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Switch to Forum Live View A Framework for Interpreting the Bible that promotes Peace, Healing and Unity
6 years ago  ::  Jan 17, 2009 - 2:55PM #1
rvalin
Posts: 40
The Bible has been understood and interpreted in many different ways.   In interpreting the Bible I asked myself what framework for interpretation would promote peace, healing, and unity for an individual and the world.  I believe that as an individual moves more deeply into an experience of inner peace, healing of conflict and fear takes place and that when that process reaches completion there is unity.  Here is my attempt to structure that framework.

1. The Bible and all the worlds great scriptures are divinely inspired.  This applies not only to the first version of a scripture but also to all subsequent versions written by people sincerely trying to understand God and follow God's guidance.

2. Divine inspiration means that a reality, that we call God, influences the perceptions, thoughts and feelings of the authors of the scriptures.  Because this reality is infinite and transcends all of time and space and all of our concepts and understandings it cannot be fully apprehended or communicated with complete accuracy by an individual.

3. Divine Truth unites and does not divide.

4. Divine Truth has the attributes of selfless unconditional love, accurate perception, total understanding and compassion and includes all and excludes none.

5.The Bible, as are all other Divinely inspired scriptures,  is meant to be a guide for psychological and spiritual development.

6. Divinely guided psychological and spiritual development leads us from the bondage of desire and fear to a state of total freedom.

7. As we move along this developmental path our perceptions, thoughts feelings, words and deeds become increasingly harmonious with the God of infinite, selfless, unconditional love until all distinction vanishes.

I have written about this more extensively and those writings can be found on my web site www.perennialpsychology.com.  A good place to start is to click  Writings and then click Perennial Psychology of the Bible Volume  1 and read the introduction.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 19, 2009 - 12:56AM #2
Mr.Pilgrim
Posts: 3
Rvalin,

The Scriptures teach us that God is far more than a mere reality, and that He is indeed a personal God. The primary reason for all the demoninational and doctrinal conflicts are due to a few factors. Here are some examples:

1.) Problems come when we try to Interpret, rather than Associate the Scriptures. This is one of the primary causes for doctrinal, and denominational divisions that exist today.

2.)Problems also come when we approach the Bible bringing pre-suppositions with us as we approach the text.

One way to sum up this up is this:
What we bring with us to the table, often determines what we walk away with.

Our pre-suppositions serve as "lenses" through which we see the world. We are better served to check them in at the door before approaching the Word of God, than we are by letting them distort the true light of God's Word.

3.)Because the Scriptures are of a Supernatural origin, the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit is necessary in our lives in order to be able to discern the message.

This means that the reader needs to be born from above in order to be able to discern spiritual things.

This not only means that one must be born again, but he also needs that his inward man be pointed toward God through Christ in order to receive the illumination of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the deeper truths  of God's Word to his inner man.

There is a carnal blindness that comes when one is out of fellowship with God in living with unconfessed sin in the life. This prevents the Holy Spirit in imparting more truth to a believer in discerning the deeper spiritual truths which I believe that God so desires to reveal to His children.

Because illumination is progressive, and because God apportions faith in varying proportions to individuals lives based on His sovereignty, as well as a believers stewardship of His Word through how believers live and conduct themselves, there will always be believers on this earth trying to reason out the balance of unrevealed truth in their own lives amongst the brethren in the forms of both arguments and debates.

These are just some of the reasons for all of the divisions that exist, and also explains why there is no, nor will there ever be a 'spiritual nirvana" on earth prior to the return of Christ.

God's Word is perfect, and the reason for all of the conflict isn't because of Him. The divisions and misrepresentations fall flat on the shoulders of mankind for messing it up.

I believe that God will balance it all out for us when we see Him face to face.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 20, 2009 - 8:07AM #3
rvalin
Posts: 40
[QUOTE=Mr.Pilgrim;1028260]Rvalin,

The Scriptures teach us that God is far more than a mere reality, and that He is indeed a personal God. The primary reason for all the demoninational and doctrinal conflicts are due to a few factors. Here are some examples:

1.) Problems come when we try to Interpret, rather than Associate the Scriptures. This is one of the primary causes for doctrinal, and denominational divisions that exist today.

2.)Problems also come when we approach the Bible bringing pre-suppositions with us as we approach the text.

One way to sum up this up is this:
What we bring with us to the table, often determines what we walk away with.

Our pre-suppositions serve as "lenses" through which we see the world. We are better served to check them in at the door before approaching the Word of God, than we are by letting them distort the true light of God's Word.

3.)Because the Scriptures are of a Supernatural origin, the illuminating ministry of the Holy Spirit is necessary in our lives in order to be able to discern the message.

