to combine psychology with counseling is the attempt to divorce the Holy Spirit in the process. No human can read your mind. It takes the Holy Spirit to reveal the mind of people to the counselor who has prepared himself or herself to hear from God regarding a particular situation. The institution of psychology in counseling is the  frustration on the part of christian counselors to solve human problems which they do not have the ability to do so.

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Discussion 3, pt. 2 (expires 11/26)

by Nathaniel Pearce • 3 years ago

How is the understanding of biblical truth relevant to the process of sanctification? Also, considering the list that appears to Christian counselors, which two would you most employ in an appeal to Christian counselors about the necessity of the sufficiency of Scripture in counseling? 

Students should recall that their answer to this question should be posted on the dashboard for your classmates to view and respond. In addition, your answer should be a replica of the answer previously emailed to the professor. Finally, students who did not complete part 1 of the assignment should not participate in this segment of the discussion as they will not receive a grade for doing so. Part 1 of this discussion must have been completed as specified in order to participate in and receive a grade for part 2 of the discussion. This discussion will expire at 11:59 PM on November 26.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

The process of sanctification is a very importance process when it comes to understanding biblical truth. To have a firm grasp on the knowledge of biblical truth is God’s amazing Grace! Grace removes all elements of self our of God’s way. Grace gives us insight to yearn more for God; Grace tells us that our Heavenly Father loves us in spite of ourselves. Biblical Truth in a believer’s life decides what is effective and what is ineffective. Without simple truths there is not a foundation to prove what we believe in matters. 

The book lists a series of crucial truths of a Christian faith. These faiths are vital for a person personal walk and relationship with God: The Divine Inspiration of the Bible, The existence of an infinite, personal God, The uniqueness of Jesus Christ, Salvation by Grace, Substitutionary atonement, Personal spiritual regeneration, and Personal spiritual sanctification. 

Most important the Bible holds all truths to total sufficiency for Sanctification; Scriptures hold quality and freedom from errors. In 2 Thessalonian 2:13, the Bible promises us, “God has given you from the beginning from salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. In order for a person to experience the fullness of biblical truth they must first be redeemed and regenerated in order for lasting change to seep into a person’s heart.

The two appeals that I would most likely employ in an appeal to Christian counselors for the necessity of seeing the sufficiency of Scripture. The first is, Self-Evaluation of Biblical Counseling. Little has been written on effectively counseling youths of various stages and age biblically. Second, (6), Strengthen the Theological Basis of All Christian Counseling. In order for Christian Counselors to be effective in their counselee lives, they must have a strong solid foundation in theology, and constantly researching the scriptures in order to strengthen their understanding of the word of God.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

Johannah, I think the quote from you that jumped out to me and really stood out for me was “Biblical Truth in a believer’s life decides what is effective and what is ineffective.” This places biblical truth as a measuring device or plumbline that an arcitect would use to make sure a line on a building was true or straight. The gage to measure everything else by. As a Christian counselor, if the Bible is not that measuring device then everything and anything is liable to sound plausable or exceptable. This is why using secular psychology and the psychotherapy of psychiatrist such as Freud and Rogers, etc. has been allowed to seep into Christian counseling. When you choose to go by a man made measuring device, you have just defaulted to a defaulted system of measurement. Man’s mind, soul and emotional state changes the view of the truth depending on their experiences instead of ultimate Godly truth. Thank you Johannah for bringing that to the surface in your statement. I have found through the process of the reading, verbatims, class lectures and discussions, that much of it is common spiritual sense and many of us have read and know down deep from our growth in church and seminary. It is bringing it into a daily remembrance and the basic application of what we know that really drives it to become part of our ministry that has amazing results. Imagine that, God really knew and knows what He is talking about!!! 
Sometimes, many times there are Christian counselors that do not act like they believe that is true. I get frustrated by those type of counselors and professors that do not stand on the sufficiency of Scripture and very sorry and concerned for those that are thier counselees. What is even more disturbing is that there are pastors out there in the pulpits of the Body of Christ that do not believe in the sufficiency of Scripture either. We need to pray for revelations and visions by God to those that are floundering. Just as Christ confronted Saul on the road before he repented and became the apostle Paul.

Nathaniel Pearce • 3 years ago

JoHanna, the use of “self-evaluation” in biblical counseling in imperative both to the counselor and the counselee. This is because one of the many functions of God’s Word is that of a mirror (James 1:22-24). As such, all parties involved in the counseling relationship must look in the Word of God for a genuine view of the condition of our hearts. Such an image should spur us into action as we seek to be more like Him and less than the world. Interestingly, no other book or method of counseling can pain a better image of the condition of man’s and need for Christ than that of the Scripture.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

The understating of biblical truth is relevant to the process of sanctification in that without it, the believers walk in ignorance and they think that they are saved or sanctified by good works. There is no provision in the Bible which states that we are saved by our works. If we were saved by good works, Christ would not have come to die for sins. The Law could not save us; hence, the Law did condemn us. Ephesians 2:8 says that we are saved by grace, not by works of righteousness; so, no man can boast. Jesus came to die for sins so that upon our acceptance of him through faith, we can have eternal life. The eternal life comes about when we are regenerated through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit that does not involve our effort. We need to submit to the Lord through obedience; then, the Holy Spirit will be given the permission to supervise our daily Christian lives. We need to yield to the Spirit of God so that He can produce in us holiness. Paul says in Ephesians 4:22-24 to put off the old man and put on the new man who is being created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
The two areas of appeals I would suggest to Christian counselors include the renewal commitment to helping hurting people and the strengthening of the theological basis of all Christian counseling.
Christian counselors need to take a panorama view of how they handle scriptures when it comes to counseling the hurting people. What kind of methods or theories do they adopt in their counseling sessions? Are they using the Biblical view point or secular psychological or humanistic view points? Answering these questions enables the counselors to reposition themselves to meet needs of the victim. Christian counselors should use the Bible as tool to help people. The Bible should be the tool instead of psychology. Putting psychology before the Bible is the direct act of taking God out completely from the counseling. This is dangerous and it is not healthy for the counselee. If this happens; then, who is the goal of the counseling? Is the counselor or the counselee? The counselee should be the goal and not the counselor. Regrettably, many counselors want to show out that they are intellectual; therefore, they do not need the Bible. I will say that they are not Christian counselors.
Christian counselors should strengthen their theological basis to study as to enable them use theological exegesis and accurate Biblical approach to scripture. They should continue to study in order to enrich and to improve their area of specialties.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

Jallah, I really appreciate and agree with your statement regarding how “We need to submit to the Lord through obedience; then, the Holy Spirit will be given the permission to supervise our daily Christian lives. We need to yield to the Spirit of God so that He can produce in us holiness.” I wonder how submitted the Christian counselors are to that process of producing holiness if they do not believe in the sufficiency of Scripture. If a counselor does not believe that the creator of everything and ultimately every situation coming from that creation, our God has all the answers to life’s situations, then who ever could? I agree that all counselors, especially biblical counselors should continue to study the scriptures, but what I consider even more essential is for them to sit humbly before thier God in submission and prayer, worshipping thier creator and repent and ask for restoration of thier faith in who God truely is, and be ready to listen to The Great Counselor and all His wisdom that He has to impart to them through His Word.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

My brotha Jallah, The Word of God our Father is Sufficient all by it self it needs no help. In the beginning was the Word and then the Word became flesh, therefore we must as Christian counselors, keep our eyes on the prize, Jesus Christ Lord and Savior, who became flesh to save us from ourselves. I agree that the Bible, God’s written Word, is the only tool needed to bring a person to truth, to save them from any problematic situation that may be stunting them.

Nathaniel Pearce • 3 years ago

Jallah, thanks for a well argued position on the sufficiency of the Scripture and the need to place God’s Word above all other tools that are used in counseling relationships. Also, the questions posed are potent and beg for careful thought. I have seen many who use the “learned” terms of humanism often speak condescendingly to those of us who wish to operate biblically in their practice of counseling. However, we need not retreat as the biblical approach to counseling is proven and has longevity in its corner.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

JoHonna, the understanding of grace is vital to understanding Biblical truth regarding our depravity before God and what he has called us to be and to do. What he has called us to be is embedded in his moral character and what he has called us to do is the direct product of what he has called us to be. What he has called us to be requires his grace to actualize it. Your exposition on grace is in place.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

Grace is the part of counseling that usually follows the admission and repentance of sin. Without the healing balm after the surgery or treatment of wounds, it would just be too painful to continue to try or go back for additional repairs and healing. Grace is the anticeptic, the pain reliever and the antiboitic all rolled into one. The caution is how the counselee correctly applies grace so as not to use it as a crutch or excuse for not taking full responsibility for thier actions now and in the future. A Christian Counselor, Bob Kellemen, has counseling curriculum that talks about the how being able “to empathize with another’s soul is comparable to climbing in the casket.” God does this with us when we pray and read His Word and use the scripture to counsel. Hebrew 4:15-16 “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Mercy is what we as believers have received and it is nothing that we deserve. We as counselors do not even deserve the priveledge of directly being used by God to minister to other’s souls, but even in our messed up state that we as fellow sinners are, He still is merciful and gives us the opportunity because of His grace, to service Christ by helping the hurting to knowledgably apply scripture for healing.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

The Word of God our Father is Sufficient all by it self it needs no help. In the beginning was the Word and then the Word became flesh, therefore we must as Christian counselors, keep our eyes on the prize, Jesus Christ Lord and Savior, who became flesh to save us from ourselves. I agree that the Bible, God’s written Word, is the only tool needed to bring a person to truth, to save them from any problematic situation that may be stunting them.

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Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

JoHanna, you are so right and stated it beautifully, “Jesus Christ is the Word turned flesh and lived out the example.” Not only for all our daily lives but also in how to counsel. He repeatedly used parables to show people in example stories and make them think about how it applied to their situations in life. Holding up an exagerrated mirror that they could see themselves in more clearly than they had seen before. As counselors it is our responsibility with the power and wisdom that can only come from allowing the Holy Spirit work through us, to be that type of mirror because of the correctly applied scriptures. Some of these scriptures are ones such as Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” And in Romans 12:15 when it directs us to, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” 
Not all counselees will be receptive to hear the strong statements that are in God’s Word, but if we pull back from stating the harsh truth, than the process of healing can not begin and the counselee needs to have the choice clearly placed before them so they can, without confusion, choose what path they want to take. John 3:19-21 is to the point, “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

When biblical truths are offered by the counselor and when the counselee allows those truths to direct them, the Holy Spirit will progressively conform us into the image of Christ. “Truth and truth alone decides what is valid and what is invalid” from page 236. The essential truths of the Christian faith are; The divine inspiration of the Bible, The existence of an infinite, personal God, The uniqueness of Jesus Christ, Salvation by grace, Substitutionary atonement, Personal spiritual regeneration, and Personal Spiritual sanctification. 
Two of these essential truths of the Christian faith that I would most employ in an appeal to Christian counselors concerning the necessity of seeing the sufficiency of Scripture would be; The divine inspiration of the Bible and Personal Spiritual sanctification. I am in complete agreement with the authors that “if the Bible is not the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God, then it does not really matter what it says.” Therefore, how would you identify yourself as a Christian counselor or Biblical counselor? A counselor, who does not believe in the inerrant Word of God, will not have the confidence to counsel a client in what the Lord desires for their lives. The second truth would be Personal Spiritual sanctification. John 17:17, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth”. If that does not give us the answer then we have decided to be our own Gods and create something we think is better. It is the spiritual process of biblical truths that transforms the heart and the love of God that He expresses in scripture gives us the inspiration and motivation to become more like Christ. Octavius Winslow from his book, “The Work of the Holy Spirit” says, “Sanctification has its commencement and its daily growth in a principle of life implanted in the soul by the eternal Spirit.” Total sufficiency of scripture is the appeal to be made to Christian Counselors so that they may re-examine the value to their clients of “personal spiritual sanctification” that can only be found in the belief of “The divine inspiration of the Bible.”

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Ms. P: Thank you for your posts, I enjoyed reading them and got much from them (truth). Your responce to the assignment, was very enlightening and you are definitely on point when you wrote, “Truth and truth alone decides what is valid and what in invalid.” So true. I wish every professional who is practicing Christian counceling would employ that, truth is the Word of God and Truth can only be found in the Scriptures. God wrote the master book, (DSM) that sold millions of copies and have been on the best selling list for years, but man refuse to use the Book for cure of the mind, cure of the soul, cure from all ailments, cure from systamatic world issues, cure from problematics, cure from the world… God created mankind in His image, so since he created humankind, He should know how to fix His creation.

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Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

It is so powerful and exciting to hear your passion for God’s Word. Do not let anyone distract or persuade you to defer from it. There will be more educated, scholarly minds that we will all come in contact with along our ministries that will question our conviction of the suffiecency of using scripture. There will be many that think we are simple minded or close-minded, and we are. We are simply trusting in the best source and we are close-minded to let man’s wisdom take a higher place of application than The Almighty Counselor, Prince of Peace, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. To God be All the Glory, Great things He hath done! He does the healing, not us. He gives the wisdom, not us. If we will stay humble and remember this in every counseling situation, we will be used by Him in a mighty way that flesh can not understand. Love you, Paula

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Counselors will understand the move of the Holy Spirit when they accept Biblical truth in the event of counseling the victimized individual. Their acknowledgement of Biblical truths open the doors for the comprehension of scriptures authentically and realistically. Counselors do not give out to counselees what they do not have. Paula, you are right.

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

You are right and that is why even counselors need Biblical counseling by other biblical counselors. None of us have arrived yet. We are all a work in progress and need to pray for each other for more Godly wisdom and less worldly distractions so our prayer time will not be hindered.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Sis. Paula, you mentioned sensitive issue here regarding how Christian counselors need to spend time before the Lord praying; regrettably, it is hard to see Christians as a whole spending time to pray. Christians or Christian counselors seem to be preoccupy with activities that have no spiritual significant momentum and impetus.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Sis. JoHanna, the word of God is sufficient in the process of counseling, but how many Christian counselors today consider the word of God to be full of authenticity by which people’s problems should be solved?

Paula Emrich • 3 years ago

It starts with us Jallah. You and me and JoHannah and the others that we know like Dr. Pearce that practice what we believe. This can start to change if those of us that have a testimony of the results of counseling with God’s Word, stay true to the scripture in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” I had the honor of having this discussion with a brother in Christ today that has over 20 years of experience in Christian/Biblical Counseling, that has integrated with secular pyschology. God allowed me the opportunity to speak a different side and it was received well. You just never know how God is going to use you if you stay humble and know that God can do anything with anybody if you trust in His abilities and not your own. Blessings, Paula

Nathaniel Pearce • 3 years ago

Paula, good challenge. Convictions are born in our hearts and we must all decide the cost of standing on these convictions even when ridiculed. Joshua speaks of the challenge of determining whom to follow when juxtaposed between the conviction to honor or disobey God. However, he concluded, “…as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Josh. 24:15). Joshua’s decision led to the people walking closer to the Lord (i.e., sanctification) as he revealed and lived the truths of God’s Word. I am sure Joshua’s obedience to God did not cause him regrets both in theory and practice. A biblical approach to counseling, then, shines the spotlight on God’s abilities and not ours. This conviction is worthy of the cost of temporary discomfort and ridicule, knowing that the many who are led to Christ will be eternally grateful for the price paid in injecting biblical truth into their lives.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Dr Pearce, you are right regarding the comment on the term “humanism”. Not all tools are wrong, but the manner in which people use tools makes it right or wrong. There is no way a counselor can divorce himself or herself from the appearing or practicality of humanism. In counseling, we must consider and reason humanistically, but scripture should take credence.

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Discussion 1, pt.2
by Nathaniel Pearce | 3 months ago

World Religions
Discussion 1, pt. 2
Expires 2/10/13


Azumah, in his introductory chapter of his work on Islam, speaks of his observation of a radical shift in the world of religion over the past 50 years. Describe the nature and extent of this shift that has resulted in “voluntary censorship” in Western societies. A direct quote of no more than 50 words should be included in support of the student’s response. This question should be addressed with 250-350 words.

Students should recall that their answer to this question should be posted on the dashboard for your classmates to view and respond. In addition, your answer should be a replica of the answer previously emailed to the professor. Finally, students who did not complete part 1 of the assignment should not participate in this segment of the discussion as they will not receive a grade for doing so. Part 1 of this discussion must be completed as specified in order to participate in and receive a grade for part 2 of the discussion. This discussion will expire at 11:59 PM on February 14.

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Vince Wilson Clearly, the shift that the author (Azumah) is referring to is the increased interest in Islam and those who make up this religion known as Muslims. The events of September 11, 2001 have sparked Christians across the globe to study and seek a greater understanding of Muslims. As Christians make greater efforts to learn more about Islam, Muslims have pushed their “agenda” in America and abroad. A “voluntary censorship” has been established among Westerns including clergy, media, and the like. However, this increased interest in Muslims has created an “unhealthy” tone throughout the Western world known as “voluntary censorship” as coined by Bernard Lewis. Contrary to what many think, this attention on Islam has created a “ love and romanticism of Islam” which Lewis calls “Islamophilia”.
Azumah goes on to explain in further detail how this censorship has affected the other parts of the world. September 2006 saw unrest after Pope Benedict XVI made “critical” comments regarding Muslims. These were critical comments in the eyes (or ears) of many Westerners. Pope Benedict’s point was that Muslims should be treated as those who cannot be approached direct (but respectfully) in an effort to discuss issues. In other words, they should not be handled with “kid gloves”. Many in the Western world have an impression that Muslims are so violent and unapproachable that one has to be very careful or almost silent whenever they are speaking directly to a Muslim or when there is a Muslim in their company. The ideology of Westerns in considered insulting.

–Vince Wilson

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Daryel Sanders Islam has gotten a bad rap so to speak. Many think it is a violent religion. Most of what is talked about in reference to Islam is negative. It is time for the media and society alike to study and investigate Islam. I admit I did not realize how similar Christianity and Islam are until taking this class. I however did wonder whenever I would hear Minister Louis Farrakhan speak that he often referred to Jesus Christ. This was intriguing to me.

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Kenda Cooper Some attention from 9/11 has caused people to become more interested in Islam, but it has equally caused many to lose respect for Islam. So the notion of “Islamophilia” didn’t just come from that or other major acts associated with Islam. A lot of the romanticism of this particular religious belief is associated with politics. Unlike many Christians, a lot of Muslims make political and social demands based on Islamic beliefs. A prime example of this is the effect it has on education systems. In Western culture, although Islamic practices have increased, many will still say that they are the minority. However, now and in the last 20 – 30 years, a lot of attention has been put on minorities having the same rights as those in the majority, however, since Muslims don’t separate “church from state” as we do, their beliefs have rolled over into different sectors of life that effect those around them. So people have shown an increased interest in the religious practices because they are effected by it now.

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Kenda Cooper ~affected

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Melissa Heyward Vince, I have to be honest in that before reading in more depth about the Islamic community, I would have been one of those perhaps fearful or unsure how to speak with a Muslim. Although I agree that all Christians should learn more about other faiths as well as their own, I have concluded that I must begin by living out the idea of “each one, teach one”. As I learn more, when God gives me the opportunity, I must counter the stereotyping that has created such division between Christians and Muslims. It is similar to the idea that there are still stereotypes lingering out there about African Americans. We are offended if someone approaches (or doesn’t approach) us because of certain assumptions. It certainly helps me to understand that perhaps I too am practicing a form a “racism” which has interfered with the “Great Commission” God has given us all. This study has opened my eyes to some new things to consider.

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Sandra Gray I agree that 9/11 has sparked the intrigue, concern, and interest in the Muslim community in regard to their Islamic faith. I am sure there are many things the unknowing Christian preceives about these individuals in the wake of the recent activities associated with their faith community. Whether it is from the media or from conversation among peers, many assumptions and much propoganda has been given about the Islamic faith. I have been subjected and even sympathetic to those who oppose this religion but much light has been shed as I have read and studied the history, practices, and beliefs of the religion. Along with contempt comes intimidation of those who are practicing Muslms. It is sad to say that even those who are peaceful in this faith community are looked at through different glasses as I walk into convenience stores or board an aircraft. Lack of knowledge and preconceived assumptions had much to do with this outlook. Many viewed the individuals participating in the 9/11 attack as the “whole community” while this is not true. As I have learned, there are sects within this religion who were just as disgusted and saddened by the attack as we were as Christians. All of the faith cannot be stereotyped with and clumped into one group, but knowledge is needed to understand the whole picture.

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Nathaniel Pearce Vince, you have presented a pretty good assessment of the assigned reading. One question that remains for you and other applicable students to address–i.e., do you agree that the theology of the West is insulting? To whom and what are Westerners indebted for their system of belief? Finally, is this source fallible or infallible, and therefore trustworthy or untrustworthy?

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Vince Wilson Dr. Pearce, this is a very interesting series of questions you have posed.

In reflection, I agree the theology of the West is insulting to others who are from another hemisphere. In other words, when our theology is pushed on others when we are in another territory outside of the Western hemisphere. On the contrary, when a foreigner is in the Western hemisphere, I do not think it is insulting. For example, my having taken an African history course on the undergraduate level (during the Apartheid era in the late 1980s) and including our current course, I am reminded of how Africa was colonized by Europeans who felt that Christianity was the one and only theology and how they felt the theology native to that nation was primitive or backwards. I refer to the chapter on “Introduction and African Religion” (Corduan, p. 233) that states, “Missionaries to Africa have been criticized for a lack of sensitivity to African culture.” Of course, this fact is not new. Muslims, of course, feel the same sense of insulting or insensitive behavior by our military presence in the Middle East partially influenced by our “theology” during the G.W. Bush era.

Westerners are indebted to man for its system of beliefs. We already know that organized religion and the many denominations were / are started by human beings who were inspired or enlightened by God directly. Or, people who were inspired by other people (who actually received the divine inspiration). This source is infallible because beliefs or ideologies can be “lost in translation” over a period of time. Of course, no two people will interpret one verse of scripture the same; even if they belong to the same church or denomination. Therefore, anything touched by man is untrustworthy.

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Desiree’ Monson Vince, I think you make a good point in stating that Westerner behavior of treating Muslims delicately is insulting. However, I question how are we to support and advocate for open mindedness among other religions and cultures when we aren’t even open minded to our own differences within our vary country? Similarly, accepting other denominations ?

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Vince Wilson Desiree’,

Support or advocacy for open-mindedness among other religions, cultures, and denominations starts at an individual level and it just has to spread. Someone has to a lead. For example, I am someone who has fellowshipped with Christians who are not of the same denomination as I am. Through these experiences, I have learned of the similarities and differences. In many cases, I have initiated these relationships. I think the individual has to see an advantage for both parties to establish such a relationship. Your question is valid. It would a challenge.

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Kenda Cooper Vince,
I understand the points you make, however, I feel that “Western” views (specifically in the US) and behavior towards any religion that is not the majority, will always be seen as insulting if it is not saying exactly what that particular religion wants to hear. This seems to be the case for Islam. I previously lived in a city that has one of the largest, if not the largest number of Muslims in the country. In this city everything had to be done a certain way or it would go against Islamic tradition. All of the gyms were separated by gender and there were even different drivers training schools. One time it wasn’t yet a rule where schools were closed on specific days that were special for them, but they petitioned to have schools closed on those days. The Christians and other people of the community respected that and went along with it. But then when Christians petitioned for certain holidays to be observed for the same reasons, they were told that it was against their faith to have their children miss on those days because it was as if they were celebrating it as well. I know that it is believed that there is a medium but with religions such as Islam that don’t separate church and politics, it doesn’t seem like there can be much of one. It’s insulting if someone treats them delicately and it’s insulting if they are treated the exact opposite. However, with a religion that is as dominant as this one, it is difficult to not insult if you are not saying what they believe.

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Jallah Koiyan Islam from the Medieval era historically had been a movement of violence dated back during the insurrection of the Christian militarilism called the crusades. The crusade was a war initiated by Christian soldiers to liberate Jerusalem and the surrounding holy lands during the Byzantine Empire from Muslim dominations. History will always play the past as to inform the present people about the past. This still plays today in the interreligious and pluralistic world where people believe that God is one and it does not matter which group of religions you belong to.
Despite of Islam being a violent movement, according to the text recorded in Azumah, people of different religious traditions and civilizations had determined to present Islam in a more sympathetic and positive light through the proliferation of study centers and literature by the West. Ironically, western scholars had criticized Christianity the most and paid deaf ear to digging information regarding the Islamic religion according to the text. Why are they silent on the matter? It is the result of fear as Western scholars are afraid of violence that might come from the Muslim communities; therefore, they are encapsulated in what we called “Voluntary Censorship,’ which is the attempt to withhold information from going out. This is a radical shift that had occurred as the result of how the West looks at the Islamic religion. Let us examine the quotation from Azumah stated below:

‘Hushhh! Don’t say anything about Islam! Don’t you understand? If you say anything critical or questioning about Muslims, they’ll burn down your house. Hushhh! Just let them be. Don’t rile them. They are not capable of a civil and rational dialogue about problem in their faith community.”

Such statement develops anxiety in the Western scholars to withhold information regarding Islam as the result of fear that they could be attacked by members from the Muslim communities. Can this statement produce misconception or stereotyping toward the Muslim communities? In my opinion, it could; though, not all Muslims in the world exhibit extremism or radicalism. This had cause major shift and brought about voluntary censorship.

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Daryel Sanders Education is the key to the issue at hand. The study centers and literature were vital in setting the record straight about Islam. Nothing can be learned if there is to be silence about the matter. Talking and discussing is what can calm the fears of people and empower them to learn more about a specific matter. Sterotypes run rampant in our society. There may be people who are afraid of Christians just as there are those who are afraid of Muslims. How is this problem fixed?

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Nathaniel Pearce Daryel, this is an interesting question with which you have concluding your response to Jallah’s statement.I do have some thoughts, but I’ll reserve those until the closing hours of the discussion. Nevertheless, I would really like to hear other’s reflection on this important question unearthed by Daryel. That is, what will it take to alter our perception about a religion of peace that has a history of violence and war. In addition, if Westerners’ perception of Muslims must change, under what circumstances will this materialize, and who should facilitate this change?

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Sandra Gray I believe the silence referred to by Azumah has been a direct result of not wanting to incite or intimidate people when discussing or investigating the Islamic faith. This, however, will not make the issues and the concerns go away. What will shed light is to become knowledgeable and culturally aware of this religion. Because religion is a major cultural elelment, understanding it means we become more diverse in our world view. Fear is always a factor when trying to understand the unknown. To try and phantom why a group of religious believers would takes hundreds of innocent lives during 911 is beyond our grasp. There is then a sense of fear of not knowing why or how they could justify this act in any religious manner. Violence and religion seem to be antonyms to each other when in fact violence can be seen throughout the Old Testament during the reign of may kings and leaders. Voluntary censorship will not stop the facts but it will keep information from shedding light on how to communicate, understand, and find solutions to reaching all. As we seek to be “anxious for nothing,” we are to pray for peace and truth in our petitions to God. He will provide the understandng and avenues of communication as we learn more about each other.

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Kenda Cooper Daryel,
I agree that education is key, but religions, such as Islam have very strong belief systems that still frighten people once they are informed. I’m not sure if education will calm fears. I believe how religious groups present themselves is key. Being Christians, we believe in having a loving spirit to draw others, but what if our belief was to coerce others through violent acts? Would that then lesson the fears of those of other religious backgrounds?

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Daryel Sanders Azumah talks of a radical shift over the last 50 years in the world of religion especially how it relates to Christianity and Islam. In the past, it seems that Christianity was the romantic religion and Islam was the demonized religion. Understanding this, many of the differences and disagreements in the world are a result of religion. Instead of religion bringing people together, there is a tendency for a wedge to be driven between groups. This arises because of ignorance about each other’s religion.
To curtail this issue, there have been meetings, discussions aimed at informing and empowering people so that they can better understand and relate to each other. Because of this, the Western culture has begun to cast Islam in a more positive light. Conversely, Christianity is now being demonized. The scholars are now more critical of Christianity than of Islam; hence, Bernard Lewis’ reference to “voluntary censorship.”
People talk about and censor what they want to. They are looking to turn the tables so to speak. It is important for Christianity and Islam to know one another because there are some similar foundations and principles present though explained in different fashions.
So many see Islam as a violent religion but Swiss theologian Hans Kung made this point:
“No world peace without peace among religions; no peace among religions without dialogue between the religions; and no dialogue between the religions without accurate knowledge of one another.”
It is time that Christians and Muslims talk about their religions and not talk at each other. Each religion should be prepared to stand its ground about what they believe.

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Melissa Heyward Daryel, I thought about why are we so uncomfortable “talking about our religions”? People tend to avoid the idea of evangelism because with it comes an accountability to communicate and defend our faith to others. We can’t “stand our ground” if we have built our house on “sand” (limited foundation) versus “rock” (a solid foundation of knowledge) as suggested in Matthew 7. You are right we should be prepared. Could it be that we in fact avoid Muslims because they are more “prepared” in knowledge of their faith than we are?

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Nathaniel Pearce Wow, Melissa, you have just opened a big can of worms with this intriguing question posed. It certainly could be that some of us do avoid Muslims and feel threatened by their knowledge of their faith. Do we respond, however, by mandating believers to study more of the Muslim religion, or do we encourage an in-depth and progressive study of the Bible and biblical theology?

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Vince Wilson Daryel, I agree with you when you say that Christians and Muslims need to sit down and talk to each other. I am aware of programs at the academic level that promote or encourage Christian and Muslim relations. One program that comes to mind is located at Columbia International University (Columbia, SC) and is called. The Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies. I have provided the link here for your further study: http://www.ciu.edu/muslimstudies/about-us.

I think it goes without saying that just because we are trying to understand another person’s beliefs does not mean we are prepared to convert to their beliefs are any such thing. We should be just as diligent or firm in presenting why we believe who / what we believe.

All your points are well taken.

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Sandra Gray “Instead of religion bringing people together, there is a tendency for a wedge to be driven between groups” is a powerful statement. It is true in so many ways. We can live in a world that hinges on groups and cliches in almost every area of life. This is true even in religious groups and church denomination. One may think their view or doctrine is true and pure and that it is the only way. God is a god that offers salvation to all man. With that being the case, how can we turn our nose up or our backs to His children, His most prized treasures. We have to find ways to bridge the barriers and make disciples of all men. Thus, ignorance is not bliss but it is a reciprocal of misinformation and msunderstanding. Instead of always looking at our differences, we can begin to look at our similarities to open the channels of communication and understanding. We no longer can shut our eyes or close our ears to other religions just because it is not what we choose to believe. We have to be creative in our approaches to winning souls to Christ. This begins with knowledge.

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Melissa Heyward Dr. Pearce, in response to your question, I think again this goes back to the issue of balance. I suggest we have a responsibility to do exactly what we are doing in this class: learn in more depth about other faiths against a background (via your lectures) grounding us fully understanding our own faith. It is my sense that theologians such as Paul and Jesus himself could not have argued so persuasively on behalf of Christianity without having knowledge of the erroneous or false teachings or theology which existed at the time to counter the truth of God’s word. Just studying about the Muslim faith has caused me to look at the followers as a people who need my compassion. Even understanding certain phrases (i.e. jihad and a “works” theology) has helped to expand my thinking as well as causing me to question how fully I understand Christine theology or doctrine.

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Desiree’ Monson Melissa- You are absolutely right about people’s preparedness. I have heard people say that they would rather not evangelize because of their fear of being challenged or not being able to answer questions. Yet, the very thought of that doesn’t create enough urgency in some to do something about it!

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Melissa Heyward Azumah places emphasis upon the need for us to become knowledgeable not only about what I believe but, be informed about other faiths. In particular such is the case if we are going to have a healthy dialogue with those who are as staunch in their beliefs as perhaps we are as Christians. Azumah summarizes this challenge to Westernized Christians with the following quote for our consideration:
“There is therefore an urgent need for accurate knowledge of the teaching and beliefs of religions other than our own. The British Prime Minister Tony Blair is right when he says, “Knowledge dispels fear. Knowledge clears away misunderstanding. Knowledge strengthens trust.”
Azumah assures us that there are discussions currently in place as an effort to promote a better understanding between peoples of different religions. However, these discussions must be held with a sensitivity to the context in which a religion has evolved. Therefore, to look at religion apart from a people’s tradition and the makeup of the overall civilization is effective in gaining a better understanding of another worldview. Books written by Azumah and others from an African and/or Muslim perspective have become more available as a result of study centers developed strictly for the purpose of presenting Islam in a more positive and comprehensive fashion. Certainly the 9/11 tragedy has left a significant impression on the brains of most Americans concerning who a Muslim is. It has become difficult to separate the radical extremist from those who peacefully attempt to live out the directives of Quran in such a way that is pleasing to Allah.
In an effort to reconcile these diverse impressions, there now occurs what is called “voluntary censorship”. This approach seems to suggest that now we have become more critical of ourselves as Christians, almost diluting our traditions and heritages while glamorizing the Islamic faith. It appears there is now a need to “clean up where we messed up” in espousing our erroneous “knowledge” regarding Islam (see the quote from Pope Benedict XVI, for example p. 3)

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Sandra Gray Your comment “Therefore, to look at religion apart from a people’s tradition and the makeup of the overall civilization is effective in gaining a better understanding of another worldview’ is the at the crux of knowing for ourself the reasoning behind the practices and beliefs of the Islamic faith. I can truly say there are elements of the religion I knew nothing about before entering this course. Adding to my stereotping was my inability to be responsible for my beliefs and perception. Never knowing is no excuse for erroneous knowledge. Getting involved in conversation and co-signing misunderstandings about this relious group made me just as insensitive to their faith as well as to those who did not participate in terroristic events. As a Christian, I am responsible for knowing the truth, communication it, and winning souls to Jesus. This cannot be done if we as Christians continue to “go with the flow” and not learn how to have fruitful conversation with our Islamic community. This can only be done by being open-minded, willing, and honest in our communication. Though it is difficult to separate the radical from the peaceful Muslims on the surface, it does not take away our responsibility. I can truly see where they believe as they believe to day with contempt for the Christian community. Still, I hold up the banner of Jesus Christ and my beliefs while being sensitive to their views.

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Vince Wilson Melissa,

When I consider what Azumah said regarding our being informed about other faiths, I think about the many roles that a Christian minister is expected to play these days. For example, there are the current terms such as: “cross-cultural”, “intercultural”, and “interfaith” ministry, to name a few. These forms of ministry call for us to be not only be knowledgeable about our own beliefs, but to be informed about others’ beliefs. Healthcare Chaplains are one example of those who are called to minister to others whose beliefs may be different from theirs. Chaplains are trained to not push their own religious agenda on others, but to provide spiritual healing despite the religious beliefs of others.

So, I use these examples to prove that there continues to be an emphasis on Christians creating or maintaining a neutral relationship with non-Christians. When I say neutral, I am speaking of an environment that is less threatening to the non-Christian; in this case, the Muslim.

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Melissa Heyward Vince, thank you for your comment. Presented as our responsibility to remain less threatening but more focused upon an exchange of accurate knowledge is certainly acceptable to me in defining a neutral relationship with non-Christians. We have a responsibility to be knowledgeable of our faith, communicate our knowledge, listen respectfully to others perspectives, and remain confident in the power of the Holy Spirit to do the rest. As one who is also exploring a career as a Chaplain, I agree that it is essential for us to be “prepared” to confidently interact with others by being sensitive to culture, traditions, and their beliefs regarding what is considered “faith”.

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Kenda Cooper During my lifetime, I have witnessed many people take various concepts and ideas and attempt to merge them into one unit. Even now, with fads being very common, people dress alike and are taught to act alike. One could argue that this a great sign of unity, strength and acceptance. On the other hand, it be could argued that this mentality has caused people to lose their identity and sense of self. With a heavy focus on equality and civil rights, the thought that it is possible for an entity to be themselves (and good) while another entity simultaneously does the same, is almost extinct. In My Neighbor’s Faith: Islam Explained for Christians, John Azumah alludes to this when speaking on dynamics of Christianity and Islam in Western societies. Azumah explains that throughout history and especially after the horrific events on 9/11/01 that many scholars are striving to shift from the negative connotative value that Islam has carried. However, in turn many have given a negative value to Christianity in doing so and romanticized the idea of Islam. This is the “voluntary censorship” that is spoken of in this chapter. “As a direct result, mainline post- colonial Western discourse on Islam has, in the view of many, moved from extreme Islamophobia (the fear and demonization of Islam) to what some have termed Islamophilia (the love and romanticisation of Islam).” (Azumah 3) In efforts to give accurate and helpful information about Islam, a balance has not been created. It has either been very good or very bad. The dangers with this way of explanation are great. Not only are people not truly informed of the religious practices of Islam, but they can also be turned off to Christianity and Judaism.

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Melissa Heyward Kenda, your observation is powerful in that when information is presented inaccurately and unbalanced, this hurts Christians and those of the Jewish faith as well. The word of God teaches us in Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God.” So in essence, voluntary censorship suggests a conscious effort to deny or cover the true knowledge of God. How can either Christian or Muslim go forth with a truth that is skewed so that everyone is more comfortable?

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Nathaniel Pearce Kenda, awesome reflection and summary of the assigned reading. This romanticized view of Islam has casted and continues to cast Judeo-Christianity in a negative light–a reality massaged by a secular, pluralistic, postmodern and ungodly people. Therefore, while I support proper education of the system of Islam, the truth is that there is no hope in Islam or any other “religion.” Hope of eternity with God can only be secured through a relationship with God. This is absolute truth! So anyway, can one present the unadulterated Gospel (i.e., hope of eternity with the Father achievable only by grace alone, through Christ alone, through the finished work of Christ alone) without offending Islam and other religious systems? In addition, is this why Christians are currently being accused of intolerance? And if so, is this not a badge to ware with honor? Can we not lovingly tell our Muslim friends the liberating truth of the inspired Word of God? Or, have truth and love become contradictory phenomenon and therefore cannot reside harmoniously together? If biblical Christians were to retreat, would we not simultaneously sentence more people to the “broad road” (Matt. 7:13) of comfort and hopelessness that leads to hell and eternal destruction?

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Sandra Gray Kendra, There is a balance but I believe it has gotten lost in the two extremes mentioned by Azumah. The efforts have resulted in dangerous perceptions full of fear or full of romanticism. There is often no gray area. This is a result of misinformed people hindered in their knowledge and understanding.

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Kenda Cooper Dr. Pearce,
it is absolutely possible to present the unadulterated Gospel without offending Islam and other religious systems. We can go about it in a Godly and loving manner, but we must stand firm upon the Word of God. The Word doesn’t have to be compromised. We have to do our part. If we lift God up, He will draw men unto Him. Sometimes it is easier to just complete the task and not worry or focus on how people will react to you completing the task. Through this, our faith grows and God keeps us and protects us. We also have to remember that Satan is the prince of the air and that this isn’t a physical war, but a spiritual one. We can not address Islam or any other religious system with their ideas. We have to address them with respect, but knowing and relying ONLY on God’s Word.

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Sandra Gray To address the issue at hand, one must understand initially what “voluntary censorship” means in the context of the introduction of Azumah (2001). By definition, censorship is the “act of changing or suppressing speech or writing that is considered subversive of the common good; prevention of disturbing or painful thoughts or feelings from reaching consciousness except in a disguised form” (Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, 2013). Censorship in this case is preemptive and strives to prevent the publication or broadcast of undesirable information.

It is beneficial to note that both the Roman Catholic and Protestant churches practiced censorship. However, the term “censorship” is often used to reflect voluntary arrangements between armed forces, the media, governments, political, and religious authorities (Oxford Companion to Military History, 2004). In the introduction presented by Azumah, voluntary censorship is deemed an unhealthy tendency. He bases this observation on references made by Lewis (1993).

In an attempt to prevent thoughts or feelings about Islamic religion, a radical shift has been noted that suggest that Western societies tend to take a “very critical and sometimes hostile view of the Christian tradition and heritage” while “they do not apply the same critical approach when dealing with Islamic teaching and history” (Azumah, 2001, p. 3). This is said to directly influence two extreme post-colonial Western discussions related to Islam. One is termed Islamophobia which means the fear and diabolical representation of evil of Islam while the other is Islamophilia which means the love and romantic affection of Islam.

The nature and extent of the radical shift has been credited to the attempt to be preemptive in censorship which is classic voluntary censorship due to the recent view of Westerners about the sensitivity of the Islamic faith. Rather than seeing them as rational and civil individuals, they are perceived as irrational, hot-headed, and uncivil. As this perception is nurtured, voluntary censorship is apparent as suppression of conversation, discourse, and thoughts are exhibited out of fear. Thus, honest conversation is disguised which in essence builds a barrier against Islam (Azumah, 2001).

Voluntary censorship in this aspect focuses Westerners on the violent and terroristic acts of members of this faith-based community and off of the peaceful side of those in the Islamic community. This type of censorship also leads to the disassociation of Christians who should be out winning souls and professing the Gospel to all people regardless of preconceived notions. Rather than looking at the differences and the action of some, Christians should look to lift up the name of Jesus so as to draw “all men” unto Him.

References

Azumah, J. (2001). My Neighbor’s Faith: Islam Explained for Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. (2013). Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.

Oxford Companion to Military History: The Oxford Companion to Military History. (2004). Oxford University Press.

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Melissa Heyward Sandra, I like your comments and the idea that we have a responsibility to lift up the name of Jesus. It seems that John Azumah is suggesting that we as African American Christians must reconsider “how” we lift up the name of Jesus through greater knowledge of the Islamic faith. Whereas, there was a time it would seem easiest to introduce Jesus as the way to salvation, for the Muslim this would not be acceptable as Jesus is considered no more than “just another prophet” who taught well but was not the “total truth” as the prophet Muhammad is presented to be.Salvation is not considered the free gift as we see it. They are committed to the idea of working your way into Heaven. I am convinced as I continue to read, that I must “live out the name of Jesus” before those in the Islamic faith. If according to scripture, Jesus has said “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me” we must ask ourselves how are we lifting him up in our lives in order that the non-believer is drawn to Him?

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Sandra Gray Melissa, with the knowledge I have gathered about the Islamic faith in the last few weeks, it has been revealed that just having a good argument or holding on to my “spiritual guns” during a conversion with a Muslim is not enough. It involves having a conversation that reflects knowledge and compassion for this individual in regards to their religious beliefs. Jesus being the way to salvation for me may not be the way to salvation to them. With Jesus being considered “just another prophet,” I would need more than words but also a spiritual persona that reflects Jesus in me as well as the fruits of God’s Spirit. I believe this coupled with understanding and a true awareness of their beliefs would be effective in building a relationship leading to discipleship.

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Nathaniel Pearce Sandra, you have argued well that while we agree on the difficulty involved in leading our Muslim friends to Christ; we must be faithful in lifting up the name of Jesus. The only thing I would add is the one truth that biblical Christianity demands–i.e., a faithful and practical exemplification of Christ to a lost and dying world. One example worthy of being noted came from the primitive first century Church. In fact, while they were accused of many crimes, the denial of Christ (i.e., His power, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension) was not among the list. Will you and I be known as Christians who spend their lives preserving the Word and testimony of Christ for the next generation (i.e., should the Lord tarries)?

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Sandra Gray Dr. Pearce, I truly believe if something is not practical (cannot be practiced), it is not spiritual. By that I mean putting into practice “a faithful and practical exemplification of Christ to a lost and dying world.” Why ask others to believe in ask others to believe in a Savior Who we reflect as not victorious in our living? This demands we not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. When we succumb the belief we profess and give in to the worldly system of doing things, we are no longer peculiar but just ordinary, non victorious individuals- not Kingdom citizens. I totally agree that we are to be faithful in exemplifying Christ to a world of many beliefs, no matter their stance.

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Jallah Koiyan Brother Sanders you raised a very good question regarding the misconceptions both Christians and Muslims have with respect to information gathering and releasing to the public as it pertains to the practical, historical, and theological aspects of these religions. You answered the question in your opening sentence as you said, ” Education is the key to the issue at hand.” Despite of education, the misconceptions that Muslims will attack anyone who talks about their religion negatively should be dealt with as to get rid of Islamophobia; however, it may appear to be misconceptions, but it should not be overlooked because the ideological philosopher behind is a spiritual struggle called Jihad to protect Islam and to fight for Allah.

| 3 months ago

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Jallah Koiyan Sandra, you gave a comprehensive view regarding voluntary censorship as it pertains to the Islamic religion and how Westerners have a hostile view toward Islam as the result of the stereotyping diabolical representation of Islam. It should be understood that the philosophical ideology behind the Islamic religion is encapsulated in a spiritual struggle called the Jihad. Muslims believe that every soul under the heavens should submit to Allah and failure to do so is a rebellion against Allah. This is the reason in Islamic nations, there is no separation between the state and religion. The Qu’ran is the constitution of the Islamic states or nations. Every one must submit to the Islamic law and failure to do so, the individual will eventually face the consequence of their action. It is usually a capital punishment. Western scholars should not be
blamed about their negative or hostile attitude toward Islam in some sense. It should be also be understood that there are various Muslim sects in the world today. The Muslim in the Ivory Coast regard pastors to be brothers them and pastors are highly respected by Muslims in the Ivory Coast. I served as an administrator for a bible school in Danane, Ivory Coast. The city mayor is a Muslim and he became a best friend of mine. He invited me to his house and introduced me as a pastor to his Muslim family. Every time, we had a graduation ceremony, we asked him to allow us use the field hall and the open field for evangelistic activities. He gave us the facility and everything therein free. He believes that Christians are not different from Muslims. The Muslims in Africa are quite from from the Muslims in the Middle East.

| 3 months ago

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Jallah Koiyan Bro. Sanders, Islamic and Christianity may appear to have similarity in theistic nature (monotheism), but they are not the same in practice and theology. Muslims believe in the oneness of God. They do not believe in the trinity; as the result, they Unitarians. They God, called Allah is not a god of love, but a god of retribution. To the Muslims, Allah is the preserver, king, master; therefore, God who is called Allah and should not be associated with mercy, father, son, love etc. Allah is not Jehovah, the God of the Christian God. The Allah is the god of Muhammad’s family god called the Kaba, presently located in Mecca. This is the reason every Muslims in their live times should visit Mecca. Muslims do not have assurance of salvation. It is Allah who decides who should go to heaven. Muslims believe that heaven will be a place of drinking
alcoholic beverages and marriages. The revelation Muhammad received was not God’s, but it was demonically related. God did not create man out of the clot of blood, but man was created from the dust according to the Genesis account. Does contradict himself? Never. The Bible or the Qu’ran, which one you believe or which one comes from God? Let me quotation how Muhammad received his revelation.

