Interpreting The Bible
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Since: Dec 12

Royse City, TX

#1 Dec 14, 2012
Is the Regulative Principle a perfectly sound way of interpreting the Bible?

First, let me define/explain it a little. Proponents of the Regulative Principle seemingly teach that the Bible is a rule book of sorts. Worship must be restricted to practices that are prescribed in God’s Word or that are deduced from God’s Word through logical inference. To follow practices without Biblical – Apostolic authorization will result in worshiping God in ways He does not desire to be worshiped.

I don’t think the Regulative Principle is a bad method to use as a way of interpretation but I’m not so sure it’s perfectly sound. For example. Jesus attended the synagogues and Jewish feasts not prescribed in the Mosaic law. Synagogue worship nor the Feast of the Dedication of Jerusalem were prescribed in the Old Testament – these were a part of the first century Jewish worship - both were observed by Jesus yet neither falls under the Regulative Principle. If Jesus did not follow the regulative principle, should we?

What about the Normative Principle? The normative principle of worship teaches that worship in Church can include practices that are not prohibited by Scripture. In other words, if there isn’t a THOU SHALT NOT, then one is at liberty to worship as he pleases. Such views have given birth to Comedy acts in Church, Dance and Drama, and other things for which we find no authority in Scripture – nonetheless, these are allowed since the Bible does not provide a THOU SHALT NOT.

Admittedly, I lean more to the Regulative Principle ‘if’ these two ways of interpretation are the ONLY ways of interpretation. I am neither for the regulative principle nor the normative principle because both suffer from the same defect, assuming that various books of the Bible are intended to form an exhaustive rule book for Christian practice/living.

This, of course, raises a question of when is scripture meant to be appropriated as prescriptive and when should it be descriptive?

What say ye?
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#2 Dec 14, 2012
_Randy_ wrote:
Is the Regulative Principle a perfectly sound way of interpreting the Bible?
First, let me define/explain it a little. Proponents of the Regulative Principle seemingly teach that the Bible is a rule book of sorts. Worship must be restricted to practices that are prescribed in God’s Word or that are deduced from God’s Word through logical inference. To follow practices without Biblical – Apostolic authorization will result in worshiping God in ways He does not desire to be worshiped.
I don’t think the Regulative Principle is a bad method to use as a way of interpretation but I’m not so sure it’s perfectly sound. For example. Jesus attended the synagogues and Jewish feasts not prescribed in the Mosaic law. Synagogue worship nor the Feast of the Dedication of Jerusalem were prescribed in the Old Testament – these were a part of the first century Jewish worship - both were observed by Jesus yet neither falls under the Regulative Principle. If Jesus did not follow the regulative principle, should we?
What about the Normative Principle? The normative principle of worship teaches that worship in Church can include practices that are not prohibited by Scripture. In other words, if there isn’t a THOU SHALT NOT, then one is at liberty to worship as he pleases. Such views have given birth to Comedy acts in Church, Dance and Drama, and other things for which we find no authority in Scripture – nonetheless, these are allowed since the Bible does not provide a THOU SHALT NOT.
Admittedly, I lean more to the Regulative Principle ‘if’ these two ways of interpretation are the ONLY ways of interpretation. I am neither for the regulative principle nor the normative principle because both suffer from the same defect, assuming that various books of the Bible are intended to form an exhaustive rule book for Christian practice/living.
This, of course, raises a question of when is scripture meant to be appropriated as prescriptive and when should it be descriptive?
What say ye?
As you say both have their flaws. I will not attempt to offer more theology to add to it.

I like simple faith because I do not think we all have to become theologians and understand every word of God. Simple faith appeals more to me because it does not need a lifetime of theological study to please God. If we love God and his word and our worship comes from the heart and should not be the result of human performance or oriented practice. Because of that I can worship God in just about any church even if I do not like their style.

I consider myself a fairly good theologian but I know that I am possibly wrong about some things and it is best if I do not bind my understanding to others as a means of their salvation. That is why I do not believe or teach that we must completely understand the purpose of water baptism before we can be saved. God looks at the heart.

But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Since: Dec 12

Royse City, TX

#3 Dec 14, 2012
Bobby, your comment suggest that you follow a Normative Principle – meaning you do as you please as long as you believe you are doing so from your heart. Personally, I believe this approach to Scripture is more flawed than the Regulative Principle. Your comment suggest that we do not even need the Bible as long as we have faith. I wonder why God would leave us His Word if we can merely have faith that does as it pleases?

I agree, we do not need to be Theologians but we should be studying to show ourselves approved. 2 Peter 1:20, 21 also says: "no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God". In other words, the Bible is from God to mankind for a purpose – it’s not empty words with no meaning.

