Author's intent hermeneutic

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Is understanding the author's intent the key to interpreting the Bible?

  • Yes. Whatever the author intended, that is what we should read out of the Bible.

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • No. We should interpret what the Holy Spirit is saying, and not the author.

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Some mixture of the two (please post and explain)

    Votes: 5 50.0%
  • I don't understand the question?

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10
Mar 28, 2016
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#21
Revelation 1:1 is relevant to Revelation, not to the entire Bible. Revelation is not a parable, but a vision. Even so, though most of Revelation is symbolic, some parts are not.
And some say that Revelation 22 "not to add or subtract from the book of prophecy .God's tongue was for that book .Adding or subtracting from other is then OK

Revelation is a vision as prophecy given through a parable. Apply that to Chapter 20 now that you do agree it at least applies to one book. What does the metaphor "thousand years" represent?

It is used as a metaphor 9 times throughout the Bible to represent a unmown .(we walk by faith) . What do you think the phrase thousand years represents in that parable?

Which parts are not?
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
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#22
And some say that Revelation 22 "not to add or subtract from the book of prophecy .God's tongue was for that book .Adding or subtracting from other is then OK
It would be helpful if you learned how to use the period properly. Your word groups would make more sense.

Revelation is a vision as prophecy given through a parable.
No, Revelation is instruction and prophecy given through a vision. It's not a parable.

What does the metaphor "thousand years" represent?

It is used as a metaphor 9 times throughout the Bible to represent a unmown .(we walk by faith) . What do you think the phrase thousand years represents in that parable?
I don't think it's a metaphor and I don't think it represents "a unmown" (sic, twice).

Which parts are not?
I could explain that, or I could leave it to you to search out. I think the second option is better for you.
 

Lafftur

Senior Member
Apr 18, 2017
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#23
I should probably clarify. I am concerned about the PERCEPTION.

Let's take the first thing: introducing the words, "Hermeneutics", "exegesis", and "eisegesis" to laymen. Exegesis=good. Eisegesis=bad. First thing somebody's going to ask: Do any of these words appear in the Bible? Well...not really. Instantly, they're turned off. We're "no longer studying the Bible". The Bible's supposed to be this easy-to-learn Word of God that we can all understand, but instead I'm using these big words.

Lesson learned: just don't use those big words. But still, the underlying premise remains: what is the correct lens, the correct microscope, to examine the Bible under? Many men have gone before us and formulated a set of rules to go by when reading the Bible. That is hermeneutics. What are bad ways to read the Bible? What are good ways? We learn much faster if we simply learn from other people who have already wrestled through these very issues. Why graduate from the School of Hard Knocks if you don't have to?

So, the intent is not to impose all these "rules" on people which only obscure the Bible's meaning. It's to grease the skids. But I'm concerned about the perception that we are telling people how to interpret the Bible and that "that's wrong." At the very least, yes--I am telling you, you have to interpret God's Word the way God intended it. No apologies for that.

My worry is that if I teach that one rule of hermeneutic is that you need to interpret a Bible passage the way the author intended it, I will get people in the room who don't even agree with that much. Poof, I just turned them off. Thus I posted this poll about it.
Concrete learners easily learn in very structured format - Rules.

Abstract learners get confused in too much structure - Rules.

Teachers have to adapt to all learning styles and present the same lesson in various ways.

Most people are visual learners and thrive with pictures or watching you write on a marker board, etc.

Also, some people learn best with “hands on” - they have to be able to touch - create a lesson with objects that can be manipulated.

Then, there’s those that learn really quick by just listening- auditory learners. A lot of abstract learners are auditory.

May the Lord bless your Bible Study! :love:(y)
 

CS1

Well-known member
May 23, 2012
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#24
What you have said is true as I was born again but it took a few years of study to realize what had happen to me. The 21st verse seems to confirm that the ones who did the actual writing of the bible were inspired by the Holy Spirit. I love the passage where Jesus was explaining the concept of being born again to Nicodemus.
finally some great dialog with outstanding edification. Thank you for your participation. I have enjoyed it much and other here too.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#25
When I read about hermeneutics, I read that it is the former, i.e. you need to understand the author's intent.
We should always keep in mind that God is the Divine Author, and the writers are His scribes. The prophets, evangelists and apostles wrote only what they were given to write. And God is generally economical with His words. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher, and without the indwelling Spirit Scripture cannot be understood spiritually.

