Conservative Colloquium

An Intellectual Forum for All Things Conservative

Interpret the Bible with the Hebrew Mindset, Not With Your Own!

Posted by Tony Listi on February 23, 2008

“First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation.”
-2 Peter 1:20

The Bible is not simply clear and understandable on its face. First of all, we are reading English translations, and anyone who knows something about languages and translation knows the difficulties in creating equivalent meanings from one language to the next. Some concepts as expressed in particular languages are never fully translatable. Second, let’s remember that we are not merely reading text translated from Greek and Hebrew but moreover the ancient forms of these languages! Languages themselves change over time. The distance of time is enormous. Third, the distance of place and culture is also huge. Only a careful and thorough study of the culture, geography, and other circumstances at the time and place when and where the Bible was written can reveal the truth of the text.

We must take on and study the Hebrew context and mindset when translating and interpretting the language of the Bible. We should NOT bring our modern, Western/American, democratic connotations and assumptions to the words and phrases we read in the Bible. The challenge and our obligation is to find the Hebrew connotation (for the Bible was written by Jews or Jewish Christians), so that we may truly know the Truth. This is what the Catholic Church does, but I am afraid that Protestants far too often would rather neglect this mindset and substitute their own private interpretations and mindsets (sola Scriptura and supremacy of private conscience and interpretation) for that of the original and traditional mindset (the Jewish one) which wrote and interpretted the Bible.

America does not have an evolving or “living Constitution;” the Church does not have evolving Scripture.

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2 Responses to “Interpret the Bible with the Hebrew Mindset, Not With Your Own!”

  1. Tom said

    You are correct in your assumption. However you must leave out all forms of chapters and verses reference as they did not exist in the orginal Hebrew Bible. When you do you will find that the Bible is a complete story with seven battles describe in it which ends with the Great White Throne (Throne of light, Hebrew). Would you like to describe this futher>

  2. foospro86 said

    Yes, the chapters and verses were a creation of St. Jerome. But I don’t see how mere numeral divisions hamper the Christian from assuming the Hebrew mindset.
    Sure, what 7 battles are you referring to?

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