We cannot simply have a ‘live-and-let-live’ approach to Scripture. This approach has given birth to all sorts of nonsense in Church. I know of one Church up the road from me that has comedy acts, rock concerts, drama shows, and more. Do I use the Regulative Principle to determine these are wrong? No, I do not. I think there is a higher principle we are to use: do these acts ‘Spiritually’ edify-build up the Body? No, comedy acts, rock concerts, drama shows, appeal to the sensual side of man not the Spiritual side. Sure, these acts will grow a larger assembly of people because they are ‘entertaining’ and satisfy sensual desires. Having comedy acts, rock concerts, drama shows are merely a clever way to build a bigger assembly of people. In my opinion, it is not Spiritual at all but merely candy for the sinner. If it appeals primarily to the sensual side of man, I simply count it as rubbish and find no place for such in worship.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#4 Dec 14, 2012
_Randy_ wrote:
Bobby, your comment suggest that you follow a Normative Principle – meaning you do as you please as long as you believe you are doing so from your heart. Personally, I believe this approach to Scripture is more flawed than the Regulative Principle. Your comment suggest that we do not even need the Bible as long as we have faith. I wonder why God would leave us His Word if we can merely have faith that does as it pleases?
I agree, we do not need to be Theologians but we should be studying to show ourselves approved. 2 Peter 1:20, 21 also says: "no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God". In other words, the Bible is from God to mankind for a purpose – it’s not empty words with no meaning.
We cannot simply have a ‘live-and-let-live’ approach to Scripture. This approach has given birth to all sorts of nonsense in Church. I know of one Church up the road from me that has comedy acts, rock concerts, drama shows, and more. Do I use the Regulative Principle to determine these are wrong? No, I do not. I think there is a higher principle we are to use: do these acts ‘Spiritually’ edify-build up the Body? No, comedy acts, rock concerts, drama shows, appeal to the sensual side of man not the Spiritual side. Sure, these acts will grow a larger assembly of people because they are ‘entertaining’ and satisfy sensual desires. Having comedy acts, rock concerts, drama shows are merely a clever way to build a bigger assembly of people. In my opinion, it is not Spiritual at all but merely candy for the sinner. If it appeals primarily to the sensual side of man, I simply count it as rubbish and find no place for such in worship.
Stop and think about it Randy. How many Christians had a copy of the new testament in the first 100 years of the church. Then think about when we got a first complete bible. Also imagine the printing press and how it began to change the world. And, don't forget how many illiterate people who could not read and had to accept other peoples interpretation of the bible.

So, you see I am a realist. The best part of your message is this "but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God". I would add to that by pointing to the fact that the Holy Spirit also works in those who are hearing the message. Now, I am not in any way shape or form saying that we do not need the written word, but rather that without the work of the Spirit we can miss the boat. We both know of atheist who read the word and so far have not been changed by it.

One more time, are you a water baptized Christian yet? Because if you are not a christian why would you care how others worship?

Since: Dec 12

Royse City, TX

#5 Dec 14, 2012
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
Stop and think about it Randy. How many Christians had a copy of the new testament in the first 100 years of the church. Then think about when we got a first complete bible. Also imagine the printing press and how it began to change the world. And, don't forget how many illiterate people who could not read and had to accept other peoples interpretation of the bible.
So, you see I am a realist. The best part of your message is this "but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God". I would add to that by pointing to the fact that the Holy Spirit also works in those who are hearing the message. Now, I am not in any way shape or form saying that we do not need the written word, but rather that without the work of the Spirit we can miss the boat. We both know of atheist who read the word and so far have not been changed by it.
One more time, are you a water baptized Christian yet? Because if you are not a christian why would you care how others worship?
Bobby wrote:“Stop and think about it Randy. How many Christians had a copy of the new testament in the first 100 years of the church. Then think about when we got a first complete bible. Also imagine the printing press and how it began to change the world. And, don't forget how many illiterate people who could not read and had to accept other peoples interpretation of the bible.”

Re: So, you are affirming that the Bible is NOT needful today? Btw, the Apostles doctrine spread church to church before the bible was canonized. How else do you think they received the Word of God? Also, some of the books we now have were in the hands of early Christians.

Bobby wrote:“So, you see I am a realist. The best part of your message is this "but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God". I would add to that by pointing to the fact that the Holy Spirit also works in those who are hearing the message. Now, I am not in any way shape or form saying that we do not need the written word, but rather that without the work of the Spirit we can miss the boat. We both know of atheist who read the word and so far have not been changed by it.

Re: So, you are affirming its by the written Word and the Holy Spirit? I don’t not have much disagreement here, long as you are not suggesting that the Holy Spirit works outside of the written Word.

Bobby wrote: One more time, are you a water baptized Christian yet? Because if you are not a Christian why would you care how others worship?