After understanding the plain literal meaning, one needs to go beyond it, and tie that verse or passage in with the rest of Scripture, and also determine what the metaphors mean (if there are metaphors or symbols) . Then one needs to go beyond that, and see what God is teaching you, or revealing to you, or revealing to others through you. What is in that verse or passage for a personal application. The purpose of all Scripture is stated in 2 Timothy 3:16,17.
 
Mar 28, 2016
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#27
It would be helpful if you learned how to use the period properly. Your word groups would make more sense.


No, Revelation is instruction and prophecy given through a vision. It's not a parable.


I don't think it's a metaphor and I don't think it represents "a unmown" (sic, twice).


I could explain that, or I could leave it to you to search out. I think the second option is better for you.
I have searched it. Explain what I missed?

Yes, they are not a revelation without understanding .(make a senseless sound fall backward) As a revelation they are used as a tool he has given us to reveal the unseen understanding just as all prophecy, God's tongue reveals His understanding. Hiding it from those who have no understanding of the parables.

Why would a person resist the revealed understanding tools needed to rightly divide in so much that not only has he inspired it but signified it using a parable? What is the hope in literalizing the signified Tongue of God ?

Is the a portion of scripture that informs something to resist ?

Remember the whole time period there were Kings in Israel. . . it used the signified tongue of God as a parable for the time present? The whole book of Revelation is written in the same manner.

Are you saying that God does not use metaphors in parables?

How many metaphors can you spot in the parable below and what is the hidden understanding of each one?.

Angel messenger ....Can we literally see the interpretation our message of God coming from heaven? Ministering spirits of the air have no form. What does the key represent? or a bottomless pit? What does the literal chain represent, or a dragon and serpent. What does a soul of the beheaded look like . Hollywood e.t.c. ?

And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection
Revelation 20;1-5

What does the other three uses of "thousand years" outside of Revelation represent? A unknown? Is it necessary to compare the spiritual unseen understand of one to another?
 
Mar 28, 2016
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#28
We should always keep in mind that God is the Divine Author, and the writers are His scribes. The prophets, evangelists and apostles wrote only what they were given to write. And God is generally economical with His words. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit is the Divine Teacher, and without the indwelling Spirit Scripture cannot be understood spiritually.

After understanding the plain literal meaning, one needs to go beyond it, and tie that verse or passage in with the rest of Scripture, and also determine what the metaphors mean (if there are metaphors or symbols) . Then one needs to go beyond that, and see what God is teaching you, or revealing to you, or revealing to others through you. What is in that verse or passage for a personal application. The purpose of all Scripture is stated in 2 Timothy 3:16,17.
One must go beyond what that which teaches us?

Why not after the spiritual understanding (faith to faith) the not so plain natural literal understanding? That kind of non -understanding is reserved for those who who walk by sight after the letter of the law. And not the law of faith. . by rightly dividing the parables. they have no understanding coming from the parable (prophecy)

Matthew 13:34 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:

Mark 4:11 And he said unto
them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables:
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
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#29
I have searched it. Explain what I missed?
Where John says he's on Patmos; is that a metaphor? Where Jesus says to write seven letters; is that symbolic?

Yes, they are not a revelation without understanding .(make a senseless sound fall backward) As a revelation they are used as a tool he has given us to reveal the unseen understanding just as all prophecy, God's tongue reveals His understanding. Hiding it from those who have no understanding of the parables.
WHAT are not a revelation without understanding? Why are you dragging "falling backward" into this thread?

The meaning of the parables is hidden from those who don't believe. Why do you continually mix up what the Scripture states?

Why would a person resist the revealed understanding tools needed to rightly divide in so much that not only has he inspired it but signified it using a parable? What is the hope in literalizing the signified Tongue of God ?
Why would a person make things up instead of accepting what the plain text of Scripture tells them?

Is the a portion of scripture that informs something to resist ?
Huh?

Remember the whole time period there were Kings in Israel. . . it used the signified tongue of God as a parable for the time present? The whole book of Revelation is written in the same manner.
I see no relevance to the topic at hand.

