There are several ground rules
in Bible interpretation that must be followed before anyone even attempts
to study Holy Scripture. I will show but a few important ones.
The first rule is:
'In what sense am I interpreting a particular
Is it to be taken literally, or figuratively,
or is it a parable? For more on this please read 'The Senses of Scripture',
elsewhere on this website.
The next rule
I will mention is:
'The Law of First Mention'.
When something is mentioned in Scripture the
first time, the same meaning for that verse holds true for subsequent verses.
An example of this law is in Genesis 17:5, where GOD gave authority to
Abram by changing his name to Abraham, and making him 'The Father of a
Multitude of Nations'.
Next is in Genesis 17:15-16, where GOD gave authority to Sarai, by changing
her name to Sarah, and making her 'The Mother of all Nations'.
Then there is Matthew 16:18. GOD changed the name of Simon to Peter, and
gave to him the authority of the Church, and supremacy over all of the
The 'Law of First Mention' functions here, to show that authority is given
when the persons names are changed by GOD.
Another rule is:
'How many times something is mentioned'.
If it is mentioned three times or more, it
is certainly to be taken literally.
In John chapter 6, Jesus emphasized nine times, "This IS My Body".
He also said it in Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, and Luke 22:19. And if that
isn't enough, St. Paul said it again in 1Corinthians 11:24.
'THIS IS MY BODY' falls not only under this rule, but also under the 'Rule
of First Mention', doesn't it, starting with Matthew 26:26?
'THIS IS MY BODY' also must follow the 'Senses of the Bible'. These verses
are literal. There is nothing said in these chapters to indicate any other
How can anyone deny that Jesus meant what He said, when He said it so many
How can anyone break three basic rules of Bible interpretation, by saying
'It is only a Symbol, or a representation of His Body'?
Of course everyone is aware of
this next rule:
'You must take into account
the meaning of the words, in the languages written by the authors at the
time, and not neccessarily the English translation of them today'.
For example, the word 'brethren'
had many meanings, only one of which is 'brother'. It meant cousins and
other kin, as well as friend, comrade, fellow believer, etc.
Another rule that should be mentioned
'The New Testament lies hidden in the Old,
and the Old Testament is revealed in the New'.
It takes a little bit of Bible study to realize
this, but it is true. There are hundreds of prophecies about Jesus Christ
in the Old Testament, and a lot of parallels. For more on this, see '100
Prophecies Fulfilled', elsewhere on this website.
If you break any of the rules,
you are NOT interpreting Scripture properly...
Written by Bob Stanley, December
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