This means that the reader needs to be born from above in order to be able to discern spiritual things.

This not only means that one must be born again, but he also needs that his inward man be pointed toward God through Christ in order to receive the illumination of the Holy Spirit to illuminate the deeper truths  of God's Word to his inner man.

There is a carnal blindness that comes when one is out of fellowship with God in living with unconfessed sin in the life. This prevents the Holy Spirit in imparting more truth to a believer in discerning the deeper spiritual truths which I believe that God so desires to reveal to His children.

Because illumination is progressive, and because God apportions faith in varying proportions to individuals lives based on His sovereignty, as well as a believers stewardship of His Word through how believers live and conduct themselves, there will always be believers on this earth trying to reason out the balance of unrevealed truth in their own lives amongst the brethren in the forms of both arguments and debates.

These are just some of the reasons for all of the divisions that exist, and also explains why there is no, nor will there ever be a 'spiritual nirvana" on earth prior to the return of Christ.

God's Word is perfect, and the reason for all of the conflict isn't because of Him. The divisions and misrepresentations fall flat on the shoulders of mankind for messing it up.

I believe that God will balance it all out for us when we see Him face to face.[/QUOTE]

Thank you for your thoughtful post.  Before I reply I need to understand the distinction you make between to Interpret and to Associate the Scriptures.
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 28, 2009 - 4:38PM #4
flitzerbiest
Posts: 175

rvalin wrote:

The Bible has been understood and interpreted in many different ways.   In interpreting the Bible I asked myself what framework for interpretation would promote peace, healing, and unity for an individual and the world.  I believe that as an individual moves more deeply into an experience of inner peace, healing of conflict and fear takes place and that when that process reaches completion there is unity.  Here is my attempt to structure that framework.

1. The Bible and all the worlds great scriptures are divinely inspired.  This applies not only to the first version of a scripture but also to all subsequent versions written by people sincerely trying to understand God and follow God's guidance.

2. Divine inspiration means that a reality, that we call God, influences the perceptions, thoughts and feelings of the authors of the scriptures.  Because this reality is infinite and transcends all of time and space and all of our concepts and understandings it cannot be fully apprehended or communicated with complete accuracy by an individual.

3. Divine Truth unites and does not divide.

4. Divine Truth has the attributes of selfless unconditional love, accurate perception, total understanding and compassion and includes all and excludes none.

5.The Bible, as are all other Divinely inspired scriptures,  is meant to be a guide for psychological and spiritual development.

6. Divinely guided psychological and spiritual development leads us from the bondage of desire and fear to a state of total freedom.

7. As we move along this developmental path our perceptions, thoughts feelings, words and deeds become increasingly harmonious with the God of infinite, selfless, unconditional love until all distinction vanishes.

I have written about this more extensively and those writings can be found on my web site www.perennialpsychology.com.  A good place to start is to click  Writings and then click Perennial Psychology of the Bible Volume  1 and read the introduction.


Rvalin,

I really appreciate your attempts to build unity between faiths and your thoughtful work on this framework.  Nevertheless, I think that any framework for interfaith understand will need to be built on the common recognition that ALL scriptures are the work of human hands, and that they represent the best efforts of various cultures to understand the religious impulse and/or religious experience that is common to all humanity.  The concept of divinely inspired scriptures inevitably leads to clashes between conflicting and mutually exclusive "absolute truths".  The only evidence that can be brought to bear in support of the idea of divine inspiration is the strong desire from the faithful that it be so. 

Eric

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2009 - 12:30PM #5
rvalin
Posts: 40

flitzerbiest wrote:

Rvalin,

I really appreciate your attempts to build unity between faiths and your thoughtful work on this framework.  Nevertheless, I think that any framework for interfaith understand will need to be built on the common recognition that ALL scriptures are the work of human hands, and that they represent the best efforts of various cultures to understand the religious impulse and/or religious experience that is common to all humanity.  The concept of divinely inspired scriptures inevitably leads to clashes between conflicting and mutually exclusive "absolute truths".  The only evidence that can be brought to bear in support of the idea of divine inspiration is the strong desire from the faithful that it be so. 

