Searching for God-given Meaning in Scripture

Mostly serious. Bible interpreting itself is a paradoxical euphemism that’s never actually points to anything specific.

It’s like telling someone to let the book guide you to the hidden mysteries locked within.

Both are just a poetic way of saying … “Try to read and understand what it says”

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The “God-given meaning” is actually not in the Scripture. The Scripture means nothing at all without the reader. It’s you and I that are the ones giving meaning to the Scripture. It’s the job of the HS to makermeaning out of the words. Scripture itself is a static word on paper - Jesus is the Word within us (Christ in you, the hope of glory).

That sounds a too indefinite for the pragmatist who wants everything spelled out in black and white like our kids - specific instructions - follow these and the prize is yours. God hasn’t given us a maze to follow. We must make the words have meaning to us personally, and respond like we did to our mom’s hugs.

Indeed. Without Jesus “THE Word”, the concrete and literal word no longer contains truth.

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Just a few observations after reading this excellent article and the stimulating discussion that followed

  1. I found an answer to a spiritual questiion vital to me right now through understanding some things being debated above. Thanks so much to all of you serious Bereans, if I may call you that affectionately and well-intentionally. Thanks also for your quotations from the word of God; praise to God for the life of the Word Incarnate; gratitude for the teaching work of the Holy Spirit upon my mind; thankfulness for the Christian experience of being taught Scripture in SDA schools all my years; appreciation for the opportunity to study some Greek in college, that bears out why there are these two understandings of “Search/you search the Scriptures” since the exact same form of the verb does not distinguish whether the imperative or indicative mood is indicated. (Relying on the context of the verse, I lean toward the indicative myself, in agreement with the interpretation pointed out above.) Anyway I think I’ve covered all the bases in my long doxology here!

  2. Job and his frenemies had quite a lengthy debate themselves over the received religious ideas of the time (not codified then as Scrioture–but the whole discussion became Scripture!) What Job needed more than heated conversation from his “miserable comforters” was the verbal equivalent of a hug. Yet how enlightening it is to read the whole of the book of Job, that touches on some of the most profound existential questions of the human condition!

  3. I point you to II Peter chapter 1 as having an important bearing on the matters discussed above. I cannot elaborate, as my phone is at 3% charge, but I would be very interested to hear the thoughts of some of you on its relationship to the discussion above, if you please.

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I think we need to remind ourselves that Job was put into the Canon by a committee.

The other members should have said, “We’re not going to include a story in which Yahweh thinks that giving people additional kids makes up for the deaths of first-born.”

Or for that matter, would command the people to bash the brains out (literally) of somebody for picking up some sticks on a sabbath.

I obviously believe that calling the Bible the word of God wasn’t His idea (not that He wasn’t involved).

I think everyone should read “Who Wrote the Bible”. Very enlightening without being outrageous.


I love your doxology. Amen, sister!

About Job: When I re-read this book last year, I was in awe about its “modernity.” For me, the heading could be “When your world view doesn’t make sense anymore.” When your experience doesn’t match with your world view anymore, then you have some options: You deny your world view but not your experience (= Job’s wife), you deny your experience but not your world view (= Job’s friends), you don’t deny your experience nor your world view and try to life with tension, even if that means being frustrated, irritated, angry, and want to have answers (= Job). Any ex-SDA knows the feeling when the world view collapses, anyone maturing knows the feeling, too. At some point(s) in life, the old world view and your experience of reality don’t match. Such an ancient book and yet addressing this … who would have thought that a religious text speaks about such things and don’t wipe them away?
BTW: I don’t like the ending either @Harry_Elliott But maybe, this ending is a reaction to the fact that people have a hard time living with tension and uncertainty.

About 2 Peter 1: I’m not sure what you exactly refer to. For me, the moving of the Spirit means that the Spirit was and is actively talking through the Bible. This doesn’t mean that all the Bible statements are according to God’s will or that they necessarily contain God’s view on things mentioned. But there is a divine side of scripture that shows God’s ways with people, in addition to their understanding of God or search for God. What is human, what is divine in the content and the development of the canon? I don’t always know, but right now I trust that the Holy Spirit moves me to see Christ in these pages and that (S)he moves me to love. For me, that is enough, at least for now.

I love your questions and your search, that you are not afraid of asking, and of sharing. Be blessed!

The example from my family. Electricity flows through a wire like water through a hose.

I understand that the wire is full of electrons surrounding the coper atoms and when electricity is applied at one end, it bumps the atoms along so that electricity comes out the other end. My brother sees the example as the hose being empty and the electricity introduced at the one end has to travel the entire length of the wire before it comes out at the other end like the water in the hose. We both had the same illustration to make the point that electricity travels through a wire like water thru a hose but we do not agree on all of the process.

Adventism is like that. Some people study superficially and others study earnestly. the superficial folks grasp the basics, but never seem to get into much of the specifics that take some effort. Then the superficial folks doubt the specifics that they never studied and take the attitude that the basics were good enough to bring them to Christ, they do not need anything else. Like the Stoney ground hearers? They grow and flourish, but they do not have the root system to keep them when the hot trials come upon them.

Food for thought.

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Henry, i would be interested to hear your reflections about the timeline you proposed to end with a special blessing due on 17th May, if possible without diverting this thread


so as not to divert this thread go to my youtube channel and see my last video. it puts the time line in prospective

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