Key to Understanding! Seeing the Big Picture
(Ver 1.1) This is Part 1 in a series of lessons on understanding Correct Bible Interpretation. I personally believe in order to correctly interpret the Bible we need a good foundational understanding of all of the Bible basic concepts and themes. The Bible is certinaly the most complex book written by the most intelligent author that you will ever read or attempt to understand. That statement might surprise many. You see I base that statement upon the clear evidence of the number of splits and divisions within the body of Christ that we can see everywhere around us. What other religion in the world do you see such widespread division? Can you name any? I know Islam has two basic groups and maybe a third group of extremist. But look through the phone book yellow pages and see how many different types of Christian churches you find listed. In some large cities you could be looking for a long time. The Bible contains simple truths but even these are not always clearly presented. However, I believe that we have to understand some of the basics before we can ever begin to understand any of the more complex subjects of the Bible. I firmly believe that the complex truths of the Bible are built upon many other simplier truths found in the Bible.
What are the primary themes and subjects of the Bible? I would say that we should start by saying the Bible is predominantly about Jesus Christ. In other words Jesus Christ is the central theme to the entire Bible. You should be able to find Jesus in every chapter of the Bible in some form. Jesus as a central theme occurs very frequently in every book of the Bible. This is one of the primary keys to understanding and interpreting the Bible correctly. There are certainly many other central themes that are found throughout the Bible and I will not attempt to name them all. If you would like to leave a comment on this blog about a central theme that you see as important, please do that and share it with the rest of us.
The Bible is written much like a weaver would create a fine tapestry. There are threads of truth woven throughout the scriptures. These truths are woven among other truths and intersect at specific points of the textual fabric. Like a tapestry, these threads woven correctly project a larger image and a picture that can only be seen after stepping back and looking at it from a distance. If you stand too close you always miss the big picture. If you only study the big picture, you always miss the details. Biblical themes should be prevalent throughout the scripture and help you to clearly see the big picture. The big picture themes should always help you to understand the details. There is a unique harmony and balance between the two. For example, Jesus said in the Gospels, I give you a new commandment and he told us of the commandment of love. In this he also told us that love fulfills all of the law. So we should recognize that the God who is Love, is a central theme of the Bible and you should see love in action as you read the rest of the Bible. God gives us the definition of the Agape kind of love in 1 Corinthians which I have included from the Amplified version of the Bible:
- Love endures long
- and is patient and kind;
- love never is envious
- nor boils over with jealousy,
- is not boastful or vainglorious,
- does not display itself haughtily.
- It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride);
- it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly.
- Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way,
- for it is not self-seeking;
- it is not touchy or fretful or resentful;
- it takes no account of the evil done to it
- [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
- It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
- Love bears up under anything and everything that comes,
- is ever ready to believe the best of every person,
- its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances,
- and it endures everything [without weakening].
- Love never fails
- [never fades out
- or becomes obsolete
- or comes to an end].
So the challenge is to find the central big picture themes of the Bible first and then use them to help interpret the rest of the Bible details. Study the the Bible detail truths only in context using the knowledge of the greater big picture truths to help us to undertand the details. What I am trying to say is if Jesus is the central thene for the entire Bible, then use your knowlede of Jesus to help you interpret all of the other verses in the Bible that appear not to be about Jesus. You might think that this doesn’t sound that difficult to do, but you will soon discover after much study that things on the surface are not always as easy as you might have thought at first. We will continue talking about this subject of Correct Bible Interpretation in a future lesson. God Bless.
Posted on December 7, 2009, in Bible Interpretation, Keys to Understanding and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Interpretation, Jesus, Religion, Rules, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.