The Correct Method of Biblical Interpretation
The correct method of biblical interpretation can only be accomplished by interpreting the Bible with the Bible itself.
God has laid down a pattern and design, throughout His Word, which tells an age-old story of who put us in this world, how we got here, who we are, and where we are going.
God also shows us who He is, how the human race has fallen into sin, and how God’s plan of grace is designed to recover a remnant of fallen man.
God’s pattern for telling His story is varied among spiritual nuggets embedded throughout the pages of the Holy Bible.
God, in speaking to humanity, tells an ongoing story that is simplified, much the way a parent would explain a complicated story to his young children.
In so doing, God uses means of parables, metaphors, allegories, symbols and more in which to tell His story.
Many passages in Scripture hold more than a literal or one-time meaning. God often assigns two, sometimes three layers of interpretation to many portions of Scripture.
Scripture offers many similitudes for God’s word. God’s Word Is Like: A mirror, James 1:22-25; A sword, Ephesians 6:17; Light, Psalm 119:105, 130; Fire, Jeremiah 20:9; A seed, I Peter 1:23; A hammer, Jeremiah 23:29; Milk, I Peter 2:2; Apples, Proverbs 25:11; Honey, Psalm 119:103; Bread, Matthew 4:4; and Meat, I Corinthians 3:2. These are but a few similitudes or symbols for God’s Word.
The Bible is filled with many types and foreshadows which can make Bible reading and study extremely interesting.
For example, the Old Testament offers many types of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Able is a type of Christ in that he offered to God an acceptable sacrifice, and also that he was murdered by wicked hands.
The sun is a type of Christ, Who is the light of the world.
The Ark is a type of Christ in many ways.
The offerings and the feasts in Leviticus all picture certain truths about Jesus Christ in His three offices as Prophet, Priest, and King.
Moses and Joshua, great leaders of God’s people, are types of Christ.
Many of the kings of Israel, such as David, Solomon, Josiah, and Asa, typify Christ in various ways.
There are also many other categories of “types,” such as those symbolic of the church, or of salvation, the second coming, the great tribulation, the Word of God and so forth.
Remember to look for and study types in the Bible for they reveal to us the wisdom of a Master Designer.
Never limit Scripture to only one meaning.
Sometimes a portion of Scripture can refer to something near at hand, and then also have a future fulfillment.
Remember, God is eternal. He knew the future before any of the Bible was written.
An historic occurrence in the Old Testament for example is not only accurate history, but often it is a literal occurrence that may be fulfilled several times throughout the Old Testament before reaching its ultimate fulfillment in the spiritual realm.
One excellent example is the Old Testament Temple. As the Ark of the Covenant it wandered with the Israelites (one literal fulfillment) until finally God gave the Jews one stationary Temple in Jerusalem, (second literal fulfillment). God wasn’t finished, He created His third and final Temple in the New Testament Era. It neither wandered nor was stationary in the physical city of Jerusalem. God’s final Temple is Christ and His elect – which was signified or symbolized or represented by the Old Testament Ark of the Covenant and the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. Old Testament symbolism is fulfilled in the New Testament just as Christ Himself fulfilled the Old Testament Law.
TRUE Bible study is a fascinating gift beyond any thing this world has to offer. One can expect to find many double or even triple meanings and fulfillments but they must be solidly backed by Scripture.