Are you saying that God does not use metaphors in parables?
Where would you get the idea that I am saying that?
 
Mar 28, 2016
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#31
Where John says he's on Patmos; is that a metaphor? Where Jesus says to write seven letters; is that symbolic?
No it was a island a location. I do think it is used as a metaphor . The New Jerusalem, the Christian city prepared as the bride of Christ would be.. symbolic.

Yes seven is used to represent the perfect or complete . What was written to one applied to all who where given ears to hear the understanding of the signified revelation .

Revelation 1:1 instructs us how to interpret the signified tongue of God's prophecy. It sets the way to properly divide the whole book.
 

Runningman

Well-known member
Mar 4, 2020
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#32
Hi,

Quick poll of this board.

So...my preparation for a Revelation Bible study has led me off on a study of hermeneutics. Which frankly might be a more important study, anyway. Learning right and wrong hermeneutics lays the groundwork for studying Revelation.

Let me explain my poll question:

Hermeneutics is basically the "rules of engagement" for interpreting the Bible. Such as, for example, our #1 rule of engagement is that we should sincerely seek God in all our study. After all, if we are not genuinely seeking God in all this, we will never interpret the right meaning out of God's Word.

Now, my question: do you believe it fair to say that whatever the author intended you to read, that is the correct meaning of the book? Put another way: assuming Moses wrote Deuteronomy, do you believe that whatever Moses was trying to say--that is the meaning of Deuteronomy?

OR: is it possible that, once the book became a part of the Bible and 2000 years have elapsed, that the Holy Spirit took over, and now the book, being a part of GOD'S Word, might mean something that the human author did not intend? For example: take Paul's letter to Philemon. When Paul originally wrote the letter, he intended the audience to be Philemon. But then a lot of churches also read the letter, and it became part of the Bible. Now, the letter becomes to ALL of us, and it takes on new meaning. But...does it take on new meaning that Paul never intended?

When I read about hermeneutics, I read that it is the former, i.e. you need to understand the author's intent. And I tend to agree with that. But I am also concerned of the possibility that maybe not everybody may agree with that, and that I am imposing all these "rules" on them which only serve to obscure the Bible's true meaning (which of course is neither my intent, nor that of hermeneutics). I hope I explained my question well?
It's possible there was a lot more communique between the churches, planning, and coordinating in order to answer questions; letters lost to time or considered irrelevant that may give valuable insight to answering our many questions. Every now and then there is an oblique reference to the target audience changing.

Take Hebrews 6, for example, where the writer begins the chapter with a dire warning and then by verse 9 says "Even though we speak like this, beloved, we are convinced of better things in your case—things that accompany salvation."

So why would the writer of Hebrews give a dire warning about sinning and then tell them to not worry about it, because they have salvation, in the same breath? Well, I think it's because in this particular book the intended audiences change. If one audience is receiving a hellfire and brimstone warning and the other audience is getting reassurance of salvation then the application of the writings changes depending on if part of the book is intended for non-Christians and other parts intended for Christians.

Some of the letters of the NT are actually just read like sermons. The way the modern canonical Bible is composed may look nothing like how it was originally written or possibly very close. Maybe we ended up with the footnotes and notes written in the margin lumped in with the body of the letters?

So I think we should try to understand the books of the Bible the way the author intended them to be understood and we need to practice due diligence to make sure we are doing this honestly, considering all information before coming to a possibly false conclusion.
 
Mar 28, 2016
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#33
It's possible there was a lot more communique between the churches, planning, and coordinating in order to answer questions; letters lost to time or considered irrelevant that may give valuable insight to answering our many questions. Every now and then there is an oblique reference to the target audience changing.

Take Hebrews 6, for example, where the writer begins the chapter with a dire warning and then by verse 9 says "Even though we speak like this, beloved, we are convinced of better things in your case—things that accompany salvation."

So why would the writer of Hebrews give a dire warning about sinning and then tell them to not worry about it, because they have salvation, in the same breath? Well, I think it's because in this particular book the intended audiences change. If one audience is receiving a hellfire and brimstone warning and the other audience is getting reassurance of salvation then the application of the writings changes depending on if part of the book is intended for non-Christians and other parts intended for Christians.

