Page -3-The obvious literal interpretation should be chosen unless it is clearly figurative.Passages that are parallel or correspond to one another can aid in interpretation.Example: Synoptic Gospel parallels can help in understanding a text.D.
Clear systematic teaching passages should interpret shorter incidental passages.
Example: the doctrine of justification by faith in Christ is taught clearlyin Romans and Galatians. These should interpret shorter or incidentalpassages on the same subject. The book of James deals with practicalreligion but does not deal with justification by faith as a doctrine andtherefore James must give way to Romans and Galatians on this subject.E.
God’s truth has been progressively revealed
through the ages.Sound interpretation takes into consideration the culture, moral conditions andhistorical situation of the times when the passage was written.F.
The New Testament interprets the Old Testament
for the purpose of doctrine.The Old Testament was shadowy and only partially revealed God to Israel. TheNew Testament is full and complete and God fully reveals himself in his Son.(Heb. 1:1,2; John 1:16; 2 Cor. 3:6-18; Acts 20:27).G.
Correct interpretations consider the context
and this might be the whole book.
“Neglect of this principle is a common cause of erroneous interpretations and irrelevant applications.”
Michelsen, Interpreting the Bible, Zondervan, p. 99.Reading whole books of the Bible and becoming familiar with the main themeswill help the reader hold the context clearly in mind. The chapter and versedivisions
do not necessarily mark out the limits of a writer’s thoughts
. Thereader should especially notice
the verses before and after the text
in questionand ask himself - What did the author try to communicate to his audience in thistext?H.
If a passage is clearly not literal but figurative
, determine what form does thepassage exhibit and follow
special principles of interpretation
for each one.Common forms are word figures, thought figures, poetry, types, symbols andprophecy.I.
.1. Metaphor is an implied comparison. (Luke 13:32; Psalm 18:2)2. Metonymy is representing a thing by one of its attributes. (Gal 6:17, Lu 16:29)3, Synechdoche is putting a part for the whole or a whole for a part. (Rom 5:18)J.
1. Simile is a comparison between two different objects using the words “as” or“like.” (Isa. 55:10, 11; 56:3; Jer. 23:29; Psalm 1:3).