Thursday, June 19, 2008
Many modern scholars who consider themselves to be "evangelicals" tend to downplay or even deny the affect of theological commitments on their interpretations of the Bible, as an apologetic tactic, I think, for the most part. But it should be obvious to everyone that no true believer can interpret the Bible like an unbeliever. If a man really believes, for instance, that the Bible is the written Word of God, or that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whose coming was foretold in the Prophets ... these Christian beliefs cannot fail to have some affect on his interpretation of the Bible. No good purpose is served by pretending that we can be "objective" in our reading of the Bible, as if faith itself should bear no fruit in our understanding, contrary to the words of the apostle: "For who among men knows the things of a man, except the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the things of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God" (1 Cor. 2). We as Christians should not only discard all pretenses of scholarly objectivity, but even insist upon the importance of faith for any true understanding of the Bible. We need to be unapologetic about reading the Bible as Christians. So I've added to my site a collection of essays that I think will encourage a more deliberately and explicitly Christian interpretive approach, at the following URL: http://www.bible-researcher.com/inspiration.html Understanding the Bible as an Inspired Text.