“Muslims believe that the Qur’an was revealed gradually to Muhammad between 610 and 632 from a heavenly document known as the Mother of books or umm ul-kitab. Though Muslims insist that every word of the Qu’ran is the word of Allah, the Qu’ran admits that this word was revealed in different ways. At times, Muhammad himself is presented as the author of the words (81:15-21;84:16-19; 92:14-21); more commonly the words he utters are said to have been recited to him by the angel Gabriel (2:97); and at other times God seems to bypass Gabriel and speak directly to Muhammad (2:252; 3:108; 45:6). When Muhammad received a revelation, he would go into a trance and start to shiver. Then, like the pre-Islamic kahins (Arab soothsayers), he would be wrapped up in some garments (73:1-7) apparently to induce new revelations. According to Islamic traditional sources, the words he recited were then memorized by his followers and inscribed on objects such as bones, palm leaves or tree bark.”(Azumah, pp. 28).

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Daryel Sanders Jallah, you are right that they are dissimilar in practice and theology. Thanks for clarifying that for me. Christianity does believe in the Triune God.

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Jallah Koiyan Yes, Wilson, the incidence on September 11, 2001 made the Western world to look critically at the religion called Islam. How will people who call on God involve in terrorist activities in the world. The agenda for the Islamic religion is to conquer the whole world to make people submit to Allah. This is the spiritual struggle called the Jihad. The act of terrorism is the furtherance of the agenda to initiate the Jihad.

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Daryel Sanders Melissa, it could be that we avoid the Muslim because of not being prepared. It takes time to prepare and many Christians do not want to spend the time preparing. Preparation also entails accountability. This is something that is lacking among Christians. How can we be effective Christians if we are not prepared?

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Desiree’ Monson Daryel this is a good point! Yet, it makes me wonder if the desire to care is great! I think that the desire to care enough about what is happening must first be ignited before a process of preparation is to occur. I have heard of many people being very nonchalant about what the beliefs and customs of other religions are , thus creating a sense of superiority.

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Desiree’ Monson 1. The shift that has occurred in regards to voluntary censorship is one that seems unhealthy. People tend to look at and remember past misconceptions about the religion and continue to base their view of the religion on those things. Azumah says that “There is therefore an urgent need for accurate knowledge of the teaching and beliefs of religions other than our own.” People tend to look at other religions and pass judgment. Some have even view Islam in a different light due to the terrorist acts. Questioning how could a person that believes in the Islamic faith say they are peaceful when suicide bombings are taking place by them? However, bizarre it may seem to some, in their eyes this is an act of faith, and commitment to god. It is so easy for people to make assumptions and want to treat Muslims with delicate gloves. They operate in the mode that we don’t want to upset them because they may do something crazy and kill us all. Completely forgetting or maybe not knowing that they are simply doing what they think is correct. They see the things they do as demonstrating their love and commitment to god. Ultimately Muslims want to change the perception of people so that they may be treated equally. They want to be treated with dignity and respect. There thought is that Christians should only concern themselves with Christian things and leave the Islam things to them. Basically, don’t judge them. Just accept them for who they are.

2. Two of the challenges posed by Islam are the theological challenge and the intellectual challenge. In the Theological challenge Muslim believers tend to think that Jesus is the forerunner for the final and most perfect prophet. Basically, they believe they are the true Christians and true Judaism. In that, just as Christianity replaced Judaism, Islam sees it’s self as the replacement to Judaism and Christianity together. The perspective of the intellectual challenge basically states that Muslim is the African’s natural culture and religion it’s only natural that they try to make a way for Africans to engage in and embraces their natural history. They believe that Christianity was their religion forced upon them by slavery and that the African person should abandon it and become Muslim. After all Islam is the main religion of Africa. This approach has caused people to lose inspiration in the gospel of Jesus Christ, thus making it challenging to evangelize in some parts of the world.

In terms of the theological approach the church could respond by restating what the Bible says about the one true and living God. Along with understanding that people have free will, we still share with them the good news of Jesus Christ, but know that it is up to them whether they desire to listen or not. The intellectual approach, true Muslim may have been the initial religion of the culture, but the true and living God doesn’t care about whether or not a person was born in Africa or not still sharing the same perspective with the individual.

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Sandra Gray When people pass judgment on other religions before getting knowledge and an understanding of its history, practices, and beliefs, it is actually contempt before truth. We have to know the truth about why they feel or do as they do, despite the fact that we know the “Truth” and it has set us free. The actions of some should not keep us perplexed and stuck in one view determined by others. We are responsible for examining and seeking ways to shed light on why people do what they do based on religious practices and beliefs. Though people have free will, we can then seek ways to win them over to the true and living God. They can then make a choice based on our example and passion for our God- the only God.

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Desiree’ Monson Sandra you are right! Another thought on the matter is that, not only are people making premature assumptions about other religions, but there are some people that don’t even have a desire to be open minded enough regarding other religions to clearly hear other religious perspectives or to share. I think at times we may take on a selfish view of Christianity in that. Our way is the truth, and if they don’t want to see it that way then oh well, and not even sincerely trying to win them over to Christ.

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Daryel Sanders Desiree’ you make a good point after caring. There is so much complacency and contentment amongst the Body of Christ. I wonder what will it take to ignite people? Many only care as long as it affects them and makes them look good. The point is well taken: to prepare there should be some sense of caring about how things are going.

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Kenda Cooper Daryel,
I agree with your statement on complacency. There seems to be a lack of discipline or the lack of spiritual guidance, but it seems rare that ministries seem to simultaneously focus on both. A good percentage of younger generations think that it doesn’t take a lot to reap benefits. This misconception has caused people to not develop and depend on a consistant prayer life. Fasting almost seems to be a thing of the past and studying the Word of God is too much. It is easier to learn cliches, jump and shout and focus on prosperity and being in a happy place. But unfortunately, neglecting steps such as these causes a Christian to be malnourished and weak. How can we expect to be strong, healthy Christians if we don’t properly feed our spirit man?

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Discussion 2, pt.2
by Nathaniel Pearce | 2 months ago

Provide a quote (maximum of 25 words) of the author’s definition of Shari’ah. Then list and discuss, from the reading, two reasons a Muslim brother or sister might provide as a rationale for committing murderous acts of terrorism on Westerners and Christians. Also, provide a brief appraisal of Azumah’s discussion of the “Christian Perspective” by stating what aspect of his discussion you agree with or disagree and why. A direct quote of no more than 50 words may be employed in the student’s response. This question should be addressed with 275-350 words.

Students should recall that their answer to the above question should be posted on the dashboard for your classmates to view and respond. In addition, your answer should be a replica of the answer previously emailed to the professor. Finally, students who did not complete part 1 of the assignment should not participate in this segment of the discussion as they will not receive a grade for doing so. Part 1 of this discussion must be completed as specified in order to participate in and receive a grade for part 2 of the discussion.

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Daryel Sanders The Arabic word shari’ah means ‘path,’ ‘road’, or ‘way’. It is commonly used by Arabic speaking peoples of the Middle East to refer to various prophetic religions in their totality (p.62). A Muslim brother or sister might provide rationale for murderous acts of terrorism on Westerners and Christians because of ignorance of Islam. They believe enemies of Islam must be fought. This usually ends in death. They also adopt the rationale because they believe that non-Islam people should not be ruling Islam people. In the eyes of the Muslim this is called usurping. They feel the Qur’an offers support in Sura 9:29 to handle matters through fighting and subjugating Jews and Christians and making them pay the subjugation tax (jiyya) as a sign of humiliation.
The Christian Perspective discussed by Azumah is an interesting one. The student agrees with the author that much of the fear, disdain, dislike and distrust of the Islamic faith by Christians are due in part to a lack of knowledge and misinformation by the media. The media can and has blown things out of proportion. Rabitau Ammah, a Ghanaian Muslim intellectual expressed it this way:
“Muslims attitudes have not helped the situation in several cases – for example in Nigeria, where the application of Islamization seems to be more interested in flogging
(especially of women) than in creating wealth.” (p.73).
The gist of the matter is that Christians must acknowledge that secular democracy’s Christian roots is in opposition of Islamic teaching. Because of this they cannot expect the Muslims to open their arms to the Christian way of thinking. The Muslims have beliefs and standards they adhere to wholeheartedly. The answer to the matter is for both sides to understand each other and to figure out what it is each wants the other to know. The key is to be informed and empowered. Many of the problems in the world are because groups do not know enough about each other. There needs to be conversation to each other and not at each other. Knowledge is essential when there is a problem. Without it there will be continued misinformation and fear on the part of both parties.

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Melissa Heyward Darryel, I like and agree with your statement that “the key is be informed and empowered”. Knowledge is indeed power, but in the case of disputes between Muslim and Christians, it is the lack of knowledge that has in fact created power struggle in many instances. It is certainly naive of us as Christian to assume that because we place such confidence in our own beliefs, that others should do the same. That approach suggests arrogance as we do not take into consideration one’s upbringing, culture, values, and teaching which the Muslim embraces as readily as we embrace ours. My question is, what is the avenue by which we break the misinformation cycle. The only answer that comes to mind is “one person/relationship at a time”.

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Sandra Gray Daryel, Do you think the Christian way of thinkng has been clouded mostly by the recent acts of terrorism or more so by preconceived notions and attitudes of Christians related to their history? Will attempting to understand why they do and believe as they do make a difference to those who have lost loved ones to rebellious acts such as the amilies and friends left behind during 911?

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Kenda Cooper I agree that knowledge is power, and in this particular instance, I believe as Christians it is extremely necessary to know and practice what is taught in the Word of God. Islam requires extremities in the lives of those who practice it. These extreme actions can (and often do) effect those who do not believe in or practice Islamic beliefs. However, when we are faced with certain demands or feel imposed upon by their values and belief systems, we should turn to the Word of God. Christ exemplifies love at all times and we are to do the same. Simultaneously, we are to stand firm on the Word of God. The 2nd Epistle of John speaks to this: “9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2nd John 9-11 NASB).So we are not to accept their beliefs as ours, but we are to live a Holy and separated life, and as we lift God, Hewill draw men. I believe that if we stand firm on the principles that God has set and laid before us in His Word, the solution to many of these problems will come.

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Gloria Coe I agree also, with you however as you state: “shari’ah means ‘path,’ ‘road’, or ‘way’. I A Muslim brother or sister might provide rationale for murderous acts of terrorism on Westerners and Christians because of ignorance of Islam”. It is strange to me however that in light of this and the fact that all non Muslims are the enemy but they are given protective status in some places that make no sense to me.How about you?

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Jallah Koiyan According to Azumah, “Shari’ah is the code of law for the Islamic way of life which Allah has revealed for mankind and commanded us to follow” (p. 62).
The two rationales Muslim brothers or sisters would support a Murderous acts against Christians and Westerners include the following implications:
Muslim believes that everyone on earth must submit to Allah and consequently refusing to submit to Allah is the act of rebellion against God; therefore, non-Muslim individuals are regarded to be infidel and must therefore be a target for Jihad. Muslim mission of accomplishing Jihah on earth to kill non-Muslims and Christians through terrorism is in the way of Allah. In the Muslim religion, terrorism is ordained by Allah as to enforce his will on the subjects who have refused to accept Allah. Muslim believes that Shari’ah law must be observed by all because it is the way in which Allah establishes justice, peace, and morality. Anyone who is out of place to submit to Allah will eventually be refusing justice, peace, and morality; therefore, such individual must be inflicted with severe consequences to make him or her surrender to Allah. Killing Westerners and Christians who allow human freedom on earth is the direct rebellion against Allah; therefore, carrying out terrorism against such generation is pleasing to Allah.
The second reason is that Muslim believes that Westerners or Christians are against them and the institution of democratic governance on earth where freedom is permitted is the direct refusal to accept God’s rule on earth. Killing people who allow democratic rule, is the rebellion against Allah.
“Much of the Christian response can be said to be ill-informed and fuelled by prejudice. Non-Muslims’ ideas about the Shar’ah law tend to be derived more from sensationalist journalism and fear of the “Islamic threat” than from any knowledge of the Islamic legal code” (Azumah, P. 73).
This quotation tends to deny the severity of the Shar’ah law; however, Shari’ah law places restrictions and discriminates against non-Muslims with respect to social and political status in the nation. I agree with the Christian’s view on this matter.

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Daryel Sanders Jallah, I wonder what would the feeling be if the Christian felt like everyone should be killed for not following the laws and commands that God has set down? Is it important to communicate and know about Islam and Christianity?

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Sandra Gray Jallah, Do you feel there is any tolerance for individuals opposed to Islam without them being a target for Jihad or are all instances intolerable? It sounds like you are saying all who do not submit to Allah are subject to be targets of terroristic acts. Do you think there there are any exceptions?

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Gloria Coe non-Muslim are regarded as infidel and Jihad is to please to Allah. This is one please Christians can truly win the argument against Islam.

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Jallah Koiyan The activities concerning Islam is diabolical and ungodly in nature. The Islamic religion is the religion of totalitarianism or fascism. The god of the Muslim is the god of vengeance. The Muslim religion does not have the vocabulary “grace”. There is no grace for this Unitarian god. He is called the Only One ( Allah). The angel who appeared to Muhammad is doubtful to be the angel mentioned in the Bible. This might have a demonic angel calling himself Gabriel. The manner in which the revelation was given to Muhammad based on its phenomenon represents a soothsaying activity in Mecca.

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Desiree’ Monson Jallah, this is an interesting perspective that you have taken on the Muslim religion in regards to connecting it to demonic behavior, and soothsaying activity. It sheds a different light on the view of the religion. Yet, in thinking about the interpretation of a person that believes in the Muslim faith, would they regard their actions as being demonically inspired?

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Melissa Heyward Desiree’ this is a good question and I think under no circumstances would a Muslim consider their faith or activities “demonic”. We can have our opinions on the matter, however this kind of thinking could possibly be a hindrance to any effort to evangelize. So although we as Christians may not believer Islam is the only way to the Father, we still have responsibility to understand the perspective of those who do not believe in order to engage in an exchange that is fruitful versus destructive.

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Kenda Cooper Desiree’ this is a good question. I definitely believe that if shared with a vast majority of Muslims, this idea of their beliefs being demonically inspired would be a turn off and problematic when evangelizing. However, I do believe as one evangelizing, they should know and understand this aspect of the religion. Just as John 10:10 says, “10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and [a]have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NASB). So it can be understood that any doctrine/ belief system derived that goes against the Word of God came to destroy God’s kingdom. Just recently I had a conversation with a Jewish man who is now a believer. He was amazed how so much in Judaism (specifically traditions with Passover and the unleavened bread) refers to Christ and the last supper. He shared that he believed that so many Jewish people are “blinded” to the clear signs of the Messiah having already come because the enemy wants to keep them bound. He believes that is where the concept derived. However, there are good and bad approaches in evangelizing; so much is to be considered when one does go out in the name of Jesus, but it is also important to fully understand that we are fighting a spiritual warfare and not a physical one.

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Desiree’ Monson Melissa, you are absolutely right!

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Desiree’ Monson Kendra, yes you’re right! I agree in that sometimes I think we forget that this is spiritual warfare. Too often people don’t look at evangelism through those lenses.

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Sandra Gray Shari’ah
Shari’ah (sharia), is the Islamic law and is the framework of the ultimate reality and the ethical guidance of Muslim scholars. It is derived from the direct revelation of Allah to man. The ultimate source of the shari’ah – is the Qur’an. This divine text was revealed directly in human language to the Prophet Muhammad, and is exemplified in the sunnah. The sunnah is the way of life deemed as normal for Muslims on the basis of the teachings and practices of Muhammad and interpretations of the Quran. Sunnah is derived from the root (sa-n-na) meaning smooth and easy flow of water or direct flow path. The literal meaning is a clear and well-trodden path (Hopfe and Woodward). According to Azumah, “The Shari’ah …instructs man on how he should eat, receive visitors, buy and sell, slaughter animals, clean himself, sleep, go to the toilet, lead a government, practice justice, pray, and perform other acts of worship” (p. 63).
Corduan states, “The four schools of Sunni sharia, as well as the Imamite Shiites, essentially remain with a literal interpretation of the Quran…” (p.109). All revelation to the Jewish Prophets and to Jesus is binding on Muslims unless specifically abrogated in the Qur’an. The shari’ah is a specific form of the shar’ or path to God which the Qur’an states was revealed to all the prophets of the Abrahamic succession. Since the major purpose of Islamic law or shari’ah is to guide man’s search for truth, it is said to touches on both spiritual and material experience. Thus, the spiritual nature of the shari’ ah provides the perspective for understanding and acting in accordance with the ethical or moral standards that the creator has provided to guide every person in their relationships with others and the rest of creation. It is then clear that the shari’ah provides the pathway of judgment for Muslims in every aspect of their individual and social life.
A reason a Muslim brother or sister might provide as a rationale for committing murderous acts of terrorism on Westerners and Christians are because of their belief in a holy war waged on behalf of Islam as a religious duty or as a personal struggle in devotion to Islam especially involving spiritual discipline. It is essentially a crusade for their principles and belief. Though they want to be viewed as tolerant, there is little tolerance for those who oppose or disbelieve their teachings. In the Quran, there is no mention of jihad (struggle) but there is mention of qihad which means fighting. Throughout Islam history, military action has been seen. Two rationales may include the act of aggression by a country against Islamic countries. Another may be the attempt of a non-Islamic country or religion to suppress Islamic freedom of religion. Thus, oppressing the Islamic religion and threatening their devotion to Islam is the main ingredient for murderous acts of terrorism on Westerners and Christians.
A brief appraisal of Azumah’s discussion of the “Christian Perspective” would be the belief or perspective of Christians that Islam is imperialistic and judgmental. These concepts contradict the Christian belief, though there is evidence of these same concepts in Christianity. There is also the observance of mistrust and abuse by those of the Shari’ah system. These aspects are close to the perspective I have due to the fact that fighting is a way of upholding the belief in Islamic faith especially in those countries dominated by the faith. Also, abrogation of the Quran on which the Shari’ah is based can lead to twisting and misuse of the same laws meant to be followed. However, these same aspects can be seen in Christianity to a certain degree

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Daryel Sanders Sandra, How do we get both religions to refrain from twisting and misusing the laws? I have discovered that many Christians can do rationalize why we can do certain things. Is there tolerance on the part of the Christian for those who do not believe as Christians?

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Melissa Heyward Sandra, that is an interesting statement you made regarding abrogation being comparable in some ways to what we do in Christianity. Can you explain your thoughts on this further to help me understand. When I consider your point I assume you mean the tendencies of some churches or denominations to manipulate the whole word of God by using certain scriptures to support a teaching. Do you agree?

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Sandra Gray Melissa, It s exactly as you assume. At times I believe people as Christians take the Word of God and actually pracyoce isegesis which literally lying on God (His Word). This is a form of abrogation because t takes the Word and makes it fit a persons life instead of making their life fit or conform or be transformed by the Word of God. Some denominaions, as you state, even become permissive to today’s society in the Chritian arena such as Thyatira which was a compromising or permissive church. Compromise will
destroy a church (Rev. 2). Many of the uncorruptable Words of God have been twisted, misused, and abused to compromise the actions, beliefs, and standards pf Christians in today’s society.

destroy a church.

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Sandra Gray Daryel, I don’t know if we could ever get both religions to refrain from twisting and misusing the laws. As long as people look for ways to rationalize and justify their actions and ways which seem right to them, they will twist and misuse the laws. It is ironic that we are not saved by the law, but by grace, Therefore, our works under the law will not get us into heaven, but a pure and clean heart. Thus, to get people from twisting and misusing the law may start with a circumcized heart not made of stone.

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Desiree’ Monson Ahh… interesting point Sandra! Your absolutely right! If we look close enough we very well may find some forms of abrogation in our own religion. Yet, for me in thinking about false teaching and attempting to alter the word of God to fit ones own life and circumstances. How is this remedied when all throughout history this has taken place? From the old testament to the new, God’s word has informed us that it would happen. What do you think?

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Gloria Coe I like the way you stated the following; Islamic law and is the framework of the ultimate reality and the ethical guidance of Muslim scholars. It is derived from the direct revelation of Allah to man.” Isn’t that a contradiction in terms ethical guidance for to violate the rights of all other religions. You really did a very good job,

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Jallah Koiyan Sis. Sandra, the Shari’ah is based on duties and practices. How could you relate and reconcile the Law of the Old Testament to that of the Shari’ah Law? This law carries what man is do before God and for his neighbors.

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Melissa Heyward According to a Muslim statement about the Shari’ah, Azumah quotes, “Shari’ah prescribes a complete set of laws for the guidance of mankind so that Good (Ma’ruf) may triumph and Evil (Munkar) disappears from society. It provides a clear and straight path which leads to progress and fulfillment in life and the attainment of Allah’s pleasure…” Specifically the Shari’ah ordains that it is the Muslim’s purpose to bring forth the manifestation of God’s will on earth for all of mankind. If God has a plan for good to triumph and evil to be destroyed the Shari’ah suggests that it is the Muslims who are the chosen people whose sole mission is to bring this plan into existence for all people.
Thus, a Muslim brother or sister might point to a number of teachings in the Shari’ah that justifies a “by whatever means if necessary” mentality to do his or her part to fulfill the plan. One reason a brother or sister would support violence is the teaching that Muslims are required to “enjoin” or “command” virtue in the form of good or right conduct. As opposed to Christians who are call to invite unbelievers to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Muslim believer operates under the idea that he or she has the right to enforce the will of God on earth which is manifested in the form of a “coerced conversion” so to speak. He or she has a right to therefore utilize radical or violent means in a quest to achieve the “good life” God has destined on earth. Another reason a Muslim might suggest that an act of terrorism is valid is based in the Shari’ah belief that to assure the will of God is achieved on earth, an earthly policing agent (the umma or Muslim community) is necessary. However, it is not my sense that he or she would ever refer to such “enforcement behaviors” as terrorism. In a summary of the Shari’ah Azumah says, “Policing and enforcement require the exercise of authority. Muslims are the rightful vicegerents and therefore by divine right must exercise political power on God’s earth.” (p.67)
After reading this chapter with further information from Azumah on the Chrisitan perspective it certainly reframes for example, how I look at the troubling efforts of America in ridding the world of the Saddam Hussein reign of terror only to offer secular democracy as the most viable alternative of government in Iraq. This approach suggested no thought given to the culture, history, or the importance of a faith that closely ties political and religious matters. I can appreciate Azumah’s recommendation that dialog has to move far beyond a simply “either/or” approach to what is in the best interest of the pluralistic cultures residing together in a given geographic area. Again it is apparent that the responsibility of Christians and Muslims to become more well-informed in such a manner that breaks the cycle of prejudice and fear must continue.

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Daryel Sanders Melissa, There are times when it seems the Christian feels as if it is his/her duty to play God and to be agent of change as the Muslim. What if anything can be done about this? I believe that many of the problems that are in the world today are a result of miscommunication and misinformation. I also believe many times we are in too big of a hurry going nowhere. It is time to slow down and take time to listen, talk, study and learn.

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Sandra Gray Melissa, After reading this chapter, my question is as you look at the troubling efforts of America in ridding the world of the Saddam Hussein reign of terror only to offer secular democracy as the most viable alternative of government in Iraq, can you see how the Muslim communty sees ridding the world of the democratic reign of government? In other words, are not both guilty of thinking their religius beliefs are justificatins for ridding the world of the others belief system? Thus, both give little thought to the culture, history, or the importance of the other’s faith no matter the political/religious ties?

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Gloria Coe Very good insight, I liked you work. However, where Muslims are not correct in their worldview you stated that “secular democracy as the most viable alternative of government in Iraq. This approach suggested no thought given to the culture, history, or the importance of a faith that closely ties political and religious matters.” in connection to the USA imposing upon them our thoughts two wrongs do not make a right

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Jallah Koiyan Sis. Melissa, according to the comments of Shari’ah, “Shari’ah prescribes a complete set of laws for the guidance of mankind so that Good (Ma’ruf) may triumph and Evil (Munkar) disappears from society.” Do you believe this statement? If yes why not?

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Melissa Heyward Jallah, certainly on the surface it would appear that Muslims and Christians want the same thing. We too as Christians believe God is destined to triumph in the battle between good and evil. However, I do not believe we are chosen fight this battle on behalf of God. Jesus would say I believe that the triumph has already occurred on the cross and the day of resurrection. God says, “Vengeance is mine”, suggesting only He as the commander of the army has the right to wage the war. We are indeed soldiers of God, but according to Ephesians 6, our role after putting on the “whole armor of God” is to therefore “stand”. We too have a set of laws for the guidance of mankind but the way in which the laws are lived out are very different from those identified in the Shari’ah.

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Gloria Coe I love you question. I believe too.

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Melissa Heyward Daryel, God has really been dealing with me in the area of becoming a better listener. We often miss what God is doing because as you said, we are in too big of a hurry going nowhere. I think that both Christians and Muslims are so busy trying to win the point that there is no listening to consider a point before jumping to give an answer. And it is important for us to remember we as Christians have often been as guilty as Muslims of being the agent of change as opposed to remember that only God Himself via the Holy Spirit can bring about true change.

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Daryel Sanders Melissa, It is true that the Holy Spirit is the agent of change. Our job is to talk and express the importance of Christ. Only He has the power to save and change. Listening is so important. Many times people do not want you saying anything, they just need to get things out in the open. Sometimes listening can show you care and are interested.

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Jallah Koiyan Sis. Melissa, the Muslim’s philosophy about God and how religion should be used to liberate humanity from the power of darkness or the world, there is a wide disconnect between their views and us Christians. Their theology regarding soteriology and hematology don’t resemble God’s plan of salvation when dealing with sin.

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Melissa Heyward Jallah, I agree which is why I indicated that it is only on the surface that Christians and Muslims want the same thing. There is indeed a wide disconnect which simply begins with there not being a plan of salvation by grace. It is clear that they believe adherence to the law (Shari’ah) alone is sufficient for a relationship with Allah. So yes, I agree with you that there are certainly differences in what our law versus their law teaches, but even more important is vast difference in how those laws are lived out among humanity.

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Daryel Sanders Sandra, I do think that a lot of what goes on in the Christian’s mind has been because of what has recently happened. People generally do not forget too quickly what has happened to them that was detrimental. The heinous attack at the Twin Towers certainly does not help matters. The Christian way of thinking is that violence should not begat violence. The bigger question is what is accomplished by acts such as 911?

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Desiree’ Monson Daryl in reading your comment do you think that some christian’s may take the attitude of ” feed them with a long handled spoon”, In light of 911? What is your opinion in regards to Christians ” feeding other nonbelievers with a long handled spoon”?

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Daryel Sanders Sandra, you are correct in saying that people’s hearts need to be circumcised. Clean hands and pure hearts are essential for making it into heaven. People are looking for reasons to do or not to do. There is a lack of responsibility and accountability amongst people today. There is too much of the “blame game” being played.

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Daryel Sanders Melissa, I really do not know how we break the miscommunication cycle. We live in a world where everybody is trying to prove their way is the right way. There is only one way. Maybe it is one person/one relationship at a time. The important thing for the Christian is to be really be informed about Christianity. So many times people know more about other stuff than they do their own. That is not ok.

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Gloria Coe Discussion 2 – Part 1
Sunnis is the larger of the two major sects of the Muslim religion. Between 80-90 per cent of Muslims
are Sunnis. Sunnis comes from the word Sunna means “road” or “practice or the way of normal Islamic life.
Sunna is related to hadith wherein hadith is the tradition and Sunna is a report of what the Prophet did and said. Sunna reproduces every detail of the lifestyle of Muhammad. (p.51). The author states as follows:
“Muslims who refused to judge or take sides in the conflict between Ali and
Muawiya. As their name implies, they insisted on sending judgment back to
God or, in other words, leaving it in his hands. They believe that any sinful
Muslim, including the caliph, would be punished in the hereafter.”
Murjiites of the 7th and 8th Century is the group that influenced the Sunnis. Murjiites were a moderation group which emphasized the love and goodness of God, unlike Kharijites extremist that believed that if a Muslim committed a serious sin he became an infidel, and as such, a target of jihad.
Sunnis believe in the first four caliphs which were appointed or elected as follows:
(1) Abu Bakr Siddique;
(2) Umar;
(3) Uthman; and
(4) Ali
The caliphs is the leader or head of the ummah, or the community of the faithful but Sunnis only recognize the caliphs as juridical leaders of the community possessing political and military power not are not considered spiritual leaders.
There are three (3) smaller sects or movement in the Islamic religion as follows:
(1) Sufism;
(2) Wahhabiyya; and
(3) Ahmadiyya
The Sufism, to me, are the most interesting out of these three (3) groups because of their belief which are not somewhat similar to Christian beliefs. For example, Sufism means poor or beggar, they modeled their dress of suf wool and ascetic lifestyle after the Christian monks. They strived for a closer fellowship with God, believed that materialism and power stop fulfillment spiritually, God alone exist and acts, God is the author of everything good and evil and that there is no free will, (the last two are very different from Christianity however). Also Sufism believes in the following:
(1) God’s nearness to believers;
(2) A Personal relationship with God;
(3) The love of God towards the believers;
(4) Tariqa-spiritual path and journey to self-extinction in God and complete union with the Divine or Fanna;
(5) The believer needs a mediator, to intercede in prayer (absolving the need for 5 daily prayers);
(6) Karama performs signs and miracles;
(7) Pilgrimages to tombs of saints and shrines to offer sacrifices, ask for blessing and make pledges;
(8) Majalis-Friday meeting of believers on every Friday evening; and
(9) Ohikr-uninterrupted repetition of the names of God; singing and special dances.
However they also practice bizarre traditions that would be considered Satanic by Christians such as:
(1) Inflicting pain;
(2) Walking through the fire;
(3) Eating glass;
(4) Playing with serpents;
all the above bizarre customs are considered alternatives to prayer. (p.56-58)

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Sandra Gray Gloria, Good information however, I am looking for your response on the Shari’ah. If I am not mistaken, this discussion should have the information related to it posted. I pray this helps you get it in if you have not already.

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Sandra Gray Gloria, Here are the directives as stated above, “Provide a quote (maximum of 25 words) of the author’s definition of Shari’ah. Then list and discuss, from the reading, two reasons a Muslim brother or sister might provide as a rationale for committing murderous acts of terrorism on Westerners and Christians. Also, provide a brief appraisal of Azumah’s discussion of the “Christian Perspective” by stating what aspect of his discussion you agree with or disagree and why. A direct quote of no more than 50 words may be employed in the student’s response. This question should be addressed with 275-350 words.

Students should recall that their answer to the above question should be posted on the dashboard for your classmates to view and respond. In addition, your answer should be a replica of the answer previously emailed to the professor. Finally, students who did not complete part 1 of the assignment should not participate in this segment of the discussion as they will not receive a grade for doing so. Part 1 of this discussion must be completed as specified in order to participate in and receive a grade for part 2 of the discussion.”

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Jallah Koiyan Sis. Coe, no one should be fooled by the Muslim religion just because they considered Jesus as the Prophet and Abraham as one of the fathers of faith according to their tradition. The Muslim religion is not from the Almighty God that I serve, but the god they serve is one the deities that existed in Mecca before called the moon god. This is indicated by their emblem called the “crescent moon.” You always see the half moon on the Muslim temple with a star. Those symbols are representation of deities or spirits that the Islamic religion deals with.

| 2 months ago

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Desiree’ Monson “The Arabic word shari’ah means ‘ path’, and ‘ road’ or ‘ way’. It designates a system of laws of a particular prophet.” They are commanded to enforce good conduct among all and prohibit wrong conduct among other nonbelievers and muslims. They are required to do so by force and coercion. Another reason the Muslims have for their reasons for performing murderous acts is because they believe that they are the ‘truth’ the true, community, rightful operators of god on earth and they have god given power and authority to act in such ways. They believe it is a part of their mission as Muslim followers of god.
I disagree with the passage that Azumah makes, “Any system that fails to take cognizance of the inherent diversity of the African context or that treats any ethnic or religious group as anything less than full nationals with equal rights and responsibilities is bound to be a recipe for conflict”. Pg. 74-75 In reading this passage and applying it to the complete acceptance and adoption of the Muslim religion, I am inclined to believe that this could prove to be catastrophic. Based on our reading Muslims tend to have a belief of superiority and it has been stated by Muslims that a part of their mission is to coerce non believers and muslims that don’t believe as they do, to believe in their ways or they would have to die. They embrace extreme measure of advocating for their faith, to the death of others. This makes me think that in, an effort to be more tolerant and diverse we that we would in turn transform in to a culture of a forced single religion. The Muslims believe that they have the true religion and have been known for taking over mass areas, and forcing the people to take on their beliefs. Where is the tolerance in that?

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Sandra Gray The statement you made “They are commanded to enforce good conduct among all and prohibit wrong conduct among other nonbelievers and muslims” is quit interesting. It is so superior in nature because who determines right and wrong conduct? Where tolerance may be what they profess, there is no tolerance in this type of thinking. What I have noticed in America is that there are so many offshoots of religions as well as international religions, that we can be confused in the intermingling. This can be dangerous and seen to Muslims as a threat to keeping a true and pure religion. I can also see where the Word of God tells us to be separate and set apart from false teaching and religions. Throughout history, this has caused problems in God’s people. Do not be of the world though we are in it. How do we ensure this? Muslims may see doing so by the extremes measures they take. We can bridge gaps by bringing this into our conversations as to how God wants us to be set apart yet we have to live in this world in peace.

| Report | 2 months ago

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Kenda Cooper “The Shari’ah is divine law as opposed to human law. It provides the pattern of conduct for Muslims in all matters…” (Azumah 63). In having respect for this divine law some Muslim brothers or sisters might see it necessary to “enjoin or command virtue” (Azumah 66). It is necessary to call and invite those who are not on the correct path to get on it. This is a responsibility and duty for the Muslim. For those who willingly are against Isalm, it is also believed that they are against god, which in turn means that they should be fought.
The Christian Perspective
I do not believe that the fears and concerns of Christians come from a place of ignorance and misunderstandings. Many Christians have had to have the beliefs of others, namely Muslims, forced upon them due to their strict practices. Although it is often forbidden for a Christian to have a position of power in places where some Muslims reside, it is not often reversed. When Christians do take a stance of power and make demands such as the aforementioned, it is seen in a very negative light. Where then is the balance and how are Christians to tell of the Gospel of Jesus without being dogmatic and offensive to religions such as Islam? Should they not be hesitant knowing that their belief system is frowned upon and that some Muslims believe that it is their duty to enforce their Islamic beliefs upon such Christians? Of course the hesitancy is justified. There is a lack of understanding on the Islam side. “As far as Christians are concerned, signing on to classical formulations of the Shari’ah is equivalent to agreeing to religious and socio- political subjugation by Muslims” (Azumah 74). I am sure that in reverse, Muslims would feel the same way, in fact, this has been expressed many times throughout history. Although there is room for debate on either side, I believe that with the strong attachment to politics, education and public religious practices, Islamist require more understanding and acceptance from the Christian community.

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Sandra Gray Kenda, In light of the recent acts of terrorism, how do you feel a Muslim who is opposed to these acts can be accepted without prejudice? Is it not the practce of most to clump all who are associated with a race, gender, religion, etc. together? Prejudice is, after all, ignorance and misunderstanding of differences in various areas. I totally agree that we have to become culturally aware of differences in order to understand and evangelize to our fellow inhabitants of this world.

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Desiree’ Monson Kenda, in your comments you make the statement that ” Islamist require more understand and acceptance from the Christian community.” What perspective of understanding and acceptance are you speaking of? Are you talking about in order to evangelize to them, or to accept their religion in our culture?

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Sandra Gray Kenda, In light of the recent acts of terrorism, how do you feel a Muslim who is opposed to these acts can be accepted without prejudice? Is it not the practce of most to clump all who are associated with a race, gender, religion, etc. together? Prejudice is, after all, ignorance and misunderstanding of differences in various areas. I totally agree that we have to become culturally aware of differences in order to understand and evangelize to our fellow inhabitants of this world.

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Kenda Cooper Sandra, I actually think it is a split mentality. On one hand, unfortunately, people are extremely judgmental and in a carnal state, rightfully so. However, being Christian, we should not judge or live in fear. On the flip side, I do believe with so many people taking a liberal stance on many issues, this is not as much of an issue as it once was. I believe the issue isn’t as simple as judging and not accepting people as they are; but the balance is lost when it comes to respecting one’s religion while standing firm on your own beliefs. The problem here is that in Islam, it is against their beliefs to merely “respect” someone else’s beliefs because they believe everyone should believe as they do.

Desiree’, this is then problematic because in order for Christians and any other religious person to respect them, we have to accept that we cannot rule over them in politics or even school. So then, they hold certain positions and it is believed that we as non Islamists have to just go along. This is what I was referring to when I stated that more understanding and acceptance is expected on the Christian side. We are expected to abide by their rules of politics and education even if it goes against what we believe and even though we are not Islamist.

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Daryel Sanders Deisree’, I do think we want to feed them with a long handle spoon because of 911. There were those who were skeptical of Muslims before then but they are really skeptical now. Why should Christians feed the nonbeliever with a long handled spoon? These are the ones that Christians should really be trying to feed. For many of them have done nothing to harm the Christians. There are those in the body of Christ who need to be fed and handled with a long handle spoon because of the danger they present. It is important to feed the nonbeliever the Word of God as much as possible or as much as he/she will allow.

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Discussion 3, pt. 2
by Nathaniel Pearce | 29 days ago

According to Azumah, what is the main difficulty Christians may encounter in a study about the Christology of Islam? Provide a direct quote of no more than 30 words (including reference data) as evidence of this difficulty discussed by Azumah. Discuss the presuppositional philosophy employed to safeguard their Kalima, and explain how you would employ your knowledge of this difficulty in a discussion with a Muslim friend or neighbor if given the opportunity to do so. This section should be addressed with 300-450 words.

Copy and paste your answer previously emailed to me and make sure to have a minimum of 5 posts prior to the end of the discussion week. Speaking of which, this section of the discussion will conclude 4/15.

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Gloria Coe According to the author the main difficulty Christians may encounter in a study about the Christology of Islam is as follows: safeguarding the kalmia (confession of faith): “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the Prophet of God.” (p.126) To put simply, Islamic Christology, encounters the barrier of Muslim belief that the oneness of God has to exclude the Trinity. The concept of a Triune God is not plausible for Muslims. In addition, another barrier to Islamic Christology is that Muhammad is the final and last prophet and Muhammad’s superiority. Through not recognizing Jesus Christ as the Son of God and/or God in the flesh is a mechanism to ensure the belief in their god, Allah as well as the continued repetitive insistence that god is one without partnership and/or a son.
I would employ my knowledge of the difficulty of Islamic kalmia as fore mentioned in a discussion with a Muslim friend or neighbor by doing what the author suggest which is “focus on the ministry of Jesus as well as on what it means for Him to be the Son of God.”(p.126). Therefore, a discussion of God’s love for humanity and how His will is fellowship with mankind so that the knowledge of His will for the individual can be revealed which required redemption from sin because it is sin that is the human problem not the lack of knowledge of God’s will and that because of God’s love and knowledge that it is impossible for humankind to live sinless and since mankind’s redemption and restoration to fellowship with God required a sinless sacrifice God who can do anything came through Jesus Christ and reveals His will for mankind through the birth, life, resurrection of Jesus Christ and His inspired Holy Scriptures which reveals God’s will for all mankind. Also, I would talk about how Jesus demonstrated the love of God instituting a way of life conducive to fulfillment of the coming kingdom, the Kingdom of God and His church which bears witness of Him and works to spread His love and truth of His will on the earth.

| Report | 29 days ago

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Vince Wilson Sister Gloria,
You make a very profound state regarding Jesus’ love and His instituting a way of life. Many believers fail to remember that Christianity should not only involve studying the Holy Scriptures and attending church services. It must be a way of life that is maintained on a full-time basis. This does not mean we will always say or do the right things (according to His Word). But, I strongly believe we should not be “part-time” Christians. Your points are well taken.

| Report | 22 days ago

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Kenda Cooper Sandra and Vince,
These are points well taken. I do believe that a way of witnessing and ministering to unbelievers is by living life in a way that displays Christ. We are to love our neighbors and exhibit the love of Christ. We should take from Christ and His ways when He walked the earth. He spoke in ways that were understandable to the common man. He was humble and didn’t seek special treatment or have expensive things. He displayed servitude so that we could take after Him and serve.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Sandra Gray Gloria, ” Through not recognizing Jesus Christ as the Son of God and/or God in the flesh is a mechanism to ensure the belief in their god” is a very powerful and insightful statement. If there ever was a time when Jesus Christ was accepted as the Son of God, it would minimize the doctrine of Muhammad as the “final and last prophet and Muhammad’s superiority.” Thus, to safeguard this concept, there is a drive that is almost legalistic and mandated to keep this belief of Muhammad as superior a top priority. “Talking about how Jesus demonstrated the love of God instituting a way of life conducive to fulfillment of the coming kingdom, the Kingdom of God and His church which bears witness of Him and works to spread His love and truth of His will on the earth” is an awesome way to approach a Muslim. Though there may be resistance, witnessing of His love and impact in our lives personally could open the door a desire to know more. Though we cannot make a horse drink, we can lead them to the water.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Melissa Heyward Gloria, I enjoyed reading your plan for dialogue with a Muslim. It certainly is clear that there is never enough tasks or work we can achieve that will override the Agape love of Jesus Christ. John 3:16 makes it clear that the will of God is ultimately the love of God to transform the lives of people assuring that we will have everlasting life in Heaven.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Jallah Koiyan One of the difficulties Christians face in ministering to Muslim is Jesus being declared as God. The Muslim religion doctrinally and emphatically denied the deity of Jesus. This is rooted in the core Qur’ranic teaching and Islamic beliefs about the Oneness of God. Azumah states, “The Islamic denial of the deity of Jesus is rooted in core Qur’ranic teaching and Islamic beliefs about the Oneness of God (tawhid), his transcendence, and the nature of revelation.” (2008:104).

The denial of Jesus being God in the Qur’ranic teaching poses ambiguity and controversy in explaining the nature and the essence of the divinity of Jesus. This has led to their philosophical presupposition that supports the Oneness of God which states that God is One; therefore, Jesus can not be God. Attributing Godship to Jesus is not possible as denied by this philosophical presupposition. The Oneness of God is repeated in the Qu’ran. He states, “It is inspired in me that your God is One God – 41:6; see also 2:163.” (Azumah, 2008:104).

This Oneness of God in the Qur’ranic teaching poses threat to the Doctrine of the Trinity in the Bible; therefore, bringing this kind of approach to win a Muslim to Christianity appeals humanly and intellectually impossible to do so. It takes thorough studies of the Word of God and the Holy Spirit intervention and the Sura which mentioned about the birth and the mission of Jesus including miracles to do a credible presentation of the Gospel to a Muslim convert. Understanding this controversial issue regarding the Christology of Christ in the Islamic studies helps the evangel to sit boldly with the Muslim converts to share this aspect of Christ as God. One of the best ways one could explain Jesus being God to a Muslim is to start with his birth, mission, and miracles. If Jesus’ birth and mission including miracles are rooted in the Qu’ran through attestation, then; an evangel can use this aspect of Christology to explain to a Muslim the authentication of the deity of Christ.

1 | 29 days ago

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Sandra Gray I agree that one of the best ways to explain Jesus being God to a Muslim is to start with his birth, mission, and miracle, however, what if their rebuttal is that other prophets performed miracles? There were others in the Old Testament that performed miracles. What would your response be to this aspect of evangelizing?

| Report | 27 days ago

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Gloria Coe Jallah, I agree with your assessment, “Jesus being God to a Muslim is to start with his birth, mission, and miracles. If Jesus’ birth and mission including miracles are rooted in the Qu’ran through attestation, then; an evangel can use this aspect of Christology to explain to a Muslim the authentication of the deity of Christ.” But, also the need for redemption of man from sin and man’s inability to live in obedience to God without accepting Jesus and being baptized for the remission of sin.

| Report | 22 days ago

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Vince Wilson Brother Jallah, I agree when you stated explaining the birth, mission, and miracles of Jesus is important. Jesus’ birth and purpose seems to be the factor (or one of the major factors) that Muslims need to grasp. One the Christian can confirm these things as accounted in the Bible, the conversation should shift favorably toward the Christian.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Jallah Koiyan Sis. Coe, since their philosophical presumption regarding the oneness of God as opposed to the doctrine of the Trinity, what would you do to convince a Muslim convert to believe the deity of Christ?

| 29 days ago

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Melissa Heyward It would seem that the ongoing conundrum between Christians and Muslims continues to be based upon what is at the core of each group’s beliefs. If Muslims are asked to denounce the superiority of Muhammad as essential to their faith, the idea becomes as unacceptable as asking Christians to recant our belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ as key to our faith. In addition Azumah notes:

“Islamic Christology is therefore driven by the repeated Qur’anic insistence that God has no partners and the Jesus is not the Son of God, rather than by what Christian Scriptures teach or what Christians actually believe.” (p. 126)

The presuppositional philosophy in place is that “by any means necessary” Muslims will work to confirm the Kalima (the Islamic confession of faith). Thus, any effort to convince Muslim believers to receive a “better” or “superior” means to connect to the all-powerful creator God will prove difficult. Because of this established worldview I am convinced it is my responsibility as a Christian to approach my Muslim neighbor or friend under the guidance of the Holy Spirit filled with Agape love and the intention of living an example of Christ before him or her. This might present a more palatable alternative than forcing the teachings upon the Muslim or any non-believer. Introducing multiple scriptures in an effort to persuade or convince will simply open the door to hostility on their part and frustration on my part. Certainly as I attempt to put myself in their shoes, I would become resentful if a Muslim attempted to force a set of beliefs upon me.

