Interpreting the Bible

Wave Perspective in Biblical Interpretation

“Individuals and communities grow gradually in the knowledge of Scripture and its implications. Growth is a wave; it is a process. Within this life it does not come to an end.

The process includes moments of careful, exacting analysis of word meanings, grammatical constructions, and ancient cultural contexts. The careful, exacting analysis haw come to be associated with the label ‘grammatical-historical interpretation.’ Bible scholars in particular endeavor to discipline themselves, so as not merely to read in what they want. They try to see what God was saying to people back in the remote past, as a check on the sinful tendency to make the Bible say something that leaves the present reader comfortable with his sin. This is a valuable contribution to the body of Christ, particularly because whole groups of Christians may collectively develop a subculture and a tradition that finds ways to ‘tame’ the message of the Bible. The tradition distorts the Bible in order to avoid the pain of confronting the community’s corporate sins. The scholarly investigation is a process, but its goal is a stable meaning, in particular meaning that would have been in the human author’s mind or would be perceptible to the original readers.” (Vern Poythress)

For more on the subject, visit the Exegetical Theology page.

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