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Principles of Interpretation: Part I

Do not interpretations belong to God? Genesis 40:8.

Most people do not get their bible interpretations from the bible itself. They subscribe to a particular theology or understanding of certain bible doctrines based on their denomination, peer group, or commentaries. The idea that the average person of average intelligence and average education can pick up a bible and understand it to the point of settling major theological questions is simply absurd to the world at large.

One barrier in the world's thinking is that they don't believe that they have the complete and accurate word of God. To them, reading a bible is a religious exercise, not a means of gaining infallible truth. When they see a King James Bible believer exposit a doctrine or defend a position based on the words of the King James Bible and only on the words of a King James Bible, they assume the King James Bible believer is trapped in some legalistic web wherein he is afraid to peek at other versions.

The best mathematicians in the world could not solve an algebraic inscription on an ancient wall if some of the numbers were missing or their veracity was in doubt. Different mathematicians would get differing answers if the scholars who fed them data gave them differing numbers based on their hunches as to what the original equation said. Likewise, any puzzle involving logic can not be solved with any accuracy if any of the facts are in doubt or missing.

The bible works no differently. Granted, we have an advantage over the mathematician seeking to solve an ancient inscription or the logician who seeks to solve an ancient logistical puzzle. We have the spirit of the author of the bible living within us. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God, 1st Corinthians 2:12. Nevertheless, God communicates to us in words. His spirit is there to give us an understanding of those words, but without those words the spirit does not communicate anything above the level of feelings. God promised us something better.

As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever, Isaiah 59:21. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away, Mark 13:31. Could anything be more clear than those two verses? The first principle that needs to be understood in being able to interpret the bible is that the words of God have been miraculously preserved on this earth and that they are accessible to the common man.

Where could a person find such words? Hint! Hint! The Apostle Paul told you where to look:

Romans 3:1: What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?

Romans 3:2: Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

When the Apostle Paul spoke of the Jews in the Book of Romans, he was not talking about converted Jews who had embraced the cross of Jesus Christ. He went so far as to tell us that; As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the fathers' sakes, Romans 11:28. God has not stopped his love for the Jews, but they have rejected the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is to these same people that God committed the oracles of God. It was to them that the promise of Isaiah 59:21 was made. They are the people carrying about a perfect Old Testament in Hebrew.

It is telling that the modern versions uniformly reject the text carried by those same Jews. The translators and compilers of the new bibles do not believe that there is a book anywhere on this earth that is 100% the words of God. The Old Testament in the King James Bible is the interpretation of those Hebrew words carried by those Jews and commended by the Apostle Paul into a classical form of English writing that preserves the nuances and accuracy of the Hebrew Language.

The new versions are a hodge-podge of guesses by various scholars as to what they think the text should be based on many sources other than the text the Apostle Paul endorsed. The very premisses of those versions are that you, the average person on the street are not smart enough to think in the carefully crafted words of the King James Bible even though all of your forefathers who did not speak King James English could. And, they believe that the promises of Isaiah 59:21 and Mark 13:31 misfired.

If your King James Bible is practically the only English version that believes the Hebrew Text as the good apostle told us to trust it, you can have great confidence that it has the New Testament straight also. The history of how that text came to us is long and meanders through many people and places, but is available in books written by many different authors. A person does not have to tie up part of his or her intellect to believe that they have a perfect scripture. There is a perfectly accessible road map from the present day back to the apostles' time which documents the accuracy of the King James Bible for those who care to look.

To interpret the bible properly, you must have the proper words.

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