I would consider dialogue with this friend or neighbor to be an opportunity to learn and as Azumah suggests, to share as opportunity presented itself about the work of Christ in my own life. I would also introduce some ideas as the relationship builds under the umbrella question;“What do you think you would prefer? Some sample ideas could include: 1) the idea of relationship built upon love and service verses achieving tasks and avoiding punishment; 2)ongoing entrapment in struggle (jihad) in order to please God verses having consistent peace with God without struggle but confession; 3)consistent teaching that stabilizes one’s life as opposed to the use of abrogation in an effort to constantly create a sense of stability. Ultimately as with any non-believer, I can only introduce ideas and share my story. It is his or her choice whether to make a decision to receive Christ as superior to all other alleged paths to God.

| Report | 28 days ago

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Daryel Sanders Melissa, The key is consistency. I also believe it is essential that we as Christians know what we are talking about and what we believe. Living the life is important as well. There are too many people who are saying one thing and doing another. I have been telling people not only is it important finding a church or believer who teaches, and preaches Christ but it is important that Christ be lived in the life of the Christian. As you stated the choice is theirs. God gives us two ways: heaven or hell. He gives right and wrong. In sharing we also must be willing to listen but not to the point that we are drawn in to their beliefs and begin to cater to them. We must listen to know how to make our next move.

| Report | 28 days ago

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Sandra Gray Your statement, “If Muslims are asked to denounce the superiority of Muhammad as essential to their faith, the idea becomes as unacceptable as asking Christians to recant our belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ as key to our faith” brings out an important point. Where Christians see Muhammad as a mere man/prophet, it is the same view for Muslims regarding Jesus. How could we as Christians distinguish to the Muslim the extreme difference between Muhammad and Jesus? Of course we believe and know the difference, but this is a major challenge when evangelizing to a Muslim. The idea of reflecting the work of Christ in your life is awesome and it is true it is up to them to accept. I find it a barrier, however, when one believes Jesus was a man in the same catagpry of Muhammad and not in the embodiment of God Himself.

| Report | 27 days ago

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Gloria Coe You are absoulutely right! Converting Islam is a great challenge but is has o be attempted. You wrote, “The presuppositional philosophy in place is that “by any means necessary” Muslims will work to confirm the Kalima (the Islamic confession of faith). Thus, any effort to convince Muslim believers to receive a “better” or “superior” means to connect to the all-powerful creator God will prove difficult.” Indeed, difficult is a understatement even, however, as Christians we are mandated by God to make the attempt. It is my opinion that once a theological approach is outlined for Islam that explains that the Trinity represents one God the battle will be pretty much won.

| Report | 22 days ago

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Daryel Sanders The main difficulty Christians may have with Islamic Christology is Islamic convictions about Jesus and the Cross have never simply been those of mere investigators dealing with evidence. They have been those believers persuaded by theology. (Azumah, 126). The difficulty lies in Christianity guarding against feeling superior or from sounding degrading and demeaning to other religions.
Kalima (the Islamic confession of faith) tries to protect its view about their faith. Christology thrives on and is driven by what the Qu’ran says and that is God has no partners and that Jesus is not the Son of God, rather than by what Christians actually believe (Azumah, 126). Islam seeks to safeguard its Christology through the Qu’ran yet there are more questions than answers. Christians believer Jesus is fully God and fully man; on the other hand Islam denies this fact (Azumah, 127).
In order for the Christian to effectively witness to the Muslim about Christology, it is probably necessary and vital to focus on Jesus’ ministry as well has being as the Son of God. His ministry and his identity are intertwined. (Azumah, 127). This perspective or angle guards against feeling or appearing to be superior. It is important for the Christian to be scriptural in relating the Christology.
Another perspective the Christian could use is to use the Muslims view on Christ. According to Azumah, many Muslims are fascinated by Jesus. Using a survey from over 600 Muslims converts to Christianity from various parts of the world, one in four spoke of Jesus as a role player in their spiritual development. It is from findings like this and the notion that Jesus is alive and a drawer of people that the Christian should build on and draw on when talking to Muslims about Christianity (Azumah, 128).
Christians should dwell on the character and deeds of who Jesus is when discussing Islam and Christianity. It also is an aid to focus on how Jesus was about helping people and meeting the needs of the people. It is the job and focus of the Christian to focus on the relationships God has with humanity. (Azumah, 129, 130). People are sometimes intimidated when talking about various aspects of religion. Jesus was not about being placed on a pedestal but had come to make matters better for those he encountered. He was a lover of people; helper and healer for the hurting and a Savior for the lost. It is with this view that Christians can sit down and discuss Christianity with Muslims and not get backlash or rebuke or scorn for playing the superiority card.

| This comment has been reported | 28 days ago

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Gloria Coe Daryl, indeed no religion or person for that matter want to feel inferior or demeaned, in response to your comment as follows: “The difficulty lies in Christianity guarding against feeling superior or from sounding degrading and demeaning to other religions.” However, this is why God dressed himself up in flesh and the incarnation of Jesus Christ to walk the earth and show mankind how to convert other religions to belief in him through love, forgiveness and fellowship. Yet, with Islam the fact that their mission is to convert or kill all non Muslims, the process of converting Muslims to Christianity is going to take just what you state showing them “that Jesus is a helper and healer for the hurting.” I believe, the Bible says, Love covers a multitude of sins, we must remember that as Christians.

| Report | 22 days ago

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Sandra Gray Daryl, I love you statement, “The difficulty lies in Christianity guarding against feeling superior or from sounding degrading and demeaning to other religions. Kalima (the Islamic confession of faith) tries to protect its view about their faith. Christology thrives on and is driven by what the Qu’ran says and that is God has no partners and that Jesus is not the Son of God, rather than by what Christians actually believe.” Just as they are emphatic about their belief, I feel we should be just as emphatic about ours. We are, in essence, ambassdors for Christ commissioned to make disciples of all men. No one said it would be easy, however, if we are as knowledgeable and full of the Word of God as they are full of the Quranic beliefs, we could let the “Word do the Work.” The Word would also reflect the fruits of the Spirit which exhibit gentleness, longsuffering, patience, and so on which are excellent sources for not sounding demeaning or superior. The problem I partially see is that many Christians live off others beliefs and Word from the Bible and don’t get their own “fill” of the Word. It cannot come from our advice, our philosophy, or our thoughts. Evangelism has to begin and end with the Word. Thus, we can use the Sword of the Spirit to deliver the message. That is not to say it will be easy but it will be filled with the Spirit and where the Spirit is, there is liberty.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Vince Wilson Brother Daryel, You make a profound statement (and I agree) in your saying that we as Christians need to focus on God’s relationships with us. Many, if not most of us know that winning souls to Christ is about developing relationships with others before we try to promote a certain theology. Sometimes we all get caught up in legalism and theology instead of breaking down such walls and simply continuing what Jesus patterned for us here on earth.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Sandra Gray According to Azumah, the main difficulty Christians may encounter in a study about the Christology of Islam is that “Islamic convictions about Jesus and the Cross have never simply been those of mere investigators with evidence. They have been those of believers persuaded already be theology” (p. 126).
In essence, to safeguard the Kalima which is the confession of faith by Muslims, the ideology to safeguard God’s honor means to demand it be imperative to believe that God had no partners. This leads to the dominate belief that Jesus is not God’s Son. Their belief goes further into this presupposition by determining that God could not have a Son since He had no wife. This is in direct contradiction to the fact that God is almighty and able to do whatever He wants. In a discussion with a Muslim, this would be my main defense or object of consideration. Because God is all powerful, having a Son be conceived by a virgin through His Holy Spirit is not an unexplainable feat. Because Jesus was conceived by a virgin, without sin, a miracle worker of exponential proportion, prophesized about in the Old Testament, and rose from the dead to be with God at His right hand, I would propose that He is God the Son. To a Muslim, I would stress that fact that the fulfillment of God’s will was performed, not by a mere man because it could not be done that way. God had to send blood atonement as a one-time sacrifice to redeem man and accomplish His will on earth. Thus, to ascertain that God ways are all known to us as humans is ridiculously dangerous and boxes Him in to our finite minds. Again, God, unlike us, is infallible, therefore, whatever He does and has done, should not be questioned or scrutinized. It should be accepted and not argued to the point of minimizing His sovereignty. The difficulty would ultimately be addressed by reflecting back on Old Testament prophesies about the coming Messiah, His purpose to be among us as God, and His mission to save all of mankind.

| Report | 28 days ago

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Gloria Coe Sandra, your response is great and as I read it the word “infallible” jumped out at me, isn’t it amazing how Muslims believe Muhammad was infallible but will not assign that same deity to Jesus Christ who did miracles and they themselves affirm that he did what no other had done on the earth!

| Report | 22 days ago

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Sandra Gray My Sister Gloria, It is amazing how people can rationlize what they want to believe and discard what they don’t. Do you think it has been so imbedded in them out of intimidation and fear of ramification of turning from Islamic doctrine that they are so set in their beliefs and not easily swayed? Or could it be they have not be exposed to the liberating Messiah because it is not as available in their regions and we are exposed to so many different beliefs. I am sayng here in America we are subjected to scientology, mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. whereas they are rather sheltered from these traditions/religions because they are kept at bay by their system. Maybe we should safeguard our beliefs more by keeping out so many doctrines and not allowing them to intermingle with our society. I’m Just Saying! But, as we know, God- the True God- does not force Himself on us. It s a choice and completely up to us to accept Him and His Son.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Melissa Heyward Sandra I loved reading your response, however what struck me in particular was your statement, “Thus, to ascertain that God’s ways are all known to us as humans is ridiculously dangerous and boxes him in to our finite minds.” This appears to be the dilemma with much of Muslim teaching in that despite Allah being presented as a powerful and transcendent God, believers continually attribute temporal characteristics to him. The doctrine of abrogation is a perfect example of this ongoing problem of presenting God as somewhat unstable and answerable to the people as opposed to the people answering to him. Why would an all powerful and sovereign God ever appear confused and change depth of his word in response to a change of the human condition. So Allah doesn’t anticipate the “flakiness” of His creation and has to change the rules mid-stream? I know I am just preaching to the choir, but I’m curious as to whether the Muslim believer ever pause reflect on these contradictions?

| Report | 20 days ago

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Jallah Koiyan Sis. Sandra, don’t you think because the Muslims are Unitarians made them denied the deity of Christ? What is your thought regarding this controversy?

| 28 days ago

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Sandra Gray Jallah, I believe it is because they “truly” safeguard their religion by any means necessary. Whether it is violence or even death, to oppose means to be confronted. I am not saying that being Unitarians does not play a role, but as I have gahered from our studies, there are serious ramifications for even presenting Christianity in their doctrine/culture. Who wants to be beheaded for exposing what they believe- the deity of Christ- unless you are a martyr.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Kenda Cooper Jallah,
I think Muslims deny the deity of Christ as they do because they limit God to only what they can think of Him to be. It seems that they do not belief that God was able to to present Himself in flesh to walk the earth, that He created with the people they created. This is seen through their rationalization that if in fact we were to look at Jesus’ birth as miraculous, then we would need to give more respect to Adam being created from clay and not going through the infant stages like other people. This rationalization came about by them trying to wrap their minds around the concepts of what God put in place and why.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Jallah Koiyan Bro. Sanders, this statement, “In order for the Christian to effectively witness to the Muslim about Christology, it is probably necessary and vital to focus on Jesus’ ministry as well has being as the Son of God. His ministry and his identity are intertwined.” This statement is quite truth in the sense that even the Quran strongly mention regarding Jesus’ mission on earth to save; unfortunately, they do not believe the deity of Jesus Christ.

| 26 days ago

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Daryel Sanders Jallah, What must be done to have them to believe that Jesus Christ is deity? What man could bear the sins of all people, die and be resurrected? No mere man or human could have done what Jesus did because it was going to take a perfect sacrifice to bring humanity back to God. The Bible is the answer. John’s Gospel, chapter 1 spells out Jesus and his divinity.

| Report | 22 days ago

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Jallah Koiyan Sis. Melissa, it is true that it takes the Spirit of God to win a Muslim convert for the fact that they have been indoctrinated to disbelieve the deity of Christ and to consider him as the son of God. They believe that God is along and transcendent over this creation; consequently, he can not have a partner. This has led to the deniability that Christ is God.

| 26 days ago

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Gloria Coe God does not have a partner. The Trinity is not a partnership, nor, is it correctly explained the terms of human dimensions wherein men has three dimensions (1) physical body; (2) psychological/intellectual and (3) spiritual it s a start to attempting to explain the Trinity as well as Jesus was not a helper of God but instead he was God in the flesh.

| Report | 22 days ago

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Daryel Sanders Gloria, I was making my statement in the sense that I believe there is no other religion that has a living Savior. With Christianity’s Savior being alive, would that lend one to feel that Christianity is superior or the religion of choice?

| Report | 22 days ago

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Kenda Cooper Daryel,
I believe by Christians serving the one true living God, does lend to Christianity being the religion of choice, however, the area of problem is most likely when one doesn’t believe that Christ is yet living. We know that it is impossible to please God without faith and what seems to be so mind boggling for those who denounce Christ as savior is the inability to fathom things that are supernatural. Although there are some beliefs that they have that are supernatural, it seems that the notion of Christ being God in flesh is too much to believe.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Melissa Heyward This a good question you have raised Daryel. Kenda I tend to agree with your statement, “We know that it is impossible to please God without faith and what seems to be so mind boggling for those who denounce Christ as savior is the inability to fathom things that are supernatural.” So therefore it would appear to be a challenge to first convice the Muslim that Christ is “alive” and secondly that this idea alone would be sufficient to make Christianity superior or the religion of choice. We have come to embrace this idea as easily as breathing, but how could we indeed plant this seed in one of another faith?

| Report | 20 days ago

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Vince Wilson Azumah speaks about the difficulty Christians face when studying the Christology of Islam or
Islamic Christology. The simple fact is that there is no reverence to Christ at all as far as placing
Him as the Head or even center of the Muslim belief system. Azumah clearly explains that the
Islamic confession of faith (“kalima”) is what is being safeguarded. God (Allah) is being revered
in this belief system and Muhammad is the Prophet of God. Bottom line, Christ or Christianity
(Christology = study of Christ) has nothing to do with this belief system. Furthermore, Jesus as
the Son of God in denounced and is “subservient” to Muhammad. The Quran insists, “God has
no partners”. So, the main argument centers on Jesus as the Son of God and His position to
Muhammad and Allah.

In my communication or discussion with a Muslim friend regarding kalima, I would need to
reference the Bible and explain what God’s word says about Jesus’ “position” in the Trinity. My
Muslim friend seems to be confused about who created whom. He / she seems to put more
reverence in a human being (Muhammad and Adam) and not in the One who created them. It
seems the Creation Story needs to be explained to my Muslim friend. Matthew 1:24, 25 would be
a great start!

It seems the primary debate between Christians and Muslims has to do with Jesus and whether
He is the Son of God, His significance or lack of significance in the lives of Christians compared
to Muslims. Who is God? Is he called Allah? Are they the same? These are the questions that can
be raised from Azumah’s discussion in Chapter 11.

The Christian’s support of Islamic Christology is directly or indirectly promoting this inaccurate
(or false) belief system. For the Christian to allow any mixing of theologies (which appears to be
where this name comes from) weakens Christian theology and strengthens Islamic doctrine.

| Report | 22 days ago

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Sandra Gray Vince, Safeguarding the kalima or Islamic confession of faith by not reverencing Christ as the Head and giving reverence to Muhammad is a challenge that calls for careful consideration and guidance by The Spirit of God. Jesus being positioned in the Trinity with God and the Spirit is confusing to some Christians. Thus, the Word of God would have to be utilized to alleviate the confusion that weakens Christian theology and strengthens Islamic doctrine as you stated. I would propose we reference the prophecies of Jesus from the Old Testament and their fullfillment in the New Testament. Since Christ has nothing to do with their belief system, the task at hand is to present Him as Who He is- the Son of God who is sovereign and can do anything. It is therefore our duty as Christians to safeguard our theology through the Word of God. How do you propse we safeguard what we believe.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Kenda Cooper Sandra,
I agree with your statements. I also believe that it is necessary to focus on God being all knowing and all powerful. It seems that in many of these instances, the power of God is limited to what the followers believe and associate with being powerful and humble. Something that reminds me of this is some Muslim associating God being referred to as Father as disrespectful to Him. However, the question that comes to my mind is how can you believe a God who is all powerful can’t be “Our Father”, He should be everything to us. I believe that particular belief is birthed out of a social construct that encourages people in power being treated than others. What they are failing to realize is that all men are equal. However, they don’t think that way and then they attempt to limit God to their ways of thinking.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Vince Wilson Sister Sandra, you are correct in your statement that the prophesies of Jesus and their fulfillment is a valid reference point. I affirm the best way for us as Christians to safeguard our theology is to practice what we preach as well as not dissecting the Word too much. In other words, there needs to be more unity in God’s Word. How do we accomplish this? It is challenging enough there are so many Christian denominations / faith groups and the varying biblical interpretations to go along with it.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Daryel Sanders Vince, it is true there are many denominations but in times like these the key is the Word of God. That should be the constant regardless of denominations. The Word of God holds the solution to every problem that we as people come against. We must know the Word before we can expound on it. Then it is important to live by the Word. Many times as Christians we are confounded by other denominations or religions because of our lack of knowledge about our religion and our Word. Study and application are essential.

| Report | 20 days ago

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Sandra Gray Daryl and Vince,
It is so true that with all of the faiths, denomination, and religions of our culture, it is rather confusing to a Muslim to see any unity among Christians. We all profess, generally, to believe in Christ but we practice different rituals and religious practices/doctrines. There needs to be more unity and solutions found in the Word of God.

| Report | 20 days ago

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Kenda Cooper According to Azumah, the greatest of difficulties Christians may encounter in a study about the Christology of Islam are the presuppositions that many Islamists have. If their beliefs are that Jesus is not a Savior and just a prophet, than they will never be able to get past that in order to fully understand Christianity. “Islamic Christology is therefore driven by the repeated Qur’anic insistence that God has no partners and that Jesus is not the Son of God, rather than by what Christian Scriptures teach or what Christians actually believe” (Azumah 126). When noted, their Christology really does not have that much to do with Christianity. However, this is to be expected if the Islamic Christology is based around protecting the Islamic confession of faith, also known as the Kalima. If I were to have this discussion with a Muslim friend or neighbor, I would first focus on the concept of an open mind and the willingness to learn and look from another viewpoint. It is not feasible to attempt to learn another language while focusing on the one you already know. Many languages, although sometimes similar in concept, have very different foundations, but both are valid. Once this is established, I would then move touch on the similarities of the subjects as to ensure a common understanding. Therefore, the fact that we both believe there is one true and living God would be a starting point. From this point I would discuss the characteristics of God. If it is agreed that He is all knowing and almighty and sovereign, then we would discuss things He cannot do. If (hopefully when) it is said that He can do all things, I would then move on to methods of worship, adoration, praise and reverence. The focus of the conversation would be God, which would then allow for the discussion of the Trinity.

| Report | 21 days ago

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Daryel Sanders Kenda, you make a valid point when you say people have trouble believing that Jesus is God in the flesh. This is where the Word of God comes to our rescue. John ‘s Gospel, Chapter 1 gives us the explanation of who Jesus is. What can be done to convince that Jesus is God in the flesh?

| Report | 20 days ago

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Melissa Heyward Daryel, I think we must continue avoid the mindset that transformation for the Muslim must occur solely with our efforts. Otherwise, we fall victim to the possibility of being no different than the Muslim who is convinced that it is by his or her personal effort alone they ultimately will get into Heaven. As we recall, Saul certainly did not accept the idea of Jesus being “God in the flesh”. A Damascus Road experience which I associate with an intervention from Heaven had to occur before he came to believe. I believe that is still the case today. I certainly do not diminish our responsibility to share the word of God, but moreover magnify the power of the Holy Spirit to transform the heart and mind of the Muslim.

| Report | 20 days ago

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Session 2

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 2


Briefly discuss: The various periods in the history of interpretation.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

The period of Biblical interpretation is significant to understanding the audience and interpreter at the time. The periods are briefly discussed on the preceding page of this document.

The Apostolic period: Continuity and discontinuity mark the comparison between Jewish and early Christian interpretation. During this period, the apostles regarded Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah and the small religious community he left behind as the true fulfillment of Judaism’s ancient hopes. The appealed to the Old Testament scriptures to support their beliefs, interpreting them by many of same principles as other Jewish religious groups.

The Patristic Period: This is called the patristic period because it features the contribution of the so-called Church Fathers – the prominent leaders during the initial four centuries after the apostolic period. During most of the patristic period, the writings ofthe apostles circulated among the churches but had not yet been collected into a canonical companion to the Old Testament.

The Middle Ages: The Middle Ages the millennium that falls between the patristic period, dominated by church fathers and councils, and the new courses charted by the Reformation. In a sense, it constitutes a transitional phase between the two.

The Reformation Period: The step from the Middle Ages into the Protestant Reformation was neither as radical nor as obvious as is often thought. The Historical forces that caused it are many, but one in particular merits mention because of its relevance to our subject. During the Middle Ages, conflict arose between the more traditional scholastics and the so-called new learning of Christian humanists like Erasmus.

The Post Reformation Period: The Renaissance featured a reborn-interest in classical Greek and Roman art and philosophy. The reviewed interest in Hebrew and Greek that aided the Reformation derived from the spirit of the Renaissance.

The Modern Period: From Ca. A.D. 1800 – Present is the nineteenth century revolutionary one. It is the Great Century because it was a unprecedented expansion in missions, but ironically, at the same time it witnessed a skeptical repudiation of Christianity among many.

The Post World War I: The disastrous events of World War I devastated Europe and destroyed the naive optimism that had supported liberal theology.

The Post-World War II: If World War I gave birth to neo-orthodoxy and Bultmann’s program, World War II also fathered significant offering. In postwar America, a flood of publications showed a revival of interest in Biblical theology, a revival that Childs calls the Biblical Theology Movement.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

In reading chapter two of Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard I learned that there are many modes of Bible interpretations which are beneficial in many ways. I found that the first interpretation was the Jewish interpretation were done by those who first possessed its writings the ancient Israelites who edited what later became the Hewrew scriptures. The first interpreters were the Levites who assisted Ezra the scribe, which spawned the Jewish translation known as Targum.

From there we have the Apostilic Period (ca.-A.D. 30-100) in which the first Christian interpreters, the apostles regarded Jesus as Israel’s promised messiah. They used the Old Testament scriptures as their belief system. They understood the Old Testament christologically and knew that to read the law of Moses without Christ is like reading through a veil and not understanding what it means.

The Patristic Period ca. A.D. 100-590 After the death of the last apostle came a new period called the “patristic period” which contained constribution of the church fathers and leaders. the writings of the apostles circulated among the churches. This period considered the Old Testament as an authoritative collection of scriptures.

The Apolstolic Fathers (ca. A.D. 100-150 is divided into three sections. The Apostolic Fathers gives a glimpse of biblical interpretation after the apostle John’s death. Addressing christians in the church and those opposing them, teaching that there is no hope of salvation outside of Jesus, and that the christian church must beleive and hope. Then came Alexandria versus Antioch which received information passed on through their ancestors. Church Council during which many could not agree on the proper way to interpet scriptures. 

The Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 590-1500 This period is dominated by the church Fathers and Councils, and flows into reformation. They used traditional, catena, and allegorical methods of interpretation.

The Reformation period (ca. A.D. 1500-1650) introduced a revolution interpretation of scripture which continues today. Reformation leans soley on the teachngs of the scripture.

The Post Rerformation period (ca. A.D. 1650-1800) Ushered in a fragmenation of approches to biblical interpretation, which stated one must have a conversion of heart and a personal relationship with God.

The Modern Period 1800- to present which is known as the Great Century because we see an increase in christianity and it expands missions.

The Twentieth Century which deals with the history of religions in which we have many who oppose christinity, in a literary movememt called “forms of criticism”.

Post WORLD War I deals with the reliability of the gospel accounts. Discussing the Jesus of History, the person who actually lived, and the “Christ of Faith”.

Post World War II this period shows an interest in biblical theology, and a revival called the Bible Theology Movement, which produce many publications that present a postive reflection on theology and the Bible.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

The apostolic period extends from the Day of Pentecost to the death of the Apostle John, and covers about seventy years, from A.D. 30 to about 100 Apostolic period regards Jesus as the Israel promised Messiah and the small religious community that he left behind as the true fulfillment of the Judaism ancient hope. They appeal to the Old Testament. Apostolic interpreters didn’t limit themselves to literal interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies. Apostolic interpreters approach was also that of literal-contextual interpretation and principle/application.
Patristic Period ca. A.D. 100-590 features the contribution of the so-called Church Fathers-the leaders during the initial four centuries after the apostolic period. Patristic Period came after the death of the last Apostle John. The era of Patristic Period shaped the practice of biblical interpretation until the Protestant Reformation fourteen hundred years later. During this period church tradition began to exercise great influence on defining church doctrine.

The Apostolic Fathers (ca. A.D. 100-150 was divided into three main sub periods. The first, that of the apostolic fathers which only give a brief look at biblical interpretation during the first half century. The fathers address two primary audiences-Christians in the churches and Jews opposing them. Hence, their writings serve two corresponding purposes to instruct believers in Christian doctrine .The other purpose was to defend the faith against Jewish arguments. Being a dominating influence of this principle led to the Roman Catholic doctrine of the papacy and, many centuries later, ignited the Protestant Reformation.
Alexandria versus Antioch (ca. A.D. 150-400) though the styles of interpretation was different they shared the same basic Christian beliefs. Each intended to carryout and refines one of the forms of interpretation from their intellectual ancestors. Clement of Alexandria taught from 190 -203A.D. Later Clement successor Origen began to teach. He was said to be the wise interpreter of Scripture that move from literal sense of passage to find hidden principles for Christian living. Origen allegorical approach was viewed as extreme and it began to spark reaction among other early church leaders.
Church Councils (ca. A.D. 400-590) pressured the Church to settle differences and to standardize its disputed doctrines. This proved to be a difficult task for two reasons. First, simple appeals to Scripture in defense of orthodoxy produced nothing but a doctrinal stalemate. Roman emperor Constantine in A.D. 312, politics exercised a profound influence on the Church’s interpretation of Scripture. In the emperor’s view, doctrinal disputes between the orthodox mainstream and its heretical tributaries threatened the empire’s political stability. Secondly, orthodox theologians themselves could not agree on the proper way to interpret Scripture. The conflict between the Alexandrian and Antiochene schools undermined all appeals to Scripture. Church leaders convened a series of church councils to define official church doctrine. By defining correct Christian beliefs, the doctrinal decisions of councils gave church tradition even greater authority than it had before. It raised the authority of tradition above that of Scripture. 
The Middle Ages (ca. A.D. 590-1500 during the Middle Ages. Medieval Bible scholars developed the practice of the interpretive gloss. Glosses were Scripture annotations or commentaries from the Fathers that were written in the margins or between the lines of the Bible. This practice became widespread in medieval schools. This period was seen as the dark and oppressed era. 
The Reformation (ca. A.D. 1500-1650) Protestant Reformation was a major 16th century European movement aimed initially at reforming the beliefs and practices of the Roman Catholic Church. Its religious political rulers who wanted to extend their power and control at the expense of the Church. It introduced a revolution in the interpretation of Scripture, a revolution whose effects continue to the present. Protestant Reformation sparks a renewed interest in studying the Bible in its original Hebrew and Greek languages provided scholars with a fresh glimpse of the Scriptures. Erasmus and Martin Luther were two figures who led the hermeneutical revolution of the sixteenth century.
The Post Reformation period (ca. A.D. 1650-1800) he Reformation emerged the movement called pietism. Pietism began in Germany in the seventeenth century and later spread to Western Europe and America. It represented a reaction to the arid intellectual dogmatism of Protestant scholasticism and the sterile formalism of Protestant worship services.
The Modern Period 1800- to present produced a revolutionary method for studying history-the modern scientific study of history. Modern scientific study developmentalism-the idea that evolving historical progress underlies everything-became widespread as the philosophy of Frederick Hegel and the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin attest.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

The various periods in the history of interpretation are:

According to the reading the Jewish Interpretation Period, the Bible’s first interpreters were those who first possessed its writings ancient Israelites who studied and edited what later became the Hebrew Scriptures. The Hebrew Scriptures although not always clear, does show the thumbprints of their works. 
A brief survey of the history of Bible interpretation is beneficial in several ways. First, it introduces key issues that are pertinent to Bible interpretation, which, in turn prepares the student to understand the approach to these issues that we present. Secondly, it sensitizes readers to the opportunities and pitfalls involved in trying to contextualize Bible teachings in the present. A critical assessment of the major interpretative methods practiced throughout history challenges readers to develop a personal approach to Bible interpretation that maximizes the opportunities and minimizes the pitfalls. 

The Apostolic Period (A.D. 30-100)

According to the reading, continuity and discontinuity mark the comparison between Jewish and early Christian interpretation. As devout Jews, the first Christian interpreters the apostles regarded Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah and the small religious community he left behind as the true fulfillment of Judaism’s ancient hopes. They appealed to the Old Testament Scriptures to support their beliefs, interpreting them by many of the same principles as other Jewish religious groups. On the other hand, they revered Jesus as the new Moses and the authority of Jesus as superior even to that of the Law of Moses a decisive departure from their Jewish roots. Also, they interpreted the OT from a radically new perspective in light of the Messiah ship of Jesus and the new age inaugurated by his coming. Jesus fulfillment of the OT prophecy was their fundamental hermeneutical principle. 

The Patristic Period (A.D. 100-590)

The death of the last apostle, John, ushered in a new era for the Church. It lasted until Gregory I became pope in A.D. 590. We call it the “patristic period” because it features the contribution of the so-called Church Fathers the prominent leaders during the initial four centuries after the apostolic period. While the Church considered many of the books and letters that later became our New Testament to be on a par with the Old Testament it still regarded the OT as its primary authoritative collection of Scriptures. 

The Middle Ages (A.D. 590-1500)

As the name implies, the Middle Ages is the millennium that falls between the patristic period, dominated by church fathers and councils, and the new courses charted by the Reformation. In a sense, it constitutes a transitional phase between the two; The Middle Ages mark the decline of some features of the former and lay the groundwork for the emergence of the latter. 
Three approaches typify biblical interpretation in the Middle Ages. Interpreters continued to depend heavily upon traditional interpretation, the view of the fathers passed down over centuries. The primary resource for this method remained the written catena or chain of interpretations, long collections of interpretive comments compiled from the commentaries of the Church Fathers. Secondly, the interpretive gloss Scripture annotation or commentaries from the fathers that were written in the margins or between the lines of the Bible (8th- 9th cent.). Third, the allegorical method which dominated the Middle Ages. In contrast to Origen’s threefold sense of Scripture, many medieval scholars believed every Bible passage had four meanings, the literal, Allegorical, Moral, and Anagogical. 

The Reformation (A.D. 1500-1650)

At the of the fifteenth century a man named Geiler of Kaiserberg observed that abuse of the allegorical method had mad Scripture a “nose of wax” to be turned interpretively any way the reader wanted. Many rued the arbitrary, speculative nature of allegory. According to a popular saying in the sixteenth century, “Erasmus laid the egg and Luther hatched it.” Indeed, Martin Luther was one of two figures whose carful exegesis aligned the best of the medieval approach with the new ecclesiastical reality of the sixteenth century and led Christian hermeneutics into new paths. First Luther affirmed that only Scripture has divine authority for Christians. In doing so Luther broke with the long-held principle that church tradition and ordained church leaders held virtually the same weight of doctrinal authority as the Bible. He, thus, laid down the foundational remise of the Reformation, the principle of sola scriptura (scripture alone). As a corollary, Luther also affirmed the principle that Scripture itself is its own best interpreter. Secondly, Luther followed medievalist who rejected the allegorical method of interpretation because, in his view, it amounted to empty speculation. 

The Post-Reformation Period (A.D. 1650-1800)

From the Reformation emerged the movement called Pietism. Pietism began in Germany in the seventeenth century and later spread to Western Europe and America. It represented a reaction to the arid intellectual dogmatism of Protestant scholasticism and the sterile formalism of Protestant worship services. Pietism sought to revive the practice of Christianity as a way of life through group Bible study, prayer, and the cultivation of personal morality. A German pastor who preached the necessity of personal conversion to Christ and an intimate, personal relationship with God against the purely doctrinal interest of their contemporaries, Spencer and the German Pietism stressed the devotional, practical study of the Bible. Their method featured a literalistic, common sense approach applied to carful grammatical study of the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts, always, however, with an eye for their devotional or practical implications. 

The Modern Period (A.D. 1800-Present)

The great Century because it saw an unprecedented expansion in missions, but ironically, at the same time it witnessed a skeptical repudiation of Christianity among intellectuals. Radical advances in human science created popular confidence in the scientific method, which in turn produced a revolutionary and more scientific method for scientific method, which in turn produced a revolutionary and more scientific method for studying history. Also, in the nineteenth century, developmentalism the idea that evolving historical progress underlies everything became widespread as the dialectical philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel, which shaped the social philosophy of Karl Marx, and the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin attest. The Bible did not escape the impact of these changes. Scholars, especially those teaching in German universities, sought to approach the Bible similarly through so-called objective, scientific means. Thus was born the approach know as the historical critical method, an interpretive method guided by several crucial philosophical presuppositions. It inherited the rationalistic assumption from its seventeenth-century intellectual ancestors, that the use of human reason, free of theological limitations, is the best tool with which to study the Bible. Scholars treated the Bible as they would any other literature, not as God’s special revelation to humanity.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

Hebrew Scriptures first interpreters were the ancient Israelites. These interpreters were scholars who also had a part in determining interpretation and editing of these sacred writings. 
The Levites interpreters in the day of Ezra the scribe did not speak Hebrew but Aramaic. These Levites were the first interpreters known by name. It must have been pure chaos. The people that surrounded Ezra spoke Hebrew. This conflict often times required there to be a translation of Aramaic to Hebrew in order for the sacred writings to be understood. I am sure there were a lot of disagreements in interpretation. 
The Hellenistic Judaism period included Alexander the Great. During this period he was largely responsible for the Jewish community exposure to Greek culture. As a result of this Hebrew was no longer the common language spoken by Jews. This was problematic for obvious reasons. Of course Greek ideology was evident in the interpretation of the sacred writings been translated. These writings eventually become the Septuagint.
Later during the time near the Dead Sea, the Qumran community who are Judaist has those who retreat into the wilderness in wait of the return of the Messiah and awaiting the judgment of God. They believed that there were no other generations to come before the return of the Lord. According to the reading they practices a method called pesher within this method are three interpretive techniques. 
The community that encouraged obedience to the Torah interpretation of Scriptures was the Rabbinic Judaist. Their method for interpreting Scripture was called Halakah. The reading defines term as “the deduction of principles and regulations for human conduct derived specifically from OT legal material.”
The apostolic period included the Jewish apostles who understood Jesus Christ to be promised Messiah of Israel. They cling closely to the Old Testament has a foundation of their beliefs and understanding of Christianity.
The Patristic Period is the period brought about a new change in the Church. This is the period that the last apostle was no longer. The writings of the apostles was respected and continued be an authoritative influence of the churches. 
During the period of Apostolic Fathers, there were other writing by early church leaders such as Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp and others. Didache is a Greek word for teaching and also noted to be writings of importance. The Epistle of Barnabas interpretation method is considered to be typology. The epistle interprets the Old Testament passage regarding Moses lifting up the bronze serpent to be the cross of Christ.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

The Apostolic Period 30-100 A.D. mark the apostles’ first Christian interpreters that viewed Jesus as Israel’s long waited promised Messiah; Jesus was revered as the new Moses and depicted superior to the Law of Moses, significant departure from their heritage. Jesus, is Judaism’s ancient great hope fulfilled, having the Old Testament Scriptures as a backing to support their views, interpreting passages as other Jewish religious clans. The Apostles followed and exemplified Jesus ministry as proof of His literal fulfillment of the OT divination of the essential hermeneutical principal; finding the prophetic fulfillment of the OT in Jesus and the teaching of Heaven, understanding the Christology of the OT. With this being said, they used three interpretive styles: (1) typological interpretation-to find events, objects, ideas and divinely inspired types characterized in the OT that forestall God’s action later in history. This type was a shadowing method between the OT and NT. The typological method best demonstrated, two NT books, Matthew and Hebrews (Mt 2:17, Jeremiah 31:15, Ruth 4:11), indication that God’s sovereign hand working in both the historical events of the OT and NT. (2) Literal-contextual interpretation, a more broad approach to interpreting OT writings in the original form. They used several examples from the OT to prove and support their teaching on moral Christian living: Deut. 32:35, Prov. 25:21-22, and Prov. 3:34. (3) Lastly the method of principle application. This method used by applying an underlying principle to a particular situation that is totally different from, but similar to, the original circumstance. 
The Patristic Period 100-590 A.D., period of the Church Fathers. The apostle’s writing were circulated between various churches; and not yet added into the OT canon. Church tradition exercised its influence on church doctrine definition, this shaped the developmental behavior of interpreting the Bible until the Reformation period when disagree halted and church council agreed on the Scripture to place in the canon, then this period came to an end. The text list three sub-heading during this period: Apostolic Fathers (100-150 A.D), Alexandrian School (150-400 A.D.) and Church Councils (400-590 A.D.) The apostolic fathers contributed their writings of biblical interpretation. The sources were from famous church leaders: Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, and an anonymous writer Barnabas. There direct audiences were, church Christians and opposing Jews to serve the purpose to instruct believes and to defend the faith. The methods of interpretation the early church leaders used: typology, allegory, midrashic, and traditional interpretation. The period of Alexandrian School marked the era of interpreting the OT scriptures of the Bible to meet the needs of the community of Christians. The school adopted the interpretation style of allegory exegetical method from Philo. Allegorical interpretation became the main method of interpreting Scripture in that era until the Renaissance era. Clement (190-203 A.D) and Origen (185-254 A.D) were two well-known Bible allegorical orators of that time. Clement taught Scripture has a twofold meaning: literal (the body) and spiritual (the soul), meaning hidden behind the literal sense. Origen expounded on Clements twofold view, by adding a threefold meaning: “moral”: ethical teaching about the Christian believer’s relationship to others. Final phase of the Patristic Period is Church Council. In the period, Roman emperor Constantine (312 A.D.) converts and a huge political influence on the Church’s interpretation of Scripture. In this period there was a lot of back and forth feuding on who should have the rights of Scriptural interpretation. Many church councils were formed by church leaders to define approved church doctrine, out of that rose, Augustine, the first Christian orthodox to articulate original comprehensive hermeneutics. His first interpretation was to get his reading audience to love God and other people, which demand in Scriptures. The last important figure of the Patristic Period, Jerome (331-420 A.D), he translated the OT and NT and the Apocrypha into Latin. The translation from Hebrew and Greek documents (the Vulgate).
Middle Ages (590-1500 A.D.) depended heavily on traditional interpretation, methods of hegemony in the Church declined, and other interpretation methods thrived: traditional interpretation, allegorical, and historical interpretation. Thomas Aquinas (13th cent) gave Christian faith a rational, systematic expression and he promoted the vital literal meaning of biblical Scripture by arguing that the Scripture contained everything necessary to faith.
The Reformation Period 1500-1650 A.D) a new scholarly interest took root in studying the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek form, which provided scholars a new lens to view Scripture. With the growing frustration with the allegorical method drove a desire for an improved interpret approach. Rose out of the era Martin Luther, who exegesis alighted the best of the approaches with new ecclesiastic reality of the Christian hermeneutics into new paths. Luther affirmed that Scripture has divine authority for Christians. Allegorical method was a false approach to interpreting, he claims the complete Bible taught about Christ. John Calvin rejected allegory can call “the internal witness of the Holy Spirit.” This period set the stage the teaching of Scripture as the only authority, the Bible is both perspicasious and its own best interpreter.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

Interpretation of the various periods in the history of interpretation are important in comprehending how the Scriptures were interpretated during specific periods in history. Chapter two of the text discussed the influence of the Jewish interpretastion, Hellenistic Judaism, the Qumran Community, and rabbinic Judaism as prerequist to discussing the periods themselves. I realize that tthe discussion point was to discuss the various periods in the history of interpretation. However, I feel that I can best understand by briefly discussing the above mentioned influences as well. I hope this is ok.

The ancient Israelites were the Bible’s first interpreters. They studied and edited the Hebrew Scriptures. Levites was the first known interpreter who translated Aramaic into Hebrew. This started a new Jewish institution called the Targum. Of importance, the teacher of the Hebrew Scriptures tried to apply the Scriptures to daily life issues of the time.

The period following the completion of Alexander the Great’s conquest is discussed in chapter two under Hellenistic Judaism. Greek culture spread to the point that it largely replaced Hebrew as a common language among Jews outside of Palestine. Eventualy the Greek translation replaced the remaining Hebrew Scriptures (the septuagiat). This later became the Bible of the early church. The philosopher Philo developed a set of rules which attempted to interpret the Bible allegorically. Also of importance was the entire allegorical method rooted in Plato’s techings. He taught that the true meaning of text lie behind the written word. In other words, the written word ha a deeper meaning.

The Qumran Community, the home of the Dead Sea Scrolls, were a brance of Judaism. This group was very fascinated by the Old Testament prophets. The Qumran community practiced a technique called pesher which attempted to use Old Testament prophets to explain involvement in events of their time. The Christian interpretation developed from the Qumran interpretation.This commune was led by the Teacher of Righteousness. The interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures and the Old Testament prophets were extremely important to them.

Rabbinic Judaism demanded obedience to the Hebrew Scriptures, especially theTorah. Its interpretation largely depended on rabbinic interpretive tradition. One important aspect of rabbinic interpretation was to attempt to uncover the deeper meanings that the rabbis assumed conflicted with the actual meaning of the scriptures. Rabbinic competitors of that time were Hillel and Shammai. The Mishnah, the Abot, and the Talmuds seem to give credibility to the Old Testament teachings. The Midrashim acted more or less as a commentary to provide interpretation of biblical passages. Rabbinic Judaism depended heavily upon rabbinic interpretation. Additionally, rabbinic commentators often interpreted Scripture literally. However, perhaps the main feature of this interpretive period was the practice of midrash which sort to uncover the deeper meanings of the Old Testament Scriptures.

The Apostolic Period (c.a. A.D. 30-100)
The first Christian interpretersd appearred on the scene during this period with the belief that Jesus was the messiah predicted from the Old Testament. In fact, they used the Old Testament predictions to support the New Testament. The interpretive methods they used were 1- the typological interpretation which found events, objects, etc., from the Old Testament as a means to predict later history; 2- literal-contextual interpretation which interpreted Old Testament rather broadly so as to follow JSesus’ example; 3- principe/application which, rather than interpret the Old Testament literally, used situations that could be compared to Old Testament examples to interpret meaning.

The Patristic Period (c.a. A.D. 100-590)
This period followed the death of the last original disciple, John, and represents three phases. The Apostolic Fathers (c.s. A.D. 100-150) represented the first half-century. At this time, many of the epistles and other writings circulated among th churches. The Old Testament, however, was still considered the primary Scriptural writing. Among the interpretative methods used at this time are 1- typology which related Old Testament to New Testament doctrines; 2- allegory wich was a popular form of literary writing at the time, and was also used to give credibility to the New Testament; and 3- traditional interpretation in which the church regarded the traditional interpretation of the Bible as the correct interpretation. Important writers of this period were leaders like Clementine of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, and a writer called Barnabas. During this period, church tradition became important, and featured the prominent church leaders known as the Church Fathers. This period concluded when the church council agreed on the contents of the canon. The second era of the patristic period is commonly known as the Alexandrian School (c.a. A.D. 150-450). During this time, Bible interpretation was still thee main task of interpreters. This period was also dominated by allegory in Bible interpretation, and rather than use literat interpretation, interpreters looked for hidden principles for Christian living.. Clement of Alexandria and Origen were two noted spiritual interpreters. The third phase of the patristic period (Church Councils (c.a. A.D. 400-590), was plagued by political influence in Scripture interpretation. Augustine became the first orthodox Christian leader in the western Church. In Bible interpretation, he noted the importance of both literal and figurative meanings. Several reknowned leaders such as Constantine, Tertullian, and Jerome emerged as influlential.Jerome was responsible for translating the Old and New Testaments, and the Apocrypha into Latin. 

The Middle Ages (c.a. A.D. 590-1500):
This is the period between the end of the patristic and beginning of the Reformation periods as the name implies. During history, this period is portrayed as a dark time in that the church and clergy were morally dimished. Interpreters continued to depend upon the views passed down over the centuries. Monks developed the practice of interpretive gloss, a practice where Scripture annotations from the fathers were written in the margins or between lines of the Bible. The Glossa Ordinaria, a commentary of the Bible, was very relevant. The Middle Ages continues to be dominated by allegorical pracdtices. Church leaders such as Augustine and Jerome remained influential.The three basic methods of interpretation were traditional, allegory, and historical. Eventually, another literal approach, scholasticism, led by Thomas Aquinas, emerged.

The Reformation (c.a. A.D. 1500-1650): This period represented a renewed interest in studying the Bible in Hebrew and Greek, and demanded better interpretative methods. Martin Luther emerged as a leading Christian, and led hermenutics in a new direction. He affirmed that 1- only Scriptures has divine authority for Christians; 2- rejected the allegorical method of interpretation; and 3- affirmed that the Hold Scriptures should be accepted by faith. This period, however, was not without conflict. Groups such as the Anabaptists and Mennonites emerged. Ideas such as predestination also emerged. The bottom line is that from this period, Protestant and Catholic religions emerged.

The Post-Reformation Period (c.a. A.D. 1650-1800): This period featured the Renaissance. Christian faith was renewed, and increased reliance on human reason emerged. The pietism movement, a practice in the revival of Christianity as a way of life through group Bible study, became prominant. Jothan Edwards was a spokesperson for this movement (“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”). Rationalism was born. Other leaders who emerged during this period are Philip Spener, Thomas Hobbes, and Bernard Spinoza.

