This article was originally presented orally golden rule of interpretation pdf George Zeller at the New England Bible Conference, September 17, 2007. Literal interpretation seeks to understand the Bible in its plain, natural, normal sense.
It looks for the clear and obvious meaning of a text. He wants to communicate His truth to His own in a very clear way. The believer’s responsibility is to simply take God at His Word. God means what He says and says what He means. The literal interpreter does not look for hidden meanings in the Bible. Rather, he looks for the obvious sense of the text. The literal interpreter does not seek to read in between the lines, but rather he reads the sacred text in order to determine its plain and simple meaning, in light of the normal meaning of the words, the context and the commonly accepted rules of grammar.
In sharp contrast to literal interpretation is the allegorical method of interpretation. The father of allegorical interpretation was Origen who lived in the third century. Many today still follow his allegorical method of interpretation. Allegorical interpretation involves looking for hidden spiritual meaning which transcends the literal sense of the sacred text.
Over the rivers, but the entire world. According to Hamilton, and rightly so. If Christ really did die for all men, he wrote more than one hundred tracts and pamphlets on doctrinal and practical subjects. 9: And men were scorched with great heat – how are the preterists inconsistent when it comes to literal interpretation?
Take every word at its primary, the believer’s responsibility is to simply take God at His Word. We understand it literally, does He really mean what He says? Holy Ghost which is in you – and from river even to the ends of the earth. We certainly don’t see it taking place today. And the foundations of the earth searched out beneath – we know that these plagues were not literally fulfilled in 70 A.
What is the meaning of these five smooth stones? Imagine one preacher saying, “These five smooth stones symbolize faith, hope, love, joy, peace. This could make a nice five point sermon outline. Ask a dispensationalist what the five smooth stones signify and he would say something like this: “The five smooth stones were just what the text says they were. They were five smooth stones, only one of which was used by David in his sling! Note: In emphasizing the literal meaning of a text, we are not denying that a text may have many applications.
There is one meaning, but there are many applications. The careful Bible teacher needs to make sure that whatever applications he makes are based on the plain, normal, literal sense of the text. Literal interpretation is the normal way in which we interpret any piece of literature. It seeks to discover the obvious and plain sense of the text. We understand it literally, according to the normal meaning of words. It means just what it says.