I’ve only did one painting my entire life. It was an art project for high school my sophomore year. It was a paining of a church building in a field, behind a pond and next to a tree. My teacher was so impressed with it that she put it in an art show at Eastern Illinois University and it won a prize. The painting sits at my parents house today. We all have a sense of beauty. We can recognize beauty in songs, nature, and literature. Literature has a beauty to it that is amazing. While there are rules to interpreting literature, there is also an art to it. There is some ebb and flow with the rules. Here are some aspects of the beauty of interpretation:
1. Beauty comes from accurately following the rules. There is a grace and skill in rightly examining the text in its context.
2. Beauty is seen in accurately applying the appropriate emotions to the passage; especially in examples of poetry and narrative.
3. Beauty is seen in imagining you are a witness to the narrative or pretending you are a part of the original audience.
4. Beauty is seen when you imagine you are the author and you put yourself in the authors situation when he is writing the passage. This is different from changing the author’s original meaning, which is highly inappropriate.
Here is one way we can see beauty. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (ESV). This is a wonderful passage. It becomes even more wonderful when we consider Paul is writing this in a dark hole in the ground chained to a wall waiting to be brought to trial for preaching the gospel and waiting to be executed. Put yourself in the place of Paul. You have just received a gift from a church you planted because they knew of your suffering. You want to encourage them. So you teach them about the love of Jesus, encouraging one another, counting what the world regards as gain as worthless compered to belonging to Jesus, the exultation of Jesus by being obedient to God through suffering, Jesus’ deity, and being content in all things because of the surpassing greatness of the gospel. Then you write to them “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” He can endure this suffering because of Christ. Wow! There is just one aspect of the beauty of interpretation.
To show people the art and science of interpretation I wrote two books. I wrote these books to demonstrate how to interpret the Bible. I made it easy to understand by just using one passage of scripture in each book. This series is called the Using Hermeneutics Series. These books are available on the resource page. They are When My Ox Gores My Neighbor and Romans Roadblocks. The first is on the Old Testament. The second is on the New Testament.
Thank you for reading this I hope that this has blessed you. To get these resources you can go to the resources page. If you want to read the Bible and understand it you can go to the resource page and get the Using Hermeneutics Book Series. If you buy these books they will teach you how to study God’s Word and you will be helping this ministry greatly. Please consider buying my books to help support this blog, I can’t do this on a regular basis without you. They also make great gospel tracts. Not only do they find out how to study the Bible but they read the gospel over and over again. Lord bless you and study God’s Word.