Wednesday, August 21, 2019
Studying the Bible in context Essay Example for Free
Studying the Bible in context Essay 1, a. In helping readers to understand the various meanings of passages in the scripture, and for purposes of categorizing the bible literature in various narratives, the bible authors have develop various techniques which include the use of exegesis, which is essentially a systematic process that is used by an author in order to arrive at a coherent and reasonable meaning of a certain passage in the bible. This technique helps a reader to know the historic setting and the original meaning that the passage gave to the original recipients of the message. The rhetorical and progression devices have also been applied. In a rhetoric device, the author puts a lot of emphasis on a point that a leader is intended to grasp, while the progression device creates a story by developing events from the background to the climax of the story. All these are meant to helps readers to understand the context clearly. The paradox technique has been applied where two contradictory statements are used for instance, when Jesus stated that whoever wants to save their life must lose it. These and many other techniques have been applied to help understand and categorize bible literature as well as making the bile interesting to read. In the interpretation of bible narratives, it is important to be cautious by ensuring that an alert and careful reading of the text is done to avoid misinterpretation. A reader is supposed to visualize the whole story, and look for the literal meaning of words in order to attain the correct meaning. 1, b. Genesis chapter 17 talks about the appearance of God to Abraham when he was 99 years old. It was at this time when God renewed his covenant with Abraham and made renewed his promises to him including the promise of a son and that Abraham would become a father of a great nation. God also that, Abraham and all his descendants must be circumcised. From a theological perspective, (2006) stated that, the appearance of God this time was in the person of Christ Jesus. Where God told Abraham that he was Ã¢â¬Å"the Almighty,Ã¢â¬ this was meant to portray the real character and nature of God, by the use of the name Elshadai. Various scholars have however given different meanings to the name Shadily including an all-sufficient God, abundantly, one who pours out blessings, one who is rich among other meanings. By God asking that Abraham appear before him blameless, it shows how God would want the people to appear before him wholly and with total commitment. God appeared to reaffirm the covenant he had made with Abraham close to 25 years ago, and proved that he was faithful to whatever promises he makes to the human nature. God made a change of names for both Abraham and Sara as a way of encouraging their faith and to show that he would indeed make a father and a mother of a great nation. Abraham was in turn supposed to get circumcised and to circumcise all his descendants, this portrays the need for Christians to make sacrifices and to keep holy if they are to realize the promises of God. 1, c. Theologians have argued that, just like other historical books, the book of Acts is predominantly descriptive other than normative. The argument is that most of the events that have been explained in the book of Acts may not necessarily take place today and that some of the things which happened to people during the time of writing the book of Act, may not happen today. Acts 5 explains the story of Sapphira and Ananias and how they were struck down to death because of lying to God, this however does not mean that if Christian lie to God today the same punishment will be applicable to them. If Acts would be viewed as normative, does it mean that Christians should take the example of Acts 8: 16? which stated that leaders were then elected by way of ballots, the statement is therefore better viewed in the descriptive manner other than in the normative form. Acts 28: 36 talks about the early Pentecostals who were snake handlers, if Christians were to view this statement as normative, it would therefore mean that such snake handling actions are justified. Theologians have approached the book of Acts from the literal meaning, they have interpreted word to word, and passage to passage, and have then applied the teachings to the modern time in order to determine whether the book should be viewed as normative or descriptive. The literal approach is good as it helps leaders to first understand the meaning of a passage in the scripture and then look at the applicability of the context in the present time. 2, a. Theologians have stated that, the gospels are to be accepted as the reliable historical source that explains about the birth and life of Jesus Christ. The gospels consist of four books in the new testament which are Luke, Matthew, John and Mark. The gospels are also referred to as the good news books, they talk about the birth and life of Jesus. The scholars of the new testament have agreed that, the gospels cannot be said to be biographies, because they are not presented in a way that a biography is set in the modern time, theologians have also stated that, the gospels only focus a little on any issues that are of significance to the theological studies. It is therefore proper to take the gospels as history. 