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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : The Scripture and Extra-biblical resources

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havok20x
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Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 785


 The Scripture and Extra-biblical resources

We are discussing in one thread about the atonement, and we started to talk about using extra-biblical resources in our aid to interpret scripture.

Is that a good practice?

My understanding is that the Scriptures are self-contained and do not need anything added to them to aid in our Holy-Spirit-guided understanding of what they mean, assuming that we have them in a copy of our own language.

I am not saying let's ignore commentary or anything like that. I am just saying that if our understanding about what is meant in a passage is altered by cultural context, experience, etc then I have ventured into dangerous territory.

The question I posed was "Could a man in Swaziland that had nothing but the Holy Spirit and a Bible come to the same conclusions that we do about what certain passages mean."

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 2014/6/18 14:30Profile
dolfan
Member



Joined: 2011/8/23
Posts: 1632
Alabama

 Re: The Scripture and Extra-biblical resources

Yes, the man in Swaziland could if the Spirit enlightened him accordingly.

The Scripture is inspired by God and it is good and useful for what is right, what is wrong, how to get right and how to stay right.

It is helpful to use extra biblical resources. When I read about the lukewarm church, it helps me to understand the waterworks history of Laodicea. It is not vital that I do, though.

When translators work, the restatement of words into another language must account for the knowledge base and culture of the target language. We trust that the Holy Spirit is at work in this, and it really should be a matter of prayer now. But, as He is working, He is also making sufficient that translation for the purposes He sends His word forth to reach.


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Tim

 2014/6/18 22:23Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5231
NC, USA

 Re:

Certain scriptures, particularly Paul's letters, were written to real persons or churches for real reasons pertinent to them in their day. That is not to say they are not helpful and useful to us today. But I think we need to know the context of why Paul was writing.

In the other thread I mentioned women wearing hats in church. I was only half joking because that is a perfect example of why context is important.

A plain reading of that passage requires women to wear a head covering in church. So every Christian woman today who does not wear a hat to church better have a good reason. I think they do but I would not get this from scripture. You have to get to the culture of the day to figure this out.

In the OT, scripture doesn't really describe just how bad the Canaanites were so many people don't understand God's command to wipe out man woman and child. But if you research just how detestable they were it is much easier to understand. Until I heard the details about exactly how they sacrificed their babies I struggled some with that. But not any more.


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Todd

 2014/6/18 22:56Profile
Sree
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Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1694


 Re:

Quote:

In the other thread I mentioned women wearing hats in church. I was only half joking because that is a perfect example of why context is important.

A plain reading of that passage requires women to wear a head covering in church. So every Christian woman today who does not wear a hat to church better have a good reason. I think they do but I would not get this from scripture. You have to get to the culture of the day to figure this out.



I do not want to get into the discussion of the need for head covering as it is very sensitive here. I believe it as a command and cannot be ignored. My point in post is to say that a command like head covering cannot be ignored as cultural thing.

I can accept if a women says that "I understand the spiritual aspect of this head covering command which is to have a submissive spirit. Since I believe I have one towards my husband, I do not find a reason to cover my head as an external sign.". This logic is valid, though I do not agree with it personally. I do not judge them because they believe they are following the spirit of this command rather than taking it literally. My faith is all women should take it both literally and spiritually as well. But my faith is only enforced on my wife and my daughter.

I find it foolish for a person to say this head covering command is cultural, because Paul clearly says that head covering as a sign for angels. Angels do not have cultures like us. If it was as a sign for other men then at least there is a minor loop hole in this command to bring in cultural thing. Hence I find all the arguments like in those days only Prostitutes did not cover the heads to attract men etc are absolutely foolish.

There are certain places where we can put cultural context, like greeting one another with holly kiss. This is just the way of greeting in those time. Judas greeted Jesus with kiss! though there was nothing holly in it. In US we greet with a handshake, in India we do Namaskar with hands to greet one another in Church. The point is not how exactly you greet, it is about greeting and welcoming one another. I have met a brother in US who always kissed me to greet me. I never returned the favor but just shook his hands. I do not judge him either.