The Modern Period (c.a. A.D. 1800 – Present): This period consists of the nineteenth century, the twentieth century,( and now the twenty-first century), post- World-War I, and post- World War II. The nineteenth century produced philosophers such as Darwin, Marx, and Hegel. The Bible was approached scientifically. The historical-critical method of interpretation arose. Creation was explained in terms of science. The theory of evolution emerged, as did the process of explaining biblical miracles by means of physics, biology, and chemistry. Needless to say, this brought brought musch controversity between science and religion. With the twentieth century came the history of religions and form criticism. These methods revealed that many biblical ieas originated much earlier than originally thought. They also reexamined the origination of the written sources of the Bible. World Wars SI and II brought about life shattering changes to the world. Post-World War I was influenced by Karl Barth and Rudolf Bultmann, to name just a few. Form criticism was used to study biblical interpretation. This period attempted to distinguish between the Jesus who actually lived and existed, and Jesus the “Christ of faith.” It required that the Bible be read with an existenialist hermeneutic. This period also brought about dialectical theology. With post-World War II emerged the Biblecal Theology Movement in America. A renewa in positive reflection on theology and the Bible were popular. According to Childs, the five major emphases typified this movement: 1- rediscovery of the Bible’s theological dimension; 2- unity of the whole Bible; 3- revelation of God in history; 4- distinctiveness of the Bible’s mentality; and 5- contrast of the Bible to its ancient environment. ,

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

According to Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard the Bible’s first interpreters were ancient Israelites who studied and edited what later became the Hebrew Scriptures. Levite was the first know interpreter and was assisted by Ezra the scribe. The Hebrew scriptures still show the thumbprints of their work even thought their identity and the history of their work remain unclear.

THE APOSTOLIC PERIOD (ca. A.D. 30-100)
This mark the comparison continuity and discontinuity between the Jewish and early Christian interpretation. The apostles regarded Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah and they used the Old Testament scriptures as their belief system. The apostles regarded Jesus as Israel’s promised Messiah, and the small religious community he left behind as the true fulfillment of Judaism’s ancient hopes. The Old Testament scriptures were their foundation to support their beliefs, interpreting them by many of the same principles as other Jewish religious groups. Also, they valued Jesus as the new Moses and the authority of Jesus as superior even to that of the Law of Moses. The Old Testament was interpreted from a radically new perspective in the light of the Messiahship of Jesus and the new age inaugurated by his coming.

The Patristic Period (A.D. 100-590) 
A new era from the Church began with the death of the last apostle, John. This period mark the contribution of the so-called Church Fathers. During this period writings of the apostles circulated among the churches, even though the writings had not yet been collected into a canonical companion to the Old Testament. The Old Testament was still regarded as its primary authoritative collect of Scriptures, although the church still considered many of the books and letters which later became our New Testament to be on a par with the Old Testament.

The patristic period is divided into three main subperiods: 
(1) The Apostolic Fathers (ca. A.D. 100-150), gives us a glance of biblical interpretation after the apostle John’s death. The fathers address the Christians in the churches and Jew opposing them. Among the Church Fathers there are several methods of interpretation. These interpretive methods are typology, allegorical interpretive approach, and midrashic interpretive approach. 

(2)The Alexandrian School (ca A.D. 150-400), took up the task of interpreting the Bible, predominantly the Old Testament, to meet the needs of the Christian community. During this period Clement of Alexander and the distinguished scholar Origen presented the case for reading the Bible allegorically. 

(3)The Church Councils (ca. A.D. 400-590) is the conversion of the Roman emperor Constantine; politics exercised a profound influence on the Church’s interpretation of Scripture.

THE MIDDLE AGES (ca. A.D. 590-1500)
The Middle Ages is the millennium which falls between the patristic period and the new courses chartered by the Reformation. This period mark the decline of some features of the former and lay the groundwork for the appearance of the latter. They used traditional, catena, and allegorical methods which typify biblical interpretation in the Middle Ages. The allegorical method dominated the biblical interpretation in the Middle Ages. In contrast to Origen’s threefold sense of Scripture, many medieval scholars believed that every Bible passage consisted of four meanings. They are: literal (or historical), allegorical (or doctrinal), moral (or tropological, and anagogical (or eschatological). 

THE REFORMATION (ca. A.D. 1500-1650)
During the Reformation period conflict arose between the more traditional scholastics and the so-called new learning of Christian humanists, Erasmus. The first modern edition of the Greek New Testament with a fresh Latin translation appended to it was published by Erasmus in 1516. The increasing interest in the early manuscripts exposed translations errors in the Latin Vulgate which undermined the absolute authority it has enjoyed in supporting church doctrine. The dissatisfaction of the allegorical method fueled a desire for a better interpretative approach.

Martin Luther led Christian hermeneutics into new paths by affirming that only Scripture has divine authority for Christians. He later followed those medievalists who rejected the allegorical method of interpretation. Along with Aquinas they affirmed that Scripture had one simple meaning, its historical sense.

THE POST-REFORMATION PERIOD (ca. A.D. 1650-1800)
During the Post-Reformation period, the Renaissance presented a reborn-interest in classical Greek and Roman art and philosophy. Pietism emerged during the Reformation. It sought to revive the practice of Christianity as a way of life through group Bible study, and the cultivation of personal morality. Also, the spirit of the Renaissance gave birth to the important intellectual movement called rationalism. This new birth of rationalism regarded the human mind as an independent authority capable of determining the truth. The fragmentation of approaches to biblical interpretation was brought through the Post-Reformation period.


THE MODERN PERIOD (ca. A.D. 1800-PRESENT)
This period was a revolutionary one. It was called “The Great century” because an unprecedented expansion in missions could be seen and it witnessed a skeptical repudiation of Christianity among intellectuals. The historical-critical method was born during this period. It presupposed a naturalistic worldview that explained everything in terms of natural laws and excluded the possibility of supernatural intervention. Two decisive shifts in the focus of biblical interpretation were brought about through these presuppositions. 

During the twentieth century the flowering of two interpretive approaches which grew out of the late nineteenth century. The two interpretive approaches were the history of religions and form criticism. Post –World War I and Post World War II provided the key markers in biblical interpretation during the twentieth century.

James Outland • 3 years ago

History of Interpretation
1.Jewish Interpretation
The history of Bible Interpretation began with the Israelites who were entrusted with the very Word of God. After Israel returned from exile in Babylon in the late sixth century B. C., they spoke the Aramaic instead of the Hebrew of their Scriptures. It became necessary for Levites to interpret and explain the meaning and intent of the scriptures. This apparently natural course of event, gave rise to a new Jewish Institution, the Targum (i.e. translation-interpretation). 
a.Hellenistic Judaism – Hellenistic Judaism was a movement which sought to integrate Greek philosophy, especially that of Plato, with Jewish religious beliefs. 
b.The Qumran Community – The Qumran community –(probably the Essenes) is best known from the library of Dead Sea Scrolls that were found in 1947 and following years. Qumran Community practiced a method called pesher. 
c.Rabbinic Judaism – Rabbinic Judaism was centered in Jerusalem and Judea. It promoted obedience to the Hebrew Scriptures, especially the Torah, in the face of mounting pressure to accommodate to Greco-Roman culture. Rabbinic Judaism produced three main literary works: 1. The Mishnah, 2. Hillel and 3. Shammai. 

The Apostolic Period
The first Christian interpreters – the apostles – regarded Jesus as Israel’s promised messiah and the small religious community He left behind as the true fulfillment of Judaism’s ancient hopes. They appealed to the OT Scriptures to support their beliefs, interpreting them by many of the same principles as other Jewish religious groups. Jesus’s literal fulfillment of OT prophecy was their fundamental hermeneutical principle. The interpretive approaches of the Apostolic Period: (a) Typological; (b) Literal –contextual interpretation; and (c) Principle Application.

The Patristic Period (ca A.D 100 – 590)
The Patristic Period features the contribution of the so-called Church Fathers – the prominent leaders during the initial four centuries after the apostolic period. During most of the patristic period, the writings of the apostles circulated among the churches but had not yet been collected into a canonical companion to the OT. It still regarded the OT as its primary authoritative collection of Scriptures. The Patristic Period is divided into three main sub-periods:
a.The Apostolic Fathers (ca A.D 100 – 150) 
b.The Alexandrian School (ca A.D 150 – 400)
c.Church Councils (ca A.D 400 – 590)

The Middle Ages (ca A.D 590 – 1500)
The ‘Middle Ages’ is the millennium that falls between the patristic period, dominated by church fathers and councils, and the new courses charted by the Reformation. Three approaches typify biblical interpretation in the ‘Middle Ages’: a. Interpreters continued to rely heavily upon traditional; interpretation. The primary resource for this method remained the written catena; b. The allegorical method; c. Historical interpretation

The Reformation (ca A.D 1500 – 1650)
During the late middle Ages, conflict arose between the more traditional scholastics and the so-called new learning of Christian humanists like Erasmus. According to the humanists, the convoluted logic of scholastic theology offered no spiritual food for hungry Christian souls, and many writers openly yearned for the simple faith and devotion of the early Church. Erasmus proposed that regnant theology of sterile speculation give way to what he called the philosophy of Christ. “Erasmus laid the egg and Luther hatched it. Martin Luther was one of two figures whose careful exegesis aligned the best of the medieval approach with the new ecclesiastical reality of the sixteenth century and lead Christian hermeneutics into new paths. 
The Post-Reformation Period (ca A.D 1650 – 1800)
a. The Renaissance (1300-1600) featured a reborn-interest in classical Greek and Roman art and philosophy. The revived interest in Hebrew and Greek that aided the Reformation derived from the spirit of the Renaissance. An increasing reliance on human reason spurred o the Renaissance.
b.Pietism began in Germany in the seventeenth century and later spread to Western Europe and America. It represented a reaction to the arid intellectual dogmatism of Protestant scholasticism and of the sterile formalism of Protestant worship services. Pietism sought to revive the practice of Christianity as a way of life through group Bible study, prayer, and the cultivation of personal morality. Its leader was Philip Jacob Spener (1635 – 1705).

The Modern Period (ca A.D 1800 – Present)
a. The Nineteenth Century – Radical advances in human science produced a revolutionary and more scientific method for studying history. The Bible did not escape the impact of these changes. Scholars sought to approach the Bible similarly through so called objective, scientific means. This gave birth to the approach known as the historical-critical method, an interpretive method guided by several crucial philosophical presuppositions. Scholars treated the Bible as they would any other literature, not as God’s special revelation to humanity.

b. The Twentieth Century – The 20th Century witnessed the flowering of two interpretive approaches that grew out of the late nineteenth century. The first was the history of religions and the second was the new literary method called form criticism. 

c. Post-World War I – The disastrous events of World War I devastated Europe and destroyed the naïve optimism that had supported liberal theology. New biblical interpretation arose from the ashes of world conflict. Two towering figures, initially charted those new directions:
1. Karl Barth (1886 – 1968) whose commentary on Romans severely critiqued the mistakes of liberalism and sought to reassert long-lost emphases of his Reformation heritage.
2. Rudolf Bultmann (1884 -1976)

d. Post-World War II – In post war America, a flood of publications showed a revival of interest in biblical theology, a revival that Childs call the Biblical Theology Movement. According to Childs, five major emphases typified the movement: 1. The rediscovery of the Bible’s theological dimension; 2. The unity of the whole Bible; 3. The revelation of God in history; 4. The distinctiveness of the Bible’s mentality; and 5. The contrast of the Bible to its ancient environment. The postwar era also saw the birth of interpretive methods that tended to highlight the Bible’s diversity and disunity.

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Session 1

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 1


Briefly discuss: The various distances experienced by any interpreter.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

The challenges of biblical interpretation vary by any interpreter, these challenges are in the form of distances or gaps and they are in the form of:
Time Gap: The events in the Bible occurred over a vas span of time, say over 1800 years ago. It would be difficult for anyone to understand exactly what took place in that era because we, in this period of time have not experience what our ancestors or the folks back then, experienced. Many of the people back in that time where eyewitnesses and wrote base on their experiences. 
Space or Geographical Gap: As mentioned in the text, we lack the opportunity to visit the different lands or places that are mentioned in the Bible. As the author states, we lack mental and visual information that would allow us to be privy of certain events that took place in that era. And even if we lived there now or visit the various places they would not look the same that they did in biblical period, the culture and especial the people and the belief system definitely changed.
Custom/Culture Gap: The world as we know it today is far more technical, we have experienced an upgrade in equipment across the board, to say, quite frankly we are living in a tech savvy era, far more advanced then biblical time; even our thought pattern are different. Back in biblical times, their mode of travel was by foot, they walked for miles and days to get to their destination. Values of customs, beliefs, and practices in the Bible time are foreign, things are done differently in churches and in our homes then what were done back then. 
Language Gap: The writers of biblical time wrote in their own tongue of their day, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, language that we are unfamiliar with. We depend on a translated version of the Bible, ancient works for the Bible have been translated for us to interpret it today.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

In reading chapter one of Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard the authors talks about the various distances that were experienced by the interpreter. First the authors described Hermeneutics that provides a strategy that will enable us to understand what the author or speaker intended to communicate through the scriptures.
They describes the Cultural Distance that seperates us from the world of the biblbcal time of the text. A world that was basically agrarian, made up of landowners, tenents farmers, and slow methods of travel. Also the people of that times had different customs and methods, beliefs and pratices that makes no sense to us today.

Geographical Distance is to understand the difference in going up or going down or the difference in elevation
Distance of Language is the gap between the language of the Bible Day, and our language of today. The writer of that day wrote in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. which are languages that most do not understand today. We must depend on trained scholars of the Bible for their translation.
The authors makes it clear that we must keep in mind that the Bible is first and foremost God’s word to his people that makes it relevant and eternal. God inspired writer to compose the scritputes as a means of conveying the truth. We as christian must believe all scripture are the valid words that God intends for his people to live by without error..

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

In the reading of the Bible, it is advisable that the word of God was written at a particular time of distance, cultural distance, geographical distance, and distance of language. The understanding of distance is paramount to Biblical interpretation. These distances will be briefly discussed in online learning experience.

Distance of Time: The distance of time exists between the ancient texts and our modern world; consequently, most of the texts we have today may have variation as compared to previous or the original texts of scriptures. The events and writings recorded in the Bible span many centuries, but more than 1900 years have passed since its last words were written.

Cultural Distance: Another challenge of distance that must be considered is the cultural distance that separates us from the world of the Biblical texts. The people who lived during Biblical time had different cultures and custom as compared to modern days. It is very important that student of Bible understands cultural distance to enable him or her interpret the Bible. The understanding of ancient customs might be so colored by what we think they mean that we miss their significance.

Geographical Distance: Another challenge to correct Biblical interpretation is geographical distance. Unless we have had the opportunity to visit the places mentioned in the Bible, we lack a mental, visual data bank that would aid our understanding of certain events.

Distance of Language: The task of Biblical interpretation is further challenged by a language gap between the Biblical world and our own. The writers of the Bible wrote in the language of their day – Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek – languages that are inaccessible to most people today. Hebrew has different forms for masculine and feminine gender nouns, pronouns, and verbs. These distance experiences by the interpreter are vital to aid in the interpretation of the Bible in order to create an understanding of the text in the Bible.

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard discuss four important ways in which interpreters experience distances from the original audience. The first distance experienced would be the distance of time. More 1900 years has passed since the last words of the Bible were written. Since that time the world has changed a great deal. This can be seen in the book of Genesis where a large gap of time passed between an event and the time it was recorded in written form. We must consider that most of us lack vital information about the world as it was when the Bible was written. 

The second distance would be the distance of culture. The culture of the Bible was significantly different than modern culture. For instance, in the Old Testament taking off one’s scandal and giving it to another person signified completed business transaction. If a person did that today it would be met with confusion. Our cultural values and priorities may inadvertently affect our interpretation and cause one to establish a meaning that may not be in the text at all. 

The third distance would be geographical distance. Since we are unable to visit the places mentioned in the Bible, we lack the knowledge that would aid our understanding of certain events. It is difficult to understand why Jonah fled towards Tarshish (way west) when he was trying to avoid God’s call to Nineveh (way east). 

The last distance that the author’s discussed is the distance of language. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek which can create a language gap between the biblical world and our own. Most Christians today don’t have the time or resources to study, let alone fully master. Today’s translation does not always convey the full meaning of the original language. That is why we need Hermeneutics to help us find what the author of a text truly meant to convey to us.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

Hermeneutics is important because understanding goes far beyond reading a sentence for comprehension. When reading the Bible, there are multiple challenges to obtaining the true interpretation of the text. One of the statements the author makes regarding gaining understanding of Scripture that I am still not sure if I agree. He states, the Spirit does not inform us of Scripture’s meaning and does not replace the need to interpret biblical passages according to the principles of language communication. This is surprising to me. In my mind the Holy Spirit supersedes any understanding that can be obtained from man in spite of distance of time, geography, or language. He implies the role of the Spirit is to convince God’s people of the truth of a biblical message. This statement definitely got my attention and I am looking forward to exploring the ideas presented in this book and class further.

One of the challenges mentioned in the text for interpreting Scripture is the distance of time. The Scripture was written about 1900 years ago and there is much time that exists between now and then. The ancient world is quite different from this modern world. They are worlds apart. They are worlds apart as it relates to time, culture, socio economic, political, religious perspective, geographical, language, customs, literary devices, modern technology, and living conditions. I can understand the reason it is necessary to address these different challenges in order to gain an accurate understanding of the biblical text. Hermeneutics is important to further explain the text through the correct lenses in order to gain the true or proper interpretation. The Spirit involvement is confirming the “truth” of the text. I do think in my experience at least the Spirit has given me interpretation, understanding and truth of a text.
According to the reading, the time challenge exists because the is a gap of the actual events occurred and the recording of the actual events. Further as mention earlier. The language presents a challenge because the languages of that day were Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. These languages are very different from modern languages today.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

Despite all of the many challenges that Hermeneutics as the art and science of biblical interpretation imposes God’s word will do what it set out to do; which is to give spiritual guidance and or aid to His people. There is a spiritual distance. We need help properly interpreting the Bible from pastor, teachers, Bible scholars and so on
There will always be challenges that comes with Interpreting the Bible due to change in distance in time , in which there is a difference of biblical time of the text., and not to mention the Bible has been rewritten by several different authors who lived centuries apart .
There is also a language barrier due to the fact that the Bible has been written in three different languages. The bible has been written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. This Challenge is known as a Distance of Language is the gap between the languages. There is also a distance of writing because the writing styles are different. Geographical distance, the authors tell us unless we have had the time to visit the places that are mention in the Bible it will always pose a challenge for correct understanding on geographical distance because we lack element. 
Cultural distance at one point in time the Bible world was made up of landowners and tenant farmers; machinery that was slower and wearying. The machinery we use today is way faster and less strenuous so the need to work hard is minimal. Things such as ceremonies practices are not of the same important to us as it was to the past Bible believers. Ceremonial practices such as the washing of the hands it was done in a very scared and particular manner.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

Although we cannot ask the authors directly for a clue to the meaning they intended to convey, an examination of their respective contexts (both general living cnditions and specific life circumstances) when known, can provide helpful information for interpretation. Knowing all the conditions that surround the reciepients of the original message provides further insight into how they most likely understood the message, as does the relationship between the author and reciepients at the time of writing. 

An interpreter must understand four major distances between the author and himself before he can adequately understand and interpret the message. The first distance is time, the time that exist between the ancient text and the modern world. There has been 1900 years since the Bible was written the world has changed in substantial ways since then, and we lack essential information about the world as it was when the Bible was written. 

Second is the cultural distances. The bliblical world was essentially agrarian, made up of landowners and tenant farmers using mahinery that was privitive by our standards and methods of travel that were slow and wearying. The Bible speaks of customs and practices that are foreign to us today these customs might be so different to us that we might rely on what we think they mean and miss the significance of their original meaning.

The third distance is geography. Unless we have had the opportunity to visit the places mentioned in the Bible we lack a mental visual data bank that would aid our understanding of certain events. And even if we could visit all the Biblical sights they would still have undergone many changes snce biblical times. 

Lastly, is the laguage distances. The task of biblical interpretation is further challenged by a language gap between the biblical world and our own. The writers of the Bible, wrote in the language of their day, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, languges that are inaccessable to most people today. 

Therefore, if we are seeking the meaning intended by the aurthor to the original recipients, that meaning must be the meaning they coud understand at that time, not the meaing we would detrmine based on our position of advanced historical developments.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

Without hermeneutics, it would be almost impossible to get an accurate meaning of the Scriptures for several reasons. The Bible was written in a totally different time and culture where three languages were used: Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Even though the goal of proper hermeneutics is to help us understand God’s will, it does come with challenges of Bible interpretation.The first challenge discussed was the distance of time. Many hundreds of years have passed since the Scriptures were written. There have been drasti changes to the world since then. Correct interpretation must take this into consideration. A second distance mentioned in the chapter is cultural distance. Ton me, the distances of time and cultural sort of go hand in hand. No one is here today tom, beyond a reasonable doubt, explain what the cultural was like at the time th Scriptures were written. The culture then consisted largely of landowners and tenants. By our standards today, things were very primitive. If one has not lived in that culture, or even seen it, it’s very difficult if not impossible, to get an adeuate unerstanding of what theings were like then. A third distance discussed in the chapter is the distance of geography. It is extremely difficult for one to imagine what the geographical lands were like when the Bible was written. Wven if one has visited the Holy Land, it, too, has changed from the time the Scriptures were written. The furth distance discussed in the chapter is the distance of language. As I mentioned earlier, the languages spoken at the time the Scriptures were written are Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic. Most Christians are not able to speak these languages. Without a tool for consistency in interpretation, I dare say misconceptions and wrong interpretation of God’s message is sure to occur.

Debra Edwards • 3 years ago

The interpreters of scripture must rely on hermeneutics to accurately obtain an understanding of text. Our authors share that there are some distances that impact the ability to understand the intent of the writer. Those distances are in time of distance, cultural distance, geographical distance, and distance of language. The time distance relates to the period of time in which the scriptures were written. Not only were the scriptures written over a very long period of time, but the time period since the writings is significant. Somewhat in relation to the time distance is the cultural distance. Over time, cultures have changed tremendously. When we read the scriptures, especially in the books of the Old Testament we see many customs and practices that were not relevant in the New Testament and are not common today These cultures varied depending of belief and geographical locations. So just as time distance connect to cultural distance, geographical distance connects to cultural differences. The location of a written account in scripture is extremely important in understanding the setting and customs. Without a basic knowledge of the what customs people where mandated to abide by it is difficult to understand fully the intent of the writer. The last connecting distance is language. Language connects to the geographical distance. Depending on the location or geographical location, the language use varied. As in all languages, terminology differs and can often have a different meaning if said in another language. My studies of biblical languages has been most impactful on how I study at the the quality of my biblical studies

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Session 3

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 3


Briefly discuss: The canonicity of the OT and NT

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

The canon of the Old Testament: Since the Reformation, Protestants have accepted the thirty-nine books, form Genesis to Malachi, that appeared in the standard editions of the Bible in print today. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians, however, preserve various so-called apocryhphal or deutero-canonical books that were influential throughout the first 1500 years of church history. These books include such books as 1 and 2 Esdra, Tobit, Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, nd not to be confuse with Ecclesiates, Baruch, the Letter of Jermiah, the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, the Prayer of Manassah, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. These are the apocryalpha the Catholic accept into the Bible.

The canon of the the New Testament: Among the canon of the New Testament canon of scriptures, Matthew assumed the first place because of the most Jewish of the Gospels, it provided the clearest link with the Old Testament. Then Mark, Luke, and John most commonly followed in the order in which presumably they were composed. After Acts came the epistles and followed by the book of Revelation.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

Canon refers to a collection of books, accepted as authoritative, inspired scripture which later came to be associated with “Rule”; the Greeks associated the word with standard or guideline. Paul uses this word, kanwvn Kanon, in Philippians 3:16 and Galatians 6:16, in relation to a standard of behavior. The canon of the Old Testament is Tanakh; it is more recent designations of the divisions of Hebrew scripture existed before the New Testament era. The Tanakh was a very literate society who questioned how do they know which books of the Bible is inspired by God? Concerning the canonicity of the OT and NT, often time the Bible was challenged and some book / scriptures was rejected concerning its claim of inspiration the Old Testament. This was and at times and still is often what divides Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants. The Catholic faith has included seven additional books in the Old Testament which are known as the Deuterocanonical or Apocrypha which is opposite to Protestants and Jews. Protestants and Jews have the same books in their respective Old Testament. The Orthodox faith includes the additional books in the Old Testament but are less adamant then Catholics about their inspiration. Sadducees, only accepted the first five books, they were at odds with the Pharisees who accepted the whole Old Testament. One of the main differences between the Catholic and Protestant churches among others is the discussion of canon in the Old Testament. There has been and still are debates in regards to the canon of Scriptures.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

In the third chapter of Klein, Blombery, and Hubbard in there discussion of the Old Testament Canon Translations we find that since the reformation period 39 book were accepted by the Prostentants as historical books of the canon. The word canon comes from the Greek word kanon which means
“list, rule, or standard”. The 39 Old Testament Books have been accepted by Christian as the uniquely authoritative Books which we use today. These books run from Genesis to Malachi that make up the Old Testament. In the Old Testament canon we find many books have been hidden or deutero-canonical. Books such as 1 and 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Widson of Solomon, Baruch a letter of Jeremiah, the prayer of Azariah, and song of three young men, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, The prayer of Manasseh, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. Prostentants defended the shorter O.T. canon as the only books of the Jews during the time of Christ, and they were accepted by the Apostles as canon scriptures.
No book dated later than 450-400 B.C.could be considered part of the Hebrew scriptures. Old Testament books were perserved and cherised because of Christian readings of them, but they were not valid. Such were the writings of 2 Macc. 12:44-45 which extrols the virture of praying for the dead to help make atonement for them. Old Testament canon contained books of Law, from Genesis to Dueteronomy which were canon by the time Ezra stood up and read the law. OT canon included the law of Moses, Prophets and Psalm. Modern OT canon includes the law, prophets and the writings of love songs to the God of Israel. 
New Testament canon consist of 27 books. It is a forthtelling of the coming of the messiah as promised in the Old Testament. it includes the four gospel which is full of the coming of Jesus who is Immanuel God with us. The 13 Epistles of Paul, two letters of John, Jude and Revelations. Other books were later added such as 1 and second Peter, Timothy and Thessalonians and others. 
We consider the canon and the scriptures that make up both the Old and New Testament valid and contains our rules for christian living.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

Briefly discuss: The canonicity of the OT and NT

The word canon comes from the Greek kanon meaning list, rule or standard. The canon of Scripture refers to the collection of biblical books that Christians accept as uniquely authoritative. Since the reformation, Protestants have accepted the thirty-nine books, from Genesis to Malachi, that appear in the standard editions of the Bible in print today. Protestants have defended the shorter OT canon, asserting that these thirty-nine books were the only books that the Jews of the time of Christ and the apostles accepted into their canon of Scripture. Although other books were written according to the reading the Jews never believed they were inspired in the same way as the earlier biblical books. As a result the Jews believed that no book dated later than about 450-400 B.C. could be considered part of the Hebrew Scriptures, and therefore, part of the Christian OT. 

The Development of the NT Canon

The NT canon consist of 27 books and since the first Christians inherited a “complete” Bible from the Jews, it might seem surprising that they were willing to accept any books to what they termed Scripture. But in viewing Jesus as the fulfillment and authoritative interpreter of the Hebrew Scriptures they already had relativized somewhat the value of those writings. Increasingly, the story of Jesus and the preaching of the gospel took on greater significance. So it was natural for them to write down the story and message about Jesus and, within a generation or two, to view them at least as authoritatively, if not more so, than the previous writings, which they believed had prepared the way for the gospel. OT history provided a precedent with Deuteronomy and the Prophets as commentators or “appliers” of the earlier Law of Moses. The concept of covenants proved instructive, too. Jeremiah had prophesied about a coming new covenant which Jesus and the NT writers claimed that his death established. If the older covenant with Moses led to a collection of written Scriptures, it would be natural to expect God to guide Christian’s writers to inscribe a newer collection of Scriptures. The 13 Epistles of Paul, two letters of John, Jude, 1 and 2 Peter, Timothy and Thessalonians and the book of Revelations in additions to others works.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

The canon of Scriptures is a word derived from Greek kanon, a word that means list, rule, or standard, it is also refers to collection of biblical books that Christians accept as uniquely authoritative.
Canon of the Old Testament
Since the Reformation period, Protestants have accepted the thirty-nine books, from Genesis to Malachi appearing in the standard editions of the Holy Bible used in this era. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians preserve several apocryphal, (hidden), or deuteron-canonical (second canon) books that were influential throughout the first 1500 year of church history.
Protestants protected the shorter OT canon, declaring, during Christ and the apostle period, the thirty-nine books were the books that the Jews accepted into the canon of Scripture. The Jews never believed they were inspired in the same way as the earlier biblical writings; in fact, the Jewish people believed that prophecy ceased after the time of Ezra, Nehemiah, and the latest of the Minor Prophets. During the time of 450-400 BC, there was not a book; could it be considered part of the Hebrew Scriptures, and also part of the Christian OT. Roman and Orthodox believe some of the OT scriptures viewing the works as authoritative, stemming from much later period by least a century from the NT era, when Christianity had largely lost sight of its Jewish roots. 
NT mirrors wide use of the Septuagint which included much of the Apocrypha, first period Christians believed in the canonical status of apocryphal works; however the quotes of the NT were not quit the same work from the OT. Early Christians read OT Scriptures allegorically and Christological meaning that the former authors not have, which were not valid. 
Modern Hebrew Bible kept the order, Law, Prophets, and Writings; however, changes to the sequence of the books have been changed within the last two categories. English Bibles give more focus on the arrangement of the Greek translation of the OT.
New Testament Canon 
Jesus the fulfillment and authoritative interpreter of the Hebrew Scriptures; by this time they had relativized the importance of those texts. His story and His preaching of the gospel took on grander significance. It was normal at the time to write down what they heard about Jesus so in the future the messages and stories will be viewed as authoritative preparing the way for the Gospel. The text states that OT history delivered an example with Deuteronomy and the Prophets as interpreters of the prior Law of Moses, in addition, the perceptions of covenants proved instructive also. Jeremiah prophesied of a coming new covenant, that Jesus as well as the NT authors claimed His death established. 
Belief in the Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation as Scripture began to develop much sooner than the second era. Previous non-canonical Christian literature dates back A.D 90 through the mid second period and is referred to apostolic fathers. Similar to NT epistle, these forthcoming letters instructed several facets of Christian living, these letters followed the teachings of the NT authors; an increasing worry with the virtue of martyrdom as well as raising emphasis on Episcopal Church hierarchy.
The rise of Gnostic writings, about the mid-second century provided a further stimulus. Several implications contained secret revelations from Jesus, following his resurrection. Tyranny against Christians increased it became more critical for Christians to agree on the books they were willing to die for. The start of 150 A.D. for about 200 more years a series of Christian books was being treated as Scripture. 
St. Athanasius of Alexandria, in his Easter-time festal letter of 367 AD, is the earliest-known Christian writer to endorse the twenty-seven books that now comprise the Scripture of the NT. However, even though, the canon of the NT has remained well established since the fourth century period, many voices in the present times request for a review of its boundaries.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

The chapter defines the meaning of “canon” in the Greek to mean “list,” “rule,” or “standard.” As it relates to sacred text the canon is a collection of biblical writings. These writings have been accepted as the governing authority of the Christian faith.
The canon of the Old Testament for some Christian traditions and denominations is recognized as the 39 books of the Old Testament from Genesis to Malachi. For others such as the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox they also recognize the apocryphal. Apocryphal in the Greek translates as “hidden.” These books are considered to be canonical: 1and 2 Esdas, Tobit, Judith, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, the letter of Jeremiah, the prayer of Azariah and the song of the three young men, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, the Prayer of Manasseh, and 1 and 2 Maccabees.
Among Protestants the reason they recognized the 39 books as canon and not the other books is because they were widely accepted by the Jews and Christ.
As for the others books they were not widely received by the Jewish of this time.
The New Testament according to the reading, Jesus as the fulfillment and authoritative interpreter of the Hebrew Scriptures. Great measures were given to the message of Jesus and the books that mentioned Jeremiah in which he prophesied about the new covenant to come. This new covenant and the fulfillment of this covenant is Jesus. Other New Testaments books begin to surface and were also regarded as canon.

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

THE CANON OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
The thirty-nine books in the standard editions of the Bible have been accepted by the Protestants since the Reformation. Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox Christians have different ideas bout which books belong to the canon of the Old Testament. They preserve the apocryphal or deutero-canonical books which were influential during the first 1500 years of church history. 

Protestants claim the thirty-nine books of the Old Testament were the only books that the Jews and the apostles accepted into their canon of Scripture. The Jews never believed that the books from the intertestamental period after the time of Malachi were inspired in the same way as the earlier biblical books. Josephus and rabbinic literature delineate the Jewish belief that prophecy ceased after Ezra, Nehemiah, and the minor prophets. This suggests that no book dated later than about 450-400 B.C. could be considered part of the Hebrew Scriptures, and therefore, part of the Christian Old Testament. The apocryphal books should not be ignored because of this claim; they provide valuable information regarding historical and theological developments between the Testaments and frequently prove inspiring, even if not inspired, reading. 

According to A.C. Sundberg first-century Christians must have believed in the canonical status of apocryphal works because the New Testament reflects widespread use of the Septuagint, which included the Apocrypha. These works are never quoted directly by the New Testament authors, as they do the rest of the Old Testament. Philo and Josephus feel that it is safe to believe that the Old Testament used by the first-century Christians was identical with that known today. These claims are disputed by Lee McDonald, citing numerous allusions to the Apocrypha in the New Testament; none appears as clearly as the numerous direct quotations of undisputed Old Testament literature. 

Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard stated that Christians often came to value the Apocrypha for hermeneutically illegitimate reasons. A majority of them increasingly accepted the apocrypha as canonical from the second century onward, but a minority of them argued for following the Newish canon. The sixteenth-century Reformation returned to the Jewish Bible of Jesus and the apostles.

THE CANON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Christians inherited from the Jews a complete Bible which surprisingly they were willing to add any books to what they termed Scripture. They relativized the value of those scriptures in viewing the fulfillment and authoritative interpreter of the Hebrew Scriptures. It should be noted that Old Testament history provided a model with Deuteronomy and the Prophets as commentators of the earlier Law of Moses.


From around A.D. 90 through the mid-second century the noncanonical Christian literature existed and is referred to as the apostolic fathers. Various epistles were included in these works from early church leaders to various Christian individuals or communities. In these letters instruction was given concerning various aspects of Christian living. 

Marcion was the first to explicit discussion of a Christian canon, in the middle of the second century. He believed that Jesus and the God of the Old Testament were opposites, and that anything in Christian writings that pertained to Judaism ought to be expunged. Many of the Gnostic writings alleged to contain secret revelations from Jesus, following his resurrection, to one or more of his followers. Around A.D. 150, Christians produced a series of lists of Christian books to be treated as Scripture. The Muratorian was the earliest of these lists which included the four Gospels, Acts, all thirteen letters attributed to Paul, two letters of John, the letter of Jude, and Revelations.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

The canon of the Scriptures refers to the sixty-six books of the Bible accepted as the authentic divine Word of God. These are divided into thirty-nine Old Testament and twenty-seven New Testament books. This acceptance, however, is not without controversy. Below is discussed the age old question of whether or not the books of Scripture in the Old and New Testasments are all inclusive.

The Old Testament Canon: Eastern Orthodox Christians, Roman Cathoics, and Protestants disagree to a point as to whether the Old Testament should consist of only thirty-nine books. Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox Church, for example, inlude the apocryphal as part of their Bible. Protestants, however, argue that the thirty-nine books should be the only accepted ones because onloy they were accepted by the Jews at the time of Christ and the apostles. Furthermore, they believe that the divinely inspired writings of the Old Testament ended after those of the minor prophets. They also argue that New Testament writers did not reference the apocryphal books as evident of the thirty-nine. Even though the apocryphal books do provide much historical and theological value, and are even referred to by Paulo and Jude, Christians never claimed its canonicity. Although modern scholars agree on the inappropriate uses of the Apocrypha by some ancient Christians, they all agree that the five books of the Law, and the wriutings of the prophets, with the exception of Daniel, were authority as they appeared among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Much controversy has arisen over the Writings, which include all Old Testament books int included a law or prophecy. The order of the canon has also been disputed. English Bibles, however, are arranged as translated by the Septuagint – LXX: Law, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, and the Writings. Does the Old Testament meet the criteria for canonicity? According to traditional Protestant arguments, the answer ti “Yes.” This is based on two major views: 1- Inspiration has been linked to prophecy. Moses, who was considered a prophet, received the Law from God. This, they argued, started the sequence of prophetic books; and 2- Canonicity is linked to the concept of the covenant, beginning with the Law which God established. This started a chain of “covenant events”: Israel’s reaction to the covenant, the prophets’ holding people responsible for correct discipline, and the Wisdom Liteature’s expansion on the theme of obedience.

The New Testament Canon: As with the Old Testament , although considerably less so, there has been disagreement as th the formation of the New Testament canon. With Jesus’ appearance as the fulfillment and authority of the Hebrew Scriptures, it was obvious that the Bible inherited from the Jews was not the complete canon. Just as God’s covenant with Moses led about the Old Testament Scriptures, it seemed reasonable that the new covenant, brought about by the death and resurrection of Jesus, would require another newer set of Scripture. Part of the above mentioned New Testament controversy came about because of writings of non-canonical epistles from early church leaders which, like New Testament epistles, gave instructions on aspects of Christian life. These works, such as the Didache and the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, however, pretty much followed the teachings of the New Testament writers. The New Testament books adopoted as the canon are the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), followed by Acts, the spistles of Paul (with Hebrews placed last because some doubt that it was written by Paul), the writings of James, Peter, John, Jude, and Revelation. After the Gospels and Acts, the placement of the New Testament Scripture follows the rule of length and importance as related to Jesus and/or the Apostles. It should be noted that there are noncanonical writings dated from about A.D. 90 through the period known as the Apostolic Fathers. Belief in the Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation, however, began to emerge much earlier than the second century. The first major force that brought about real discussion of the Christian canon came from the heretic Marcion who believed that Jesus and the God of the Old Testament were opposites, and disapproved of anything in the the Christian that referred to Judaism. He further believed that the New Testament canon should consist only of the Gospel of Luke an some of the Pauline espistles. During the mid-second century, Gnostic writings were also on the rise. With, however, the increase of Christian persecution, it became extremely important for Christians to decide which books should be included in the New Testament canon. Thus came the adopotion of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament Scripture. With the exception of a few internal disparities, the endorsement of Athanasius and later, the Councils of Hippo pretty much guranteed the authority of the current New Testament csnon. For the most part, it has remained as the well-established canon from the fourth century to the present. Does the New Testament meet the criteria for canonicity? Christian answer an astounding “Yes” based on the following: 1- Apostolicity: all the New Testament writings were believed to have been written either by the Apostles or by someone with cklose connection with them; 2- Orthodoxy: the New Testement theology and ethics were beliefs not supported by the Gnostic challengers; Catholicity: the preservation of these books. They had proven to be useful to a large number of the earliest Christian churches. In conclusion, theoretically the New Tesstament remains open, but practically it is closed.

James Outland • 3 years ago

The Biblical Canon
“Canon” comes from the Greek word kanon, meaning “list, “rule or “standard”. The canon of scripture refers to the collection that Christians accept as uniquely authoritative. The collection of 66 books that now constitute our Bible have not always been standard. They did not miraculously appear out of thin air. Rather, these books were selected through a rigorous process that distinguished them as uniquely authoritative and inspired by God.
The Canon of the Old Testament
Since the reformation, Protestants have accepted the standard 39 books from Genesis to Malachi. On the other hand, Roman Catholic & Eastern Orthodox Christians preserved various apocryphal or deutro-canonical books that were influential throughout the first 1500 years of church history.
Apocryphal or Deutro-Canonical Books:
• 1 & 2 Esdra
• Tobit
• Judith
• The Wisdom of Solom
• Ecclesiasticus (also called the Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira[ch]
• Baruch
• The Letter Jeremiah
• The Prayer of Azariah & the song of the 3 young men
•Susanna
• Bel and the Dragon
• The prayer of Manasseh
• 1&2 Maccabees

It is important to note that Romans and Orthodox belief in some of these works as authoritative stems from a later period, removed by at least a century from the NT era, when Christianity had largely lost sight of its Jewish roots. However, the 16th Century Reformation returned resoundingly to the Jewish Bible of Jesus and the apostles.

Protestants have defended the shorter Old Testament canon on the following basis:
• They were the only books used by the Jews of the time of Christ and the Apostles 
• The other books date from the inter-testamental period after the time of Malachi.
• The Jews never believed they were inspired in the same way as the earlier biblical books.
• Rabbinic literature as well as Josephus outlines the Jewish belief that prophecy ceased after the time of Ezra, Nehemiah, and the latest of the minor prophets: Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi

The Order of the Canon 
The exact order of the Old Testament books is not clear largely because they were written as individual on separate scrolls. One ancient Jewish tradition puts the order as: The Law, The Prophets, and the Writings. Modern Hebrew Bibles preserve the order, Law, Prophets, and Writings but change the sequence of some of the books within the last two categories English Bibles are based on the arrangement of the Greek translation of the OT (The Septuagint – LXX) in which the Prophets and Writings are interspersed within each other in order to create a past-present future sequence

THE CANON OF THE NEW TESTAMENT
Christians, viewing Jesus as the fulfillment and authoritative interpreter of the Hebrew Scriptures (based on Jesus’ own claims Mt 5:17-48), had already relativized the value of NT writings. The Story of Jesus and the preaching of the Gospel was natural New Testament canon. The Concept of covenants proved instructive, too. Jeremiah had prophesied about a coming new covenant (Jer 31:33-34), which Jesus and NT writers claimed that his death established (LK 22:20; 2 Cor 3;6; Heb 8:8-13)
The earliest non-canonical Christian literature dates from A.D. 90 through the mid-second century and is referred to as the apostolic fathers. A major push to the explicit discussion of a Christian Canon came as a result of the following:
• Marcion – He promoted a “canon” of edited versions of the Gospel of Luke and various epistles.
• The Rise of Gnostic writings
• Purported containment of secret revelation from Jesus to one of his disciples
• Persecution against Christians made it crucial for them to agree on what books to die for.

After 200 years, beginning AD 150, the Christian church resulted in the production of series of list of Christian books to be treated as scripture. Probably the earliest of these list is the so-called Muratorian fragment from the late 2nd century. At the turn of the 3rd Century, Tertullian first used the Latin testamentum in referring to the New Testament. He recognized 23 of our NT books as authoritative omitting James, 2 Peter, and 2 & 3 John. During the early 3rd century, Origen refers to all 27 but notes that six are disputed: Hebrews, James, 2 Pet, 2 & 3 John, and Jew. Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, is the earliest-known Christian writer to endorse the 27 books of the New Testament.
The Order of New Testament Canon
The final arrangement of the NT books combined chronological and topical concerns with issues of length of documents.
Criteria of Old Testament Canonicity
• Inspired or God breathed
• The Concept of Covenant
Criteria of New Testament Canonicity
• Inspiration
• Apostolicity , Orthodoxy and Catholicity

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Session 4

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 4


Briefly discuss: 

(1) The basic presuppositions of an interpreter regarding the Bible.

(2) The whole idea of “preunderstanding.”

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

They assumed that the Bible was a fundamentally cryptic text: that is, when it said A, often it might really mean B.

Sometimes this might also be read as the belief that the text had many layers of meaning. So we go back to Augustine, who believed that there were multiple levels of meaning that could be ferreted out through allegorical interpretations. Also, even when the interpreters thought that there was a hidden meaning, some interpreters believed that the surface meaning was still relevant.

2. Interpreters also assumed that the Bible was a book of lessons directed to readers in their own day. It may seem to talk about the past, but it is not fundamentally history. It is instruction, telling us what to do: be obedient to God just as Abraham was and you will be rewarded, just as he was. 

Call this “eternal relevance.” Here we see why the first assumption was necessary. Without being a to find hidden meanings beneath the surface, it would be impossible to argue that the etiological stories of competing Canaanite tribes were actually relevant to modern readers.

3. Interpreters also assumed that the Bible contained no contradictions or mistakes. It is perfectly harmonious, despite its being an anthology; in fact, they also believed that everything that the Bible says ought to be in accord with the interpreters’ own religious beliefs and practices (since they believed these to have been ordained by God).

Call this “non-contradiction.” Again, we see why the first assumption is necessary. If two surface meanings contradict, then the solution is to go to a deeper meaning.

4. Lastly, they believed that the entire Bible is essentially a divinely given text, a book in which God speaks directly or through His prophets. There could be little doubt about those parts of the Bible that openly identify the speaker as God: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying ..”Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel …” But interpreters believed that this was also true of the story of Abraham and the other stories in Genesis, even though the text itself never actually said there that God was the author of these stories. And it was held to be true of the rest of the Bible too—even of the book of Psalms, although the psalms themselves are prayers and songs addressed to God and thus ought logically not to have come from God.

Call this “plenary inspiration” or maybe “verbal inspiration.” These are modern terms that make explicit what was previously unspoken, the idea that God had essentially dictated the whole text. This Caravaggio print, “St. Matthew and the Angel,” probably isn’t that far from what people thought writing the Bible was like.

As I mentioned previously, modern Fundamentalists have shed the first assumption but kept the rest. This has led to all sorts of problems. Arguing that the surface or literal meaning of the text is always relevant and never contradictory requires great skill in sophistry. Often times I see Fundamentalists slipping in the first assumption without realizing it, by arguing that the “apparent meaning” and the “real meaning” of the text are different.

