Interpreting the Bible

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Biblical Interpretation


Interpretation of the Bible is a complex issue. How a person interprets is dependant partly upon that person's presuppositions about the Bible. If a person comes to the Bible with the view that it is simply an ancient text full of mythology then his interpretation will be vastly different from someone who views the Bible as God's revelation.

Biblical Hermeneutics is the technical term for the study of interpreting and understanding the Bible and applying it to today's context. It is closely related to exegesis which is the study of understanding what the Biblical author's meant and what their audience would have understood.

Some Christians hold a literalistic or inerrant view of the Bible. Biblical inerrancy is the view that the Bible, as the inspired Word of God, is without error and is accurate in all aspects, including in aspects of history and science. Biblical infallibility on the other hand is the view that the Bible is free from errors on issues of faith and practice, but minor contradictions in history or science can be overlooked as insignificant to its spiritual purpoes.

Protestant Christians generally hold to Sola Scriptura which is the teaching that the Bible is the final authority on matters of faith and that it alone gives sufficient information for all matters of faith. This stands in contrast to Orthodox and Catholic Christianity which accept tradition as playing an equally important role in matters of faith.

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