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God & Me - Written Word

The Written Word 3

We have discovered now the importance of five clues when it comes to the interpretation of the written word. Word meaning, literary context, historical and cultural background, our cultural glasses and genre. Now that we have discussed these clues of interpretation, you may be thinking, "Aha, so what?" Some of us may feel these are obvious, and don't need discussion, and when it comes to everyday literature, we are skilled at interpretation.

But what about applying these five clues to a piece of literature that has been around for 2000 years? A piece of literature that many of us say guides our life and purpose.

That book is the written word of God, known to as the Holy Scriptures or the Bible. Probably the most significant clue we need to be aware of in America when we approach the Bible are our cultural glasses. In America our cultural glasses cause us to look at life with the goal of making our lives meaningful and fulfilling. This causes 20th century Americans to be self-centered in their individual quests for self-satisfaction. We become interested only in fulfilling ourselves or our immediate core family. We extend our cultural glasses to the way we interpret scripture. Which of these two questions motivate you to read the Bible?

#1. What absolute truth can I discover today about God, the world, and how I fit into His purposes?
#2. What can I discover in my reading today that I can apply to my problems and station in life?

If you honestly answered number two, then your cultural glasses are more American than they are objective. Looking for self-help in the Bible is not necessarily evil, but we miss God's perspective if we are solely concerned about ourselves. When we read looking for absolute truth, God's overall purpose becomes our focus, and no longer are we subject to the distorting cultural glasses that make us believe we are the centers of our own universe.

With that in mind, let us apply some of our key questions to a passage in the Bible many of us are familiar with. It's found in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 18:19-20. The verses read:
"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything...
Your mission now is to apply the interpretive clue questions to these verses.
word meaning
context
background
glasses genre
[Pray for God's guidance]
Before you start, ask God to lead you into truth. He desire that we handle His word with skill, and He desires to disclose it to those who seek. With God's guidance, the clues will lead you to correct interpretation.
 

The Written Word 3

Posted by: Jane Hsu
Released Date: Mar-08-2010

Cultural glasses make a difference.

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The Written Word 3

We have discovered now the importance of five clues when it comes to the interpretation of the written word. Word meaning, literary context, historical and cultural background, our cultural glasses and genre. Now that we have discussed these clues of interpretation, you may be thinking, "Aha, so what?" Some of us may feel these are obvious, and don't need discussion, and when it comes to everyday literature, we are skilled at interpretation.

But what about applying these five clues to a piece of literature that has been around for 2000 years? A piece of literature that many of us say guides our life and purpose.

That book is the written word of God, known to as the Holy Scriptures or the Bible. Probably the most significant clue we need to be aware of in America when we approach the Bible are our cultural glasses. In America our cultural glasses cause us to look at life with the goal of making our lives meaningful and fulfilling. This causes 20th century Americans to be self-centered in their individual quests for self-satisfaction. We become interested only in fulfilling ourselves or our immediate core family. We extend our cultural glasses to the way we interpret scripture. Which of these two questions motivate you to read the Bible?

#1. What absolute truth can I discover today about God, the world, and how I fit into His purposes?
#2. What can I discover in my reading today that I can apply to my problems and station in life?

If you honestly answered number two, then your cultural glasses are more American than they are objective. Looking for self-help in the Bible is not necessarily evil, but we miss God's perspective if we are solely concerned about ourselves. When we read looking for absolute truth, God's overall purpose becomes our focus, and no longer are we subject to the distorting cultural glasses that make us believe we are the centers of our own universe.

With that in mind, let us apply some of our key questions to a passage in the Bible many of us are familiar with. It's found in the gospel of Matthew, chapter 18:19-20. The verses read:
"Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything...
Your mission now is to apply the interpretive clue questions to these verses.
word meaning
context
background
glasses genre
[Pray for God's guidance]
Before you start, ask God to lead you into truth. He desire that we handle His word with skill, and He desires to disclose it to those who seek. With God's guidance, the clues will lead you to correct interpretation.
 

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