Pre-understanding is a technical term used in theology and philosophy of language to refer to what we unreflectively bring with us to the reading of a text. I am particularly interested in the role pre-understanding has to play in the interpretation of the Bible. The subject is both fascinating and important because it raises questions about our ability to understand the Bible (or any text). Thinking about this also helps towards an understanding of why we often find ourselves in conflict with one another about what the Bible says. We are surprised that what is clear to us is not clear to someone else. We want to know why we can’t just read the Bible and let it say to us whatever it has to say and be done with it. One of the reasons is the problem of pre-understanding. We don’t come to the Bible with a blank mind, waiting for the Bible to write across our consciousness whatever it pleases. We come to the Bible out of a particular culture, with a certain world view, with a set of things that we think we already know and understand, with certain bottom lines about what is reasonable and what is not, and so on. These things, that we come to the Bible with, affect the way we hear the Bible, aid in our interpretation, and direct the way we read the text and draw concepts and conclusions from it. This is unavoidable, the goal is not to come to the text with a blank mind but to make the effort to understand the mind that we are bringing to the text. There is no escaping the problems that are raised by this. It is logically impossible to come to the text with no understanding. I come with my pre-understanding and if I make an effort to be aware of what I am bringing to the text I may be prepared to make some changes in my world view where the text may seem to demand it. If this happens I can then have a refined pre-understanding which I will in turn bring back to the text the next time I read it. My world-view tells me how to interpret the text. I may wish to return to my naive position where I believed that the Bible was speaking to me and I was passively listening. Once I have begun to reflect on the problem of pre-understanding I can no longer be this naive. I am not a passive listener. I am shaping the meaning of the text as fast as the words are coming off

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

In reading the fourth chapter of Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard I found that the authors believed to have a presupposition of Bible interpretation one must have faith. They must believe that the Bible is God’s revelation to his people. The essential qualification for a full understamding of the Bible is to know the revealing God. In order to know God one must have a relationship with him, and faith is the essentail element of this relationship. Only the one who believes and trust God can truly understand what God has spoken in his word. The Apostle Paul makes it clear in I Cor. 2:14 that the ability to comprehend God’s word belongs to the spiritual person. Many unbelievers have tried to interpret but they cannot understand nor portray the true siginificance of the Bible’s message. Obedience is the second key for interpretation of scripture, one must submit and put themselves under the text in order to hear the text and be willing to obey what the word says. To understand the text will make a great impact on our lives.
As Bible scholars we are reminded that all scripture is God inspired, men wrote as they were inspired by God through the Holy Spirit, and today as we attempt to interpret scripture it is the Holy Spirit that Illuminates the holy word to us that gives us understanding. As we pray it puts us in position to hear from God and to understand the word. Our presuppositions start with the starting point, a deliberate strategy involving methods and procedures that will determine various interpretations as well as competing alternatives. Some believe the Bible is a supernatural book written by God to his people that inspires lives. We know that the Bible is authoritative and true. It has both Unity and diversity through out and is clear and understandable to all who read it in faith with and expectation of hearing from God.

In Preunderstanding it deals with whatever the interpreter bring as preconcived notions of beliefs, ideas, or attitudes that they use to interpretr to make sense of what we experience. These beliefs and attitudes are called preunderstandings. No one is free of some form of preunderstanding, however we must set aside our precise notions to look for the truth in Gods word.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

Presuppositions: For successful interpretation of the Scriptures, both the qualifications of the interpreter and presuppositions must be considered. A presupposition, of course, is defined as something taken for granted in advance, or something asssumed beforehand as true. With regard to Bible interpretations, everyone has presuppositions whether he is willing to admit it or not. Furthermore, these presuppositions will largely determine the interpreter’s comprehension of the Bible. According to Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard, these assumptions are as follows: 1- the Bible is a supernatural, God-Breathed book given by inspiration to selected people to be written; 2- The Bible is both authoritative and true; 3- it is a Spiritual document, and has the unique capacity to both affect people spiritually and to change lives; 4- the Bible is characterized by both unity and diversity, which musst be acknowledged and held in proper balance; 5- the Bible is a human book. Therefore, it is both understandable and accessible; and 6- the sixty-six books of the canon are accepted as God’s entire Word to His people. These presuppositions, however, must be looked at through the qualifications of the interpreter. For example, the carnal minded person would probably not accept the above mentioned presuppositions as true, whereas a Christian probably would. Some basic qualifications of the intrpreter who assumes the above ideas regarding Bible interpretation are: 1- he must not only believe in God, but must also have a relationship with Him; he must have faith in God; 2- he must be obedient and willing to submit to the text in the manner the author intended; 3- he must be willing to accept the significance of the Hold Spirit as it applies to his life; 4- it is best if he has membership in a church, which is the “Body of Christ.” This is important so that the interpreter can benefit from the endeavors and assistance of others. The “Body of Christ” is not individual, but worldwide; and 5- appropriate interpretive methods are necessary. The intrpreter must be both open-minded and diligent in pursuing interpretive methodology. In cloclusion, it must be emphasized that basic presuppositions regarding the Bible, and basic qualificationss of the interpreter go hand in hand, and cannot exist independently.
Pre-understanding: Preunderstanding is the information the interpreter possesses regarding a toic before he/she investigates new ideas or research. In other words, it is the starting point for comprehension. Needless to say, if pre-understanding is flawed, unless corrections re made, the whold meaning of the concept may be skewed. According to the textbook, the four categories of pre-understanding as it relates to Scripture interpretation are 1- informational — that which one already knows about a topic; 2- attitudinal–are you capable or willing to approach the topic with an open mind; 3- ideological — what is the point of view on the topic, and are you willing to accept it?; and 4- methodological — what approach is taken in discovery? Pre-understanding is very important in Scripture interpretation since it is esential to the way the Bible is interpreted. It must be remembered that pre-understanding must correspond to biblical data so that historical Christian faith can be defended. Responsible Christians are not afraid to explore various methods to arrive at correct interpretation. Our pre-understandings give us a starting point at which to read and understand the Scriptures. If, however, we are growing in Christ, understanding should and will increase. Since we, as Christians accept the Bible as true, this is an appropriate and adequate pre-understanding at which to begin.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

The basic presuppositions of an interpreter regarding the Bible.Often time people approach the Bible with presuppositions and pre-understandings which are preconceived ideas about what they think the text means. Presuppositions are an ideology that a group of scholars and or philosophers come together and form. Pre-understandings is what an interpreter bring to the task of interpretation which are a body of assumption and attitudes along with the context, influence the reader’s understanding of the passage, and help them derive their interpretation. Presuppositions for the Christian are basic doctrines of faith regarding what the Bible is and what people expect to get out of it in principle, but pre-understandings are often basic beliefs that change and develop through the text itself. For example the incorrect notion that New Testament people lived in caves is a pre-understanding. Klein suggest that as interpreters we need to discover, state, and consciously adopt those assumption we can agree to and defend though methods and qualifications upon the interpreters presuppositions; which involves two component (1) a useful set of concert starting point(2) purposeful strategized methods and procedures that will determine viable interpretations and assess competing alternatives.

The whole idea of pre-understanding goal of interpretation is not to come up with the most unique interpretation
( interpretations that are usually wrong), but to discover the original intended meaning of a passage the way the original audience understood it. The task of discovering the original intended meaning is called exegesis. Due to fact Bible was originally written to people who lived in a different place, in a very different culture, at a different time and period of history, and who spoke different languages. It also contains several different types of literature (called genres). The key to doing good interpretation is done by reading the text very carefully, paying close attention to the details it describes, and asking the text the right questions. This is critical to finding the correct interpretation. Bad interpretation results directly from bad exegesis.
Pre-understanding is the personally acquired prior knowledge that, consciously or unconsciously, informs and influences one’s interpretation of Scripture. Working in conjunction with our settled convictions, Pre-understanding then ultimately becomes a filter or glasses by which one may view the world and necessarily impacts one’s interpretation of it Pre-understandings need to be tested according to what the scripture says in details. Since we accept the Bibles authority we remain open to correction by its message. The interpreter remaining open to change even to a significant transformation of pre-understanding is known to be a hermeneutical spiral. Pre-understanding can change with further understanding, when changing a pre-understanding it can be done just simply through concentrating upon details in the scripture that suggest the way that things had been done and the way that things are. A person could learn about the supportive history regarding the biblical times and the biblical text, and this can change pre-understandings as well to some extent.

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

Hermeneutics is the formal process by which the interpreter employs certain principles and methods in order to derive the author’s intended meaning.

Presuppositions and prior understandings have always played a significant role in the hermeneutical process, and one such presupposition is biblical inerrancy. Inerrancy is a complex doctrine, but it is internally coherent, and consistent with a perfect and righteous God who has revealed Himself. Broadly speaking, the doctrine of inerrancy identifies Scripture as true and without error in all that it affirms.
Interpretation does not only depend on the methods and qualifications of interpreters, but also their presuppositions. This development involves two components: (1) an essential set of presuppositions that constitutes its starting point and (2) a deliberate strategy involving methods and procedures that will determine viable interpretations and assess competing alternatives.

The way in which an interpreter view the nature of the Bible will determine what worth that interpreter will find in it. If the Bible owes its origin to a divine all-powerful being then the interpretation will be to understand the meaning which is communicated through the divinely inspired document. If the interpreter adopts an alternative explanation of the Bible’s origin, then other goals will be prescribed in interpreting the text. 

Preunderstanding of the interpreter describes what the interpreter brings to the task of interpretation. The way we view the world is based on our prior experiences, trainings and thinking. Where we begin as we currently are constitutes our preunderstanding. Preunderstanding consist of the total framework of being and understanding that we bring to the tasks of living which consist of our language, social conditioning, gender, intelligence, cultural values, physical environment, political allegiances and our emotional state. 

There are four categories of preunderstanding that Ferguson discerns: (1) informational: information one already possesses about a subject before approaching it; (2) attitudinal: the disposition that one brings in when approaching a topic; (3) ideological: the way in which we view the total complex of reality and how we view a specific subject; and (4) methodological: the actual approach taken when explaining a given subject.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

One of the important aspects mentioned in the chapter regarding interpretation is the necessity of correct or accurate methodology for interpreting or understanding Scripture. The chapter identifies the qualification that an interpreter most possesses such as: a reasoned faith, obedience, illumination, membership in the church, and appropriate methods. 
Faith is important as an interpreter. In order for the interpreter to display true understanding of Scripture he or she must be believe and have a relationship with the Lord. Otherwise, Scripture will make no sense to the person interpreting.
A non believer or non regenerate is unable to understand spiritual things. A non believer does not believe the Bible to be truth. He or she is not going to validate any truth found in Scriptures.

Obedience is an important quality for being an interpreter. A believer must be able to respond to the Scriptures. Scripture is not a book of theory but its Spirit inspired therefore, the very breath of God speaking through the author he chose.

Illumination is important as an interpreter a believer must have the help of the Holy Spirit for understanding Spirit matters and the application upon the believer. 
Membership in the church is important as the chapter discusses the importance of being connected to a community of believers who are able to assists in one’s interpretation or understanding of the Bible.


The presupposition about the nature of the Bible is a common belief. In agreement with the statement in this chapter, the Bible is the inspired revelation, authoritative and true, a spiritual document, characterized by both unity and diversity for the canon of Scripture. 
Regarding inspired revelation the interpreter already had his view of a text. His view will determine the way in which the text is interpreted. The chapter mentions the presupposition that has been adopted by the believer that the Bible is God breathed words but delivered by his chosen servant. 
God is the ultimate authority and His word is true therefore, the Bible must be true.
Another presupposition is the Bible is a spiritual document therein the truth that affects the lives of those who read and understand it.
Another presupposition is regarding unity and diversity. The unity noted in the chapter is promise fulfillment, type-antitype, and salvation history, a relationship with the living God, intertextuality and Christology.
An example of diversity of the Bible is noted as the three different languages of the testaments. The different kinds of literature within Scripture: legal, poetic, and prophetic and etc.
As an interpreter, his or her preunderstanding is important to identify. The interpreter’s ideology may influence their ability to properly connect with the text. Also there ideology will influence what they believe to be true or false.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

The assigned reading, Chapter 5, Interpreter, the author makes some very significant pointer about presuppositions. The chapter, stresses the importance that God is the center of all; He is the Triune God, the Lordship of Christ over the universe, and the significance of Christ’s work must be a believer’s motivational task behind everything he/she does before anything else. As believers in walking in faith, we have a binding commitment that make us who we are, being adopted sons and daughters in Christ, who must lead in truth, and protect our hearts and minds.
God is the Triune Creator of all things, and He is Holy. Because God is Holy, God is (among other attributes) ultimately and supremely truthful, authoritative, and sufficient. Because God is ultimately and supremely truthful, authoritative, and sufficient, all that He says is ultimately and supremely truthful, authoritative, and sufficient.
The Scriptures is the Word of God. The Bible is God-breathed, the very Word of God (2 Tim 3:16). Therefore, the Bible reflects God’s own character; it is ultimately and supremely truthful, authoritative, and sufficient. Being truthful, Scripture and nothing in Scripture is false; it is truth. Being authoritative, Scripture and nothing in Scripture is subordinate to anything outside of itself; it is self-authorizing. Being sufficient, Scripture and nothing in Scripture is lacking; it is self-sufficient. Scriptures in the Bible can be understood. God allows Christian Believers to learn it isn’t a puzzle with hidden codes to unfold. 
The Scriptures are fully human in that the Scriptures represent what the original human authors (prophets, apostles) were intending to communicate. As such, the Scriptures naturally manifest characteristics unique to God’s images such as being written in specific human languages, written from specific earthly geographical and special locations, and written during specific times in human history. Therefore, God’s Word is immanent.
The Scriptures are fully divine in that the Scriptures represent what the original Divine Author was intending to communicate. As such, the Scriptures naturally manifest divine characteristics such as trans-linguistic and transcultural truth, a heavenly, infinite, eternal, omnipresent… perspective not bound by the limits of language, space, and time. Indeed, Gods’ Word is transcendent.
Ferguson defines this pre-understanding as a body of assumptions and attitudes which a person brings to the perception and interpretation of reality or any aspect of it.
Ferguson identifies four categories of pre-understanding:
Ferguson gives us the following four factors that determine an appropriate preunderstanding:
1. Correct information about the text. This means answers to questions such as who wrote the text, when, why, where, etc. We should aim to discover all we need to know about the text: variant readings, translational differences, details found in the text, historical, social, cultural, geographical, and religious context, the theological framework of the writer, etc.
2. Open and receptive attitude to the text to be interpreted. Though it is not always an easy task, we should attempt to read the text as if we are reading it for the first time. Previous understanding may influence us to read the text in a particular way. A fresh reading of the text may lead us to hear a fresh meaning of the text.
3. Flexible and adaptable ideological structure to treat the text objectively. We should rethink our ideological framework, and critique and reshape it to the extent that we achieve a certain sense of objectivity, so treatment of the text is not controlled by our biased and prejudicial views. Issues to consider: race relations, women in church and society, sanctity of life, war, pacifism, capital punishment.
4. Methodological approach suitable to the text. We should recognize the fact that correct interpretation rests on proper method of interpretation and strategies, broadened contextual considerations, and extra-textual data.
Proper method alone does not lead us to the correct understanding of the meaning of Scripture. Equally important are factors such as faith, guidance of the Holy Spirit, obedience to God.

James Outland • 3 years ago

(1) The basic presuppositions of an interpreter regarding the Bible.
Understanding presupposition is very important because the aim and presuppositions of interpreters govern and even determine their interpretations. In general, when we explain the meaning of the Bible, our interpretations are based on a set of preconceived ideas that had been formed long before we began reading our target text. No one is completely void of presuppositions; it may be subconscious or well developed. Therefore, it is the responsibility of every interpreter to discover, state, and consciously adopt those assumptions he/she agrees with and can defend. Failure to do so will only result in the retention of presuppositions whether or not they are adequate.

In chapter 5 of our textbook, Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard present their presuppositions that they believe are fundamental for accurate interpretation of the Bible. These presuppositions are briefly discussed below:
* Inspired Revelation – The Bible is a supernatural book, god’s written revelation to his people given through prepared and selected spokesperson by the process of inspiration. 
* Authoritative and True – Upon the foundation that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, this second presupposition is established on the premise that God Almighty cannot lie and as such, every word spoken or inspired by Him carries the weight of authority and truth that can only be ascribed to God. 
* A Spiritual Document – The Bible manifests unparalleled spiritual worth and a capacity to change lives. The Word of God is not limited to the educational and informative functions of other books. In addition to that, the Word of God goes beyond our minds and transforms our spirit. The Word of God backed by the Spirit of God, never returns void. It speaks life to the lifeless.
* Characterized by both Unity and Diversity – the Bible’s unity provides the authoritative foundation for Christian faith and practice. Yet an acknowledgement of the Bible’s diversity allows interpreters to appreciate each text, book, and author on its own terms, thereby differentiating what God intended to say to his people at each point in their history.
* An Understandable Document – The Bible is an accessible and book that presents a clear message to anyone willing to read it. This does not mean that every word in the Bible is written at the basic level of simplicity. Rather, it implies that every instruction which is essential for right doctrine or living is clear.
* Forming the Canon of Scripture – We accept the 66 books of the canon as the entirety of God’s scriptural record to his people. 


(2) The whole idea of “Preunderstanding.” 
Preunderstanding, as defined by D. S. Ferguson, is a body of assumptions and attitudes which a person brings to the perception and interpretation of reality or any aspect of it. The attitudes and assumption we bring are purely defined by our previous experiences. Our Preunderstanding can also be seen as the lens through which our view of scriptures is filtered. A firm example of the role that Preunderstanding plays in the process of interpretation is seen in the cohort of scientism. They tend to allow science alone to settle matters of fact. Naturally, they reject and supernatural explanation of biblical event because miracles do not conform their Preunderstanding. Contrary to scientism, we believe that the Bible is authoritative and true and that its claim of the supernatural is concrete enough as a viable proof of the supernatural. As Christians, we have committed ourselves to the Christian faith. This commitment informs our Preunderstanding and provides the boundaries for our reading of the Bible. 

Preunderstandings are dynamic. They tend to change as a believer grows. The study of the biblical text influences our Preunderstandings and forms a new basis for interpreting other scriptures.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

(1) The basic presuppositions of an interpreter regarding the Bible.

According to the reading hermeneutics has been ingrained in us that biblical interpretation is the process of carefully studying the biblical text in order to understand its meaning and relevance, first of all in the past, and secondly in the present. Accordingly the process of analyzing the biblical text in its original context in order to clarify or understand what it means implies that the task of the exegete is to allow the text to speak for itself. Exegesis then focuses on the then of the text rather than the now of contextualized meaning. “Exegesis is the task of carefully studying the Bible in order to determine as well as possible the author’s meaning in the original context of writing.” Therefore engaging in biblical interpretation means that the exegete is to be engaged in a cross cultural task, as it involves bridging gaps or distance of time and location, language and culture. Each passage was God’s Word to other people before it became God’s Word to us. As a result the Bible as it is now emerges as something that comes to us second hand. To interpret correctly these books today, the reader needs to understand as much as possible the details of this historical and cultural backdrop to which the text was written at the time, thus pointing to the need for consistency in our interpretation and contextualization of Scriptures to the historical-cultural background which is the very heart of the interpretative task. We must understand each passage consistent with its historical and cultural background. The authors point out that any interpretation to qualify as the intended meaning of a text, must deal with the given circumstances of the original writing, so that any suggested explanation of a passage would be consistent with the historical and cultural setting of the author and its recipients.


(2) The whole idea of “pre-understanding.”

1. We must determine the impact that the biblical message would have had in its original setting. That is to know how the original recipients would have reacted to what was written. 

2. We must express biblical truth in our language in ways that most closely correspond to the ideas in the biblical culture. That is to find the adequate or proper idioms that will best articulate the intention of the passage so that the contemporary audience will sense the meaning and impact that the original readers sensed.

3. Do not allow features of the historical-cultural background to sabotage the main task of understanding the point of the text. While knowledge of the historical-cultural setting is important for discovering the meaning, it must never supplant the plain meaning of the text.

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Terms of Servic

Session 5

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 5


Briefly discuss:

(1) What is meant by “levels of meaning”?

(2) What do we do when sincere believers adopt opposite explanations of the same text?

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

The levels of meaning in scripture indicate the following approaches:

1. An author intends only one meaning for a text.
2. An author may intend a text to convey multiple meaning or levels of meaning for instance, a literal level and a spiritual level.
3. A later reader could simply invent or read into a biblical text a meaning not intended by the original author.
4. Along with the literal sense intended by the human author, the Holy Spirit may encode a hidden meaning not known or devised at all by the human author.
5. A Biblical author may have intended a text to have only a single meaning, but a later Biblical author may have discovered an additional meaning in that text.

What do we do when sincere believers adopt opposite explanations of the same text?

Proof-texting is one of the most prevalent methods of giving validity to many odd interpretations found within the Churches of Christ. One such Scripture is Amos 3:3. This text is employed to justify separation from other believers when there is disagreement over doctrinal interpretations concerning cherished traditions. This is just one of the many passages of Scripture that is frequently abused by many sincere, well-meaning believers.[1] This essay seeks to examine the context of Amos 3:3 and to review the various authors who rely upon their interpretation of Amos 3:3 to uphold their actions of rejection of other Christians for refusing to conform to the status quo of a particular party line. Carl Ketcherside is perfectly right when he sets forth his caveat of the art of sermon making by which Scriptures are tortured to maintain the status quo of splinter groups:

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

In reading chapter five of Klein he speaks of levels of meanings. Many scholars insist that the only correct meaning of a text is that meaning or (set of meanings) the original author intended for it to have. Most critics would agree that any reader can make a text say anything they please, but a text may have only one correct meaning. Hermenuetical creativity has posit the need to find the meaning in the text.

An author intends only one meaning for a text. Some authors may intend to convey multiple meanings or levels of meanings. For instance a literal level and a spiritual level. Many multiple meanings occur in the apocalyptic literature and the predictive prophecy. As we look at scripture today we must not confuse the significance with the meaning, and we are not to read into a biblical text a meaning not intended by the original author. The Holy Spirit may encode a hidden meaning not known or devised by the human author. Many New Testament writers made use of interpretive techniques that came from their background in Judaism. In most biblical books we have several layers of authors so we see forms of redactors that might have several points or more than one lesson.

When looking at text that have opposite meaning by authors, I first look to see what was history or what is an extension of the authors imagination. We must analyze each biblical account to see if they fall between History reporting or Fictional intervention. Sensus plenior which is inspired by the Holy Spirit must remain in place in order to made sense of puzzling issues. I find it best to do an investigative research of text to gain a deeper understanding of what the original author intended.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

(1) What is meant by “levels of meaning”?

An author may intend a text to convey multiple meanings or levels of meanings for example a literal and a spiritual level (occurs in apocalyptic literature and predictive prophecy).Klein used Daniel and Revelation, mythical beast which convey meanings about nations and leaders. Klein states, that “if the author did intend multiple levels of meaning, he or she alone can identify intended meanings beyond the historical-grammatical meaning that exegetical methods uncover from the written text”.(p122). Unless you can prove or demonstrate that the author had more than one meaning of text, we can only assume they had one meaning never assuming more than one true meaning. Then there is the notion that along with the literal sense intended by the human author, the Holy Spirit may encode a hidden meaning not known or devised at all by the human author. However, a later Biblical author may have discovered an additional meaning he saw in that text.

(2) What do we do when sincere believers adopt opposite explanations of the same text?

The Preunderstanding and presupposition of the interpreter plays a big part to the results of the interpretive process and it even may determine the results. There is only one correct interpretation of Biblical text; even though, interpreter uses different methodologies to come to the one and only meaning. However, People have different levels of learning and understanding what they have read; unfortunately, interpreters have different levels of understanding the literal text and different level knowledge of understanding the Holy Spirit .therefore, it is important to get help in the area where you are weak, Klein suggest that it profitable for an interpreter of a lower level of understanding to find others reputable interpreters to help you understand and correctly interpret the Biblical text such as teachers, preachers, and so on .He goes on to say that interpreters need to learn from one another “as iron sharpens iron, so one interpreter sharpens another”.(p147) I agree with Klein it is important “we seek the original meaning of that original text rather it be multiple meaning or a single meaning. We as interpreters must come up with the same meaning not an opposite explanation of the same text. Like Klein said “determination and sincerity are no substitutes for accuracy”,Correct interpretation must be the ultimate goal.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Within the scope of written communication, we can talk about three potential aspects of meaning: (1) the meaning the author intends to convey, (2) the meaning the reader understands, and (3) the grammatical and textual meaning of the words on the page. . . . Authorial intention, perceived meaning, and textual meaning.”
“In biblical interpretation, when we have only the written text to study, our goal is to understand the meaning of that text. 
E. D. Hirsch – Only authorial intentions.
Roland Barthes and Stanley Fish – “Reader-response” – “readers bring meaning to the text.”
Morgan – Although history, exegesis and other rational controls keep the text from becoming arbitrary, we must be open to finding new meanings in the text. 
An author intends only one meaning for a text (The Problem of Sensus Plenior)
Problem of Hos 11.1 & Mt 2.15
NT may variously apply or develop the implications of the OT text (Walter Kaiser). 
An author may intend a text to convey multiple meanings or levels of meaning.
Problem of Isa 7.14 & Mt 1.23
“. . . if the author did intend multiple levels of meaning, he or she alone can identify intended meanings beyond the historical-grammatical meaning that exegetical methods uncover from the written text.”
Difference between “application” & “multiple meanings.”
A later reader could simply invent or read into a biblical text a meaning not intended by the original author.
“Once text exist in writing, readers do with them what they please. Understanding involves text plus reader, and each reader produces a different reading.”
“The historical meaning of the text must play a controlling role
Along with the literal sense intended by the human author, the Holy Spirit may encode a hidden meaning not known or devised at all by the human author.
McQuilkin – the second or hidden, less apparent meaning might have only be in the mind of the Holy Spirit and not the author.
Options to Sensus Plenior:
1) Reject; 2) Allow for Canon only; 3) Allow outside of the Canon.
A biblical author may have intended a text to have only a single meaning, but a later biblical author may have discovered an additional meaning he saw in that text.
Judaism – Midrash or Pesher – 1) to explain opaque or ambiguous text and their difficult vocabulary and syntax; 2) to contemporize; 3) deeper meaning of the text.
Typology as consistency in God’s ways of acting in history.
The historical meaning of these texts remains the central objective of hermeneutics.
“The original biblical text alone was inspired, for only its meaning was encoded in the original historical context. We seek, therefore, the original meaning of that original text. Furthermore, in light of the options of meanings noted above, if we can determine that the original text intended to convey more than one meaning, then those multiple meanings also comprise the goal of exegesis.”
Creative Interpretations may be accepted if:
It expresses or conforms to orthodox Christian theology;
It corresponds to typical paradigms of God’s truth or activity as clearly revealed in historically interpreted sections of the Bible;
It works in the crucible of Christian experience – producing godliness and other valid Christian qualities, and advancing God’s kingdom
Creative Interpretations may be accepted if:
It finds confirmation along the full spectrum (racially, sexually, socio-economically, et. al.) of Christians within an orthodox faith-community.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

(1) What is meant by “levels of meaning”?

The first question to ask when trying to determine or understand a text is does the text have one fixed meaning or several levels of meaning. In regards to biblical writings some scholars would suggest that there is only one correct meaning of a text and that is the meaning the original author intended it to have. However, others argue that meaning is a function of readers not authors, and that any text’s meaning depends upon the reader’s perception of it. 
An author may intend a text to convey multiple meanings or levels of meaning for instance, a literal level and a spiritual level. Possible examples of multiple meanings occur in apocalyptic literature and predictive prophecy. In both Daniel and Revelations, the same mythical beasts convey meanings about different nations and leaders. 

(2) What do we do when sincere believers adopt opposite explanations of the same text?

Along with the literal sense intended by the human author, the Holy Spirit may encode a hidden meaning not known or devised at all by the human author. Thus, in the process of inspiration God could make Matthew aware of a meaning in Hosea’s prophecy previously intended by the Holy Spirit even though Hosea had no idea his words had that meaning. Mathew recognized that “fuller” sense, sometimes called the sensus plenior. When sincere believers adopt opposite explanations of the same text we can admit, provisionally, the existence of such a sense but insist that only inspired NT writers, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, could find a fuller sense. In other words, that interpretive option is not available to us who are not inspired (in the technical sense) interpreters of the Bible.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

In biblical interpretation, when only the writer’s text is available for interpretation, the goal is to understand the meaning of that text. Does it have one fixed meaning or several levels of meaning? Levels of meaning refers to several meanings for the same text or passage. Some interpreters believe that readers bring meaning to a text. In the textbook, a breakdown of the various possible levels are as follows: 1- Biblical authors intended only one meaning, and this is the meaning that the text would have had during the time it was written. We are limited to the original historical sense of the text. 2- Biblical authors intended to convey multiple meanings or levels of meanings in at least some of the writings. An example of this is perhaps that the author intended a literal as well as a spiritual level. One example of this according to chapter six of the textbook is Isaiah 7:14 where the original prophecy was given to predict Matthew 1:18-24. 3- Biblical authors intended only one sense, but that sense need not limit how later readers understand it. A later reader could simply invent or read into biblical text a meaning not intended by the original author. In other words, in the process of reading a text, interpreeer may introduce some meaning that suits their meaning that suits their purposes. 4- Biblical authors intended only one sense, but unknown to them, the Holy Spirit consealed additional and hidden meanings in the text. An example of this is that in the porcess of inspirition, God could make Matthew aware o a meaning in Hosea’s prophecy previously intended by the Holy Spirit even though Hosea had no idea his words had that meaning, 5- Biblical authors intended only one sense, though later readers may use creative exegetical techniques to discover additional valid meanings not intended by the original authors. Here, however, the Holy Spirit encoded no hidden meanings. These techniques include Jewish methods like midrash, pesher, or typology.

Well-meaning Christian interpreters will sometimes disagree about the meaning of a text or passage. When this happens, the authors suggest the following procedurs: 1- define the nature of the difference. 2- review evidence and reasoning process ro determine if either interpreter misconstrued or in some other way obviously misreasoned the evidence. 3- Each option should be evaluated to determine which one relies most on the historical meaning of a text using all the principles of sound hermeneutics. Since the historically defensible interpretation has the greatest authority, the view that most readily emerges from the historical sense of the text must stand.

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

There are some scholars who insist the only correct meaning of a text is that meaning in which the original author intended it to have. According to E.D. Hirsch, Jr. meaning precedes interpretation. Others argue that meaning is a function of readers not authors and any text’s meanings is dependent upon the readers’ perception of it. According to Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes and Stanley Fish, meaning does not reside within a text because the author put it there; instead, readers bring meaning to a text. With postmodern critics they do not argue that readers can make a text say anything they please, but rather that a text may have many possible meanings.


Inspiration and authority for the Scripture may be claimed by biblical authors ir the creeds of the Church; however, modern interpreters still decide how they will handle those claims. One has to consider if theology and Christian practice is based upon what the Spirit communicates through biblical texts or upon current objectives, concerns, and agendas by modern individuals and communities that interpret them.


In determining whether our goal in interpretation the meaning is the criteria in the original text or something else, first the possibikity of multiple meanings within a biblical text must be considered. According to the text, multiple meanings exist in a text when we see how a New testament writer employs an Old Testament twxt. This is seen by several options: (1) an author intends only one meaning for a text; so the historical meaning is the legitimate object of exegesis; (2) an author may intend a text to convey multiple messages or levels of literal and spiritual meaning; (3) a later reader could simplly invent or read into a biblical text a meaning not intended by the original author; (4) along with the literal sense intended by the human author, the Holy Spirit may encode a hidden meaning not known or devised at all by human author; and (5) a biblical author may have intended a text to have only a single meaning, but a later biblical author may have discovered an additional meaning in that text.


When sincere believers adopt opposite explanitations of the same text, we must be willing to listen to one another and appreciate why others have arrived at alternative explanations. One has to consider that all views are certainly within their respective interpretive communities and within the shared interpretive community of historic orthodox Christianity. When there are two different interpretations on nonessentials of the faith, we must consider that both options are possible and learn to support one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

Regarding interpretation or meaning the author references that some believe interpretation or meaning is not given by the author by the reader. The levels of meaning discussed are as followers:
1)An author intends only one meaning for the text: The reading suggests that only the original meaning within the historical context is the derived meaning.
2) An author may intend a text to convey multiple meanings or levels of meaning for instance a literal level and a spiritual. This level can be troublesome because many readers of Scripture seek to apply to his or her life in some way. It can be difficult to understand at time whether the meaning of a text should be understood literally or spiritually. There are cases where both literal and spiritual application can be applied.
3) A later reader could simply invent or read into a biblical text a meaning not intended by the original author. This level of meaning can be problematic because many are lead wrong as a result of the wrong interpretation or understanding being applied to a text.
4) Along with the literal sense by the human author, the Holy Spirit may encode a hidden meaning not known or devised at all by the human author. This level is known to happen quite frequently and should not be minimized. 
5) A biblical author may have intended a text to have only a single mean, but a later biblical author may have discovered additional meaning in that text: Although the author intended meaning is important there is always room for additional discoveries to surface in which will add to the original discussion.

The reason sincere believers adopt opposite explanation for the same text is lack of education.

James Outland • 3 years ago

1. What is meant by “levels of meaning”?
“Levels of Meaning” literally implies that the interpretation of a passage of scripture may exist in several layers. On the first level is the one meaning for a text that was originally intended by the author. On the second level, the text is designed by its author to convey multiple meanings: a literal and a spiritual level. On the third level, the meaning of the scripture is derived from the reader’s own interpretation which is generally not the meaning intended by the original author. On the fourth level, the Holy Spirit inspires the reader and reveals the hidden meaning that He encoded in the text unknown to its human author. The fifth level is one in which a later biblical author discovered an additional meaning in the text that is different from the original meaning intended by its author.

2. What do we do when sincere believers adopt opposite explanations of the same text?
a. We should set out precisely the nature of the difference – where, specifically do the views depart from each other.
b. We should itemize the elements in the process of study that lead each interpreter to his or her view.
c. As we evaluate options, we must determine which one relies most on the historical meaning of a text using all the principles of sound hermeneutics as opposed to any based on more creative extrapolations. Where one view more readily emerges from the historical sense of the text, it must stand. The historically defensible interpretation has greatest authority.

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Session 6

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 6


Briefly discuss:

(1) Various aspects of “context.”

(2) What is proper historical / cultural background and interpretation?

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

The subject of contexualization in the science of Bible interpretation is vital to total understanding of a particular passage of scriptures in a realistic literal, allegorical or historical context of Biblical interpretation. One can not understand the cultural, geographical, languistical, etc of a particular passage of scriptures without taken into consideration the pre-text and post-text which constitutes the context of a particular passage in the Bible; therefore, the issues of various aspects of the context as interrogated by the professor of Hermeneutics is paramount to the delineation of scriptures during Biblical exegesis as to give a critical explanation of a particular passage in the Bible. Let us look at various aspects of context: The basic principle of Biblical hermeneutics is that the intended meaning of any passage is the meaning that is consistent with the sense of the literary context in which it occurs. It tells us that scriptures should be taken literally before one can attempt to interpret that scripture; although, in some Biblical literatures or the canon of scriptures such as Daniel, Revelation, Ezekiel etc have apocalyptic features such as symbolisms which give meaning contrary to the literally meaining the Bible; as such, the student of Biblical interpretation should take these symbolisms or apocalyptic features into consideration before interpreting the Bible for complete contexualization. Context does the following:

1. It provides flow-of-thought.
2. It provides accurate meaning of words.
3. It delineates correct relationship among units.
4. 
There are principles of hermeneutics which relate to context. They include immediate context which exerts the most important control over the meaning of a specific passage. The literary context of the entire book which occurs in the second most important literary context in determining the author’s intended meaning and the context of the entire book which is the most controversial and most difficult to control.

It will impossible to interprete the Bible which will suit our settings without taken into account the historical-cultural background of the people who lived before us; therefore, the correct interpretation of a Biblical passage will be consistent with historical-cultural background of the passage and this principle is significant as the result of the following of the listed reasons: perpective, mindset, and contexualization.

Mindset decribes a mental attitude or inclination towards how people interpret the Bible.

Proper historical/cultural background of interpretatin means dealing the mindsets of people who lived before us those who are also living during our time and into consideration the context in which the writer writes. The approach to accomodate, to assimilate, and to culminate these factors leads to proper understanding of the historical-cultural background of Biblical interpretation producing exegesis of sciptures in a realistic spiritual and Biblical environment which communicates sound doctrine.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

In chapter six of Klein we see various aspects of context. The process of accurate understanding and correct interpretation involves five essential items:
1. Literary context
2. Historicial-cultural background
3. Word meanings
4. Grammatical relationships
5. Literary genre
Writers normally communicate their thoughts through a contextually coherent statement that uses words according to their natural meaning with a historicial backgroubd. To discover what the writer means one must concentrate on four things. Literary context, historicial-cultural background, words, and grammar.
In order to correctly understand the biblical hermeneutics one must know that the intended meaning of any passage is the meaning that is consistent with the sense of the literary context in which it occurs.
The context of any material is the passage before and immediately after it. The context of a sentence is its paragraphs, the context of a paragraph is the series of paragraphs that precede and follow it, and the context of a chapter is the surrounding chapters. The canon of all sixty-six books of the Bible provides the largest context in which every passage must be understood. Misunderstanding and taking the text out of context presents serious complications.

Each context must provide a flow- of- thought which is related ideas that are linked together. An accurate meaning of words usually describe a meaning, and context delineates a correct relationship among units. For example the entire teaching of the book of Proverbs provide a combined teaching for the entire book.

There are three principles which guide our pratice of interpretation.

Each statement must be understood according to its natural meaning in the literary context in which it occurs. Readers must focus not only the words of the passage, but also consider the contribution of the passage to the whole literary work. Secondly the text without a context may be a “pretext”. Many proof-texting which appear to be valid are only pretexts. Before listing a supporting scripture we should check the literary text to make sure the text is talking about the same subject. Thrid the smaller the passage being studied, the greater the chance of error. That being because short text usually give very little information about the general theme. In order to interpret a passage in its leterary context one must examine the different domains of circles of context: The immediate context, the book context, the author’s corpus of writings context (where available), the pertinent testament context, and the Bible context. Each of these provide insight into the meaning of the passage.
The correct interpretation of a biblical passage will be consistent with the historicial cultural background of the passage. In order to do this we must consider the Prespective of the original communicators-initiator and receptor. Many Apostles sent letters to a specific people living in certain places who spoke the same language Greek as themselves, so in order for us today to interpret what each writer meant we must know as much as we can about the cultural background of that time. Historicial cultural setting grow out of a mindset. When Jesus called Herod Antipas a fox (lK 13:32) His hearers understood “fox” to resprent a certain value. To call some one a fox today would have a different set of meanings. Contextualization captures the need to look back into the biblicial world to learn the intended meaning. The process of contextualization represses the ideas presented in a biblical passage into the language of today so that they convey the same impact to modern hearers. In considering the cultural we must understand the world view- values, or outlook of the writer, societal structures-marriage and family patterns, physical features-climate weather and means of transportation, economic structures-means of making a living, political climate-loyalities or personal values, behavior patterns-dress and customs, and religious pratices-power centers, convictions, rituals, or affliciations. All of these things played a very significant part on the style of the Historicial cultural background of each writer. We are to take into consideration that words have a “range of meanings”, and word meanings do not remain fixed, but they do change over a period of time.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

(1) Various aspects of “context.”

A basic principle of biblical hermeneutics is that the intended meaning of any passage is the meaning that is consistent with the sense of the literary context in which it occurs. 

Hence, the first test that all proposed interpretations must pass is this: Is it consistent with the literary context? In literature, the context of any specific passage is the material that comes immediately before and after it. Literary context is important, most of us know from personal experience the frustration of having something we said “taken out of context.” Context provides flow-of-thought. A flow-of-thought is a series of related ideas an author organizes to communicate a specific concept. A preceding statement prepares for the one that comes after it. Context provides accurate meaning of words. 

The second reason an interpretation must agree with the general message of the context derives from the nature of words. Most words have more than one meaning the literary contexts presents the most reliable guide for determine the most likely meaning in that setting. Context delineates correct relationships among units. 

The third reason interpretation must be consistent with context is that most biblical books were written and preserved as complete documents intended to be read as a unit. Biblical writers composed or edited individual sentences and paragraphs as parts of a larger document. 

(2) What is proper historical / cultural background and interpretation?

Several principles guide the interpreter in taking proper account of the historical cultural backgrounds of the biblical worlds. First we must understand each passage consistent with its historical and cultural background. For any interpretation to qualify as the intended meaning of a text, it must be the most likely meaning given the circumstances of the original writing and reading of the passage. 

The second Principe moves from the factual information about the biblical setting to the emotional dimension: We must determine the impact that the biblical message would have had in its original setting. This principle involves the factor of mindset. Interpreters should seek to know, where possible, how the original recipients would have reacted to what was written. 

The third principle relates to the contextualization aspect of historical-cultural interpretation: We must express biblical truth in our Language in ways that most closely correspond to the ideas in the biblical culture. The challenge for the interpreter is to find adequate contemporary idioms to articulate the intention of the passage so that people today will sense the meaning and impact that the original readers sensed.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

The author states that, “If the fundamental goal of interpretation is to discover the meaning of the biblical text, then the main objective of our task is to distinguish the principles and procedures that are necessary to accurately discern that meaning. These include the principles that are necessary to understand language communication. The writers of Scripture expressed their divine message in human language. To know what they meant by the words used, we have to understand their message consistent with the way people ordinarily use language to communicate ideas.” The book notes that in order to interpret passage consistent with its context there are three main reasons:
Flow-of-Thought:
A flow-of-thought is a series of related ideas strung together to communicate a specific concept. Most meaningful communication involves some type of logical thought-flow in which one thought leads naturally to the next in keeping with the genre of literature employed.
Accurate Meaning of Words:
Most words have more than one meaning. The literary context presents the most reliable guide for determining the most likely meaning in that setting.
Interpreters are not free to pick whichever meaning they choose for multiple-meaning words. Each term must be understood according the meaning that is consistent with the other ideas expressed in the literary context.
Context Delineates Correct Relationships Among Units:
. . . most biblical books were written and preserved as complete documents intended to be read as a unit. . . . their relationship to the whole argument of the book.”
Problems using Chapter & Verse divisions
Biblical passages not only express a writer’s train of thought but also reflect a way of life-one that in most ways differs radically from that of present-day readers. The literature and events recorded in the Bible originated thousands of years ago. Beyond reflecting ancient languages, cultures, and lifestyles, the biblical writers wrote their messages for people different from ourselves. Consequently, every time we study a Scripture text, we must be aware of these cross-cultural and epoch-spanning dimensions. Each passage was God’s Word to other people before it became God’s Word to us. In a sense, the Bible always comes to us secondhand, through others who lived at different times and in different places. This is the basis of an important principle of hermeneutics: The correct interpretation of a biblical passage will be consistent with the historical-cultural background of the passage. There are three reasons why this principle is important: perspective, mindset, and contextualization.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

Various aspects of context.
Context is crucial to biblical exegesis in that it is one of its most important fundamentals. After we account for the literal, historical, and grammatical nature of a passage, we must then focus on the outline and structure of the book, then the chapter, then the paragraph. Context is crucial to biblical exegesis in that it is one of its most important fundamentals. After we account for the literal, historical, and grammatical nature of a passage, we must then focus on the outline and structure of the book, then the chapter, then the paragraph. It’s important to study Bible passages and stories within their context. Taking verses out of context leads to all kinds of error and misunderstanding verse.

(1) Coming to the understanding context will vary principles. Passage must be interpreted historically, grammatically, social context, the political context and so on.


(2) literal meaning such as what the context actually says. Literal Bible interpretation means you understand the Bible in its normal/plain meaning. The Bible says what it means and means what it says. Many make the mistake of trying to read between the lines and come up with meanings for Scriptures that are not truly in the text. 

(3) Historical setting for example varies events of the story, which or who is it addressing, and how it was understood at that time. Historical interpretation refers to understanding the culture, background, and situation which prompted the text.

(4) linguistic context and Grammatically; Grammar which is the immediate sentence and paragraph within which a word or phrase is found) and synthesis (comparing it with other parts of Scripture for a fuller meaning).

(5) The philosophical sense 

(2) what is proper historical / cultural background and interpretation?
Historical and culture interpretation refers to understanding the culture, background, and situation which prompted the text. The interpreter must be aware of the life and society of the time the Scripture was written. The spiritual principle will be timeless but the Bible can’t be properly appreciated without some knowledge of the background. If the interpreter has in his mind what the writer had in his mind when he wrote without adding their stuff. The interpreter’s own culture or society, then the true thought of the Scripture can be captured resulting in an accurate interpretation. Grammatical interpretation is recognizing the rules of grammar and nuances of the Hebrew and Greek languages and applying those principles to the understanding of a passage. Contextual interpretation involves always taking the surrounding context of a verse/passage into consideration when trying to determine the meaning.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

The primary reason for hermeneutical application is to precisely understand a biblical text. There are rules of engagement and procedures for doing so accurately. The processes for understanding and interpreting Scripture includes the way in which language is communicated. This can be challenging because of the varied ways ideas and thoughts being communicated. There are hindrances to a person reading a text at face value and trying to derived a clear meaning or understanding. Such hindrances can be culture, historical, worldview, societal structures, and etc.
There are many different roles of a “context”. One role context determines is the order or series in which the idea or thoughts are being communicated. Second role of context is accurate meaning of words. Are the words agreeable to communicator’s intention. The role of context is also to delineate correct relationship among units for preservation and accuracy of the text. The method mentioned in the text for contextual interpretation of a text is called Circles of Contextual Study. The process to Circles of Context is immediate context, entire book context, and context of the Bible. The immediate context is defined as the initial meaning of a text before a deeper analysis of the text. Included in the consideration of the immediate text is theme, structure and logical order. The entire book context is “ to understand a passage correctly means to understand it in terms of the whole book in which it occurs.” The entire Bible must be considered in deriving the context of a text. Scripture is divinely inspired therefore must have continuity throughout the entire Bible.
The Historical- Cultural Background is important because therein lies pertinent information regarding the writer of the text, the time, culture and circumstances surrounding the subject matter written about. The chapter mentions historical and cultural information that would be important to understand as a text is being interpreted such as: “worldview, societal structures, physical features, economic structures, political climate, behavior patterns and religious practices.”

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

To have effective communication one might understand the message consistent with the meaning that the writer used to express their thoughts. The authors stated that in biblical hermeneutics the basic principle is that the intended meaning of any passage is the meaning tht is consistent with the sense of the literary context in which it occurs. 

There are three reasons why understanding literary context is important to understanding the meaning of a passage: 

(1) Context Provides Flow of Thought – The writers flow of thought can be violated by taking a passage out of context. Most meaningful communication involves some type of 
logical flow in which one thought leads to the next, and the Bible is no exception. It is important that every sentence be understood in light of the other ideas expressed in the context, in items of the writer’s train of thought. 

(2) Context Delineates Correct Relationships Among Units – Most biblical books were written and preserved as complete documents intended to be read as a unit. Individual sentences or paragraphs were composed or edited by biblical writers as parts of a larger document, and did not intend verses to exist as isolated, independent entries.

(3) Context Provides Accurate Meaning of Words – Most words have more tan one meaning, so inorder to establish which meaning is appropriate one must rely on literary context.

There are three good reasons wh one should pay close attention to the literary context of a Bible verse: (1) each statement must be understood according to its natural meaning in the literary context in which it occurs, (2) a text without a context may be a pretext, and (3) the smaller the passage being studied, the greater the chance of error.