Some of the letters of the NT are actually just read like sermons. The way the modern canonical Bible is composed may look nothing like how it was originally written or possibly very close. Maybe we ended up with the footnotes and notes written in the margin lumped in with the body of the letters?

So I think we should try to understand the books of the Bible the way the author intended them to be understood and we need to practice due diligence to make sure we are doing this honestly, considering all information before coming to a possibly false conclusion.
I would agree all information.

I would offer. I don't think the bible is written to unbelievers that have no faith to hear. The warnings as encouragement are not written to those who do not have ears to understand .

We must look and pray to seek the understanding. The opening as in this case verse one usually sets the standard and gives us comfort that he will not forget the good works he works in us with us. The power to beleive. Believing God is the better things in our case—things that accompany salvation."

Hebrews 6 King James Version (KJV) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

The new born again faith we have working in these earthen bodies of death is not of us .The law considers it a "dead works" as "dead faith" attributed to a body of death. Our new born again faith comes from hearing His understanding not the understanding offer towards Him

That is if we would have the "faith of Christ" that works in us in respect to our own selves. Rather than walking by the faith that does work in us towards us coming down from him .

The unbelieving faithless Jews where rebuked over and over for turning things upside down . Which took away the understanding of the Potter as if it was earthy inspirited of the dead one, the devil.

The same kind of warning is a respect of the opening verse of James 2 a danger of blasphemy. Attributing the unseen work of Christ's faith that works in us to corrupted flesh and blood. Exposing those who crucify Christ over and over exposing Him to public shame as if one promised demonstration of the Father and the Son was not enough. They deny both

Faith from Christ who works from within. . . the better thing that does accompany salvation. If men look to justify the outside of the cup. it defines things that accompany natural unconverted mankind. No faith coming from God working in them.

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

Faith works two ways. One living, one dead. His working in us toward us and ours working in agreement as two walking in agreement to one Father
 

Adstar

Senior Member
Jul 24, 2016
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#34
The Human writer of Acts was guided by the Holy Spirit in what He wrote.. So the question is irrelevant..

It's not one or the other or a mixture of both.. Because the human writer did not write his own words..
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,527
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#35
How about we replace Hermen with the Holy Spirit.
yes, and the Spirit has an hermeneutic of His own, declaring the things of Christ:

He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare to you.
(John 16:14)
right understanding of the scripture is understand that reveals and glorifies Christ in it
 

CS1

Well-known member
May 23, 2012
6,752
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#36
yes, and the Spirit has an hermeneutic of His own, declaring the things of Christ:

He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare to you.
(John 16:14)
right understanding of the scripture is understand that reveals and glorifies Christ in it
yes, amen. WE must build on Christ not from HIM.
 

posthuman

Senior Member
Jul 31, 2013
30,527
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#38
So why would the writer of Hebrews give a dire warning about sinning and then tell them to not worry about it, because they have salvation, in the same breath? Well, I think it's because in this particular book the intended audiences change. If one audience is receiving a hellfire and brimstone warning and the other audience is getting reassurance of salvation then the application of the writings changes depending on if part of the book is intended for non-Christians and other parts intended for Christians.
i do not think that almost all of Hebrews was meant for one audience and then a portion of one chapter meant for unbelievers. why would unbelievers be reading the letter sent to the church?

but the author spends chapter after chapter going into great detail about how Christ is far superior to the old covenant and the temple services, and it seems clear that he is specifically writing to Jews who are well educated in the law and have heard and received the gospel. why would someone write to a church with so much careful explanation about how the priesthood and functions of the old covenant and the temple are superseded, warn them that there is no more sacrifice for sin, then say 'but we are confident of better things in your case' ? then continue in more and more explanation about the supremacy of the priesthood of Christ and the sacrifice of Christ?

an explanation that i have heard that makes sense to me is that circulating among these believing Jews was the idea of going back to temple service and/or integrating the Levitical ordinances and sacrifices into their practice of Christianity. this makes Hebrews 6:4-6 addressing a very particular kind of 'falling away' -- one which would be consistent with what we read all over in the NT, particularly in Galatians and Acts, that the Jews were not only persecuting Christians outright but also trying to bring them under the umbrella of their own Levitical authority by falsely teaching that to belong to Christ puts them under Moses, and not only from outside the church, but believing pharisees inside the church were also arguing the same thing about converted Gentiles.
if you look at Hebrews as an whole, there is a central theme of priesthood, priesthood, priesthood and Christ is greater than all in every way. so we really ought to first see Hebrews 6:4-6 in the context in which it is spoken: in the context of priesthood priesthood priesthood, Christ greater than all in every way.


