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GNAP 2016

[46] Allegories, Systematic Theology, Creeds and Confessions, understanding the Bible: Part VIII

There are allegories in the Bible, but we must not allegorize sections without biblical warrant. Because God is the Lord of history, he can even use real historical events as allegories for spiritual truths, as in Galatians 4:21-31. Just as exegesis informs systematic theology, so systematic theology informs exegesis because of the first rule of hermeneutics. Creeds and confessions are important, but the Bible is the ultimate authority, not creeds or confessions. Read More

[45] Covenant theology, understanding the Bible: Part VII

Wayne Grudem defines a covenant as “an unchangeable, divinely imposed legal agreement between God and man that stipulates the conditions of their relationship.” God relates to people in the context of covenants. Adam is the federal head of the covenant of works and Jesus Christ is the federal head of the covenant of grace. All people are viewed as being in Adam or in Christ. God also established the Sinaitic covenant with his people through Moses. This is referred to as the old covenant or the first covenant in the New Testament and was replaced by the covenant of grace because sinful people are incapable of keeping it. Read More

[44] Christological focus, understanding the Bible: Part VI

Jesus Christ is the central topic of the Bible and the focal point of history. The Old Testament looks forward to the coming of Christ and the New Testament gives us a record of his first coming and tells us that he will come again. There will then be a new heaven and a new earth and everyone who has ever lived will spend eternity either in heaven or in hell, with no possibility of altering that destiny. We must understand this Christological focus to properly understand the Bible. God providentially controls all of history. God also deals with his people in the context of covenants. Theologians frequently speak about two major covenants: the covenant of works and the covenant of grace. Read More

[43] The importance of context, Understanding the Bible: Part V

The biblical and historical context of a passage is extremely important in determining the proper meaning. We must also remember that the Bible is a unity and cannot contradict itself, so we should never interpret a passage in a way that contradicts something taught somewhere else in the Bible. Read More

[41] The unity of the Bible, understanding the Bible: Part III

We need to know the historical context of a biblical passage to properly understand it. We must also interpret every passage in the light of all that the Bible teaches since the Bible is a unity and cannot contradict itself. The apocalyptic portions of the Bible are not there to tell us when Christ will return, but are intended to cause us to live more carefully. The Bible uses all normal figures of speech and we need to pay careful attention to them. Read More

[39] One thing needful, understanding the Bible: Part I

Because our eternal destiny is at stake, we should be extremely careful to be sure that we understand the Bible correctly. The rules for proper interpretation are called hermeneutics. The first rule of hermeneutics is that we must use Scripture itself to understand Scripture; this is sometimes called the analogy of faith. Read More

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