Historical background is an understanding of the manners and customs of Bible times. It also includes the Old Testament background, which was likely the primary background for New Testament authors. Sometimes thhe New Testament writers will elude to the Old Testament without explicitly citing it, but will expect the reader to catch the illusion. The original Old Testament context contains the key to unlock the meaning of the New Testament text or else its meaning will remain concealed from the reader.

Perspective is the first circumstance in which communication effect and determine meaning. To understand the correct meaning one must comprehend the perspective of the original communication. Since both the writer and the recipients share the same cultural background and information and lived at the same time in history, they never make their perspective known. The second reason to interpret passage is mindset. A mindset describes a mental attitude or inclination. In order to develop the mindset of people in biblical times, the historical cultural background of their world must be studied. When the meaning of a passage is understood, we can then apply the meaning in light of today’s cultural values to have the appropriate impact and emotional effect. Contextualization is the third reason. It focuses on expressing the message accurately in today’s world. Here one must look back into the background of the world to learn the intended meaning. Then one must look again to see the foreground to determine how to express contextualize sense for today’s world.

James Outland • 3 years ago

(1) Various aspects of “context.”
In Literature, the context of any specific passage is the material that comes immediately before and after it. The context of a sentence is its paragraph, the context of a paragraph is the series of paragraphs that precede and follow it, and the context of a chapter is the surrounding chapters. Ultimately, the whole book in which a passage appears is its controlling context. In interpreting the Bible, the canon of all sixty-six books provides the largest context in which every passage must be understood. To interpret a passage in its literary context one must examine different domains or circles of context: 1. Immediate Context, 2. Entire Book Context, and 3. Context of the Bible.

The immediate context exerts the most important control over the meaning of a specific passage. It focuses on two things: theme and structure. The theme is the central idea of an entire section of the book and it regulates the meaning of the individual words, phrases, clauses, and sentences within the specific passage. The structure is merely how the writer organizes the material. The structure reveals vital information on the author’s flow of thought and provides the framework for interpretation based on the author’s sense of organization.

The second most important literary context used in determining the author’s intended meaning is the context of the entire book. To understand a passage correctly, we must understand it in terms of the whole book in which it occurs. Three kinds of information about the entire book are significant for proper understanding of any given passage within that book: 1. the book’s purpose, 2. the basic outline of the book, and 3. parallel passages within the book that deal with the same subject.

Context of the Entire Bible – The Bible possesses an overall unity despite its diversity of human authors. Because of this unity, the entire Bible provides a literary context for all passages in it. Due to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration of the entire Bible, the correct meaning of every portion of Scripture will be consistent with the rest of the teaching of the Bible on that subject. One passage will not contradict the clear teaching of the rest of the Bible on the same subject.

(2) What is proper historical / cultural background and interpretation?
There are several principles that guide the interpreter in taking proper account of the historical-cultural backgrounds of the biblical worlds:
1. The Original Historical-Cultural Background – For any interpretation to qualify as the intended meaning of a text, it must, first of all, be consistent with its historical and cultural background. This principle means that an interpreter must understand the historical and cultural setting as accurately as possible and must interpret the biblical message consistent with that picture.

2. The Original Impact – We must determine the impact that the biblical message would have had in its original setting. Interpreters should seek to know how the original recipients would have reacted to what was written

3. The Correct Expression – We must express biblical truth in our language in ways that most closely correspond to the ideas in the biblical culture. This principle involves an understanding of the emotional dimension or mindset of its original recipients.

4. The Priority of Plain Sense – The features of historical-cultural background must not be allowed to sabotage the main task of understanding the point of the text. A balanced approach must be applied. Though the historical-cultural background of a text is important, it must not be allowed to distort the main task of understanding the point of the text.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

CONTEXT:
A we have been studying, the writers of the Bible meant for it to be read and undertood by readers. However, for various reasons, obtaining a valid interpretation involves understanding several elements, one of which is literary context. In literature, the context of a passage is the material that comes immediately before and after it. For example, the context of a sentence is its paragraph, the context of a paragraph is a series of paragraphs, the context of a chapter is the surrounding chapters, and the context of the book consists of the series of chapters. The Bible, like all books, must be interpreted in its correct context. When passages are taken out of context, it misconscrues the context, possibly causing serious misinterpretation. Taking a passage out of context interrupts the writer’s flow-of-thought. A flow-of-thought is a series of related ideas an auhor organizes to communicate a particular thought or idea. Each idea of a passage must be linked for comprehension to occur. Unless ideas are linked together, communicatiobn cannot take place. Another reason why keeping a passage in context is important is because context provides accurate meanings of words. Because most words have more than one meaning, context is extremely important in determining meaning. Each term must be understood according to the meaning that is consistent with the other ideas expressed in the literary context. A third reason why correct interpretation is derectly related to context is because context delineates correct relationships among units. Blical writers intended for individual sentences and paragraphs to be read as parts of a unit of the whole book.
PRINCIPLES OF HERMENEUTICS RELATING TO CONTEXT: The three principles that must guide the practice of interretation are: 1- each statement must be understood according to its natural meaning in the literary context in which it occurs. This requires the interprter to focus on the words of the passage as well as to consider the contribution of the passage to the literary work as a whoe. This principle affects the reader’s understandingt of the individual words as wel as the meaning of the complete statement; 2- “A text without a context may be a pretext.” When an abuse of context occurs in the Scritpure, it seriously mininterprets the meaning of that particular passage. When “pretext” occurs, it carries no divine authority because it misinterprets what the text really means; 3- the smaller the passage being studied, the greater the chance of errors. Short texts usually contain very little information about the general theme of the larger passage, whereas large passages have a built in context. Circles of contextual study: Different domains of context helps one to interpret a passage in its literary context. Additionally, these domains interact, and are applied in a definite order of priority. These domains or circles are immediate cntext, entire book context, and context of the Bible. Immediate Context: This is the material presented immediately before and after the passage being studied. The immediate context focuses on theme and structure. The theme is the central idea of a book of passage being studied. To aid in discovering the theme, one must determine the theme of the preceding section, the passage itself, and the following passage. The second focus of the immediate context is structure. Accurate interpretation involves not only what a text says, but also how it is organized.. Writers arrange passages in many different ways, some of which are chronologically, thematic continuity, logical order, and literary genre. Literary Context of the Entire Book: examination of the entire book in which a passage occurs is the second most important literary context in determining the author’s intended meaning. To properly understand a given passage within a book, three things to consider are the book’s purpose, the basic outline of the book, and parallel passages within the book that deals with the same object. The basic plan of the book is also an important part of the literary context of the book. Context of the Entire Bible: although a majority of the Bible books were written by different authors, no passage will contradict the clear teaching of the rest of the Bible on a particular subject. When interpreting a passage according to the context of the entire Bible, three groupings of biblical books should be consulted: 1- parallel passages in other books ; 2- passages in books by other authors in the same Testament; 3- passages in books by authors in the other Testament. 
PROPER HISTORICAL/CULTURAL BACKGROUND AND INTERPRETATION:
As we know, biblical passages reflect the writer’s train of thought and way of life. Events of the Scriptures occured thousands of years ago, and were for people of ancient languages, cultures, and lifestyles. The significance of historical-cultural background in biblical interpretation cannot be over-emphasized. The three main reasons why correct interpretation of a biblical passage is consistent with the historical-cultural background are: perspective, 2- mindset, 3- contextualization. When the Scriptures were written, both the writer and the audience shared the same culture. Modern day readers and Bible interpreters need to seek to put themselves in the same environment and circumstances of the original writers and readers in order to understand a passage from its from its historical-cultural background. Secondly, a mindset describes mental attitude. This consists of investigating manner of speech, intended purpose as wel as intended emotional impact. To develop an awareness of the mindset of people in biblical times, we need to study the historical -cultural background of their world.A third reason why it’s important to interpret biblical passages according to its historical-cultural background is contextualization. This means that we need to see the background of the biblical world in order to see its intended meaning, and then determine how to best express this for today’s world. Interpreters must be careful not to give their own meaning to the Scriptures. Principles for Historical-cultural Interpretation: In interpreting the proper account of the historical -cultural background of the biblical worlds, we must understand each passage consistent with the time and culture in which it was written. through archaelogists, historical research, and sociological and cultural studies, we know a great deal about this principle; much more, however, stills needs to be discovered. Interpreters need to compare and contrast biblical settings with ours today. The Original Impact: A second principle to be considered involves determing the emotional impact th biblical message would have had in its original setting. When possible, Interpreters should seek to know how the original recipients should have reacted to the particular passage. The Correct Expression: Thirdly, we must express biblical truth in our anguage in ways that most clearly corresponds to the ideas in the biblical culture. Proper contextualization in biblical interpretation requires that the interpreter be sentive to both the biblical and the current cultures. The Priority of the Plain Sense: The interpreter must be careful not to allow features of the historial-cultural background to interfer with the main task of understanding the point of the text. Although the historical and cultural details enable us to understand the text, the words of the text point to the historical issues of the time. Retrieving the Historical-Culture Background: Background information learned about the entire book gives insight into its overal setting and provides a general perspective for each passage. In searching the world of biblical setting, the interpreter should study the background of a biblical book and the background of specific passages in the book. Before studying a particuloar biblical passage, one should become familiar with the historical-cultural background of the book in which it occurs. Things such as the author’s identity, characteristics, relationship with recipients, and happenings at the time of the writing should be considered. Examining the historical-culural factors of a specific passage is important because it provides an understanding of specific passages within a book. The interpreter should investigate the specific historical and cultural details mentioned in the passage. These include elements such as worldview, societal structure, physical features, economic structures, political climate, behavior patterns, and religious practices.

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Session 7

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 7


Briefly discuss:

(1) Illustrate the basic units of parallelism in Hebrew poetry.

(2) What about simile, metaphor?

(3) What are the key indicators of a poem’s sense units?

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Traditionally, scholars subdivided parallelism into three types – synonymous, antithetical, and synthetic – depending n whether the succeeding line restated, contrasted, or developed the first, resspectively. Some of the illustration of Hebrew poetry include the following:

a b c
A I cred out to God for help;

B I cried out to God to hear me.



A Righteousness exalts a nation,

B but sin is a disgrace to any people.



A I will turn your religious fears into mourning

B and all your singing into weeping.

A He summons the heavens above,

B and the earth that he may judge his people (Psalm 50:4; cf. Amos 9:10.

Similes and metaphors are two poetic devices that are significant in BIblical poetry. A simile is a figure of speech that compares two things using the words “like” or “as”. Examples of simile include the following:

Now then, I will crush you as a cart crushes when loaded with grain (Amos 2:13).
Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens (Song 2:2).

Metaphor draw comparism between two things; however, the metaphor draws the correspondence more bluntly. Examples of metaphor include the following:

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105).

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry; the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.(Psalm 34:15-16).

The indicators of poetry sense units are as follows:

sense Unit verses Indicators

1 1-2 Form: Impersonal: “blessed the person”

2 3-5

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

In chapter seven of Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard we find that poetry is a language of images that the reader must experience as a series of imagined sensory situations. We see that the final word of every other line rhyme. Such as “was/grass”, a-cold/fold”, or such as the sound of “f” in the words “for, feather, frozen, flock and fold”
Hebrew poetry uses clever phrases such as:
Hebrew poems are not jsut a mess,
nor is this, we hope, a mere guess.
They may not have rhyme,
but you’ll find every time
that the peots composed under stress.

Similes and Metaphors are two poetic devices that are significant in biblical poetry. A simile is a fugure of speech that compares two things using words “like” or “as”. 
Two examples are: Now then, I will crush you, as a cart crushes when loaded with grain (Amos 2:13) 
Like a lily among thorns, is my darling among the maidens. (Song 2:2). 
Frequently Hebrew poets string together three or more similes to heighten the effect. Such as follows:
So I come upon them like a lion, 
like a Leopard I will lurk by the path. 
Like a bear robbed of her cubs,
I will attack them and rip them open.
Like a lion I will devour them;
a wild lion will tear them apart. (Hos. 13:7-8)
In Metaphors writers sometimes employ means of personification to describe such items as “spears and arrows” which refer to common weapons of warfare. The key indicators of a poem’s sense unit are:
1. Changes in content, grammar, literary form, or speaker.
2. The concentration of keywords in a section, and
3. The appearance of refrains or repeated statements, such as Psalm 32.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Hebrew poetry is not rhythm or rhyme, but “parallelism” basic thought composing of two or three lines and can accomplish one of several different things:
1. The lines can complement each other; they can express similar thoughts. 
2. They can contrast each other, affirming one thing and then denying it’s opposite.
3. The second and additional lines can clarify the first. 
4. The lines can in some other manner develop the thought that is being expressed. 
Furthermore, several of these thought units may together display additional parallelism or patterns. 
The basic unit of thought is called a “period,” and is composed of individual lines or segments. Each line is called a “stitch”. If the “periods” have some sort of parallelism or pattern in the way the thoughts are being expressed, these would be grouped together as a “strophe.”
Synonymous parallelism: repeats the thought in synoymous
Deut- 32:1,2: Hear 0 heavens, and I will speak; Hear 0 Earth, the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.
Prov 11:25: A generous man will prosper he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Antithetical parallelism: contrasts the thought with another usually introducing the second line.
Prov 10:1,2 A wise son delights a father, but a foolish son is a mother’s grief.
I’ll gotten treasures will not avail; but virtue saves from death.
Psalm 1:6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous but the way of the wicked will perish.
Synthetic parallelism: A “catch-all” variety of forms: 
Completion or internal: where the second line completes the first:
Psalm 2:6 Yet have I set my king upon Zion my holy hill.
Comparison:
Prov 15:17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love, than a fattened calf with hatred.
Climatic: where a stair step of lines adds thoughts to the first:
Psa 29:1;2: Ascribe to the Lord, 0 mighty ones,
Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name;
Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.
Chaiastic: Similar to Synonymous, only the second-line reverses the first:
Psa 51:1 Have mercy upon me o Lord, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Emblematic: The second line serves as an emblem to illustrate the first without any words of contrast:
Prov 11:29 A gold ring in a swine’s snout a fair woman without understanding.
Prov 25:25 Cold water to a thirsty soul and good news from a far country.

Simile is more obvious than metaphor, because it uses like or as to introduce the comparison.
Metaphor is less direct and more subtle, implying a comparison rather than introducing it with like or as. 
The key indicators of a poem’s sense units are as follows: 
1) changes in content, grammar, literary form, or speaker
2) the concentration of keywords in a section
3) the appearance of refrains or repeated statements

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

Parallelism is a common literary feature of Hebrew poetry in which the words of two or more lines of text are directly related in some ways. This feature can be found in any poetic passage, and at times even in narratives, a.though it is common in the Psalms and Proverbs.

Recognizing parallelism as a poetic feature can sometimes aid in understanding or interpreting a passage. For example, the use of parallelism usually means that the message of the text is in the larger passage and its overall point or impact rather than individual words or single lines. Specific words that may be ambiguous or used in unusual ways can be clarified or more narrowly defined by seeing them in the context of a parallel structure.

Parallelism is divided into three types: (1) synonymous, (2) antithetical, and (3) synthetics.
Synonymous parallels have the appearance of art and concinnity and a studied elegance; they prevail chiefly in shorter poems, in mant of Psalms, in Balaam’s prophecies, in many of those of Isaiah, which are most of them distinct poems of no length. Antithetical parallelism gives an acuteness and force to adages and mral sentences, and therefore abounds in Solomon’s Proverbs, but elsewhere is not often to be met with. The poem of Job, being on a large plan and in high tragic style, though very exact in the division of the lines and the parallelism, and affording many fine examples of the synonymous kind.

A simile is a comparison between people or things with something else which throws light on the description of the people of the thing, concept or idea. The clue to the presence is the use of like and as. Metaphors describe something in terms of something else, so creating a picture which throws light on the thing described.

A poem’s sense of units are: (1) changes in content, grammar, literary form’ or speaker; (2) the concentration of keywords in a section; and (3) the appearance of refrains or repeated statements.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

The basic units of parallelism in Hebrew poetry is that phenomenon where two or more successive poetic lines strengthen, reinforce, and develop each others though it has an agreement in direction. The author describes it as an additional empathetic thought. The follow up lines further define specify expand intensity or contrast the first. According Berlin the message focuses on itself but its vision is binocular. Like human vision it superimposes two slightly different views of the same object and from their convergence it produces a sense of depth. The basic units of parallelism are divided into three types synonymous , antithetical and synthetic .However, depend upon whether the succeeding line restated contrasted or developed the parallel line from a unit that scholars designate either as a couplet or a distich, three parallel lines from a triplet or tristich. The second stich simply restates the first in different words. For example (Proverbs 19:5) a false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free.

Similes in biblical sense are used to express emotion, and to make their writing more vivid and entertaining and metaphors between two people or things that are generally not alike. A simile is a metaphor, but not all metaphors are similes. In a literary sense metaphor is a rhetorical device that transfers the sense or aspects of one word to another. A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object. Metaphor is a type of analogy and is closely related to other rhetorical figure of speech. Similes metaphor in simple term is parallel lines form a simile that is a comparison for example Psalms 103:13 which the Psalmist illustrates the Lord’s compassion by comparing it to a fathers love for his children

Key indicators of a poem’s sense units
1. Changes in content, grammar, literary form, or speaker.
2. The concentration of keywords in a section, and
3. The appearance of refrains or repeated statements

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

Illustrate the basic units of parallelism in Hebrew poetry.

Parallelism focuses the message on itself but its vision is binocular. Like human vision it superimposes two slightly different views of the same object and from their convergence it produces a sense of depth. In other words, succeeding parallel lines do not simply restate the opening line; rather, they add to or expand its thought, Isa 1:10 illustrate this dynamic: 

Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom:
Listen to the instruction of our God, you people of Gomorrah!

Traditionally, scholars subdivided parallelism into three types: synonymous, antithetical and synthetic depending on whether the succeeding line restated, contrasted, or developed the first, respectively. Recent study, however, has tended to avoid those categories as overly simplistic and misleading. The relationships that bind parallel stichs range across a continuum of increasing complexity a complexity that is not adequately described by the traditional categories of parallelism. At one end of the continuum are the rare cases of synonymous parallelism in which the second stichs simply restates the first in different words (Prov 19:5) illustrates this:

A false witness will not go unpunished,
And he who pours out lies will not go free.

The parallels are obvious: “false witness”/”he who pours out lies” and “will not go unpunished”/”will not go free.” There is no perceptible development from the first line to the second. At the other end of the continuum are cases in which line B shows no similarities at all to the first (Psa 115:18):

It is we, who extol the Lord,
both now and forevermore.

In this case, B completes the first grammatically; the two stichs form a single sentence. Most biblical poetry falls between these two extremes. Parallel lines may interrelate grammatically, lexically, semantically, and phonologically. Some parallels are interrelated by only one of these factors, others by all three. 

Basic Units In Hebrew parallelism

A=B 1. Echo
2. Contrast
A>B 3. Subordination 
Means
Reasons
Time
A<B. 4.Continuation
5. Comparison
6. Specification
Spatial
Explanation
Dramatic effect
Purpose
7. Intensification


What about simile, metaphor?

A simile is a figure of speech that compares two things using the words “like” or “as.” OT poetry uses several kinds of simile. A simple simile draws a single correspondence between two items in a single sentence. The parallelism typical of biblical poetry easily lends itself to the use of paired similes. These are similes that are part of parallel lines. Frequently, biblical poets string together series of three or more similes to heighten the effect. Pairing similes or stringing them together in series is an extremely effective poetic device. Each simile compares to the brush strokes of a painter on a canvas: the more there are, the richer the portrait.
Metaphors compare two things that, although different, share something in common; in some way the two words or concepts overlap in meaning. The comparison of two basically dissimilar things gives the metaphor its striking effect. Like similes, metaphors may also occur in series and in extended form. As a whole, the series of metaphors also offers an impressive poetic collage of Israel’s complex future as a nation. 

What are the key indicators of a poem’s sense units?

A sense unit constitutes the major subdivision of an entire poem. Just as a house may have one or more rooms, so a poem has at least one sense unit but may have many more of varying sizes. The key indicators of a poem’s sense units are as follows: 
1. Changes in content, grammar, literary form, or speaker:
2. The concentration of keywords in a section; 
3. The appearance of refrains or repeated statements. 
Sense units are basic to the structure of a poem, so if we want to decipher this structure we must first identify the poem’s sense units.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

The chapter defines parallelism as a phenomenon whereby two or more successive poetic lines dynamically strengthen, reinforce, and develop each other’s thought. It is in interested to learn regarding parallelism in poetry that is similar to binoculars one is looking at the same object through two lenses but seeing it differently. 
There are three types of parallelism: synonymous, antithetical, and synthetic.

Basic units of parallelism in Hebrew poetry are:
Stich is a single line of poetry
Couplet or distich is two parallel lines forms a unit.
Triplet or Tristich is known as three parallel lines

Psalm 77:1 is an example of two stichs A, B. The stiches have three parts a, b, c
Prov.14:34 is an example of two stich A, B. The stiches have three parts a, b, c

The term ellipsis regard to a second or third stich that may left out items from the first.
The types of Hebrew parallelism
A=B 1. Echo
Contrast
A>B 3. Subordination
Means
Reason
Time
A<B 4. Continuation
Comparison
Specification
Spatial
Explanation
Dramatic Effect
Purpose
Intensification

Simile is a figure of speech using like or as to form a comparison. For example, Song 2:2: Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens.

Metaphor forms comparison but do not use like or as. For example, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psa.119:105) Metaphor is figure of speech that give human characteristics to things do no have human characteristics.


The key indicators of a poem’s sense units are: 
change in content, grammar, literary form or speaker
concentration of keywords in a section 
appearance of refrains or repeated statements

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

Parallelism refers to the structure of Hebrew poetry. Though the meaning is often misconscrued as referring to two equal lines, it actually means that two or more successive lines strengthens or reinforces each other’s thought. Parallelism is subdivided into three types: synonymous (restated), antithetical (contrasted), and synthethic (developed). Lines of Hebrew poetry are identified as stich (single line), couplet or distich (two parallel lines), and tristich (three parallel lines of poetry). Capital letters are used to identify each stich, much as chapters and verses of the Bible helps to identify its subparts. Crucial to an accurate understanding of how parallelism works is the breakdown of how parallel lines interrelate. (1) the grammatical factor which refers to the elements of grammar such as mood, tense, number, etc. that appear in each line of a parallel pair; (2) the lexical-semantic factor which focuses on the relationship between the specific word in each parallel line; and (3) the phonologic factor which refers to the use of words of similar sounds.
TYPES OF PARALLELISM: There are three basic types of parallelism: 1- A=B: this occurs when A and B are interchangeable in some way so that A either restates or contrasts B; 2- A>B: this occurs when A states the main idea while B more fully completes the thoughts of A; and 3- A<B: this occurs when A states the introductry idea on which B expands to complete A. 
SIMILES AND METAPHORS: These are part of the language of poetry. They are poetic devices that were very immportant in biblical poetry, as the Bible uses these devices quite a bit. SIMILE: A figure of speeh that compares two unlike things by using the words “like” or “as.” Old Testament poetry uses several kinds of similes. One such kind is a simple simile. This compares a single item with a single item. Secondly, writers sometime pair or string together a series of three or more similes to make the writing more effective. Additionally, biblical poets often developed an extended simile, which made a simple comparison, then amplified it with a lengthy commentary on the poetic image invoked. METAPHOR: A metaphor also makes a comparison between tow different things. It, however, does so without the use of “like” or “as.” It is usually more blunt in comparison with simile, and is always used with as a form of the verb “to be.” One type of metaphor is called an anthropomorphism which pictures God as a human being with eyes, ears, and a face. In metaphoric comparisons, although the two things being compared are different, they share something in common. As with similes, metaphors can also be strung together in a series of three or more to heighten the meaning. Similes and metaphors are just two of the numerous figures of speech used in biblical poetry.
SENSE UNITS: In biblical poetry, a sense unit makes up the major subdivision of the entire poem. The key indicators of a sense unit are: (1) changes in contrast, grammar, literary form, or speaker; (2) the concentration of key words in a section; and (3) the appearance of refrains or repeated statements. Sense units are basic to the structure of biblical poetry, and are necessary to get meaning from the poem. When applied carefully, the analysis of a poem’s structure provides a helpful tool of interpretation for readers.

James Outland • 3 years ago

(1) Illustrate the basic units of parallelism in Hebrew poetry.
Parallelism is the phenomenon whereby two or more successive poetic lines dynamically strengthen, reinforce, and develop each other’s thought. Traditionally, scholars subdivided parallelism into three types – synonymous, anti-thetical, and synthetic – depending on whether the succeeding line restated, contrasted, or developed the first, respectively. For the purpose of illustrating the three types of parallelism, I have used the symbols “A” and “B” to identify the first and second lines of a distich (two parallel lines that form a unit). The symbols “a”, “b”, and “c” are used to label the three parts of a stich.

1. Synonymous: (the two lines are semantically and syntactically parallel) 
…..…a……………….b………….c 
A – I cried out to God for help; 
….…a’……………….b’………….c’ 
B – I cried out to God to hear me

2. Anti-thetical: (The two lines are syntactically parallel but semantically opposite)
…..…a……………………..…b….…….….c 
A – Righteousness exalts a nation 
……-a………………….……-b….………….…….c’ 
B – but sin is a disgrace to any people

3. Synthetic – Case 1: (The second stich omits verb found in the first stich)
……a…………….…b….……………………..……..c 
A –I will turn your religious feasts into mourning
…………………….…B…………….…………..c’ 
B – and all your singing into weeping.

4. Synthetic – Case 2: (The second stich further develops the point by stating its purpose)
……a…………………..…b 
A –He summons the heavens above
………….……………….…b’………….…………….c 
B – and the earth below that He may judge his people.


(2) What about simile, metaphor? 
Simile is a figure of speech that compares two things using the words “like” or “as.”
Eg. Like a lily among thorns
is my darling among the maidens.

A metaphor also draws a comparison between two things; however, the metaphor draws the correspondence more bluntly. Omitting the words “like” or “as,” it states straightforwardly “A is B”.
Eg. Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path


A sense unit constitutes the major subdivision of an entire poem. The key indicators of a poem’s sense units are as follows:
1. Changes in content, grammar, literary form, or speaker;
2. The concentration of keywords in a section; and 
3. The appearance of refrains or repeated statements.

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Session 8

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 8


Briefly discuss: 

(1) What is meant by “genre”? What are some “genres” of the OT?

(2) The interpretation of differing genres, such as apocalyptic prophecy and wisdom literature.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

A genre is a category of literary composition which can fictional or non-fictional. Some of the genres of the Old Testament include the following:
reports, heroic narrative, prophetic story, comedy, farewell speech, simple narrative, popular proverb, riddles, fables, parables, songs, and lists.

In order to understand and to interpret prophecy, the reader must understand the historical situation in which a given prophet spoke. One needs to review the events and the state of religious life during his lifetime by consulting a book on the history of Israel.
The second approach to interpreting prophecy is the reader needs t determine the kind of judgment announced by a prophet text.
The third approach is that the reader must pay close attention to the reasons given for the judgment announcement. These approaches are needed to interpreting prophetic books.
To interpret wisdom book such as Proverbs, one must balance his or her understanding of each one primarily with other Proverbs in the Bible and second, in the light of other scriptural teachings in the Bible.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

In reading chapter eight, I understand “genre” as form of Literature that are embedded within OT. narratives, that usually display different meanings. Such as Blessed is/be (someone). Genre’s are found in Proverbs, riddles, fables, parables, farewell speeches, songs, and rituals of law. Genre’s most often seek the opposite consequences for its object. The principles of genre’s leaves one to ask why, what were the surrounding circumstances, or pressing issues that lie in the background, historical settings, and what the text contributes to the larger text? Embedded genre forms a component of a larger context, and is not usually an independent context itself.

In interpretation one must define the main point, and what it says, define the main idea of its surrounding text. You must analyze the relationship between the point of the embedded genre, and the ideas of its context, to find out how the embedded genre contributes to the message as a whole. We find in the book of Psalm, each psalm serves as its own literary context, because all psalms around it serve as a single piece of literature.
Apocalyptic Prophecy communicates the word of God directly, as if God himself were speaking. It uses the message formula “thus says the Lord”, and introduces Yahweh’s own speech to his people. Other forms of apocalyptic includes dreams, visions, and symbols, which is less direct than the spoken word. 

The book of Job incorporates many genres, in which Job encourages believers to trust God in unjust suffering for vindication.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

Biblical genre has a classification of Bible literature and or literary genre which is a category of literary composition. Genres are often time are connected together with complete books of the Bible, reason being each of its books comprises a complete textual unit. Genre contains particular Biblical passage is ordinarily identified of its general writing style, tone, form, structure, literary technique, content, design, and related linguistic factors and texts that exhibit a common set of literary features, by breaking down complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it. It is imperative that an interpreter gets a clear understanding of genre because it helps interpret the meaning of the text and whether it is literal or figurative. A Biblical book may be internally composed of varies styles, forms, and often time have characteristics of more than one genre. OT genre contains parables, heroic narrative, prophetic story, songs of praise and thanksgiving, popular proverb, Poetry, narrative, law, wisdom and so on. 

Apocalyptic literature warns us of future events from which full meaning is hidden to us for the time being but as time goes on it is later reveal to us. Apocalyptic literature is found in Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation there are combinations of narrative and prose written in imagery through the use of symbols and poetic phrases that are intended to exaggerate. Apocalyptic literature is almost a secret from God Himself while giving us glimpses of what is to come. Apocalyptic literature is a more specific form of prophecy. 

Prophecy is the type of literature that is often associated with predicting the future and contains God’s words. An interpreter must understand that there are two main types of prophecy in order to properly interpret that text. One type of prophecy is predictive which foretells of an event, and the other is didactic which challenges others to line up morally or to teach a truth. Prophecy also exposes sin and calls for repentance and obedience. This is found in the Old Testament and New Testament books 

Interpretation of Wisdom Literature focuses on questions about the meaning of life and on practical living and common sense which is found in the book of Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes and some Psalms. This literature contrasts faulty human wisdom to God’s wisdom of reasoning and perfection. Wisdom literature warns us of human evil nature and desires.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

According to the reading and the lecture given in class, to my understanding genre is a type or style of literature. Genre is God’s inspired Word spoken into men of God, prophets, and apostles to write the Sacred Scriptures in many literary forms and styles to say exactly what He wanted to say using the authors ‘own circumstances and personalities (2 Timothy 3:15-16; 2 Peter 1:20-21). 

Some of the OT Genres are: Narratives: “reports that are brief, self-contained narration, usually in the third-person style, about a single event or situation in the past. It narrates what happened, presenting the facts in a style without literary embellishment.” Comedy: “In literature . . . Comedy is a narrative whose plot has a happy ending, in some case through a dramatic reversal. It often aims to amuse. Typically, the following features play prominent roles in comedies: disguises, mistaken identity, providential coincidences, surprising turns-of-events, escapes from disaster, and the conquest of obstacles. Comedies often conclude with a marriage, a celebratory feast, reconciliation with opponents, or victory over enemies.” Embedded Genres whish are Riddles, Fables, and Parables:“A riddle is a simple statement whose hidden meaning must be discovered.” Laws: Four Major Law Collection: The Covenant Code (Exod 20.20-23.33); The Deuteronomic Code (Deut 12-26); the Holiness Code (Lev 17-26), and the Priestly Code (Exod 25-31; 34.29-Lev 16; parts of Numbers) Poetry: types of poetry are Prayers-Complaint – most common genre of prayer in the psalms. Dirge – a funeral lamentation spoken as part of ancient mourning rites. Songs – sung in worship at the temple – played a prominent role in the life of God’s people. (Song of Thanksgiving; Hymn; Love Song) Liturgies – a text used in worship in which two or more speakers participate in response to each other and Wisdom Psalms – language, style, and themes more closely resemble the books of Proverbs. Pr
Apocalyptic writing is a more specific form of prophecy. Its writing is a type of literature that warns us of future events from which full meaning is hidden. It’s written in a secret form giving u glimpses of what is to come through the use of symbols and imagery. Apocalyptic writing is found in Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation.
Wisdom literature is literature of maxims and sayings, including Job, Proverbs, and Ecclesiastes. This type of Literature focuses on questions about the meaning of life (Job, Ecclesiastes) and on practical living and common sense (Proverbs and some Psalms). It contrasts broken human wisdom to God’s reasoning perfection. When we live for our own will and not His, we will experience grief and frustration, not because God is vengeful and angry, but because we led ourselves that way out of our pride and arrogance. Wisdom literature warns us of our evil nature and desires.

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

Genre is a category or type of literature characterized by a particular form, style, or content. When identifying a particular Bible passage, genre is ordinarily identified by analysis of its general writing styles, tone, form, structure, literary technique, content, design, and related linguistic factors.

Some genres of the Old Testament are: (1) Foundation Myths & Legends, (2) Legal Codes, (3) Genealogies, (4) Annals, (5) Prophetic Books, (6) Psalms/Odes/Songs, (7) Prayers/Lament, (8) Proverbs, (9) Wisdom Literature, and (10) Apocalypses.
Narratives are one style of genre in the Old Testament. There are several biblical narrative complexes. They are: (1) Reports — a brief, self-contained narrative, usually in the third-person style, about a single event or situation in the past; (2) Heroic Narrative — a series of episodes that focus the life and exploits of a hero whom people later consider significant enough to remember; (3) Prophet Story — recounts events in the life of a prophet, particularly those that demonstrate virtues worth of emulation; (4) Comedy – a narrative whose plot has a happy ending, in some case through a dramatic reversal; and (5) Farewell Speech – an address in the first-person voice reportedly given by someone shortly before his or her old age or imminent death.

Law is another genre of the Old Testament. There are four major law collections. They are casuistic law, apodictic law, legal series and legal instruction. The Old Testament law poses an interpretive challenge for the Bible student, largely due to a common misunderstanding of the nature of biblical Law. Another genre would be poetry. Poetry is virtually all biblical books that contain some poetry. Poetry is not a genre per se but a literary style-the alternative to prose. The types of Old Testament poetry consist of prayers, songs, liturgies, and wisdom psalms. The basic types of Prophecy is: (1) Prophecy of Disaster — a prophet announces imminent or future disaster either to an individual or an entire nation; (2) Prophecy of Salvation – Prophets also announced restoration or individuals and nations; (3) Woe Speech – distinguishing feature is the opening interjection followed by participles describing those addressed.

Though the line between prophecy proper and apocalyptic often blurs, several general features set the later apart. Apocalyptic describes prophecies in which God reveals his future plans, usually through dreams or visions with elaborate and at times strange symbolism or numbers. Apocalyptic has a unique view of God’s relationship to human history.
Principles of interpretation Old Testament Apocalyptic one should: (1) set a modest goal, (2) take symbolism and numbers seriously, but not literally, (3) read Old Testament apocalyptic in connection with New Testament apocalyptic, (4) note the prophet’s pastoral concern for his audience, (5) the key question should be asked; what is the text about as a whole?, and (6) applications should derive from the text’s main point. Wisdom literature relates to ancient Israel’s educational system. It is based on creation theology rather than direct revelation. Types of wisdom literature consist of Proverbs, Instruction, Example Story and Reflection and Disputation Speeches.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

The word “genre” is another name for literary type. According to the text, the purpose for exploring the various literery types or genres in the Old and New Testament is (1) to provide reliable first steps in thinking literarily about the Bible; (2) to teach a preliminary literary vocabulary to aid in interprettion; and (3) to help readers to enjoy the Bible’s riches more and to better understand it. Some of the genres of the Old Testament are: 1- narrative which include reports, heroic narrative, the prophet story, comedy, farewell speech, embedded genres, songs, and lists; 2- law which includes casuistic law, apodictic law, legal series, Deuteronomy, and legal instruction; 3- poetry which includes prayers, songs, liturgies, wisdom and psalms; 4- prophecy which includes prophecy of diaster, prophecy of salvation, the woe speech, prophetic dirge, prophetic hymn, prophetic liturgy, prophetic disputation (Job), prophetic lawsuit, propohecy against foreign nations, prophetic vision report, prophetic narratives, and apocalyptic prophecy; and 5- wisdom which includes proverbs, instruction, example story and reflection, and dispuration speeches.

PRINCIPLES OF INTERPRETATIONS: Because the list of OT genres is so extensive, my discussion will be extremely brief. NARRATIVES: Reports: Note the following principles: (1) Focus on its main subject and how it contributes to the themes of the larger context; (2) to find obvious devotional content, deduce the theological themes from the larger content that surrounds it; (3) seek to find what the text is trying to say; (4) analyze the emphasis of the individual reports to see what they share in common. Heroic Narrative and Prophet Stories: Note the following principles: (1) focus on the life of the main character(s); (2) determine what values a given hero represents; (3) give interpretive priority to finding the larger themes involved; (4) focus application on analogous situations between Isreal and the Church. Comedy: Note the following: (1) trace how tragedy turns to triumph; (2) note character development of both heroes nd villains; (3) discern the role God plays in the story; (4) define the comedy’s main theme(s); (5) application follows from the comedy’s main theme. Farewell Speech: Note the following principles: (1) determine what makes the occasion of the speech historically important; (2) summarize the speaker’s main point; (3) decide what a given speech contributes to the themes of the larger context; (4) look for application from the speech’s historical setting. Embedded Genres: Note the following principles: (1) usually an embedded gnere forms a component of a larger context; (2) find what that component contributes to the message of the whole; (3) define the main ideal(s) of the surrounding context, define the main idea(s), and analyze the relationship between the point of the embedded genre and the idea of its content. OLD TESTAMENT LAW: Note the following principles of interpretation: (1) the collection or series in which an individual law appears serves as its literary context; (2) endeavor to understand the original meaning of laws in light of their cultlural background; (3) apply laws primarily to the NT counterpart. Deuteronomy: interpret according to the following guidelines: (1) it is best heard as Moses’ speeches to God’s threatened people; (2) its crucial historical background is the potential corrupting influence of the Canaanite religion on Israel; (3) approach the laws as Moses’ exhortations; (4) the literary nature of each section should dictate the interpretive approach to it. POETRY: Note the following interpretive principles: (1) since poems originated as complete units, interpret them in their entirety rather than as isolated verses; (2) each psalm serves as its own literary context; (3) the occasion on which ancient Israel used a psalm constitutes its historical context; (4) the unique features of each literary type determines how we should interpret it; (5) take into account the structure of a poetic genre and the developoment of its thought; (6) application must conform to the situation behind each genre; (7) contemporary use should coincide with the poem’s original purpose, occasion, and speakers; (8) Christians believe that Christ is the new David who fulfills the latter’s kingship. PROPHECY: Note the following principles: (1) read a whole prophetic book at one or two sittings; (2) determine one’s observations concerning the books’s recurring themes, metaphors, probable intention, possible audience, and overall rhetorical strategy; (3) list ways in which the book’s worldview may differ or challenge how Chrisstians see the world today; (4) Focus on smaller contexts; (5) determine when a given prophecy did or will most likely reach fulfillment; (6) OT prophecies about Israel and Zion usually find their fulfillment spiritually in the Church; (7) strive to understnd the meaning of the text’s main symbols, then decide on itrs whole major thematic points; and (8) find a situation in modern life that seems parallel to the situation addressed by a whole book or at least by one section. Ot Apocalyptic: Note the following principles: (1) set a modest goal; (2) take the symbolism and numbers seriously but not literally; (3) read OT apocalyptic in connection with NT apocalyptic; (4) observe the prophet’s pastoral concern for his audience; (5) move beyond the details to determine the main points; (6) derive applications from the text’s main points; (7) learn to enjoy reading this genre of literature. WISDOM: Proverbs: Note the following principles: (1) decide which proverbs apply to specific contemporary situations; (2) ensure that a proverb is not interpreted by modern Western standards of desires; (3) factor i the reality of a fallen world into the interpretation; (4) know that the starting point for understanding any proverb is its literary traits. Insstruction: Note the following principles: (1) observe that the literary form’s commands present absolute demands for obedience; (2) approach wisdom speeches as if listening to a passionate pleading; (3) pay special attention to any motive claauses present; (4) capture its form and content by determining what the proverb urges you to do. Example Story and Reflection: Note the following principles: (1) Determine how the components support the concluding moral; (2) consider the narrative aspects of longer texts or series; (3) observe how each text works literarily; (4) note the concluding morals because they express the writer’s main point; (5) note that applications of an example story needs to flow form the concluding moral; (6) appreciate the unique literary style while interpreting its teaching canonically in light of other biblical revelation. Disputation Speeches (Job): Note the following principles: (1) determine what truth(s) dominates each speaker’s attempts at persuasion; (2) pay attention of Job’s seof-defense and note that his companions advice often conflicts with God’s position; (3) analyze how other genres work and determine their contribution(s); (4) note how the text supports Job’s proclamation of innocence; (5) decide what God’s main point is in His answer to Job’s disputations; (6) Notice the book’s ending and how it provides a crucial clue to the interpretation of the whole book; and (7) note that whatever main theme oen concludes from Job must coincide with other perspectives of the other wisdom books.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

The definition of genre is the classification for which text is characterized. The style in which a writer pens a text and best fits his or her intended method for understanding. Narrative is an example of an Old Testament genre. There are several different types of narrative found n the Old Testament. A narrative can be described as a report “a brief, self-controlled narration, usually in third-person style, about a single event in the past” (327). There are several different reports: anecdote, battle reports, construction report, dream report, epiphany report and historical stories.
Anecdote: a story that involves a person’s life and usually not public knowledge
Battle report: tells the story of a victory or defeat in time of battle 
Construction report: records the “construction of important building or objects and describes their size, materials, and decoration in great deal.
Dream goal: the reflection of a person’s dream
Epiphany report: “reports an experience in which God or the angel of the Lord appears to someone often convey a message” (328).
Historical stories: “develop a rudimentary plot, record dialogues and speeches by characters.
Heroic Narrative tells the story of the life and events of the hero
Prophet story – tells the story of the life and events of a prophet
Comedy- unlike the definition of comedy in modern times in the Old Testament comedy was referred as a story that has a happy ending.
Farewell Speech- “an address in the person voice reportedly given by someone shortly before his or her death” (335).
Embedded genres are “well known saying that comments on everyday people and event” (337).
Riddle, Fable, and Parables are examples of embedded genres.
Apocalyptic genres is prophetic in nature deals with the end times and judgment or movement from God.
Wisdom literature is also known as a proverb that messages is intended to teach the reader a truth from human experience.

James Outland • 3 years ago

Genre is defined by Webster as “a category of artistic, musical, or literary composition characterized by a particular style, form, or content.” The Bible employs the use of various genres as vehicles to convey God’s revelation to humans in a way they could understand. To interpret the Bible properly, we must understand its literary tools for they alone enable us to understand the Bible holistically.

Some major categories of genres in the OT along with their subs are: 
(1) Narratives
a. Reports
b. Heroic Narrative
c. Prophet Story
d. Comedy
e. Farewell Speech

(2) Law 
a. Casuistic Law
b. Apodictic Law

(3) Poetry
a. Prayers
b. Songs
c. Liturgies
d. Wisdom Psalms

(4) Prophecy
a. Prophecy of Disaster
b. Prophecy of Salvation
c. Prophetic Dirge
d. Prophetic Hymn
e. Prophetic Liturgy
f. Prophetic Disputation
g. Prophetic Lawsuit
h. Prophecy Against Foreign Nations
i. Apocalyptic Prophecy

(5) Wisdom
a. Proverbs
b. Instruction
c. Disputation Speeches

The interpretation of differing genres, such as apocalyptic prophecy and wisdom literature.
1) Principles for the interpretation of Apocalyptic Prophecy are:
a) Set a modest goal: rather than trying to understand everything, try simply to grasp as much as possible about what a text says.
b) Take the symbolism and numbers seriously but not literally.
c) Read OT apocalyptic in connection with NT apocalyptic. The latter either will indicate the fulfillment of the former prophecies or will supplement their predictions.
d) Observe the prophet’s pastoral concern for his audience.
e) Move beyond the details to determine the main point.

2) Principles for the interpretation of Wisdom Literature – Proverbs:
a) Proverb expresses a truth observed to work in most cases. It may be limited to the sage’s personal experience and certain specific context. Therefore, we cannot simply pick and choose proverbs that “sound good”; rather, we must carefully ensure that their context and our proposed application context closely match up.

b) We must take care not to interpret a proverb by modern Western standards.

c) The reality of a fallen world must be factored into our interpretation

d) The starting point for understanding any proverb is its literary traits – its parallelism, metaphors, word plays, and even its narrative features.

e) The wide-ranging content of biblical proverbs may be best studied through topical surveys or character studies.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

(1) What is meant by “genre”? What are some “genres” of the OT?

A Biblical genre is a classification of Bible literature according to literary genre. The genre of a particular Bible passage is ordinarily identified by analysis of its general writing style, tone, form, structure, literary technique, content, design, and related linguistic factors; texts that exhibit a common set of literary features (very often in keeping with the writing styles of the times in which they were written) are together considered as belonging to a genre. In Biblical studies, genres are usually associated with whole books of the Bible, because each of its books comprises a complete textual unit; however, a book may be internally composed of a variety of styles, forms, and so forth, and thus bear the characteristics of more than one genre (for example, chapter 1 of the Book of Revelation is prophetic/visionary; chapters 2 and 3 are similar to the epistle genre; etc.).

Within the discipline of literary analysis, the existence and subjectivity of genres is a matter of some debate. This is reflected to a lesser degree in academic discussion of Biblical genres. However, isolating the broad genres of the Bible and discerning which books/passages belong to which genre is not a matter of complete agreement; for instance, scholars diverge over the existence and features of such Bible genres as gospel and apocalyptic. Furthermore, some detect sub-genres—more narrowly defined compositional categories within a genre—in surrounding historical literature, and speculate that certain books and passages of the Bible may be better denominated by sub-genre (e.g., it may be claimed that the book of Philemon is not simply a generic letter, but a personal letter). Despite such differences of opinion within the community of Bible scholars, the majority acknowledge that the concept of genre and sub-genre can be useful in the study of the Bible as a guide to the tone and interpretation of the text.
Some Old Testament genres are Reports, a brief self-contained narration, usually in third person style, about a single event or situation in the past. It narrates the facts of what happened in a straight forward style without literary embellishment. 

Heroic Narratives, this comprises a series of episodes that focus on the life and exploits of a hero whom people later consider significant enough to remember. Typically, such heroic narratives include some account of the person’s birth, marriage, lifework, and death. They place particular emphasis on the hero’s displays of virtue and extraordinary heroism. 

