2G. A Bizarre Interpretation Approach

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Often the result of pneumatic interpreting can be seen by looking at the teaching and comments of those reading the book of Revelation where we can see some really bizarre and rather outlandish interpretations of the biblical text. It seems like the Second Coming of Jesus has been the object of quirky predictions forever. I wrote some of this in 2010 and the date of 2012 or 2018 was/is being predicted as the date of the return of Jesus; you can see the prediction of “The Return of Jesus Christ 2018 not 2012” a video on YouTube.[ref]YouTube, “The Return of Jesus Christ 2018 not 2012” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rKGUoAwx-U target=”_blank” (accessed December 27, 2010). At the viewing there were 25,096 viewers that have viewed this video. The video is no longer available (July 17, 2015).[/ref] An individual devotional interpreter of the text has fallen prey it seems, to many of the issues we are discussing.

On a different note, as I researched this section, I found it interesting that the Executive Director of “The Council of Biblical Manhood & Womanhood” suggested that egalitarians may be guilty of “bizarre interpretations of Scripture.”[ref]Randy Stinson, “Executive Director’s Column (May 1, 2004),” The Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood. http://cbmw.org/executive-directors-column-7/ (accessed January 23, 2013) This page is no longer available (July 17, 2015) One wonders why?.[/ref] Eccentric interpretation seems to be everywhere!

…when we do not pursue good interpretative practices, we are doomed to…

I think it should be obvious that when we do not pursue good interpretative practices, we are doomed to cause damage to the meaning of the text and then as we share what we think the text means, we cause damage to the body of Christ. This happening is especially true, when we take the concrete position that “I’m right and everyone else is not.”

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Read Me First


Throughout these sessions, I have used the word ecclesia (singular) for the usual word church and ecclesiae (plural) to indicate a church in a particular geographic place, i.e., the ecclesiae at Corinth, meaning the whole of the many smaller ecclesia that met in homes in Corinth. This is to distinguish between the Institutional Church model (IC) and ecclesia that meet in cities and towns around the world. The ecclesiae written about by the authors of the Second Testament were not the same as what the “church” has become over the years of its existence. Usually, but not always, folks think of a church as a place where they go to a building and set in rows of pews and listen to music and sometimes sing and listen to sermons by a pastor or senior pastor. The ecclesiae of the Second Testament time did not invoke this model.


I have discovered over the years that if you want to try and change minds about something special, you have to venture out and reword it in order to grasp a foothold for a new refreshed understanding of the idea presented by the word. Such is the case between "church" and "ecclesia."


Happy Reading!

Read Me Second


Referenced verses in the text of this study are not used to prove some point of view. They are merely markers where the subject matter is referenced by other books and authors. To gain a larger view of each quote, a serious student of the Holy Writ would take the time to view the reference and see what the background is. The background provides tracks on which the meaning of a text rides. So knowing the context of a referenced passage would help the reader to gain a more thorough understanding of an author than just the words quoted and marked by a verse number that was not a part of the original author's text, which as you might remember was performed on the text in a random fashion many years later.


Happy Reading!

Read Me Third


The verses that are referenced in these sessions are not meant to prove a point. They are simply pointers to where the idea being written about may have a correlation. In order to see if they accomplish the thesis presented by the original author, a student should read, at a minimum, the chapter in which the verse is found as well as trying to ascertain what the original author may have meant to say to the original audience.


Of course, this is a lot of work but it is beneficial work. If one does not understand what the author meant when it was written and the audience could not have understood by what was written, then the words on the page can mean anything that a present reader may assign as a meaning, thus distorting what God was inspiring for the original writer to write to the original audience to hear.

A great and recent book by N.T. Wright and Michael F. Bird entitled The New Testament in Its World would be a wonderful addition to your reading helps.


Happy Reading!

Jesus Followers


There are many synonyms to use for the word believer, which is the most common word for a person who has "converted" to follow Jesus. I have chosen "Jesus follower(s) or follower(s) of Jesus instead of the word believer in these presentations to allow the reader an opportunity to move away from the idea of believer which conjures up the possible thought of "ascent" to a set of doctrines that have been assembled by different groups over the centuries and show up in this day and age as a set of statements posted on web sites and other written material. These sets of beliefs are suggested by many as the ones that one should ascent to so that upon death the one who assents can go to heaven, i.e., just believe and you are good to go. Jesus followers/followers of Jesus suggest an action that one should take. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to follow him. Yes, belief is important, but one must move beyond belief to action.


(See "Discipleship" Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. 182-188.)