Eric


Thanks for your thoughtful response.  It indicates to me that I need to add further elaboration to point 2 in my original post. What I would add is: "This means that no scripture can, with complete accuracy express the message being sent through the individual author of the scripture. Therefore there is always error present in scripture which is why the Bible can not be taken literally. With this in mind there can be no revelation of absolute truth in words even though the words are divinely inspired.  This limitation does not exclude the Bible being used as a guide on the path to divine consciousness where absolute truth or God is directly apprehended.  Words cannot express absolute truth only Being can."   Does this answer your objection to my use of divine inspiration?  I am interested in hearing from you on this.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2009 - 1:30PM #6
flitzerbiest
Posts: 175

rvalin wrote:

Thanks for your thoughtful response.  It indicates to me that I need to add further elaboration to point 2 in my original post. What I would add is: "This means that no scripture can, with complete accuracy express the message being sent through the individual author of the scripture. Therefore there is always error present in scripture which is why the Bible can not be taken literally. With this in mind there can be no revelation of absolute truth in words even though the words are divinely inspired.  This limitation does not exclude the Bible being used as a guide on the path to divine consciousness where absolute truth or God is directly apprehended.  Words cannot express absolute truth only Being can."   Does this answer your objection to my use of divine inspiration?  I am interested in hearing from you on this.


Why is the concept of divine inspiration necessary?  Occam's razor might be helpful.  Here is the only version of inspiration that makes any sense to me:  at various times, people have had religious experience and have felt compelled or motivated to write about it.  God inspired them, so to speak, but there is nothing supernatural about that which was written.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 10:23AM #7
kwd111
Posts: 1,104

rvalin wrote:

The Bible has been understood and interpreted in many different ways.   In interpreting the Bible I asked myself what framework for interpretation would promote peace, healing, and unity for an individual and the world.  I believe that as an individual moves more deeply into an experience of inner peace, healing of conflict and fear takes place and that when that process reaches completion there is unity.  Here is my attempt to structure that framework.

1. The Bible and all the worlds great scriptures are divinely inspired.  This applies not only to the first version of a scripture but also to all subsequent versions written by people sincerely trying to understand God and follow God's guidance.

2. Divine inspiration means that a reality, that we call God, influences the perceptions, thoughts and feelings of the authors of the scriptures.  Because this reality is infinite and transcends all of time and space and all of our concepts and understandings it cannot be fully apprehended or communicated with complete accuracy by an individual.

3. Divine Truth unites and does not divide.

4. Divine Truth has the attributes of selfless unconditional love, accurate perception, total understanding and compassion and includes all and excludes none.

5.The Bible, as are all other Divinely inspired scriptures,  is meant to be a guide for psychological and spiritual development.

6. Divinely guided psychological and spiritual development leads us from the bondage of desire and fear to a state of total freedom.

7. As we move along this developmental path our perceptions, thoughts feelings, words and deeds become increasingly harmonious with the God of infinite, selfless, unconditional love until all distinction vanishes.

I have written about this more extensively and those writings can be found on my web site www.perennialpsychology.com.  A good place to start is to click  Writings and then click Perennial Psychology of the Bible Volume  1 and read the introduction.


May I also add.... where the Bible answers a question - let it be the answer and not try to add or subtract from it?

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 10:29AM #8
kwd111
Posts: 1,104

heterodoxus wrote:

rvalin: upon reviewing your OP, my initial thoughts were --


[INDENT]1) "scriptures are divinely inspired" according to ____? :mad:

[/INDENT]

[INDENT]2) "Divine Truth" according to _____? :mad:

[/I



On second thought, I concur with Eric --


Divine truth as according to Jesus Christ who is the Truth!  And wherever God spoke - or spoke through His prophets.

Divinely inspired because "Heaven and earth can pass away but my words will never pass away" - spoken by the one who is the Truth.

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5 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 12:52PM #9
Bob Wells
Posts: 112
Every time a hapless soul wanders into the Bible Forum and wants to say something positive about the the book they love they get viciously attacked.:eek: Whats up with that? :confused: Why is it necessary to try to hurt the feelings of someone you never meet? :( That is precisely the negative attitude that leads people to start wars and such. :mad:
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5 years ago  ::  Feb 05, 2009 - 3:30PM #10
kwd111
Posts: 1,104

heterodoxus wrote:

Again I must ask: "the Truth" according to ____? The Christianized denominational predilections of those religious persons who believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah-Christ who, similar to the Mahdi of Mohammedism, will impose Christianity--as influenced by both Judaism and Catholicism--upon the world by force and intimidation? This sorta makes the Bible sound like the Qu'ran, doesn't it? :)


1) - Again... according to Jesus who is "THE truth"
2) - Christianity is not a religion - the word is given to describe those who have trusted Christ.  It cannot be forced on somebody.  Even GOD cannot force you.
3) - Jesus IS the Messiah - which simply means the anointed one.
4) - I can see no resemblance between the Qu'ran and the Bible  :) and if anything it would be the other way around "The Qu'ran may have areas that sound like the Bible".  The Bible came first

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