Re: Just because I am not a Christian doesn’t mean I ‘cant’ care.
New Guy

Cleveland, GA

#6 Dec 14, 2012
I don't really advocate either "principle" that were mentioned here, because one can go wrong following either one of them.

*For one, the scripture simply isn't a "rule book". Yes there are "rules" so to speak, things that should be done and others that shouldn't. But there can also be "gray areas" in the scripture too, that "black and white" doesn't cover. Part of the reason so many people dislike the idea of Christianity is because they view it as simply that, a "set of rules" we have to live by.

*Then we get to the "liberty" side. Yes we do have liberty in Christ. But just because we have liberty, doesn't mean that everything is ok for us to do.

*So, my belief here is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. A rule, or a principle, of interpreting the Bible isn't going to be a full-proof way to interpreting accurately.

Context and some old fashioned common sense go a long way as well.

Since: Dec 12

Royse City, TX

#7 Dec 14, 2012
New Guy wrote:
I don't really advocate either "principle" that were mentioned here, because one can go wrong following either one of them.
*For one, the scripture simply isn't a "rule book". Yes there are "rules" so to speak, things that should be done and others that shouldn't. But there can also be "gray areas" in the scripture too, that "black and white" doesn't cover. Part of the reason so many people dislike the idea of Christianity is because they view it as simply that, a "set of rules" we have to live by.
*Then we get to the "liberty" side. Yes we do have liberty in Christ. But just because we have liberty, doesn't mean that everything is ok for us to do.
*So, my belief here is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. A rule, or a principle, of interpreting the Bible isn't going to be a full-proof way to interpreting accurately.
Context and some old fashioned common sense go a long way as well.
I totally agree. Just as you, I am somewhere in the middle.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#8 Dec 14, 2012
_Randy_ wrote:
<quoted text>
Bobby wrote:“Stop and think about it Randy. How many Christians had a copy of the new testament in the first 100 years of the church. Then think about when we got a first complete bible. Also imagine the printing press and how it began to change the world. And, don't forget how many illiterate people who could not read and had to accept other peoples interpretation of the bible.”
Re: So, you are affirming that the Bible is NOT needful today? Btw, the Apostles doctrine spread church to church before the bible was canonized. How else do you think they received the Word of God? Also, some of the books we now have were in the hands of early Christians.
Bobby wrote:“So, you see I am a realist. The best part of your message is this "but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God". I would add to that by pointing to the fact that the Holy Spirit also works in those who are hearing the message. Now, I am not in any way shape or form saying that we do not need the written word, but rather that without the work of the Spirit we can miss the boat. We both know of atheist who read the word and so far have not been changed by it.
Re: So, you are affirming its by the written Word and the Holy Spirit? I don’t not have much disagreement here, long as you are not suggesting that the Holy Spirit works outside of the written Word.
Bobby wrote: One more time, are you a water baptized Christian yet? Because if you are not a Christian why would you care how others worship?
Re: Just because I am not a Christian doesn’t mean I ‘cant’ care.
You are ignoring Holy Spirit indwelling, just like you guys do in salvation-this is your problem! I call it taking the legal approach which when translated is legalism. There are a lot of famous lawyers who are blind to the GOSPEL...

For heaven's sakes why do you bother here if you can't get off the fence?

Since: Dec 12

Royse City, TX

#9 Dec 14, 2012
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
You are ignoring Holy Spirit indwelling, just like you guys do in salvation-this is your problem! I call it taking the legal approach which when translated is legalism. There are a lot of famous lawyers who are blind to the GOSPEL...
For heaven's sakes why do you bother here if you can't get off the fence?
No, I am not ignoring the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. You no more understand the indwelling than anyone else so don't act as though you do.

For heavens sake, why do you bother on here if you can't jump over the fence?
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#10 Dec 14, 2012
_Randy_ wrote:
<quoted text>
No, I am not ignoring the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. You no more understand the indwelling than anyone else so don't act as though you do.
For heavens sake, why do you bother on here if you can't jump over the fence?
Randy, it is impossible for you to experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit if he is absent in your life.

Paul explains it this way:

Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

Randy, why not open the door of your heart and let him in, so that you may know the power and love of Christ which is made available through (Christ in us) our hope of glory. I am not talking about some legal way to approach God, but a heart to heart love, where we can love God and know that he loves us...
Barnsweb

San Jose, CA

#11 Dec 19, 2012
The issue is not 'rule book' and such, but isn't it rather the question if it is a book with the words from God that are able to divide between soul and spirit and intents and faith, that we will give account to God for?

If it is, we'll be wise to pay attention to what He has said. Sure there are rules, and the very Torah is His instructions in righteousness and the teachings of the Son are the Torah magnified and elevated to the standard that God has given us to know what we should hear and do.

Sometimes I wonder how many on here who call themselves 'Christians' actually believe or just like to argue pointless matters.

