The four most basic rules for interpreting Sacred Scripture

Sacred Scripture is the inspired Word of God as we Christians believe. It is of crucial importance that we get the message right. As the history of Christianity shows in many examples, followers of Jesus who do not speak the original languages the inspired books were written in can easily misunderstand essential texts – with often religiously disastrous consequences.

1. The literal sense

We must know what the human author wanted to say before we can come to any conclusions as to what God is telling us.

2. The literary Form

In many texts we have to discern the teaching by analysing the literary form the scriptural author is using.

3. Intended scope

We may not ascribe statements or assertions to a biblical author which lie outside his intended scope.

4. Rationalisations

We have to distinguish substantial statements by the author from rationalizations and popular reasonings in which he expresses his own human opinions.


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