Comedy which Is a narrative whose plot has a happy ending and in some cases through a dramatic reversal. It often aims to amuse and typically the following features play prominent roles: disguises, mistaken identity, providential coincidences, surprising turns-of-events, escapes from disaster, and the conquest of obstacles. Comedies often conclude with a marriage, a celebratory feast, reconciliation with opponents, or victory over enemies. 

Farewell Speeches that serve an important role because it plays at key junctures of OT narrative literature. It is an address in the first-person voice reportedly given by someone shortly before his or her death. Typically the speaker refers to his or her old age or imminent death and exhorts the hearers to live along certain lines in the future. 


(2) The interpretation of differing genres, such as apocalyptic prophecy and wisdom literature.

The apocalyptic prophecy genre presents unique challenges to the interpreter. The following principles of interpretation will help readers meet those challenges. Set a modest goal, take the symbolism and numbers seriously but not literally, read OT apocalyptic in connection with NT apocalyptic like Mt 24 (pars.) and Revelations, Observe the prophet’s pastoral concern for his audience, Ultimately, the student needs to move beyond the details to determine the main points, application should derive from the text’s main points, and above all, learn to enjoy reading this imaginative and uplifting literature.

Wisdom psalms introduce ancient Israel’s educators, the so-called wisdom teachers of the OT. Here we survey the many genres of the OT Wisdom Literature the larger category that includes the books of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes. Readers must remember that the roots of wisdom thought lie in creation theology. The best-known form of Wisdom Literature is the Proverbs which is a concise, memorable statement of truth learned over extended human experience. Grammatically, a proverb occurs in the indicative mood and thus makes a simple declaration about life as it is. 

The main principle of interpretation in wisdom literature is they offer general principles for successful living rather than a comprehensive legal code for life. Their primary goal is to state an important, simple truth about life in easy-to-remember terms. There are several sub-genres of Wisdom Literature such as Instruction, story and reflection, and disputation speeches.

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Session 9

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 9


Briefly discuss: 

(1) What is involved in the interpretation of the genre of the Gospel accounts?

(2) What is the center of Pauline theology? So, the development in Pauline theology and his writing?

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

The implications which center in the interpretation of the genre of the Gospel accounts call for the following:
The historical trustworthiness of the Gospel account must be examined, the Gospel should be read horizontally and vertically, the Gospel’s audience should be taken into consideration, and consider key theological issues highlighted.

The center of Pauline theology is justification by faith. Paul taught that no one can be saved works, but by faith in Christ Jesus.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

Included in the interpretation of the Genre of the gospel accounts it has been concluded that genre consists of messages that God was at work in Jesus life, death, burial and ressurection effecting his promises that are found in scrpiture. Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart summarizes students should consult a synopsis of the gospel that prints parrallel columns in order to read and think horizontally and vertically, then read across the page and compare the way each writer treats the text. 
The centre of Pauline Theology is that Paul stress “Justification by Faith” over all forms of works of righteousness. Paul was saying to then works of righteousness will not save you, you must have saving faith in Almighty God. Paul’s thinking did change when he found out that under the New Covenant verses the old that, “Christ is all things to all people”. (I Cor. 9:19-23). Paul also believed that although he may die first, he will see the return of Jesus. (II Cor. 1:8-11, I Thes. 4:13-18).

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

Interpretation of the genre of the Gospel accounts involves historical trustworthiness, reading horizontally and vertically, and the Gospel’s first audiences. History found a man of destiny when Martin Luther rediscovered the Pauline doctrine of justification by faith apart from the works of the Law and thereby sparked the Protestant Reformation. For Luther the doctrine of justification became the principle doctrine of Christianity, the touchstone by which we can judge most surely and freely about all doctrines works, forms of worship, and ceremonies of all men.


Many scholars question the authenticity of some of the letters attributes to Paul in the New Testament. The ways in which Paul’s letters are interpreted depend on how one assesses the kind of debate over his theological center. Paul’s letters are instances of occasional literature, meaning that Paul wrote them for specific occasions. Paul usually did not write for the unspecified reader, but for a well-defined audience; thus often Paul presupposed knowledge on the part of his readership, to which we do not have access. Paul dealt with topics in his letters that he believed needed to be raised; what he did not think that he needed to discuss he did not, although he may have spoken on such topic extensively.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

What is involved in the interpretation of the genre of the Gospel accounts?
The Greek work euagelion (gospel) means “good news.” Before the NT was written, the term often referred to news such as the broadcast of a military victory. The NT term refers to the good news of the message proclaimed by Jesus.

The Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John all are narratives of Jesus; Christians refer to these Books as the Gospels. Each document reflects the one unified message from Christ, now are about Jesus ane witnessed in four different accounts.

The first periods Christianity word “gospel” did not refer primarily to literary genre in any formal sense; however, it is obvious with close study, all four Gospels share in common both form and content. 

The Genre of the Gospels includes: No biographies of Jesus, “The four evangelists in essence created a 
new genre when they composed their Gospels.” – Theological Biographies

Implications for interpretation: Historical Trustworthiness: Development of Tradition Criticism with its criteria for authenticity.

Historical Trustworthiness: “Readers today encounter much interpretation, abbreviation and digests of
long speeches and narratives, topical as well as chronological arrangement of accounts, and careful selection of material to fit a writer’s particular theological emphasis. But once all this is recognized,
the Gospel materials actually measure up quite well by the most valid criteria of authenticity.”

Reading Horizontally & Vertically: Reading Horizontally & Vertically to deal with the Gospels’ unique blend of history and theology. Thinking vertically should take priority over thinking horizontally. . . . Any
Passage in the Gospels should be interpreted in light of the overall structure and themes of that Gospel
irrespective of the nature of any parallel accounts that appear elsewhere.”

Reading Horizontally & Vertically: “Thinking horizontally and thinking vertically amounts to studying the Gospels along the lines of modern redaction criticism. Redaction criticism is best defined as the attempt “to lay bare the theological perspectives of a biblical writer by analyzing the editorial (redaction)
and compositional techniques and interpretations employed by him in shaping and framing the written and / or traditions at hand. When we compare parallel accounts and find a particular evangelist’s distinctive and then see those same themes emphasized through that.

Reading Horizontally & Vertically: Gospel, we may feel rather confident that we have discovered a key point the gospel writer wished to make.”

The Gospels’ First Audiences: “Thinking about the theological emphases and distinctive of each Gospel leads naturally to a consideration of the people to whom they were originally addressed. Presumably, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John each highlighted different aspects of the life of Christ mainly because those aspects were particularly relevant to the individuals and congregations to whom they were
writing.”

The center of Pauline theology: The foundation, A gracious and merciful God, who is full of love toward all. The framework: Eschatological existence as already but not yet. The focus: Jesus, the Son of God, who as God’s suffering servant Messiah effected eschatological salvation for humanity through his death and resurrection, and is now the exalted Lord and coming King. The fruit: The church as an eschatological community, who, constituted by Christ’s death and the gift of the Spirit, and this restored into God’s likeness, form God’s new covenant people.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

One or more Gospels are treated as representing a different genre from the other. Genres of the New Testament consist of theological biographies of Jesus, parables (seeing an entire Gospel as a metaphorical discourse designed both to reveal and conceal, comedies (stories with a triumphant ending or tragedies), aretalogies (which are accounts of episodes from the life a divine man, usually a famous hero or warrior. However other Gospel genres took on narrative forms while the focus was only on one small portion of Jesus life. Narrative is the most common type of literature or genre in the Bible. Large sections of the New Testament were written in the narrative genre. A narrative simply conveys a message through people, their problems and situations. Elements of narrative genres know the plot, setting and characters. Many of the principles of interpreting other narratives will apply such as understanding the historical setting and reading the Gospels straight through to get a greater awareness of the characters, plot, flow, themes, and purpose of these books. The biblical narratives reveal real historical events and people .Matthew has been viewed as a Midrash of Mark and John is viewed as a drama set apart from the other three Synoptic Gospels which are seen as historical and a biography. In some instance when passages occurred in chronological order the Gospel writers seems likely to have included and omitted material because of thematic parallels or contrasts.

The center of Pauline theology was the teaching and doctrines of Apostle Paul. The Pauline theology also lined up with the teachings of Jesus Christ and other New Testament writings. Paul had a enormous amount of power and influence on the people of His time. Pauline theology is traditional center that man is justification by faith rather than the form of works for righteousness the Luther centered theology. Paul’s conversion was the realization that the Messiah was truly Jesus of Nazareth. This was the belief of the primitive church and was the truth for which Christ had died even though Paul was not a eye witness. Paul theology church system is based entirely on his letters. The development in Pauline theology and his writing were based on key points such as the important roles of the Law, God’s plan of redemption for man, a believer is justification by faith. Paul will do what it takes without being immoral or unethical to bring people to saving faith through grace of Jesus Christ.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

The Gospel after the NT was written refers specifically to the “good news proclaimed by Jesus.” One of the methods involved in the interpretation is called tradition criticism in which means the “authentic sayings and factual narratives to more complex combinations of history and legend or myth found in the final form of the canonical Gospels another method is Reading Horizontally and vertically established by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. The reason for this many of the “teaching and actions of Jesus occur in more than one Gospel.” Therefore it is important to identify the likeness of the Gospel accounts. Within this method of thinking horizontally and vertically is redaction criticism. This means “to lay bare theological perspectives of a biblical writer by analyzing the editorial and compositional techniques and interpretations employed. Another important thing of importance to remember when interpreting biblical literature is its historical background and literary context.

The center of Pauline theology lie in the answer to Paul theological position. Luther believed strongly that Paul’s stressed “justification by faith” over “works”. However, contemporary scholars believe that this is not the case. They believe Paul’s theological position was “radical universalism: the message that one could come to God in Christ apart from the Torah.”

As for the development in Paul writings, it seems as if Paul ‘s revelation or understanding progressed. For an example, Paul made proclaimations in regards to awaiting the Lord’s return but later recognizing that he may perish before his return. An effective interpreter must evaluate these development or possible contradictions using the tools of interpetation.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

The New Testament Gospel consists of the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, and the Gospel of John. As we know, Matthew, Mark, and Luke are labeled synoptic because they parallel each other in a majority of events and themes, and gives similar accounts of the ministry of Jesus. Although the Gospel of John differs considerably in terms of purpose, it also can be compared to the previous three. According to Klein, Blomberg, and Hubbard, there are three key indicators to be considered when interpreting the genre of the Gospel accounts: 
1- historical trustworthiness; 2- horizontal and vertical reading; and 3- the first audiences of the Gospel. Historical Trustworthiness: The Gospels must be evaluated according to the standards of their day, and not judged by our modern day ones. For example, at the time the Gospels were written, paraphrasing rather than direct quotes was the norm. Therefore, even though the wording of events may differ, the same theological emphases applies. Although there are several “alleged” contradictions between the Gospels, when we consider these from the viewpoint of what was considered as normal during the time the Gospels were written, we can consider them as historically trustworthy. Reading Horizontaliy and Vertically: In interpreting the Gospels, one should read both horizontally and vertically in comparing parallel accounts of events. That is, accounts of events should be looked at in parallel columns across the page as well as down it. Interpretation and application of a given passage in the Gospel should stress the particular emphasis of the Gospel in which it occurs. Therefore, it is appropriate to use one Gospel to interpret another as long as the distinction of each is considered. Vertical interpretation, however, should take priority over horizontal thinking. In other words, when reading down the columns, specific themes can more readily be grouped. The First Audiences of the Gospel: Considering the original audiences for which the Gospels were written is very important for interpretation. The four Gospels gave us a glimpse of the life and ministry of Jesus, with each emphasizing aspects specific to the particular audience for which it was written. Also to be taken into consideration when interpreting the NT Gospel genre is that some parts were put in the Gospels because they were common to and of interest to the people, both Christian and non-Christian, who lived during this particular time. 

The Pauline Theology:
The center of Paul’s theology, as agreed by most Protestants, is “justification by faith.” HIs theology was a challenge to the Jewish community that one could come to Christ even though he or she was not a Jew. There is, however, some controversy by some who say that Paul’s view that Gentiles could enter into the Church on equal terms with Jews replaced the theory of “justification by faith.” 

Development: 
There is also controversy as to whether there is development in Paul”s writing. Depending on the epistle, it seems that ideas differ with the purpose for which it was written. However, one can argue that there is unity in epistles such as 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 where Paul believes that he will live to see Christ’s return, and 2 Corinthians 1:8-11 where he states that he might die first. The position of the textbook for this class seems to be that the verdict is still out on whether or not there is development in Paul’s writing.

James Outland • 3 years ago

(1) What is involved in the interpretation of the genre of the Gospel accounts?
Accurate interpretation of the genre of the gospel accounts takes a balanced approach and employs the use of three fundamentals checks that provide the premise upon which the interpretation of the gospel can be considered sound and authentic:
(a) Historical Trustworthiness – the canonical Gospels preserves accurate historical information about the words and deeds of Jesus and his companions.
(b) Reading Horizontally and Vertically – Reading horizontally refers to a side by side comparison of parallel accounts for distinctions. Reading vertically implies that any passage in the Gospels should be interpreted in light of the overall structure and themes of that Gospel.
(c) The Gospel First Audience – This refers to a consideration for the target audience to whom the scripture was written. Presumably, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each highlighted different aspects of the life of Christ mainly because those aspects were particularly relevant to the individuals and congregations to whom they were writing.

(2) What is the center of Pauline theology? So, the development in Pauline theology and his writing?

The center of Pauline Theology is the incorporation of Gentiles into the church on equal terms with Jews. Paul’s radical challenge to Judaism was his radical universalism: the message that one could come to God in Christ apart from the Torah. In this view, Paul’s complaint with Jewish practices such as circumcision, the dietary laws, or the Sabbath ordinances was that most Jews had turned them into “badges” of national pride and identity.

Contrary to the claim of developments in Paul’s writing, Paul remain consistent in his writing despite the proliferation of his epistles. Apparent changes in Paul’s stand can be resolved by a closer look at the scriptures in question. For example, Gal 2 and 1Cor9 differ because at Galatia the eternal lives of Paul’s hearers were at stake. Any attempt to earn salvation through works only damns a person, so Paul resists the idea adamantly. To the Corinthians, however, he talks about morally neutral practices that establish common ground in order to win the gospel a good hearing.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

(1) What is involved in the interpretation of the genre of the Gospel accounts?

When interpreting NT passages, then, readers must always take into account whether they are reading a Gospel, the Acts, an epistle, or the book of Revelations. Each of these genres in turn contains various forms of subgenres. While the principles discussed apply to all of Scripture, each genre or form has unique features that interpreters need to take into account as well. We cannot treat parables in exactly the same way as pronouncement stories. Teaching in Acts is often more indirect than in the Epistles, and apocalyptic differs from straightforward historical narrative. 

When interpreting the Gospel accounts, for example, you should be aware of the widespread belief that only a small portion of the canonical Gospels preserves accurate historical information about the words and deeds of Jesus and his companions. This has led to the development of tradition criticism and its “criteria of authenticity” for tracing the growth of the Jesus-tradition. In this view the tradition ranges from fairly authentic sayings and factual narratives to the more complex combinations of history and legend or myth found in the final form of the canonical Gospels. For many scholars, only what they deem to be the earliest stage or most authentic material is normative for Christians today. Others postulate varying degrees of normativeness based on the layer and the tradition to which a given verse or text can be assigned. The Jesus Seminar gained notoriety in the 1990’s for its two books that color-coded all the sayings and narratives of Jesus in the five Gospels including the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas and concluded that only 18 percent of the sayings and 16 percent of the narratives of Jesus actually reflected something he said or did in reasonably accurate form. 

(2) What is the center of Pauline theology? So, the development in Pauline theology and his writing?

As noted, when an author writes as many different books over a period of time as did Paul, distinctive theological questions arise. The two most pressing are: (1) is there a unifying center to Pauline theology? And (2) Does Paul’s theology “develop” from one period of time to another so that he changes his mind on any significant issues. According to Luther, Paul’s foremost concern was to stress “justification by faith” over all forms of “works-righteousness.” Over time, however, certain planks in Luther’s platform eroded. For example, there is no evidence that Paul struggled as a Jew with a guilty conscience, increasingly more frustrated with his inability to please God through good works. Quite the contrary, he thought that he was “blameless” under the Law (Phill 3:6 NRSV) and “advancing in Judaism beyond many” of his age (Gal 1:14). The debate over Rom 7:14-25 continues to rage, but one conclusion seems clear; Paul does not there describe a personal battle he waged before his conversion. Either this details his post-conversion perception of what had previously occurred, or more likely, describes the struggle between his old and new natures that he continued to experience as a Christian. However, many scholars today contend that “merit theology” or works righteousness did not characterize first-century Judaism, so that Paul’s main contrast with Judaism cannot be faith (or grace) versus works. Rather, Jews believed in “covenantal nomism.” This is obeying the Law saved no one, but obedience kept one within the exclusive covenant community God had established with Israel.

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Session 10

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 10


Briefly discuss: 

(1) The influence of the Bible on the theology of the Church.

(2) The influence of Scripture on the message of the Church today.

(3) Other influences of the Bible in the present Church.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

In reading chapter ten of Klein we are reminded that the Bible which derives from God himself greatly influences the Theology of the church. The Bible expresses how people respond to the revelation of who God is in Jesus Christ. The Bible shows God’s grace and love for all humanity and prompts his people to respond in various ways. The Bible provides inspiration and challenge, therefore it helps to shape the theology of the church. It generates religious experiences, provides hope and sustenance while providing a medium for individual worship to our creator.

The Bible scripture move individuals to worship individually and corporately. There are many who belief in gods, who are called “theologies” which come from a Greek word (Theos) help formulate a theology in a orderly belief system with theism at the center. To theologians the Bible is necessary basis for theology for it is faith and belief in the Most High God of all nations. Thus theology acts as an anchor for the church in all it’s Bible teaching, and for christians who has been battered and are trembling from the storms of life, for they can find relativism and comfort in the word of God. It offers a secure understanding of how God’s will and purpose is in history and eternity.

Theology protects the church today against the many changing winds and false doctrines that challenges the church existance of reality and truth since it’s very beginning. Today the Bible greatly influences us to read and learn what the various writers, authors, and prophets has to say about different situtations. It presents God’s unified message and makes it appliable to this present age, thus being a guide for all christians to live by.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

The influence of the Bible on the theology of the church include the following:
• It provides information and understanding.
• It provides the provision of worship and services.
• It creates liturgical worship and services in various denominational settings.
• It formulates the theology of worship and Bible reading.
• It provides teaching and preaching.
• It provides pastoral care and spiritual formation on the life of the Christians.

The influence of scripture on the message of the church today including the following:
• Provides direction for Christian growth and maturity.
• Provides insight into the Christian understands scriptures and apply them daily in his or her walk with Christ.
• Provides information necessary to provide development for the Christian life in ministry.
• Equips servant leaders of how they need to conduct themselves in the affairs the church ministry and others.

Other influences of the Bible in the present church include the following:
• Provides the map for spiritual living before God.
• Instructs the means by which the Christians develop spiritually and become conformable to the likeness of Christ.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

(1) The influence of the Bible on the theology of the Church, the Bible not only reports the history but the religious faith of the people of God. Bible theology is that discipline which sets forth the message of the books of the Bible in their historical setting. The bible as teaches us the important of who we are serving (God) and about the life , death and resurrection of Christ. We must know that all things including the Word of God derive from God Himself. The Bible provides believers with instruction from God on how to love and or obey Him. It gives clear indications on how we should treat one another. It also informs us on how we should worship and praise The LORD “in spirit and in truth.” Bible theology is put in place for man to gain accurate information and clear understanding of God and others. The Bible brings concrete information to the life of believers through graphic manner, and God’s personal and loving commitment to His people. Theology offers the church a secure understanding of herself and how she fits into God’s overall purpose in history and eternity. Theology is a ongoing task in the life of the church and it acts as an anchor for not only the church but Christians as well. It also establishes the boundaries of orthodoxy.

(2) The influence of Scripture on the message of the Church today as stated by Klein, Blomberg and Hubbard in Chapter 10 “ The Scripture constitutes God’s revelation to His people- His very word in written form”(p 377) . The scripture attested to God’s presence, activity, love and a particular love expressed in and through His Son, Jesus Christ. The Scripture motivates believers to worship God individually and corporately. Scripture also teaches believers how to accept Christ into their lives and why it is important to do so.

(3)The Bible communicates in various ways and serves many purposes but it is to retain its integrity and potency as God’s communication to His people. Other influences of the Bible in the present Church , it is used for the form of teaching Bible study ,to preach, for aesthetic enjoyment, for the purpose of spiritual formation in the life of Christians and it help to provide pastoral care to the people of God.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

Christians understanding and theology of the Bible should be at the very core of the way in which we live out our Christianity daily.
The influence of Bible on the theology of the Church is paramount. The author states, the message is to be used to: encourage, motivate, guide, and instruct. The key to gaining from a message is one’s ability to interpret and understand what is being said. Christians should be reliant upon the Word of God for these areas mention in the previous sentence and should be a working part of their daily lives. The theology of the Bible also instructs and gives Christians understanding as to how they are to conduct worship that honors the Lord. Liturgy is also influence by the ordinances, and psalms of Scripture. The Bible also shapes the theology of the those who believe. Therefore, it is important for Christians to study the Word day and night in order for them to understand the making of a godly worldview. When a message is preached, it should always correlate to Scripture. Otherwise, it may be considered as heresy.
The influence of Scripture on the message of the Church today is even more paramount because they are so many messages misinterpreted from the Bible being preached. Many of the leaders who proclaim these messages have gone on to be organize cults. It is so much confusion and misappropriations of Scripture in this modern day. Not to mention, the many beliefs that opposes Christianity and the many declarations from movements that state Jesus is not the only way. As a Christian it is important to do as Scripture commands us to listening to messages “preached.” 1 John 4: 1-3 states:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.
Christians cannot go wrong relying on God’s Word to be the governing force in his or her life.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

I must agree,Christians cannot go wrong relying on God’s Word to be the governing force in his or her life.

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

The Bible is the primary source of data or information for the Christian faith. Scripture is God’s self-revelation. He reveals Himself as the sovereign God of the universe who has chosen to make man and to make Himself known to man. Christians believe that through the Bible God has information to people, information about who God is, what he has done in history, what he wants people to know, how they should respond to God, and the story of God’s relationship to people. Also, it is essential to grasp the sweep of the history from creation to consummation. It is also crucial to keep in focus the unifying theme of Scripture. The one constant theme unfolding throughout the whole Bible is that God for His own glory has chosen to create and gather to Himself a group of people to be the subjects of His eternal kingdom, to praise, honor, and serve Him forever and through whom He will display His wisdom, power, mercy, grace, and glory. 

We must understand that the Bible is actually one book with one Divine Author. Over the centuries, three widely recognized principles were used to validate those writings which came as a result of divine revelation and inspiration. First, the writing had to have a recognized prophet or apostle as its author. Second, the writing could not disagree with or contradict previous Scripture. Third, the writing had to have general consensus by the church as an aspired book. Thus, when various councils met in church history to consider the canon, they did not vote for the canonicity of a book but rather recognized, after the fact, what God had already written.

Ephesians 5:27 shows us what the church will yet be. There will be a period in its history when there shall not be any imperfection; when there shall be neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing. In heaven all will be pure. On earth we are preparing for that world of purity; and it cannot be denied that here there is much that is imperfect and impure. But in that future world, where the church shall be presented to Christ, clothed in the robes of salvation, there shall not be one unholy member; one deceiver or hypocrite; one covetous or avaricious man; one that shall pain the hearts of the friends of purity by an unholy life. And in all the million that shall be gathered there out of every land, and people, and tongue, and age, there shall be no envy, malice, backbiting, pride, vanity, worldliness; there shall be no annoying and vexing conflict in the heart with evil passions, “nor any such thing.” How different from the church as it now is; and how we should pant for that blessed world!

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

The influence of the Bible on the theology of the Church, stated by Klein, is to gain information and understanding; he writes that the function of the Bible is the main source of factual evidence or information. The Bible is God’s written word, it’s sufficient, without era, the Bible is human revelation that lays the foundation for living. The Bible is the road map leading us to our most fundament relationship with God. Through the ages it taught and teaches, men how to live. Man need not look towards any other secondary resource but the Bible, for any humanist trials. The Bible is also used as a tool to motivate as well as an opportunity to worship. Worship, as R. G. Rayburn puts it, “…activity of the new life of a believer…recognizing the fullness of the Godhead as it is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ and His mighty redemptive acts…rendering to the living God the glory, honor, and submission…” Liturgy of the body of the church incorporates: prayers, hymns, various reading, response the reading, psalms, and sacraments. Scripture aid in worship and perform an appropriate liturgy-forming function; allowing the use of the Bible to preach and teach, to help men discover the full meaning of the text and its action. 
The Scripture provides positive care to individual believers, it guides as well as wellbeing, solace and security for God’s people. As the text states, “We acknowledge the truth in Jesus’ words, “In this world you will have trouble” (Jn 16:33).”…The word states the condition of man and how to provide correctional care. The Word represents God’s revelation to communicate to his people, listening carefully to God’s voice, the chosen ones encounter His Mighty presence.

James Outland • 3 years ago

(1) The influence of the Bible on the theology of the Church.
The Bible is the basis from which theology is formed. Theology acts as an anchor for the Church and for Christians who occasionally may feel battered and trembling in a sea of relativism or competing world-views. Theology offers the Church a secure understanding of itself and how it fits into God’s overall purposes in history and eternity. Theology protects the Church against the changing winds that have challenged its existence and claims of truth since the beginning.

(2) The influence of Scripture on the message of the Church today.
Christian preaching has always purported to be biblical. Believing that the Bible is God’s revelation to his creatures, Christians seek to proclaim its message to all who will listen. By its very nature, preaching attempts to convey biblical information and to persuade people to respond to it in appropriate ways.

(3) Other influences of the Bible in the present Church.
The Bible influences the present Church as its primary motivation for worship. Its message is used to encourage, motivate, guide and to instruct. The Bible is the fundamental document of the Christian faith and as such, it functions as the primary source of data or information for the Church. The Bible is a source of positive guidance as well as comfort and consolation for God’s people. The Bible provides motivation and guidance for living a life that pleases God. Personal spiritual development must rest upon correct and valid interpretations of the Bible. The Bible stands at the core of spiritual growth. In addition to all its other virtues the Bible delights the people of God. Its pages brim with adventure, humor and pageantry. It is a book of aesthetic beauty.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

(1) The influence of the Bible on the theology of the Church.

As the foundational document of the Christian faith, the Bible functions as the primary source of data or information. Christians believe that the Bible is God’s written revelation to humans. Theologians say the Bible is special revelation not available from any other source. Thus, those who wish to learn about the Judeo-Christian faith read and study the Bible. 

(2) The influence of Scripture on the message of the Church today.

The liturgy of the Christian Church has always incorporated texts from the Bible. Whether high or low the liturgy of the Church employs prayers, hymns, various readings, psalms, and the ordinances or sacraments. The Scriptures inform all these elements; indeed, many feature scriptural portions directly. Unquestionably, then, the Scriptures aid our worship and perform an appropriate liturgy-forming function, in which worship is holistic not merely a matter of the head. Unquestionably, then, the Scriptures aid our worship and perform an appropriate liturgy-forming function. In which worship is holistic not merely a matter of the head. 

(3) Other influences of the Bible in the present Church.

Christian preaching in the church has always purported to be biblical. Believing that the Bible is God’s revelation to his creatures, Christians seek to proclaim its message to all who will listen. By its very nature, preaching attempts to convey biblical information and to persuade people to respond to it in appropriate ways.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

The Bible is the basis for the doctrine or theology of the Church. It acts as an anchor or cornerstone for the Church and for Christians. The Bible offers the Church a secure understanding of itself and of how it fits into God’s purposes in history and eternity. In determining how it influences the theology of the Church, several factors or guidelines must be considered: (1) valid theologizing must follow the sound exegeis of the appropriate biblical texts; (2) theology must be based on the Bible’s total teaching, not as isolated text; (3) legitimate theology respects and articulates the Bible’s own emphases; (4) they must state theological points in ways that explain and illuminate their significances for the life and ministry of the Church today; (5) theology must be centered in what God has revealed in Scriptures, not in what people, in their own thinking, believes; (6) modern theologians cannot do their work as if no Christians have considered the same issues in another time. The Scriptures continue to be relevant today, especially if we use sound and accurate biblical interpretation. They are God’s revelation to His people. It must be remembered that God’s Word is unchanging. Even in today’s technological world, the Scriptures continue to be used to guide, motivate, encourage, and instruct God’s people, and the Bible is the primary source of information. The Bible is used as the source of worship in the Church. Through the discipline of biblical study and instruction, and with proper interpretation, the Bible continues to offer relevant instruction on how to live a Godly life.

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Session 11

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Klein, Blomberg & Hubbard, Chapter 11, plus “Appendix” (pp. 401-455)


Briefly discuss: 

(1) The importance of application of the Biblical message.

(2) What errors may occur in the improper usage of application?

(3) What good rules would result with proper use of “application”?

(4) What are some modern approaches to Biblical interpretation? Briefly explain.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

The errors that may occur in the improper usage of application include the following:
• The neglect of any conduct.
• Partial neglect of the literary or historical context of a passage.
• Insufficiently analogous situations.



The good rules that would result with proper use of application include the following:
• Determining the original application intended by the original by the passage.
• Evaluate the level of specificity of those applications to their original historical situations.
• If the original applications are not transferable, identify one or more broader cross-cultural principles that the specific elements of the text reflect.
• Find appropriate applications for today that implement those principles.

Some modern approached to Biblical interpretation include the following:
• Read the pretext of scriptures
• Read the text intended to be preached.
• Determine the context of the passage by taking into account the historical, cultural, linguistic, geographical, economic, time gap etc.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

It is very important to apply the Biblical messages to our lives because God has promised blessing and prosperity, only if you obey the law, God promised this to Moses and the children of Israel in (Deut. 30:11-20), and the same rule apply to us who are now under grace. We are told to not only hear the word, but to put it into practice. (Matt. 7:13-27).
In James 1:22 we are reminded to: “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves”. For the word is Relevant for generations to come.
The error of improper application are:
Neglect of the literary content, neglect of the historical content, and the insufficiently analogous situations. 
Good rules that result by proper application are:
Establishing an accurate text. In learning the correct meanings of words, by having a historicial background of the text, and by understanding the larger context or the whole scope of text, understanding “genre”, by telling the way the Old Testament laws were fulfilled in Christ. Principlizing which discovers the narrative and the spiritual content of the text in keeping with the beleivers theology principles.
Modern methods are: by structuralism studing the pretext, seeking to analyize the text to be preached, and by an analysis of the text historical cultural, time setting and the intent of the writer.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

(1) The importance of application of the Biblical message.

All scripture is both inspired and relevant “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. This does not mean that we will find a personal application in everuy phrase or sentence in Scripture, because the amount and kind of application of a passage will vary from genre to genre. We must interpret and apply each text in its context as part of a larger meaningful linguistic utterance. 

(2) What errors may occur in the improper usage of application?

One error is the “Ouija board” approach to guidance. Christians who want to base their decisions on the will of God may be tempted to use the Bible as if it were a magical book. For example, often after a prayer for divine help they might open the Bible at random and accept the verse their eyes fall on as God’s guidance for the decision they are making. Fortunately, most Bible readers usually avoid the extreme errors of the Ouija board approach. Much more common, however, is the proof-texting error that is often unwittingly encouraged by Bible memory systems that focus primarily on individual verses. To their credit, those who use this approach at least read entire sentences as meaningful units of thought, but often they fail to observe the larger contexts that appear to limit the application in important ways. 

(3) What good rules would result with proper use of “application”?

“Taking the Guesswork out of Applying the Bible”, boils it all down to three steps: understand the original situation, determine the broader principle that the biblical application reflects, and apply that general principle to situations we face. 

(4) What are some modern approaches to Biblical interpretation? Briefly explain.
1. Determine the original applications intended by the passage
2. Evaluate the level of specificity of those applications to their original historical situations. If the original specific applications are transferable across time and space to other audiences, apply them in culturally appropriate ways. 
3. If the original applications are not transferable, identify one or more broader cross-cultural principles that the specific elements of the text reflect.
4. Find appropriate applications for today that implement those principles.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

(A) The importance of application of the Biblical message: 
Obedience to God’s Word glorifies Him
In order to receive God’s blessing and prosperity one must apply his Word
God’s Word is timeless and supersedes generations. Christian must always apply God’s word to their lives.
The reading states, “All Scripture is both inspired and relevant (“useful for teaching rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
What errors may occur in the improper usage of application?
Total neglect of any context
Partial neglect of the literary or historical context of a passage
Insufficiently analogous situations
What good rules would result with proper use of “application”? According to the book there are four steps to proper application:
Determine the original application(s) intended by the passage
Evaluate the level of specificity of those application to their original historical situations
original application are not transferrable, identify one or more broadly cross- cultural prinicples
Find appropriate applications for today that implement those principles

What are some modern approaches to Biblical interpretation? 
Some of the modern approaches are examing the pretext of Scripture and the text that is to be preached.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

In discussing the importance of application of the Biblical message, it must be noted that not everyone shares the belief that God intended for His people to apply the Bible outside of its original setting. However, in support of those who do share this conviction, two factors should be taken into consideration: (1) the Scriptures claim that people should glorify God by obeying, or applying His Word; and (2) the Bible claims that its message is relevant for later generations, not exclusively for its original readers. Both the Old and New Testaments offer evidence confirming that God’s Word was designed for both original readers and later generations. An important point to remember is that all Scripture is both inspired and relevant. This does not mean that we will find a personal application in every phrase or sentence in Scripture, however, every sentence and verse appears as part of a larger unit of thoughts that has some relevance for us. Proper usage of application is extremely important. Serious errors may occur with the improper usage of application. One example of this is the Christian who may want to base his/her decision on the will of God by using the Bible as if it were a magic book. This is the person who may pray for divine help or intervention, then open the Bible to a random book and verse, and take this as God’s answer to that prayer. It must be remembered, however, that God never promises to accommodate us by using this method. In fact, serious mistakes with damaging consequences may occur when people insist of using this method. Another consequence of errors in the improper use of biblical application is focusing on individual verses rather than observing the larger contexts which may limit the application. when this happens, failure often follows, thus causing that person to become angry with God. A third consequence of errors resulting from improper application use occurs when readers correctly interpret passages in the correct literary and historical contexts, but then try to apply them to situations where they do not apply. It must be remembered that no passage of Scripture can be casually or carelessly applied to any and/or every situation. Legitimate application of the Scriptures requires the use of both general hermeneutical principles and genre criticism. The following four-stage model incorporates all of the major elements used in proper use of application: (1) determine the original application intended by the passage; (2) evaluate the level of specificity of those applications to their original historical situation. If these applications are transferrable across time and space to other audiences, apply them in culturally appropriate ways; (3) if the original applications are not transferable, identify one or more broader elements of the principles that the specific elements of the text reflect; (4) find appropriate applications for today that implement those principles. In determining modern approaches to biblical interpretation, the following ten questions should be asked of the text: (1) does the text present a broad theological or moral principle; (2) does the larger context of the same book of Scripture in which the passage appears limit the application in any way; (3) does subsequent revelation limit the application of a particular passage even if the book in which it appears does not; (4) is the specific teaching contradicted elsewhere in ways that show it was limited to exceptional situations; (5) are cultural conditions identified in Scripture or assumed by its authors that make it inappropriate always to apply a given text in the same way; (6) is a particular cultural form expressed in the biblical text present today; (7) is the rationale for the application rooted in a creation ordinance, in the character of God, or in part of His redemptive plan for humanity; (8) is the command or application at variance with standard cultural norms of the day; (9) does the passage contain an explicit or implied condition that limits its application; (10) should we adopt a “redemptive movement” hermeneutic?

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

The importance of application of the Biblical message is needed to keep us from making mistakes in application however, it is also important that we apply the word of God properly. As Jesus said don’t just hear the Word but be Doers of the word. We must know when to apply the appropriate scriptures to the right situation or topic of preaching or teaching. Not every scripture fits every situation.

The errors that may occur in the improper usage of application. One is that it can be used in wrong form and in the wrong context. Christians today still encounter widespread misapplication of scripture. For an example: this could be multiplied and categorized in detail; we will merely point out three of the most common here. People will temp to use the bible as a magical book as if they are attempting to spend the wheel and the holy spirit will just lead them to a practical scripture, consequently serious mistakes an or damages occur when people persist and dis-approach, for example opening the bible at random to a passage and applying it to their lives of decision-making process. For example the authors used this illustration; the passage in Ezekiel that speaks of people coming from Tarshish to Tyre in ships (Ezek 27:25). Although this passage contains no command for anyone to go anywhere in a ship and has nothing to do with becoming part of the armed forces, this young man interpreted the text as a call to join the navy. Chances are good that he deprived himself of a college education by making a decision he thought was God’s will but probably was not.

These are a few good rules that would result within using the proper use of “application” which are: 1. Determine the original application that is intended to be used by the passage. 2. You must evaluate the level of specificity of those applications, and detect if they are transferable across time and space to other audiences. 3. If step two results in a NO, then identify one or more broader cross-cultural principles that the specific elements of the text reflect. 4. Lastly find appropriate applications for today that embody those principles.

Some modern approaches to Biblical interpretation are: Narrative Criticism, Structuralism, Actantial analysis, Literary Criticism, Paradigmatic Analysis, Applications, Post structuralism, Deconstruction, Social-Scientific approaches to scripture, Liberation Hermeneutics, and Feminist Hermeneutics.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Scriptures claims that people glorify God by obeying and applying His Word. God’s Word is Sufficient down through the ages for generations. The Bible is used for teaching, (Mt 28:20) and to bring people to believe in Jesus, (Jn 17:20), by applying the word brings hope into problematic situations, and also it’s authoritative. Most of all Scriptures are God breathes and 2 Tim 3:16, sums it up…Scripture is both inspired and relevant.

The errors that occur in the improper usage of application: Total Neglect of Any Context, termed “Ouija board” approach to guidance. Christians who base their decisions on God may be tempted to use the Bible as a magic book. Christians can also miss interpret scripture for their own understanding. Partial neglect of the Literary of Historical Context of Passage: Proof texting error that is often unwittingly encouraged by Bible memory systems that focus on individual verses. Insufficiently Analogous Situations: all misapplications of Scripture occurs when readers correctly interpret passages in their literary and historical contexts in return bear situations where they simply do not apply.

Good rules that would result in proper application usage: Determine the original application(s) intended by the passage, Evaluate the level of specificity of those application to their original historical situations, original application are not transferrable, identify one or more broadly cross- cultural principles, Find appropriate applications for today that implement those principles.

Modern approaches to Biblical interpretation: Klein states that there are five elements for correct interpretation and application: salvation, spiritual maturity, diligent study, common sense and logic and humble dependence on the Spirit for discernment.

James Outland • 3 years ago

(1) The importance of application of the Biblical message.
Application focuses the truth of God’s Word to specific, life-related situations. The application of Biblical message is important because it gives God Glory. Hearing the Word, and understanding its meaning are of great value only in the context of application which falls in line with obedience to the word of God. Secondly, the Bible claims that its message is relevant for later generations, not just its original readers. 2Timothy 3:16 asserts that all scripture is both inspired and relevant so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

(2) What errors may occur in the improper usage of application?
a. Total Neglect of Any Context
In an effort to obtain guidance from God, some Christians may open the Bible after a word of prayer, to a random passage and accept that passage as God’s answer to prayer. This method involves a total disregard for any context associated with the text. No effort is made to ascertain the true meaning of the text. This is an example of a complete misunderstanding of what role the Bible should have in the Christian decision-making process.
b. Partial Neglect of the Literary of Historical Context of a Passage
This is an approach in which its subscribers read, at least, entire sentences as meaningful units of thought but often fail to observe the larger contexts that appear to limit the application in important ways.
c. Insufficiently Analogous Situations
The most subtle of all misapplications of Scripture occurs when readers correctly interpret passages in their literary and historical contexts but then bring them to bear on situations where they simply do not apply.


(3) What good rules would result with proper use of “application”?
a. Determine the original application(s) intended by the passage.
b. Evaluate the level of specificity of those applications to their original historical situations. If the original specific applications are transferable across time and space to other audiences, apply them in culturally appropriate ways.
c. If the original applications are not transferable, identify one or more broader cross-cultural principles that the specific elements of the text reflect.
d. Find appropriate applications for today that implement those principles. 


(4) What are some modern approaches to Biblical interpretation? Briefly explain.
Modern approaches to Biblical interpretation are hinged on five crucial elements for proper interpretation and application: (1) Salvation, (2) Spiritual Maturity, (3) Diligent Study, (4) Common Sense and Logic, and (5) Humble Dependence of the Spirit for Discernment.

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

Proper interpretation is the foundation for proper application for a biblical message. If we do not accurately understand what a passage means, then it is almost certain we will not be able to determine how to apply it correctly to our lives. Unfortunately many people go to the Bible for a blessing or for guidance, ignoring the interpretive process altogether. In their intense desire to find something devotional or practical, Christians sometimes distort the original meaning of some passage of Scripture. To bypass the purpose and original meaning of the passage can lead to serious misuse of the Bible. 

Principles for applying the Bible today one must (1) recognize the differences in how God has worked with people throughout human history; (2) one must determine what is normative for today vs. What is limited to the biblical setting; and (3) one must determine if 
a biblical command or practice is consistent with the overall message of the Bible as well as with the unchanging nature and character of God.

In God’s wisdom He has chosen not to reveal some things to mankind (Deut. 29:29; Prov. 25:2; Cor. 13:12). The nature of God’s Word as revelation in history means that earlier instructions may be superceded, replaced, or amplified by later revelation. That does not mean that an Old Testament teaching may be set aside without New Testament authorization. It does mean, that a Christian doctrinal structure must rest on the New Testament and on those Old Testament teachings and passages that underlie and provide the foundation for New Testament teachings.

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Session 12

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Couch, Part 1 – God has spoken (pp. 11-86)


Briefly discuss: 

(1) The relation of systematic theology to hermeneutics.

(2) How should we treat symbolism in the area of hermeneutics?

(3) What is the main crux of “Dispensationalism”?

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Theology, like all areas of systematic thought, should be subject to a consistent methodology. The first step toward a theological frame of mind that is characterized by consistency should be the establishment of one’s hermeneutics of systematic theology.

Hermeneutics, broadly, is the art and science of text interpretation. Traditional hermeneutics is the study of the interpretation of written texts, especially texts in the areas of literature, religion and law. A type of traditional hermeneutic is biblical hermeneutics which concerns the study of the interpretation of the Bible. In religious studies and social philosophy, hermeneutics is the study of the theory and practice of interpretation. 
Here, then, is the crux of the argument concerning Israel and the church. The paramount aim of the dispensationalist is to keep these alleged two groups.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

The goal of herneneutics is to capture what has been described as a “pure” biblical theology, which is an isolation and presentation of the unchanging biblical teachings which are valid for all times. The relation is a connecting point of theology and the Bible truths, for Biblical theology is simply theology based upon the faith and the teachings of the Bible. Thus systematic theology based upon truth is biblical theology.

As we look at symbols we see that they are words or act or visions seen by prophets. We should examine the text to see what message the text of prophets are conveying outwardly that concerns human live that are displayed before spectators.
The word dispensation was a word set forth for multi-age schemes. It has to do with the founding Fathers of the early church of Israel and the church of today, which deals with the time period, and the changing methods which God employs in dealing with mankind.
In veiw of dispensationalist one should seek for righteousness and justification before God which us the ultimate God..

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

Hermeneutics is the art and science by which one interprets biblical text. Systematic theology of the right kind, that is based on historical-cultural truth, is biblical theology. Couch discusses two systems of theology: covenant theology and dispensational theology. Covenant theology interprets Scripture by allegorizing and spiritualizing portions of the biblical text. When Scripture is interpreted allegorically, secondary meanings are assigned to the literal words in text that is not expressly taught by the words. It determines whether the secondary, or hidden meaning was an intended meaning of the original writer or merely something imported by the interpreter. Dispensational theology, on the other hand, results from a natural, normal reading of Scripture, consistently taken in context and face value. It involves a consistent, literal hermeneutic, and a normal reading of Scripture are used to interpret all sixty-six books of the Bible. A normal reading of Scripture is synonymous with a consistent literal, grammatico-historical hermeneutic. In this system, every word written in Scripture is given the normal meaning it would have in its normal usage. The hermeneutic determines the system of theology. Systematic theology of the right kind is based on biblical theology, and is biblical theology.

In the area of hermeneutics, symbolical is one category of prophecy. A symbol is a graphic representation of an actual event, truth, or object, and can be words or acts. Symbolical words refer to objects and things seen by the prophets in their visions. It, however, must be noted that not every object seen in a vision is symbolic. Divine revelation must use symbols for the following reasons: 1- future events must be manifested in some way in order to be perceived by the prophets. God uses signs to depict how the future will be worked out; and 2- prophecy sets forth the future, much of which relates to the rise and fall of nations, the outcomes of wars ansd struggles, and the destinies of peoples and individuals. Prophecy must be expressed in symbolic language in order that only the faithful and the spiritually discerning might know. Symbols confuse unbelieving skeptics without unnecessarily frustrating believing Christians.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

(1) The relation of systematic theology to hermeneutics
Hermeneutics is the system that is used to determine theology; therefore, Systemic theology will need to begin with a divine revelation in its entirety, engaged by the Spirit illuminated mind, drawing out the teachings of the Scripture via sound grammatical-historical exegesis. Meanwhile respecting provisionally developed doctrine while ordering the results in a coherent whole and applying them to the full scope of human behavior. There is two systems of Theology Covenant Theology contrary to the strong protest of the reformers, interpreters Scripture by allegorizing and spiritualizing portions of the biblical text. Then there is Dispensational theology or Dispensationalism, from a natural, normal reading of Scripture, that consistently taken in context and at face value. Both theology take their respective forms as a result of hermeneutic the employ. 

(2) symbolism in the area of hermeneutics, symbols can be words or acts and symbolical words refer to objects and things seen by the prophets in their visions such as trees ,figs, candlestick and so on. Symbolical act are actions performed symbolically by the prophet in order to convey specific messages to his contemporaries. The interpreter should accept as symbolic that which is so designated in the context or seen under the harmony of prophecy and those elements that are truly impossible in the realm of reality, taking care to note that eschatology times are real times. Symbol must represent something literal in order that it may have meaning. The interpreter must also consider the immediate context and the remotes context.

