The Study of Spiritual Interpretations
I would like to explain to you how we are going to study this semester and how we will teach this course. First please bring your book and syllabus to class every time. I may choose one night to teach from the syllabus and another night I may use the textbook and then other nights I might use both or just give you a handout of my own thoughts on the subject.
Starting with the Bible
The Bible is natural and supernatural, temporal and eternal, human and divine.
The Bible is divine because it is the Word of God. It is God's message for all human beings for all times. Through the Bible, God speaks to all people of all ages in all cultures. The message of the Bible is eternal. It transcends time and cultures. It is relevant and speaks during the time of Moses, the time of Paul and to all of us today.
The Bible is human because God chose to speak through human beings who lived in a certain time and culture in history with an specific language. It is temporal because some of its elements such as the original language used in its original writing is not being used today. So God's eternal Word and message is conditioned and contained in a specific time in history with its own culture and language, and is recorded by means of 'human style' of literature. It is these two natures of God's Word that requires us to apply basic principles of interpretation to understand God's message for us today.
I believe God has preserved His word in our English language, and that the Bible, we can hold in our hands, this King James Version, is just as powerful and just as originally as what God was wanting to reveal and say to the people the day it was written. I make no apology for being a Bible believer. I believe that this KJV Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God. I have a little paper clipping in my Bible that says what I believe the Bible to be. I quote
“The Word of God”
THIS BOOK contains the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding, its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe and practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword and the Christian's charter. Here paradise is restored, Heaven opened and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand object; our good is its design and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, and prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. It is given you in life, will be opened in the judgment, and will be remembered forever. It involves the highest responsibility, will reward the greatest labour, and will condemn all who trifle with its sacred contents.