How To Properly Interpret The Bible: Conclusion

Thank you for having allowed me to share with you what I have learned about properly interpreting the Bible, and I hope now, as we have come to the end of this teaching series, that it has been of value to you.

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We have covered the importance of using Circles of Context and Hermeneutics when trying to figure out just what the writer of a passage is trying to say, and to be able to glean the deeper, more spiritual messages through the use of the Jewish exegesis tool called PaRDeS.

We also now know that it is important to be selective when using extra-biblical resources, such as commentaries, and that right from the start you should have a Chumash, a Concordance, and the Interlinear Bible set at your disposal to be able to understand the real meaning of what is written in the Bible.

And, of course, knowing the language and the historical usage of phrases and words will allow you to know better what the writer intended to say, without having the true meaning skewed by the current connotation of certain words.

There is one last tidbit of knowledge I would like to share with you now, at the end of this teaching, which is:

You can’t make an argument from nothing.

Too often people tell you what the Bible says without having any reason other than it is what they want to believe. They take passages out of context, they assume something must have happened, and they extrapolate events to create something that can’t be found anywhere in the scriptures.

We may be able to make certain assumptions, such as after the circumcision of Abraham, he was not feeling quite himself for a few days. There’s nothing in the Bible that says that, but it is a safe assumption. However, the Talmud states that the three angels visited Abraham on the third day after his circumcision, and that is an example of making an argument from nothing.

The Rabbis obviously wanted to show the humility and compassion which Abraham had for others, and we know that from the Tanakh because he argued to save any righteous men that might be in Sodom. But, to say that the angels came on the third day after the circumcision, is just plain unfounded.

True, the visit was the very next thing in the Tanakh after the circumcisions:

Genesis 17:27:
And every male in Abraham’s household was circumcised along with him. That included those born into his family or bought from a stranger.

which was followed immediately by

Genesis 18:1:
The Lord appeared to Abraham near the large trees of Mamre.

but who knows how much time elapsed between those two events? Because there is nothing in the Tanakh that tells us how much time elapsed between these events, to make a statement that one event happened at a certain time after the other is making an argument from nothing, and as such, is not a verifiable interpretation.

When you believe you have an understanding of something that you read in the Bible, use the tools we have discussed to verify your belief. You may be given a divine understanding of a passage, but if you can’t verify it using these tools, then it must be questioned. And if someone tells you what something in the Bible means, you need to verify it, for yourself, before you accept it or (God forbid!) teach it to anyone else as truth.

Remember: when the blind lead the blind, they both fall into a hole. When it comes to being able to properly interpret the Bible, use the tools you have learned here to make sure that you aren’t being led into a hole.

Thank you again, and please share these lessons with everyone you know, subscribe to this ministry on both YouTube and here on my website, and please take the time to check out my books and the rest of my website.

This has been a real pleasure for me, and if there is any particular topic you would like to see a teaching on, please do not hesitate to suggest it to me.

Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!

Comments welcomed (just be nice)