(3) The main crux of “Dispensationalism”, is a system of Biblical interpretation and it is the historical-grammatical hermeneutic system that came about in the nineteenth-century . It is not only the foundation of Dispensational theology it is the only way to gain a correct understanding of God’s message to man. Dispensationalism is also Biblical interpretation that foresees a series of dispensations or periods in history, in which God relates to human beings in different ways under different Bible covenants.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

The relation of systematic theology to hermeneutics is so that the most accurate meaning and understanding can be applied to a biblical text. Hermeneutics maintains the purity of a text in relation to cultural, historical, literary or grammatical significance. Systematic theology is significant to understanding the way in which a text should be applied or understood. The books list two systems of theology called the Covenant theology and Dispensational theology. Dispensation can be defined as: “to manage, regulate, administer, and plan.” Covenant theology is defined as: “understands the whole of Scripture and history through three covenants” such as; the covenant of works, the covenant of redemption, and the covenant of grace.

Symbols are prophetic in nature. The purpose of symbols is to give a visual understanding to an event, object or declared truth. In Scripture, symbols are spoken of by the prophets. One must be careful to pick and choose what a symbol is and is not. It seems to only be used by prophets to give imagery or understanding to a concept, a truth or event. When interpreting symbols, the book notes that one must be patient, “collect, sift through, and collate a large amount of prophetic data” in order gain a cohesive understanding.

The definition of dispensation as defined in the book is a “system of theology which interprets the Bible literally-according to normal usage and places primary emphasis on major biblical covenants-Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic, New– and sees the Bible as the unfolding of distinguishable economies in the outworking of God’s major purpose to bring glory to Himself.” Obviously the main themes in the theology of dispensation is “destination between Israel and the church, the hermeneutical principle of literal or normal interpretation, and the purpose of God in history as the glorification of Himself.”

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

The systematic theologian is dependent upon sound biblical exegesis that he achieves by way of a valid hermeneutic. Exegesis means to expose all that the biblical text contains in its grammatical, historical, cultural, and literary context. Packer calls this the “…’natural’ or ‘literal’ sense…”1 Hermeneutics is the art and science by which one interprets the biblical text. The hermeneutic will determine the system of theology. Covenant theology as we know it today, survives only because contrary to the strong protest of the Reformers, covenant theologians continue to interpret Scripture by allegorizing and spiritualizing portions of the Biblical text. So the goal of a sound hermeneutic is to capture what has been described as a “…pure biblical theology, which is an isolation and presentation of the unchanging biblical teachings which are valid for all of times.” Systematic theology therefore must begin with divine revelation in its entirety, engaged by the Spirit-illuminated mind, drawing out the teachings of Scripture via sound grammatical-historical exegesis, respecting provisionally developed doctrine while ordering the results in a coherent whole and applying them to the full scope of human behavior.
Symbol as stated in the text is a graphic representation of an actual event, truth, or object. They also can be words or acts. Symbolical acts are actions performed symbolically by the prophet in order to convey specific messages.
Dispensational is a system of prophetic theology, in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church; emphasizing the teaching of prophecy and the imminent, at any moment, return of Christ. Dispensational is the recognition of a distinction between Israel and the Church, a consistent literal principle of interpretation, particularly of Bible prophecy, a basic working and conception of the purpose of God as His own glory rather than as the single purpose of salvation

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

According to systematic theologians, sound biblical exegesis is achieved by way of a valid hermeneutics. Exegesis means to expose all that the biblical text contains in its grammatical, historical, cultural, and literary context. The system of theology is determined hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is defined as the art and science by which one interprets the biblical text. Hermeneutics determines the system of theology. Systematic theology will start with divine revelation which is engaged by the Spirit-illuminated mind. This Spirit-illuminated mind will draw out the teachings of Scripture via sound grammatical-historical exegesis.

Interpretation of symbols are: (1) the immediate context – this consist of the best possible clue in which given symbols are found; (2) the remote context – when a clear meaning to a symbol is not given, the interpreter should examine similar or analogous symbols used else where in prophecy; and (3) some clarifications – not every word-picture in prophecy is a symbol but is an every day figure of speech.

Dispensationalism is calvinistic with beliefs that God will sovereignly work out glory to Himself in history through a variety of economics They feel that student’s of the word of God when interpreting Scripture they must use a normal literal hermeneutics and that interpretation does not shift from normal to allegorical. Dispensationalism proclaims a scriptural plan based on the biblical covenants: Mosaic, Abrahamic, Davidic, Palestinian, and new.

James Outland • 3 years ago

(1) The relation of systematic theology to hermeneutics.
In an effort to explain the relation of systematic theology to hermeneutics, let us begin by focusing on the definitions: 
a. Hermeneutics is the art and science by which one interprets the biblical text. The goal of a sound hermeneutic is to capture what has been described as a “pure biblical theology, which is an isolation and presentation of the unchanging biblical teachings which are valid for all of times.”
b. Systematic theology, as defined by theopedia.com, is a discipline which addresses theological topics one by one (e.g. God, Sin, Humanity) and attempts to summarize all the biblical teaching on each particular subject. Sometimes called constructive theology or even dogmatic theology, the goal is to present the major themes (i.e. doctrines) of the Christian faith in an organized and ordered overview that remains faithful to the biblical witness.
Systematic theology depends on hermeneutics to form the fundamental building blocks of scriptural truth that are then organized and summarized into a comprehensive system of topics.


(2) How should we treat symbolism in the area of hermeneutics?
In the area of hermeneutics, symbolism should be determined on the basis of whether a given word or act is at variance with the essential nature of the subject. With this definition, three questions should be asked to determine whether the word or act should be understood literally or figuratively:
a. Is the word or act, taking in their literal meaning, at variance with the essential nature of the subject being discussed?
b. Do the words, taken in their literal, natural meaning fail to harmonize with the flow of thought in the context of the text?
c. Do the phrases, taken in their literal meaning fail to harmonize with the analogy of Scripture?

(3) What is the main crux of “Dispensationalism”?
The main crux of “Dispensationalism” is that the dispensationalists hold that the student of the Word of God must uses a normal, literal hermeneutic in interpreting Scripture and that interpretation does not shift from normal to allegorical.

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Session 13

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Couch, Part 2 – Interpretative system throughout history (pp. 87-156)


Briefly discuss: 

(1) Dispensational distinctions regarding Israel and the Church.”

(2) What is preterits premillennialism?

(3) How do we interpret symbols?

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Dispensational distinctions regarding Israel and the church expresses the relationship between Israel and the church as it relates to faith in Christ, the Seed of Abraham. Israel as a nation had been set aside by God because of her idolatry and unfaithfulness in the Old Testaments and her rejection and crucifixion of Christ in the New Testament. Her action regarding these episodes led God transferred his favor to the Gentile nations. Thus, the “New Israel”, the church inherited the promises made to the old Israel.
Patristic premillennialism is the belief in the return of Christ which is set in the doctrinal principle in the ante-Nicene church. It generally holds to a revival of the Jewish nation and their repossession of their ancient land when Christ returns. Satan will bound and a theocratic kingdom of righteousness, peace, and tranquility will ensure. The righteous are raised from the dead before the millennium and participate in its blessings. The wicked dead are not raised until after the millennium.
Symbols are interpreted by their representations given which must be examined by the interpreter taking all methods of interpretation symbolisms or imageries in the text of scriptures. For example, lion in scripture could represent power or kingdom in the Bible.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

The dispensational distinction betweeh Israel and the church deals with the pretribulation rapture of church growth, which believes in a literal earthly millennial kingdom during which the covenant promises to Israel will be fulfilled. The church holds to the doctrine of the return of Christ where He will reign to judge the earth and the living unrighteous in his millennial kingdom. The prevailing view is that Israel as a nation has been set aside by God because of her idolatry and faithfulness in the Old Testament times and her rejection and crucifixion of Christ in the New Testament. According to the early fathers God’s favor was transferred to the Gentiles who believed in Christ. The New Israel inherited the promises made to the old Israel.

Patristic Premillennialism believes in the return of Christ was a settled doctrinal principle in the ante-Nicene church. They believe there will be a revival of the Jewish nation, and their repossession of their ancient land when Christ returns. The resurrection of the righteous will take place when Christ returns at the end of the present age. (I Cor. 15:22-23). 
The resurrection of the wicked or unjust will occur at the conclusion of the millennium in prepartation for the judgement at the Great White Throne. (Rev. 20:13).
Symbols are interpreted in light of the immediate context and in light of the larger context. Symbols are used as a part of a communication device which are very important to the message they give. Symbols respresent something literal.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

Dispensationalism is interpretation using a normal, literal, consistent hermeneutics. It, therefore, requires a normal reading of Scripture interpretation for all sixty-six books of the Bible. The relationship between Israel and the church was mainly expressed in terms of faith in Christ and the seed of Abraham. The prevailing view among the Church fathers was that the nation of Israel had been rejected by God because of its behavior in the Old Testament, and its attitude and crucifixion of Christ in the New Testament. They further believed that God’s favor had shifted to the Gentiles who believed in Christ. Known as the “new israel,” these believers also inherited the promises made to old Israel. Just as dispensational theology requires a normal literal interpretation, the “new Israel” church believed in a literal fulfillment of the covenants made with Abraham and David. Old Israel, on the other hand, equated the Church with the Kingdom of God. 
Patristic premillennialism is the belief that the resurrection of the dead will occur in two main stages: 1- the righteous will be resurrected when Christ returns at the end of the current age; and 2- the wicked or unjust will be resurrected at the conclusion of the millennium in preparation for the day of judgement. 
The use of symbols in interpretation is needed because it is one of God’s ways to show how the future will be worked out. Interpretation of prophetic symbols requires much patience. The following pointers are helpful tools for interpretation: 1- use the immediate context to take the guesswork out of many Bible symbols; 2- when the immediate context does not give a clear meaning to a symbol, examine similar symbols used elsewhere in prophecy; 3- some word-pictures in prophecy are merely figures of speech, and not symbols. In addition to the above mentioned pointers, interpreters of prophetic symbols generally agree that the two most symbolical books of the Bible, Daniel and Revelation, contextually explain their own symbols.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

(1) Dispensationalists claim that their principle of hermeneutics is that of literal interpretation, which means giving each word the meaning it would commonly have in everyday usage. Symbols, figures of speech and types are all interpreted plainly in this method, and this is in no way contrary to literal interpretation. Even symbols and figurative sayings have literal meanings behind them. Dispensational distinctions regarding Israel and the Church Dispensationalism sees Israel as an earthly people with earthly promises, and the church as a heavenly people with heavenly promises. One enters the church by supernatural birth.
Dispensationalists view Israel and the church as having distinct eternal destinies. Israel will receive an eternal earthly Kingdom, and the church an eternal heavenly Kingdom. And Promise Membership into Israel is by natural birth born in Israel “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living God.’ (Hosea 1:10) Fulfillment the church “What if God, wanting to show His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, and that He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He had prepared beforehand for glory, even us whom He called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?” As He says also in Hosea: “I will call them My people, who were not My people, And her beloved, who was not beloved.” “And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.” (Romans:22-26)

Preterits Premillennialism
Premillennialism as a system is primarily based on a literal method of biblical interpretation. The main premise of Premillennialism is that Jesus will literally return to the earth before (pre) the millennialism begins and that He himself will inaugurate and rule over it. Premillennialists can be divided into two groups with respect to their central approach to the prophetic Scriptures, historic premillennialists and Dispensational premillennialists. The basic difference between the two is the emphasis that each gives to the nation of Israel during the millennium, the period of a thousand years during which Christ will reign on earth. Premillennialism, has invaded the religious market in recent years. Preterits tense, past action, preterits is one whose chief interest is in the past and who regards the past with pleasure or favor. Thus, most historians could probably be denominated preterits. Premillennialism view asserts that Christ came to this earth for the purpose of setting up his kingdom. He was, however, surprisingly rejected by the Jews. Hence, he postponed the kingdom plans and set up the church instead as sort of an emergency measure. When he returns, he allegedly will raise only the righteous dead, restore national Israel, sit upon David’s literal throne in Jerusalem, and then reign for a span. One of the primary fallacies of the Premillennialism concept is a materialistic view of the reign of Christ. This same notion was entertained by the ancient Jews and actually was responsible for their rejection and crucifixion of the Messiah


(3) Interpret symbols-the language of the Bible is rich with metaphor and symbols. The biblical writers used familiar everyday objects to symbolize spiritual truth. Symbols are quite common in the poetic and prophetic portions of the Bible. By its very nature, poetry relies heavily on figurative language; when Solomon calls his bride “a lily among thorns” (Song of Solomon 2:2), he is using symbols to declare the desirability and uniqueness of the Shulamite. Prophecy contains much figurative imagery. Isaiah often used trees and forests as symbols of strength (e.g., Isaiah 10:18-19; 32:19). Jesus’ teaching in the bible was full of symbolism. He presented Himself as a Shepherd, a Sower, a Bridegroom, a Door, a Cornerstone, a Vine, Light, Bread, and Water. He likened the kingdom of heaven to a wedding feast, a seed, a tree, a field, a net, a pearl, and yeast. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of other symbols in the Bible. A symbol will have a non-symbolic meaning. In other words, there is something real (a real person, a real historical event, a real trait) behind every figure of speech.

Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

The difference between Israel and the church is the central doctrine of dispensationalism. Dispensationalism see Israel as an earthly people with earthly promises, and the church as a heavenly people with heavenly promises. The association in Israel is by natural birth, and the church is by supernatural birth. The church and Israel are viewed by dispensationalists as having distinct eternal destinies. Israel will receive an eternal earthly Kingdom, and the church an eternal heavenly Kingdom.

Christian theology has always maintained the essential continuity of Israel and the church. The elect of all the ages are seen as one people, with one Savior, one destiny. This between Israel and the church can be shown by examining a few Old Testament prophesies with their fulfillment. Dispensationalists admit that if the church can be shown to be fulfilling promises made to Israel their system is doomed. If the church is fulfilling Israel’s promises as contained in the new covenant or anywhere in the Scriptures, then dispensational is condemned.
Premillennial Preterism is the term ascribed to those who believe that Christ returned in judgment upon Jerusalem in A.D. 70, not to end the millennium already in progress, but to begin the millennium of 1000 years. 

In interpreting symbols one must remember that the prophets spoke God’s word to the people verbally. Some of them wrote down these “words of God,” and some of these writings have come to us in the Bible, the inspired and inerrant “word of God”. But God’s word is not limited to, nor has it ever been limited to His written word (the Bible).
Some of the ways in which God has communicated, and continues to communicate His word in un-written form: (1) through prophets; (2) through sacred tradition; (3) through the teachings and doctrines of the historic Christian Church; and (4) through the liturgy.

Since God wishes to effectively communicate with us through his written word, the Bible, He must have in mind certain principles of interpretation for us to use as we seek to understand what He is speaking to us through the Bible. In addition, it must be possible for us to somehow discern what these principles are, and to correctly apply them to scripture. It is necessary that we understand the Bible in the way in which God intends us to understand it since He has declared that His Word will achieve the purpose for which He sent it.
The process for interpreting symbols in the Bible one should consider the following: (1) read the passage and the entire context; (2) consider the overall theme of the Bible; (3) consider the culture of day when this passage was written and put the passage into its proper historical perspective; (4) consider the theme of the particular book that the passage occurs in, and consider the writer, the time period and the culture of the people; (5) look for evidence of typology, symbolism, allegory and figures of speech, and if none of these exist, then interpret the passage literally; and (6) we must remain in prayer and be willing to be instructed by the Holy Spirit because understanding comes from God, not solely from our use of reason.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

(1) “Dispensational distinctions regarding Israel and the Church.”

In the ante-Nicene age, the relationship between Israel and the Church was expressed primarily in terms of faith in Christ and the seed of Abraham. The prevailing view among the millenarian fathers was that Israel as a nation had been set aside by God because of her idolatry and unfaithfulness in Old Testament times and her rejection and crucifixion of Christ in the New Testament. Consequently, according to these early fathers, God’s favor was transferred to those among the Gentiles who believed in Christ. Thus, as the “New Israel” the church inherited the promises made to the old Israel. 

(2) What are preterits Premellennialism?

Belief in the premillennial return of Christ was a settled doctrinal principle in the ante-Nicene church. In summarizing premillennial teachings, Walvoord writes, Premellennialism generally holds to a revival of the Jewish nation and their repossession of their ancient land when Christ returns. Satan will be bound and a theocratic kingdom of righteousness, peace and tranquility will ensue. The righteous are raised from the dead before the millennium and participate in its blessings. The wicked dead are not raised until after the millennium. 

(3) How do we interpret symbols?

Symbols must be interpreted in light of the immediate context and in light of the larger context. Often figures of speech may be used in one place in the Scriptures and then in another place by another writer. One should not be surprised to find Daniel using a symbol found in Isaiah, who clearly used that same symbol over a hundred years earlier. The symbols found in Scripture and then used by other writers of Scripture do set parameters for interpretations. Symbols do not give an interpreter freedom to apply any meaning he wants to a text.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

(1) Dispensational distinctions regarding Israel and the Church. 
According to Couch, “the prevailing view among the millenarian fathers was that Israel as a nation had been set aside by God because of her idolatry and unfaithfulness in the Old Testament times and her rejection and crucifixion of Christ in the New Testament.”


(2) What is preterits and patristic premillennialism?
The meaning of preterits the events John spoke about were events of his own day about A.D.70. Revelations mentions the Antichrist, Couch notes that Nero or Domitian could fulfill. 

patristic premillennialism – The dead will be resurrected before the millennium and avoid tribulation, The dead will not be raised until the tribulation

(3)How do we interpret symbols?
follow the normal and customary usage of language
good lexicons and dictionary
the word is always defined by its context
the position of words in sentences
Study of syntax: tense, voice and mood
Consider the historical and cultural usage

James Outland • 3 years ago

(1) Dispensational distinctions regarding Israel and the Church.”
The relationship between Israel and the church was expressed primarily in terms of faith in Christ and the seed of Abraham. The prevailing view among the millenarian fathers was that Israel as a nation had been set aside by God because of her idolatry and unfaithfulness in Old Testament times and her rejection and crucifixion of Christ in the New Testament. The “new Israel” the church which included Gentiles who believed in Christ, inherited the promises made to old Israel. The fathers nowhere made Israel the church or the church national Israel. 

(2) What is Patristic Premillennialism?
Premillennialism generally holds to a revival of the Jewish nation and their repossession of their ancient land when Christ returns. Satan will be bound and a theocratic kingdom of righteousness, peace and tranquility will ensue. The righteous are raised from the dead before the millennium and participate in its blessings. The wicked dead are not raised until after the millennium in preparation for the judgment at the Great White Throne.


(3) How do we interpret symbols?
Figures of speech and symbols represent something literal and must be interpreted in light of the immediate context and in light of the larger context. Since the prophets did not have the presentation technology of our time, they had to rely on the language that they use – making the use of symbols quite important to the message they were giving. Often figures of speech may be used in one place in the Scriptures and then in another place by another writer. The symbols found in scripture and then used by other writers of Scripture do set parameters for interpretation. Symbols do not give an interpreter freedom to apply any meaning he wants to a text.

JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

(1) Dispensational Distinctions regarding Israel and the Church:
The questioned asked for the assigned reading, page 89, dispensational distinctions regarding Israel and the Church: the relationship between the two was expressed mainly in terms of faith in Christ and the seed of Abraham. The Ancient Church Fathers viewed Israel as a nation that had been set aside by God because of her idolatry and unfaithfulness in the OT era and her rejection and crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the NT. According to the early Church Fathers, God’s favor was shifted to those amongst the Gentiles because they believed in Christ. Consequently, the “new Israel,” the church inherited the promises made to the Old Israel.

(2) What is Preterits Premillennialism:
The premillennial believes the resurrection of the dead will happen in two core steps, the twofold resurrection doctrine is taught by some of the early church fathers. These teachings are the preparation for the millennium, the resurrection of the righteous or just will take place when Christ returns at the end of the present age (1 Cor. 15:22-13, 1 Thess. 4:14-17; John 5:28, and Rev. 20:4). The resurrection of the wicked or unjust will happen at the end of the millennium in preparation for judgment at the Great White Throne (Rev. 20:13).
(3) How do we interpret symbols?
The text says in order to interpret symbols the interpreter must have the patience of Job. The individual must collect, sift through, and collate a large amount of prophetic data to set up a working “harmony” of prophetic symbols. Help for the interpreting symbols are: 1. immediate context-clues for interpretation of symbols: 2. The remote context-when immediate context does not give a clear meaning to a symbol, the interpreter should examine similar or analogous symbols used elsewhere in prophecy. Where the meaning of a symbol is not readily understood, one must withhold a decision until contexts, parallel passages, and the harmony of prophetic symbolism have been consulted: 3. Clarifications-every word-picture in prophecy is not a symbol but is an everyday figure of speech. Herman A. Hoyt comments…the glories and virtues of God, indicates that the materials serves a twofold purpose: 1) they are the substance of constructions, and 2) they provide symbolism for contemplation.

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Session 14

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Couch, Part 3 – Interpreting the Church (pp. 157-254)


Briefly discuss: 

(1) Covenant theology and the doctrine of the Church in context of Dispensational hermeneutics.

(2) What is the difference between the Church and the Kingdom?

(3) Is the Church grafted into Israel?

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

Covenant theology minimizes important and obvious biblical covenants that are clearly outlined in the Word of God: the Abrahamic covenant, and arising from this, the Palestianian (land) covenant, Davidic covenant, and New Testament. Dispensational hermeneutics is the special application of the general science of linguistics and meaning with respect to specific period of time in which God deals with a particular audience at the time with specific messages.
The difference between the church and the kingdom is that the church is body of believers who have been called out of the world of sin and have been brought to God through faith in Jesus while the kingdom of God is God’s sovereign rules in the heart of men. In short, the church is people while the kingdom is rule in the heart of the church (believers).
The church is being grafted into Israel; so that that the Gentiles can receive the promises through faith in Jesus; however, the church is different from Israel when it comes to original promises.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

The word dispensation comes from the Greek word oikanomia a compound of two words, oikas meaning “house”, and nomia meaning “law”. Thus dispensational Hermeneutics is a distinguishable outworking of God’s will. Covenant Theology deals with the covenant laws God gave to the prophets of old such as Abraham, Issac, and the laws of Moses. The church gives us the message of salvation through the death, burial, and ressurection of Jesus Christ, and how God offers forgiveness of sin. how the Holy Spirit dwells within, and eternal life in him.
The difference between the church and the Kingdom is that all have been blood bought
near to God through the blood of Jesus. The kingdom is where the righteous shall live forever with him. As it is stated it is impossible to be in the kingdom of God without in the church that represents the mystical body of Christ. 
The church has been grafted into Israel that Jews and Gentiles may receive the promises of God. I my thank God through Jesus Christ, that he brought us into the “new body” the church that we can love, be loved and have fellowship with him. Jesus is our peace who has made both groups into one, and has abolished the law so that now we are under grace.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

Covenant theologians maintain that the Bible develops along the lines of two main covenants — that of works and grace. Some theologians believe that the system of covenant theology is hermeneutically flawed in that it minimizes important biblical covenants, or promises, such as the Abrahamic covenant, Davidic covenant, and new covenant . In fact, leading proponents of covenant theology say that there is no scriptural evidence of the two most important covenants of this system– works and grace. They, however, believe that these are legitimate biblical covenants developed and made eternal through time. Dispensationalists, however, argue that obediance is not a form of works salvation. They assert that salvation comes through the new covenant that was ratified by the shed of blood of Jesus. They further assert that this new covenant was in seed form when God prophesied to Abraham that all nations would be blessed through him, which meant that the new covenant was meant first for Israel, then to Gentiles who accept Christ as Savior.
The Church refers to an era between the first and the second coming of Christ. It is a period of time in which all who place personal faith in Christ would constitute a spiritual unity — one body, with Christ as the head. The Church, then, is the whole body of Christ. It also refers to a local community of believers who are a part of the whole body of Christ. Both definitions of “the church” are reflected in Paul’s epistles in the New Testament. The views of the Kingdom are explained in Matthew 13 when Jesus spoke and taught about the Kingdom in the form of parables. In discussing the Kingdom, it must be remembered that the words of Scripture are to be taken in the sense attached to them in the age and by the people to whom they were addressed. There are three views on the ysteries of the Kingdom: (1) allegorical view which claims that from the beginning, the Lord was referring to the church when He spoke about the Kingdom; (2) the “new program of the Kingdom” view which claims the the Kingdom would be seen in a new spiritual form, specifically including the church age; and (3) the “to reveal new truths concerning the messianic Kingdom” view which asserts that new revelation concerning the Kingdom promised to the Jews is revealed. Proper and consistant hermeneutics in Mathew 13 shows that the Kingdom refers to a period before the Second Advent and immediately after the First Advent. 
The question of whether or not the Church is grafted into Isreal is answered in Romans 9-11. From this Scripture, one would have to answer “yes,” it is grafted into Isreal. If one examines Romans 11 through litereal hermeneutic principles, it can be concluded that, though God rejected the Jewish people because of disobedience, it was not a permanent rejection. The Jews were the original people to whom the covenant was made, and though mercy was shown to the believing Gentiles, it will also be shown to believing Jews as well — Jews who are the ancesters of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob to whom the irrevocable promises were made — promises to the nation of Isreal.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

(1) Covenant theology and the doctrine of the Church in context of Dispensational hermeneutics.

According to Orr, it failed to seize the true idea of development, and by an artificial system of typology, and allegorizing interpretation: sought to read back practically the whole of the New Testament into the Old. But its most obvious defect was that, in using the idea of the Covenant as an exhaustive category, and attempting to force into it the whole material of theology; it created an artificial scheme which could only repel minds of simple and natural notions. It is impossible, e.g., to justify by Scriptural proof the detailed elaboration of the idea o f a covenant of works in Eden, with its parties , condition , promises, threatening, sacraments, etc. 

(2) What is the difference between the Church and the Kingdom?

The sovereign rule of God and of the heavens, which has come to be called the Kingdom, is, in the first place, as we explained earlier, an announcement, a proclamation, a declaration, of a Divine fact: namely, that the sovereignty of God has been established in and through His Son Jesus Christ IN THIS DISPENSATION, in a new and immediate way. That fact was proclaimed for the first time, in the power of the Holy Spirit, on the day of Pentecost. God had made Him Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36). From that time onward, the note was made to ring out through the nations in ever-widening circles – Jesus Christ is Lord! That is the first phase of the sovereign rule or the Kingdom – a proclamation or an announcement.

Then, as we saw, it is an activity. Something is going on. When it is announced, when the proclamation is made, something begins to happen. Heaven is moved, and believing souls are saved. Hell is roused, and the heralds are persecuted. It is an activity – not just a doctrine, a truth, a theory. This sovereign rule or Kingdom is a mighty energy. And so, from a presenting of a fact, it becomes the demanding of an answer, and thereby a sifting and sorting of mankind into two categories, into one of two kingdoms.

We saw, further, how comprehensive is this rule, spreading itself sovereignty over everything, taking up everything into its sovereignty. Even the antagonisms and oppositions are taken hold of by this sovereignty, and made to serve the end which they were intended to defeat. It is all-comprehending, knowing all the course of things through history, as those parables make so clear. That last parable in Matthew 13 brings us right to the end of the age, and from the first – the sowing of the seed, the word of the Kingdom – through all the phases and stages and variations, and everything that arises, to the last, the end of the age, we see that this sovereign rule has comprehended the whole, foreseen and foretold exactly what would happen and how things would develop, and has laid hold of all; so that at the last the sovereign rule is triumphant. That is the essential meaning of the ‘Kingdom’.


(3) Is the Church grafted into Israel?

The Gentiles, who were a wild olive, having had no place in the good olive tree, are now made the children of Abraham by faith in Christ Jesus, Gal III 26-29. They were grafted into the good olive tree, whose root Abraham was, and were made partakers of his distinguished privileges. The Gentile believers become the children of Abraham, and all the blessings they enjoy are in virtue of that relation. Hence the covenant, Jer. 31, includes all believers yet it is said only to be made with the house of Israel and Judah. 

According to Haldane, he rightly recognizes the new covenant in Isaiah 59:21, through which God pours out his Spirit upon Israel. Calling the new covenant the “gracious covenant” he notes that it is fully developed, Jer. xxxi 31-34; and again, xxxii. 37-40, where the declaration referred to in the foregoing verse, of turning away ungodliness fro Jacob, is more fully expressed. The Apostle Paul grounds his conclusion from the prophecy on the fact that God in these words speaks of a time when He would take away the sins of Israel as a body, and so all Israel shall be saved. 

With a normal, natural, and literal hermeneutics, the above conclusions are the natural outcome. An interpreter of Scripture must work hare to rewrite what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell us. Still, many deny the restoration of a separate kingdom that does not include the church.

Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

Covenant theology and the doctrine of the Church in context of Dispensational hermeneutics, Covenant Theology is a branch of theological study that examines the Bible within the context of the Bible’s covenants. The two covenants typically of focus include the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. A third covenant, the covenant of redemption, is also frequently emphasized. These two (or three) covenants are seen as extensions of the seven covenants mentioned in Scripture (Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Palestinian, Mosaic, Davidic, and New).Historically the Covenant Theology is found in the writings of some early church fathers, including Irenaeus and Augustine. During the late nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century, Dispensational Theology developed as an alternative, largely as a result of a more detailed understanding of the end times. 
The difference between the Church and the Kingdom of God, is that the church is the body of Christ and God is the head of the mind of Christ and on the other hand the kingdom of God is wherein God is the royal king with full authority; sovereign power; rule; dominion; monarchy. In other words God is the Creator and ruler of the universe and the spiritual realm of which God is the acknowledged.
Even though it has been disputed by Christians of different time periods the church is grafted into Israel according to Romans 11:17-18 the Church is grafted into Israel,. 17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

1) Covenant theology and the doctrine of the Church in context of Dispensational hermeneutics. According to the reading, covenant theology minimizes important and obvious biblical covenants that are clearly outlined in the Word of God: the Abrahamic covenant and arising from this, the Palestinian (land) covenant, Davidic covenant, and new covenant.”

(2) What is the difference between the Church and the Kingdom?
The Church is the universal spiritual Body of Christ as the chapter states, “ a worldwide fellowship of true believers.” The Church refers to all believers wherever they are in the world. Kingdom refers to the future messianic reign of Christ and the future earthly inheritance including the Jews.
Is the Church grafted into Israel?
Yes, the Church has been grafted, the Gentiles under the new covenant but not under the law. The Old Testament covenant and promises are in reference to the Jews.

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Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

Covenant theology is the Gospel set in the context of God’s eternal plan of communion with his people, and its historical outworking in the covenants of works and grace. It explains the meaning of the death of Christ in light of the fullness of the biblical teaching on the divine covenants, undergirds our understanding of the nature and use of the sacraments, and provides the fullest possible explanation of the grounds of our assurance. Covenant theology is the Bible’s way of explaining and deepening our understanding of: (1) the atonement (the meaning of the death of Christ); (2) assurance (the basis of our confidence of communion with God and enjoyment of his promises); (3) the sacraments ( signs and seals of God’s covenant promises what they are and how they work); and (4) the continuity of redemptive history (the unified plan of God’s salvation). Covenant theology is also an hermeneutic, an approach to understanding the Scripture—an approach that attempts to biblically explain the unity of biblical revelation.


What is the difference between the Church and the Kingdom? 
The sovereign rule of God and of the heavens, which has come to be called the Kingdom, is an announcement, a proclamation, a declaration, of a Divine fact: namely, that the sovereignty of God has been established in and through His Son Jesus Christ in this dispensation, in a new and immediate way. The Church is the effect of the challenge and demand and sifting out, brought about by the proclamation, in that all along certain people are found who make the right reaction and response, and are thus brought right into the meaning of that sovereign rule: people, that is to say, who first acknowledge, and then themselves declare, that Jesus Christ is Lord. The sovereign rule has done its work so far, and then the fruit of that sovereign activity in the nations is gathered into a body called the Church.


Is the Church grated into Israel?


The question is about Rom. 10-11, that talks about the Church being grafted in. The grafting in, and Paul clarifies that to which the Church is grafted not as the nation Israel but as the Abrahamic Covenant, the redemptive work in the Abrahamic Covenant. What he’s saying there is that whatever blessings the Church has come because of the covenants with Israel, the work of God that starts with the Abrahamic Covenant. Here are some examples. Let’s take mundane things that he also refers to in Rom. 3. Where did we get the Scriptures from? Israel. Where do we get our Messiah from? Christ is a Jew. Where is the world going to get peace from? When Israel says “Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.” So the Scriptures, the finished work of Christ, world peace all come through God’s work in Israel.

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JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

1. Covenant theology and the doctrine of the Church in context of Dispensational hermeneutics
According to the reading, the Bible reveals that the covenant approach to the Word of God is lacking a flawed…the system taken together is inadequate to properly explain the way the Word of God is structured. J. Orr tells us that the covenant system is weak hermeneutically. Covenant theology minimizes important and obvious biblical covenants that are clearly outline in the Word of God: Abrahamic covenant, rising from this, Palestinian covenant, Davidic covenant, and new covenant.

2. What is the difference between the Church and the Kingdom?
The Church is the universal spiritual body of Christ and Kingdom refers to the future Messianic reign of Jesus Christ on earth and restoring the body of Jewish believers.

3. Is the Church grated into Israel?
According to the text, in Romans 9-11, Paul refers Israel lies in 11:11-24, as “rich root of the olive tree” (v.17) and that the natural branches, Israel, broken off (v.19); and the Gentiles, the wild olive branches, grafted in order to be blessed (v. 17). Therefore, Paul’s reference to the Gentiles blessing is certainly the present day church…Israel will be someday be restored (v. 23) with the fullness of Gentiles completed and the spiritual hardness of Israel has passed (v. 25-26a).

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James Outland • 3 years ago

(1) Covenant theology and the doctrine of the Church in context of Dispensational hermeneutics.
Covenant Theology sees the bible developed the lines of two main covenants, that of WORKS and GRACE. 
The Covenant of Works is an agreement between God and Adam that he would obey the Lord in regard to not eating of the tree of good and evil. This obedience incumbent upon Adam shows that it is a covenant, though sovereignly initiated by God alone. In a sense this was a salvation by works. Dispensationalists respond that nowhere does the Bible call Adam’s obedience a kind of covenant. Nor would they agree that obedience was a form of works salvation. According to the biblical evidence gleaned from the limited verses about Adam in Genesis, dispensationalists consider the pre-Fall a period of innocence in which Adam was sinless and was commanded not to eat of a certain tree.

The Covenant of Grace, as claimed by the larger catechism of Covenant theologians, was signed and sealed by Christ, the second Adam. As the second Adam, in Him are the seed of those who are elected to salvation. Through this covenant, salvation is offered to all men on the condition of faith in Christ. Dispensationalists assert that salvation comes through the new covenant that was ratified by the shed blood of Jesus. This new covenant was in seed form when God prophesied to Abraham that all the nations would be blessed through him (Gen 12:3). Gentiles who now accept Christ as Savior become spiritual sons of Abraham (Gal 3:7), and with the believing Jew, become the spiritual body of Christ, the church.

(2) What is the difference between the Church and the Kingdom?
The teachings of Matthew 13 and the parables show that the kingdom will take place on earth in time and history. It will be physical and geographical, and its capital will be Jerusalem in Israel. But it will also exist as a spiritual kingdom. A spiritual dynamic will govern this kingdom through the presence of the Messiah, and He determines its citizenship. On the other hand, the Church (derived from the Greek work “ekklesia”) means the called out. The Church is the body of Christ and the spiritual seed of Abraham. Its membership is based on faith in the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The dispensation of the church begins with the day of Pentecost in the book of Acts and will end at the second coming of Christ.

(3) Is the Church grafted into Israel?
The focal point of Paul’s discussion about Israel lies in Romans 11:11-24. Paul speaks of a root of the olive tree (v.17) and how the natural branches, Israel, were broken off (v. 19). The Gentiles, the wild olive branches, were grafted in order to be blessed (v. 17). Paul’s reference to the Gentiles being blessed would certainly be this present church age, in which the majority now being added to the body of Christ are from the nations.

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Session 15

by Daniel Goldberg • 3 years ago

Read: Couch, Part 4 – How to properly interpret prophecy (pp. 255-332)


Briefly discuss: The variance between Covenant and Dispensational theology.

Jallah Koiyan • 3 years ago

To properly interpret prophecy is to examine the time period in which the prophets spoke, to whom did the prophet address. Examine imageries or symbolisms used in the prophecy, the reason why spoke through the prophecy etc.
The variance between covenant and dispensational theology is that covenant is an agreement or contract that God has instituted providentially with his chosen individual with the objectives to accomplish a goal while dispensational theology is theology written within a specific period in which God intends to address a specific audience with a restricted or particular message.

Mary Orr • 3 years ago

The first revelation of the covenant of grace is found in Genesis 3:15, however the first establishment of a covenant of grace with Abraham marked the beginning of the institutional church. Abraham is sometime considered the head of the covenant of grace which began as a covenant between man and God. 
The dispensational theology says that there will be a regathering and restoration of the house of Israel who will share in the full covenant blessings as described in Jeremiah and Ezekiel with the engraving of the covenant stipulations upon the hearts of men. Dispensational theology speaks of the new covenant in place of the old Mosaic covenant, and is based upon the atonement made by Jesus Christ in his death, burial and ressurection for the forgiveness of sin.

Delores Norman • 3 years ago

Briefly discuss: The variance between Covenant and Dispensational theology.

Among Bible-believing Christians there are two primary streams of interpretation: Dispensationalism and Covenant Theology. These words represent two different ways of looking at the Bible. They are both serious attempts to systematically understand God’s gift of revelation: the 66 books of the Holy Scriptures. 

Dispensationalism claims that the Bible contains two stories, of two peoples, in two volumes (the Old and the New Testaments). The key concept behind Dispensationalism understands the correct divisions within the Bible. The key verse for the concept is 2 Timothy 2:15 in which the man of God is called to “rightly divide the word of God. 

The Covenant Theology claims that the Bible is one story, of one people, in two volumes. Before we can elaborate on the variances between a Covenant and Dispensational theology we must first define what a covenant is. One theologian summarized a Biblical covenant by describing it as “a bond in blood, sovereignly administered.” This definition hits all of the three main concepts: (1) A bond: The covenant defines a binding relationship between two parties. (2) In blood: It is a bond unto death. Biblical covenants are usually sealed with a Sacrifice, reminding the human participant of the serious nature of the bond.(3) Sovereignly administered: It is initiated by God. The terms are set by God. 

Another working definition of a covenant is an interpretation of scripture which defines our relationship with God, and unifies the Bible, in terms of God’s covenants with Adam, and with the second Adam: Jesus Christ. Every person’s relationship with God can be defined by their relationship with Adam or Christ. The original covenant God made in the Garden of Eden required perfect obedience. When Adam failed the terms, the scriptures say that we all fell into sin with him. This covenant is commonly referred to as the covenant of works. When Jesus fulfilled the terms of perfect obedience, the scriptures say He became a better Adam. He represents the covenant of grace.

Dispensationalism was first popularized in America by C. I. Scofield when he published the Scofield Bible [OSB] in 1909. This Bible included marginal notes which supported many of the tenets of Dispensationalism. This school of thought was developed further and better systematized by Charles Ryre in his 1965 book Dispensationalism Today. Only two years later, in 1967, a newer edition of the Scofield Bible [NSB] was produced. This updated version corrected some of the theological views which even dispensationalists recognized as incorrect.

The OSB gave clear impressions that Old Testament saints were saved by something other than faith in God’s provision of a Savior. Modern dispensationalists are very clear in affirming that “the basis of salvation always remains the same [throughout the Bible]. Man is saved only by believing in the atoning death of Christ.” All Bible-believing Christians should agree wholeheartedly with this statement.

Ultimately, the dispensationalist believes that throughout the ages God is pursuing two distinct purposes: one related to the earth with earthly people and earthly objectives involved, which is Judaism; while the other is related to heaven with heavenly people and heavenly objectives, which is Christianity.

The covenant theologian takes a completely different view. God is doing one work, with two peoples he has joined into one. The two–believing Jews and Gentiles–are organically joined together. The scriptures teach that through the New Covenant God has grafted the believing Gentiles into the great olive tree of Israel. There are not two separate peoples of God, but one. The New Testament makes this truth abundantly clear.

Rose Cummings • 3 years ago

There is considerable disparity between Covenant and Dispensational theology. Covenant theology interprets Scripture by allegorizing and spiritualizing portions of the biblical text. When Scripture is interpreted allegorically, secondary meanings are assigned to the literal words. Dispenstional theology,on the other hand, results from a natural, normal reading of Scripture, consistently taken in context and face value. A normal reading of Scripture is synonymous with a consistent literal, grammatical-historical hermeneutic. In the text reading, Couch briefly discusses comparisons between dispensational and covenant views of the following prophecies:: (1) The “Covenant of Works,”; (2) The Abrahamic Covenant; (3) the Protoevangel; (4) The Regathering Back to the Land; (5) The Messianic Reign; (6) The New Covenant: (7) The Prophecy of the Spirit Coming upon Regathered Israel; (8) Daniel’s Seventy Weeks Prophecy; ( The Birth of the Messiah; (10) The Throne of the Son of Man; (11) The Disciple’s Questions About the Kingdom; and (12) The One-Thousand-Year Millennial Regin of Christ. To individually discuss each of these would be quite extensive; there are, however, remarkable differences in interpretation of the two. One example of variance in views is prophecy of The New Covenant. The Covenant view holds that this prophecy was fulfilled when those Jews who accepted Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah, and expanded the Jewish into the Christian Church. The Dispensational view, however, holds that the new covenant is to be made with the whole united Israelite nation, not with the Christian church, except secondarily, and as grafted into the stock of spiritual privilege. They further hold that this is evident from the fact that the context ( Jer. 31-32) is strictly the restoration of the literal nation, Israel.The views of the above listed prophecies show very distinct differences. One should carefully study both the Dispensational, literal and the Covenant, allegorical interpretations to determine which view fits his/her beliefs.

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Theresa Jones • 3 years ago

Covenant Theology is a branch of theological study that examines the Bible within the context of the Bible’s covenants. The two covenants typically of focus include the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. A third covenant, the covenant of redemption, is also frequently emphasized. These two (or three) covenants are seen as extensions of the seven covenants mentioned in Scripture (Adamic, Noahic, Abrahamic, Palestinian, Mosaic, Davidic, and New). God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam .God’s program in history is mainly through related covenants. It accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible. Almost always accepts the idea of The ‘Analogy of Faith. The theology says that God has always had only 1 people, the Church gradually developed. Historically the Covenant Theology is found in the writings of some early church fathers, including Irenaeus and Augustine during the late nineteenth century and throughout the twentieth century. The Church began in O. T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the New Testament There are many Old Testament. prophecies of the N. T. Church. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N. T. era, and will not be withdrawn. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenanters are usually Amillenial, sometimes Pre-Millenial or Post-Millenial, rarely Pre-Tribulational. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.

Dispensational Theology developed as an alternative, largely as a result of a more detailed understanding of the end times. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect. Some Dispensationalists have said that O. T. sinners were saved by works. Old Testament laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T. The Millenium is the Kingdom of God. Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational. The Millenium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future. The Law has been abolished. O. T. laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T. O.T. believers were not in Christ, not part of the Body or Bride of Christ.

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James Outland • 3 years ago

To properly interpret prophecy and avoid the risk of confusion, interpreters must start at the base with literal interpretation. When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense; therefore, take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the immediate text, studied in light of related passages and axiomatic and fundamental truths, clearly indicate otherwise. This rule provides basic guidelines for properly interpreting the many signs and symbols in the book of Revelation.


Covenant theology interprets Scripture by allegorizing and spiritualizing portions of biblical text. Dispensational theology results from a natural normal reading of Scripture, consistently taken in context and at face value. Such a reading is the logical and obvious way to read any body of literature. The variance regarding these two approaches is largely based on the hermeneutic they employ. In the case of dispensational theology, a consistent, literal hermeneutic and a normal reading of Scripture are used to interpret all sixty-six books of the Bible. When it comes to non-eschatological literature, covenant theologians usually begin with a literal, grammatico-historical method of interpretation, referred to as a normal reading of Scripture. There are exceptions especially when it comes to Israel and the church. Often in covenant theology, Israel does not mean Israel; it is spiritualized to mean the church. Regarding prophetic literature, the hermeneutic of covenant theologians is even more inconsistent, in that they consistently mingle all allegorical or spiritual method of biblical interpretation with a normal reading of Scripture.

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Patricia Vincent • 3 years ago

Covenant theology believes that God has structured his relationship with humanity by covenants rather than dispensations. For example, in Scripture we explicitly read of various covenants functioning as the major stages in redemptive history, such as the covenant with Abraham, the giving of the law, the covenant with David, and the new covenant. These post-fall covenants are not new tests of man’s faithfulness to each new stage of revelation (as are the dispensations in dispensationalism), but are rather differing administrations of the single, overarching covenant of grace.

Dispensationalism believes in “two peoples of God.” Although both Jews and Gentiles are saved by Christ through faith, believing Israel will be the recipient of additional “earthly” promises (such as prosperity in the specific land of Palestine, to be fully realized in the millennium) that do not apply to believing Gentiles, whose primary inheritance is thus “heavenly.”

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Constance Hemphill • 3 years ago

According to the reading, revelation should be interpreted literally taking into account comparative language that points to a literal ultimate meaning. Tan notes that every word picture in prophecy is a symbol. Many scholars view revelation as allegorical interpretation

Covenant theology is a promise from God to another person or people for example Abrahamic. God to Abraham that he would be fruitful and multiply. However, dispensational is God commands and the consequences of such commands the outcome could be blessings or curses.

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JoHanna DuBose • 3 years ago

Covenant: according to the reading, is an agreement between two people. Covenant is the righteous blood of Jesus Christ; it’s an establishment of grace, mercies and blessings, (Gen. 3:15) of God, “the secret things” which belong unto God that He gives to His children (His Church); the Covenant is God’s promises and favor upon His chosen people that He shall never forsake. 
Dispensational: accepting the interpretation in its ordinary, original and literal form.

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