it seems far more likely to me that what is being said is 'do not go back to being under the law, Christ is far better -- we are confident you will remain standing in the faith you received' than "well 2 or 3 verses in the middle of this long treatise are probably meant for a completely different group of people in a completely different context than all the rest of the letter"
 

MyrtleTrees

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2014
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#39
The Holy Spirit is key to understanding the Bible, and each verse should be studied in the context of the rest of God's Word.

I believe that the Spirit will not reveal opposing ideas to true seekers.

I believe that readers will always differ in their opinions about what the writers audience, etc. was, but the Holy Spirit will give what God intends for us to get as a unified body in Christ.
That's right! Those who are guided by God's Spirit will be protected from making seriously wrong interpretations of the BIble! THe seriously wrong doctrine is any doctrines that fail to reveal a correct understanding on the way of salvation as being through accepting Jesus as Lord (God) and Savior of one's life. Christians often sincerely differ on less important doctrines of the Bible, but that doesn't damn them, like a wrong salvation doctrine will. But one's should always do their best to prayerfully interpret all scripture as correctly as they know how, with the Spirit's leading. And when one has a close relationship with God, that helps a lot in understanding the scriptures well. While those who don't have the Spirit's guiding, are prone to doctrinal error and study the scriptures only in their own strength.
1 Cor 2:14

14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
KJV
 

MyrtleTrees

Junior Member
Sep 5, 2014
741
301
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#40
i do not think that almost all of Hebrews was meant for one audience and then a portion of one chapter meant for unbelievers. why would unbelievers be reading the letter sent to the church?

but the author spends chapter after chapter going into great detail about how Christ is far superior to the old covenant and the temple services, and it seems clear that he is specifically writing to Jews who are well educated in the law and have heard and received the gospel. why would someone write to a church with so much careful explanation about how the priesthood and functions of the old covenant and the temple are superseded, warn them that there is no more sacrifice for sin, then say 'but we are confident of better things in your case' ? then continue in more and more explanation about the supremacy of the priesthood of Christ and the sacrifice of Christ?

an explanation that i have heard that makes sense to me is that circulating among these believing Jews was the idea of going back to temple service and/or integrating the Levitical ordinances and sacrifices into their practice of Christianity. this makes Hebrews 6:4-6 addressing a very particular kind of 'falling away' -- one which would be consistent with what we read all over in the NT, particularly in Galatians and Acts, that the Jews were not only persecuting Christians outright but also trying to bring them under the umbrella of their own Levitical authority by falsely teaching that to belong to Christ puts them under Moses, and not only from outside the church, but believing pharisees inside the church were also arguing the same thing about converted Gentiles.
if you look at Hebrews as an whole, there is a central theme of priesthood, priesthood, priesthood and Christ is greater than all in every way. so we really ought to first see Hebrews 6:4-6 in the context in which it is spoken: in the context of priesthood priesthood priesthood, Christ greater than all in every way.


it seems far more likely to me that what is being said is 'do not go back to being under the law, Christ is far better -- we are confident you will remain standing in the faith you received' than "well 2 or 3 verses in the middle of this long treatise are probably meant for a completely different group of people in a completely different context than all the rest of the letter"
I think the book of Hebrews is directed to both spiritually mature Christians, and also to immature Christians in the church. That's often true, I think, in most of the New Testament books of the Bible. I gather that immature Christians - or in other words, Christians who are young in the faith, are more gullible to falling into dangerous doctrines, and falling away from Christ. So that is the big reason, I think, for all the urgent exhortations that can be found that are directed especially to such ones. Those who are "fully mature in the Lord" - I believe, are those Christians who tend to have been Christians for a longer amount of time, and who have reached the point of full surrender to Christ, with their lives. I believe the scriptures show that those fully surrendered to God, can't fall away from Christ, as they are fully protected by God against it. And the wearing of the whole armor of God - Ephesians 6 - is a picture of the fully mature & fully surrendered Christian, i believe.