Since: Dec 12

Royse City, TX

#12 Dec 19, 2012
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
Randy, why not open the door of your heart and let him in, so that you may know the power and love of Christ which is made available through (Christ in us) our hope of glory. I am not talking about some legal way to approach God, but a heart to heart love, where we can love God and know that he loves us...
Elaborate as to how one 'opens the door'- do you mean faith alone or what?
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#13 Dec 19, 2012
Barnsweb wrote:
The issue is not 'rule book' and such, but isn't it rather the question if it is a book with the words from God that are able to divide between soul and spirit and intents and faith, that we will give account to God for?
If it is, we'll be wise to pay attention to what He has said. Sure there are rules, and the very Torah is His instructions in righteousness and the teachings of the Son are the Torah magnified and elevated to the standard that God has given us to know what we should hear and do.
Sometimes I wonder how many on here who call themselves 'Christians' actually believe or just like to argue pointless matters.
As I read this I was thinking the same thing...
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#14 Dec 19, 2012
_Randy_ wrote:
<quoted text>
Elaborate as to how one 'opens the door'- do you mean faith alone or what?
I wonder why you say you are not a Christian. Is it because you do not believe that Jesus is Lord? Is it because you believe he is Lord and you just do not want to be a Christian? Or is it because you do not know how to obey him enough to satisfy your mind that you have done enough to be worthy? Or maybe something else is holding you back.

This much I do know-the price for your sin has already been paid...

In my mind I think you have just been playing games with me and that you know very well where you stand with God. It comes down to the desire of your Heart.

James said: "Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?"

Since: May 10

Location hidden

#15 Dec 19, 2012
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
Randy, it is impossible for you to experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit if he is absent in your life.
Paul explains it this way:
Ephesians 1:18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 3:16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Randy, why not open the door of your heart and let him in, so that you may know the power and love of Christ which is made available through (Christ in us) our hope of glory. I am not talking about some legal way to approach God, but a heart to heart love, where we can love God and know that he loves us...
Now I agree with Randy on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit God. You can not explain it even if it is in you and to make that claim shows that your trying to pull the wool over eyes, so why do you think Randy would listen to you if your not honest on that.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#16 Dec 19, 2012
JustChristian wrote:
<quoted text>
Now I agree with Randy on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit God. You can not explain it even if it is in you and to make that claim shows that your trying to pull the wool over eyes, so why do you think Randy would listen to you if your not honest on that.
Just because it does not fit your doctrine-you hide behind the so called "difficulty" of understanding the indwelling issue. The bible says Christians are indwelt by the Spirit and I fully accept it. The coc on the other hand has never fully accepted it. BLINDNESS is caused by unbelief!
killedjoe

White Plains, NY

#17 Dec 19, 2012
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
Just because it does not fit your doctrine-you hide behind the so called "difficulty" of understanding the indwelling issue. The bible says Christians are indwelt by the Spirit and I fully accept it. The coc on the other hand has never fully accepted it. BLINDNESS is caused by unbelief!
Before everybody goes on, learn the book from the Hebrew lanuage. The book that most of us know is called the King James Version. That mean what King James believe it says. It was translated from the Greek language. This alone would be a problem.
Bobby

Fort Worth, TX

#18 Dec 19, 2012
killedjoe wrote:
<quoted text> Before everybody goes on, learn the book from the Hebrew lanuage. The book that most of us know is called the King James Version. That mean what King James believe it says. It was translated from the Greek language. This alone would be a problem.
Baloney...
Barnsweb

Blythe, CA

#19 Dec 19, 2012
killedjoe wrote:
<quoted text> Before everybody goes on, learn the book from the Hebrew lanuage. The book that most of us know is called the King James Version. That mean what King James believe it says. It was translated from the Greek language. This alone would be a problem.
King James aside, the issue IS the Greek translation done early on that incorporated many errors into the text. Y'shua and the disciples spoke Aramaic, so that would be as good as the Hebrew to determine what was really said. The AENT is based on a manuscript dating to 167 AD. Is there a Hebrew manuscript that rejected the Roman/Greek Helenization of the faith and remained true to the original texts as given by the Apostles? If you haven't checked it out yet, the AENT has much to offer the student of Scripture.

aent.org
New Guy

Morehead, KY

#20 Dec 19, 2012
Bobby wrote:
<quoted text>
Just because it does not fit your doctrine-you hide behind the so called "difficulty" of understanding the indwelling issue. The bible says Christians are indwelt by the Spirit and I fully accept it. The coc on the other hand has never fully accepted it. BLINDNESS is caused by unbelief!
I actually agree with you Bobby. I accept the idea of the indwelling Spirit. I also accept JC's idea that it is hard to understand. But that doesn't mean that indwelling isn't scriptural.

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