(Continued: Part 3)


THE GOLDEN RULE OF INTERPRETATION

  1. The third rule of interpretation is as follows: WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE OF SCRIPTURE MAKES COMMON SENSE, SEEK NO OTHER SENSE; THEREFORE, TAKE EVERY WORD AT ITS PRIMARY, ORDINARY, USUAL, LITERAL MEANING UNLESS THE FACTS OF THE IMMEDIATE CONTEXT, STUDIED IN THE LIGHT OF RELATED PASSAGES AND AXIOMATIC AND FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS INDICATE CLEARLY OTHERWISE.

    1. Seek the plain, literal meaning of the Scriptures.


      1. The sum and substance of this most important rule is that one should take every statement of the Scriptures at its face value, if possible.

      2. The following is an analysis of the adjectives "primary," "ordinary," and "usual."

      3. "Primary" emphasizes the original, inherent idea in the term.

      4. "Ordinary" and "usual" are practically synonyms, especially in this definition, "usual" being employed for the sake of emphasis.

      5. "Literal" is used to emphasize the thought that every word must first be taken literally as expressing the exact thought of the author at the time when it was used; and one is not to go beyond the literal meaning of the Scriptures unless the facts of the context indicate a deeper, hidden or symbolic meaning.


    2. Seek the figurative meaning only when the facts demand such an interpretation.


      1. Modernism and rationalism are the logical outgrowth of forcing a figurative meaning upon a passage that is clearly literal, or vice versa.


    3. Study every statement of the Scriptures in context.  ("A TEXT APART FROM ITS CONTEXT IS A PRETEXT.")  Then study the facts of the context in the light of related passages and axiomatic fundamental truths.  "... No prophecy of scripture is of private (special) interpretation" (II Peter 1:20); "The sum of thy word is truth" (Psalm 119:160).



    4. Study the following texts and apply the Golden Rule of Interpretation:

      1. Zech. 9:9,10;

      2. Jer. 29:9-14;

      3. Ezek. 34:20-24 (Will David be king over Israel?)


      (The Golden Rule of Interpretation is one of the most important principles governing us in our interpretation of the Scriptures. If we follow this rule, we shall never go very far wrong; but if we fail to follow it, we shall never go right.)



Explanation  >>>>