Literal Interpretation of Scripture

Once upon a Bible translation

About 12 years ago I was doing some web work for the church I was attending, and as a part of that I was posting sermon notes on the website every week. Pastor would send me his notes, and I would take the scripture references and look them up and paste the verse into the text, so readers wouldn’t need to do that. The problem at the time was that the pastor used NASB as his normal version, and I couldn’t find a free electronic copy of that translation. So while I was casting around for free electronic bibles I found the New English Translation – the first free and open source bible translation. Continue reading “Literal Interpretation of Scripture”

Authority and Church

In my last post, I said “As I read my bible, apostolic authority ended when the full canon of scripture was complete”.  My friend Adam called me out on that – saying that he would like to see where I read that.  (Adam, these are my thoughts, more or less informed by my own bible study, however flawed, and my observations of “church”)

I am neither a theologian, nor a studied church historian.  I am just a regular Christian guy trying to parse this world through the lens afforded by the Bible.  With that disclaimer, here are my thoughts: Continue reading “Authority and Church”

Fundamentalist or Literalist

I recently saw a Facebook post about a lesson from the bible by the “president” played by Martin Sheen on “The West Wing”.

In the episode, a woman, Dr. Jenna Jacobs, who had a popular talk show (modeled after Dr. Laura Schlessinger) was representing the bible, from a literal point of view. Of course the president did not properly “interpret” the bible, and so his argument was not persuasive to those who believe. In his critique of this woman and her view that the bible was to be interpreted “literally” he presumed that it was also universally applicable, meaning that I can take any thing in the bible, and say that it applies equally to any situation.

But it brings to mind two words that I think that we often misunderstand as Christians, and so our idealogical opponents can wield them against us as a bludgeon from which we have limited defense. Continue reading “Fundamentalist or Literalist”