2, b. Parables are interpreted as the allegories. Theologians have stated that, there is need to search into the hidden meaning that is to be found behind the words in a certain parable, so that a person may be able to get the right meaning of the passage and the intended teaching of the parable. This technique of interpretation has been referred to as the hardening theory. The first principle in the interpretation of parables states that, the parables should be looked at by the setting of the good example shown from Jesus life. This sets the point of view from which parables should be approached. Another principle states that, parables should be approached from the scenery point of view, where the interpretation should not be done on word to word or from line to line, but rather by looking at the whole story after which a reader can then be in a position to derive the hidden meaning. 2, c. Luke 16: 19-31 is a bible parable which tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man lived in luxury while on earth while at the same time Lazarus lived in poverty and much suffering. When the two died Lazarus went to heaven where he rested in the chest of Abraham, while the rich man was tormented in hell. The rich man cried for help but could not be assisted because his time of repentance had gone. This parable explains what happened during that time, and closely relates the story to the events in the present day. In the interpretation of the parable, the rich Christians are supposed to take care of their poor brothers. When the rich man requested that Lazarus be sent on earth to warn his brothers, Abraham stated that, those who could not listen to Moses and Isaac would never listen to Lazarus if he was to come today to give a warning. This relates to the Christians who hear the word of God but do not pay any keen attention to it. The parable has therefore set the biblical teaching on the way of life which should be adopted by Christians. 3, a. The bible scholars have argued that, the moral standards of God did not change even after he gave the law to Moses. The Mosaic law is clearly studied as it states the laws that were given to the Israelites and the standards which God set for the Israelites to observe. The Mosaic law was delivered to the Israelites through Moses. The new covenant that was given to Abraham did not negate the moral standards that had been set earlier in the Mosaic law (Galatians 3:18-21). The only difference is that, in the mosaic covenant, the faithfulness of both parties was required where man was to be faithful to God and would in turn receive receive the promises of God, this is called a bilateral covenant, the Abraham covenant has only God who has promised to be faithful in fulfilling his promises, and is therefore called a unilateral covenant. The new covenant had Paul, James and Jesus emphasizing that Christians should keep and observe the whole law. Christians have therefore been urged to observe the Abraham law that has similar moral standards set by God in the Mosaic law. 3, b. Exodus 22:18, expresses how a witch and a sorcerer is viewed in the kingdom of God. The witch and the sorcerers may be representing all the evil people in the community who are not valued in the eye of God and in the Christian community, as their ambition is to confuse the faithful and to cause problems in the society. The meaning of exodus is not that the faithful should kill the witch and the sorcerer, but rather, they should pray for them and help them to repent and change their ways. 4, a. The epistles are the letters that were written to various individuals in the early church and their authorship is acknowledged to Paul. The epistles begin by mentioning the name Paul in their first wording. The epistles are to be read historically in that, they give a lot of descriptive details about the way the early church lived and how the church was conducted. On the bigger part, the epistles mostly have the theological studies, where the letters that were written to the various churches and to the various individuals addressed specific situations such as, a social wrong that needed people to correct or a poor interpretation of the scripture that needed to be corrected. The letters would also be written where there was a misunderstanding in the early church that needed to be resolved. The epistles contain a lot of theology that require proper interpretation, but at the same time of of the interpretations goes back to the historical settings in the church. 4,b. Collosians 1:13 can be interpretation from the historical sense in that, it takes about it talks a bout a historical past where human beings were living in the darkness, this period can be explained by looking at how it looked like, before human beings got to the grace period when Jesus Christ brought salvation. From the theological point, the verse calls for a lot of theological interpretation where the statement addresses the way in which Christians should live in the life of Christ Jesus. 4, c. Romans 14 together with 1 Corinthians 8, talks about the issue of Christian faith. Paul expressed to the Christians that, they had the liberty to eat anything including the food that was offered to the idols. In stating this, Paul explained that there was only one God and therefore, a Christian who examines their heart and felt it right to eat such food did not commit any sins. Drinking of wine is also not prohibited in the teaching of Paul and he even stated that a little wine for the stomach was good. Christians should always inquire into their conscience and mind to determine whether their faith allows them to do certain action. However, where an act done by a strong believer may ,mislead a weaker believer, it is good for the strong believer to avoid the action.