Coming to the point of this post, if we start ignoring commands based on culture it was given then we can also ignore commands like 'do not lust with your eyes', because in those days there was no pornography but now with such legal ways of watching another women naked, such commands are not applicable. May it never be. Let the Lord himself protect us from all forms of deception.


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Sreeram

 2014/6/19 0:30Profile
TMK
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5231
NC, USA

 Re:

Sorry havok-

I did not mean to turn this into this sort of discussion because these types of specific issues have all been debated ad infinitum with no satisfactory conclusion.

My main point was that I do believe it is helpful to have some cultural background to better understand some scriptures. Not absolutely essential of course, but helpful.

Sree- I understand and appreciate your sentiments.


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Todd

 2014/6/19 6:16Profile
ZekeO
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Joined: 2004/7/4
Posts: 1014
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

 Re: The Scripture and Extra-biblical resources

I would say absolutely, context is not just cultural but spiritual and political. Knowing why something was said and to whom it was been spoken helps us make accurate application now.

Some parts of scripture are not necessarily written to us but for us.


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Zeke Oosthuis

 2014/6/19 15:29Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7431
Mississippi

 Re: The Scripture and Extra-biblical resources

QUOTE:
______________________________________________________________
"Could a man in Swaziland that had nothing but the Holy Spirit and a Bible come to the same conclusions that we do about what certain passages mean."
______________________________________________________________

My answer to this is "yes."

Our pastor shared the testimony of a well lettered evangelist, with degrees from prestigious universities, say that he is amazed at the insights of people with as little as an 8th grade education who are Bible scholars and have the Holy Spirit teaching them, come to the same conclusion as he who knows Greek, etc.

I agree.

Too many times we are intimidated by well educated scholars thinking they have greater insights into the mind of the LORD then those of us with less education. Yet, too many times their skill lies in discrediting the WORD and since they make such well reasoned arguments for their interpretation we fall for their philosophies.

As far as whether we must consider culture in how a portion is interpreted I suggest that if it is important the Holy Spirit will have included it in the WORD. As an example of Him doing so is the OT. It was only after studying the OT law seriously, in depth, could I ever understand the concepts of sacrifice, obedience, the amazing power and authority of God as taught in the NT.

My understanding on this issue.


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Sandra Miller

 2014/6/20 12:58Profile
havok20x
Member



Joined: 2008/9/14
Posts: 785


 Re:

Quote:
As far as whether we must consider culture in how a portion is interpreted I suggest that if it is important the Holy Spirit will have included it in the WORD. As an example of Him doing so is the OT. It was only after studying the OT law seriously, in depth, could I ever understand the concepts of sacrifice, obedience, the amazing power and authority of God as taught in the NT.



I agree, totally. I marvel at how awesome God is to have created something like the Scriptures. I can't write a paragraph without it being riddled with errors...lol

 2014/6/20 13:44Profile
ginnyrose
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7431
Mississippi

 Re:

As I was thinking about this post and my response, I felt like I missed the mark in not quoting the scripture that would prove how substantial the WORD is.

Here we go: 1Peter 1:1-8 (NASB)

1 To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ:

2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge,

6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness,

7and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

8For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Aren't you thrilled that one does not have to be born to a certain family, culture, country or attend certain schools in order to understand the WORD? I am. Lack of understanding rests upon our own will. If we think we are running short all we have to do is ask for an infusion of grace to enable us to love the WORD and its Giver. God loves to answer these kind of prayers.


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Sandra Miller

 2014/6/20 13:54Profile









 Re:

Seems to me the early church did quite.nicely without commentaries. All they had was the Holy Spirit.

Matter of fact that is all the persecuted church has, the Holy Spirit.

Bearnaster

 2014/6/20 14:54





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