THE GOLDEN RULE OF INTERPRETATION
When the plain sense of scripture
makes common sense, seek no other sense;
therefore, take every word
at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning
unless the facts of the immediate context,
studied in the light of related passages
and axiomatic and fundamental truths,
indicate clearly otherwise.
COURTESY OF D. L. COOPER
1. DEFINITION: THE LITERAL METHOD OF INTERPRETATION
The literal method of interpretation is that method that gives to each
word the same exact basic meaning it would have in normal, ordinary, customary
usage, whether employed in writing, speaking or thinking.
2. If the words are employed in their natural and primitive signification,
the sense which they express is the proper literal sense; whereas,
if they are used with a figurative and derived meaning, the sense, though
still literal, is usually called the metaphorical or figurative
sense. Examples through comparing John 1:6 and 1:29.
3. Application of isagogics: This considers the historical and cultural
context of the passage of scripture. Recognizing that customs differ from
culture to culture and from time to time, a word or concept may not mean
today, what it meant in the time and place recorded in the bible.
A secondary application in this area is to realize that the King James
Version of the bible uses the English language of AD 1611. Many words and
phrases have no meaning to us today or have entirely different meanings
than what they had 380 years ago. This has led to serious misunderstandings
of the bible and many erroneous practices and false doctrines.
4. Application of categories: This considers the individual topics of the
bible by properly evaluating every reference where that particular
topic is mentioned, and understanding the dispensational differences and
ramifications of that topic as it relates to the church age.
5. Application of exegesis: This considers the grammatical structure of
the bible through a detailed analysis of that structure as it occurs in
the original languages of the bible; Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.
DETAILED ANALYSIS OF BIBLE INTERPRETATION
By J. Dwight Pentecost, from Things to Come.
questions are always welcome!
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