Bible Interpretation Class – Hiawatha Bible Chapel
Lesson 7 – March 25th 2017
A first step in doing this is determining what parts of Scripture to apply and which to not apply. There are two limitations on application of Scripture, the intended audience and circumstances. Following are some principles that relate to applying the Scripture:
The following has also been suggested as an answer to the question at hand: All OT laws have been made obsolete by the New Covenant and as written in the OT do not apply directly to us. Given this suggested answer, we note the following:
Along with this approach the principle of principalization has been suggested as a valid thing to do (this has been suggested, among other places, in the book Biblical Law and Its Relevance by Dr. Joe Sprinkle, and we have discussed it some earlier). This approach suggests that we find the moral or spiritual principle behind the specific command, and then see how it applies to us in our often different circumstances (note: this is only suggested in cases of Scriptures that do not directly apply to us). For example:
What is a danger of principalization?
With the wrong motive, principalization can be used to avoid accepting the clear teaching of Scripture that we should be accepting and obeying. For example:
How About the Command “Greet one another with a holy kiss?”
Practical Questions to Help Find Applications of Scripture in Our Lives
Some key points about applications of the Bible:
We need to ask, “Could this truth I see in the text be taken too far?” This would involve the Analogy of Scripture, i.e., balancing what this truth teaches against what other verses teach.
Talking to Ourselves in God’s Name
The following quote is from a man named Calvin Hansen. It deals with impressions we get from the Scripture as to what God is saying to us. Note that these examples may be a little bit silly, but he is trying to illustrate a point, so please hold on:
“Most of us have at some time been ‘blessed’ by some word of Scripture… [but] I see the need to inject a word of caution here. Be sure to check what you felt God said to you with what the text actually says. While your heart may be encouraged by some thought you glean, the Bible cannot say anything to you contrary to the intention of the original Author. One evidence of our fallen human nature is that we instinctively latch onto insights which support our prejudices and predilections, while we reject that which goes contrary to our biases and desires. We too easily rationalize that God’s word is saying to us what, in fact, our own human (even carnal) self is reading into the Scriptures. When this happens, we end up talking to ourselves in God’s name.”