RE: [CreationTalk] interpreting scripture
> Pete says I am taking the scriptures out of context.
> We all have interpretive bias.
True but you are confusing interpretation and context. The context is the setting in which a verse of or word while the interpretation is what a verse means. Taking a verse or word out of its context usually results in a flawed interpretation regardless of any bias, in fact it tends to enhance one’s bias.
A common and some what humorous example of this is as follows.
Matthew 27:5 (KJB) And he ... went and hanged himself.
Luke 10:37b (KJB) Go, and do thou likewise.
John 13:27b (KJB) That thou doest, do quickly.
Stringing these references together outside their individual contexts could lead one to commit suicide.
The simple fact is victor is that you do often take verses and words out of their context in drawing some of your interpretation. The aforementioned example taken with no bias but out of context could lead to tragic results.
> I try prayerfully to take the text in its grammatical and cultural
> context especially in the areas of creation and earth history.color=navy>
The problem is that you limit the meaning of scripture to that grammatical and cultural context. We need to remember that the real writer of the Bible is God and He is not limited to the grammatical and cultural context of the human authors. Not limiting scripture to the grammatical and cultural context of the human authors is particularly necessary in prophecy where the text refers to events 100’s and even 1,000’s of years after the text was written. An excellent example of this comes from Revelation in talking about the death if the two witnesses.
Revelation 11:9 (KJB) And they of the people and kindreds
and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days
and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in
This verse indicates that the entire world will see the dead bodies if the two witnesses. Only those of use living in the last 60 years or so have been fully capable of understanding how this could happen. Past generations tendered to spiritualize this or even assume some form of supernatural vision from God. But with the advent of TV and the internet it is now clear how this can happen. John (the human author of Revelation) would not have been fully capable of understanding his own prophecy. By way of TV and the internet I have witnessed many events as they happened that I would have never seen other wise. I have seen five U.S. presidential inaugurations, the 911 attacks as they happened, including the second plane hitting and both towers collapsing. I have seen events not only from all over the world as they happened but I have seen events on other planets as they happened as well. By way of TV I saw man’s step first on another planetary body (the Moon) as it happened. Having seen men walk on the Moon to me the entire world will seeing the dead bodies of the two witnesses is no big deal while the Apostle John could never have even imagined how it could happen. If I limited my interpretation of Revelation 11:9 what John would have thought I would never get the right answer but I buy looking beyond his limitation the answer is obvious to me.
> structure and into a way of thinking unlike that of the writer.color=navy>
You are ignoring what constitutes proper translation between languages. Properly translating from one language to another requires not just translating words but the grammar as well. English and ancient Hebrew have radically different grammars and so proper translation from ancient Hebrew to English would require using different verb tenses in English since they are not perfect parallels.
You are also assuming God never works though translators inspiring them in the process. For the English language God, inspired the translation of the King James Bible as shown not only by God’s unique blessing on it, using it to win more sols to Jesus than all other translate and even the original autographs. You are assuming that God has locked his word up in two dead ancient languages leaving those who do not read Greek and Hebrew with out an uncorrupted copy of the Bible. However despite your Westcott and Hort based claim to the contrary God had given us His inspired, inerrant word in English so that we can not only preach the Gospel with authority but fulfill the Great Commission as well.
> Traditions also influence how we interpret the text. The Latin
> tradition is so powerful that even though the Hebrew says Hestyle='color:navy'>
> continues to command light to continue to be, we go with
> tradition - that He commanded once - because the Latin used
> perfect verbs - but the Hebrew uses imperfect.
However you are not accurately translating the Hebrew even in it own grammar. Since ancient Hebrew did not have time tenses, when doing narratives about the past in which an action was in progress the ancient Hebrews would use the imperfect, In the case of Genesis 1:3 the closest word for word translation would be “God saying being light, light” with the context showing that is occurred in the past. The proper English translation is "And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." Genesis 1:3 (KJB) .
I don’t know about Latin but the King James Bible uses the past tense not the perfect tence, so the King James Bible does not follow the Latin but uses the proper English translation. The problem when going from ancient Hebrew to English is that English does not have an imperfect unrelated to time and so does not have a perfect match to the Hebrew imperfect. Using the English past imperfect in Genesis 1:3 would render it as “God was saying was being light, light” which dose not work. The simple fact is that King James Bible got it right not surprising since the author of the original autographs (God) had His inspired the translation of the King James Bible and then has used it win many many sols to Himself.
Part of your problem is that you are mistranslating the imperfect as “continues to command” and “continue to be” while you are totally misunderstanding the process of translation. The other part of your problem is that you are ignoring God in the translation process. No surprise since you when you use a translation other than your own, it is usually NASV which is not inspired.
------ Charles Creager Jr.