Misinterpreting Scripture

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…

John 5:39

When it comes to reading and understanding the Bible, there are at least five main schools of thought people use to interpret Scripture. They are:

Allegorical View

Liberal View

Neo-Orthodox View

Devotional View

Grammatical, Historical View

The Allegorical view was used by many of the early church fathers. Everything they read was viewed from a mystical, spiritual platform. There was no literal, concrete understanding of Scripture applied from a known real world. Interpretation was solely a subjective understanding of a non-physical, super-natural dimension.

The Liberal view analyzed Scripture from a current, cultural worldview based on man’s reasoning capabilities. If science cannot justify it, it must not be true. If it is not rational, then there is some error. Scripture becomes a personal, subjective study of its contents.

The Neo-Orthodox view Scripture as God’s spoken word to specific people at specific times and not necessarily meant for everyone everywhere at all times. However, when God’s written Word becomes meaningful and purposeful to the individual is when then God speaks to the individual.   

The Devotional view simplifies Scripture to a “what’s in it for me” approach. It views the Bible as a self-help book extracting principles and values for personal enhancement. It at times focuses on the narrowest topic and excludes the global overview of the subject matter.

The Grammatical, Historical view looks at the context of the writings from the then culture when written and the known historical and literature data accumulated from then to arrive at its meaning and purpose at the then time. From there, Scripture is transferred to the present time under current conditions and made applicable and relevant in today’s culture.    

Most of us, depending on our upbringing, will initially start reading Scripture from one of these viewpoints. Slowly though over time, as we become more of an amateur theologian, we will eventually fall into the Grammar-Historical view. Though we will occasionally, depending on the context and subject matter, entertain the other viewpoints, our main emphasis will be to become more and more a historical student of the Bible.  

With the internet and libraries of stored reference, everyone who desires to know more about the Bible and its contents can become an avid student of Scripture. No one person on earth has the corner knowledge of Scripture. We are all studying and discovering more and more of Scripture’s practical implications for today. Yes, it takes time, but what you gain is a more confident reassurance of the Triune God’s involvement and love for you and humanity.

The bottom-line: no matter which viewpoint you use, the main focus is still Jesus Christ. When we realize HE is the centralized character of the entire Bible, then the various chapters and sections always seem to better align themselves built upon the foundation of the Incarnate Triune God. This is why we learn, integrate, and grow in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ through the application of Scripture in our everyday world. We discover more of who Jesus Christ IS and God’s overall purpose and plan for humanity.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Be Wise

James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

The Book of Proverbs written over 2,500 years ago still speaks to us today. As a naïve, young man venturing into the business world, this Book provided me the fundamental knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of dealing with first time situations. I lacked practical experience at the time and this Book opened the door to the wisdom of the ages.

Wisdom generally comes from experience. Experience is either acquired by doing something yourself and learning from the process, observing others in similar situations and learning from their successes and mistakes, or studying history and analyzing the causes and effects while transferring the understanding into today’s culture. Overall, the Book of Proverbs has given many an added advantage to lead and shape a life that flourishes.

Sometimes rather than write and express my thoughts on a subject, I like to simply collect the words from the Bible and let them speak directly to you. This time I ran a concordance on the word “wise” from the Book of Proverbs. 

Proverbs 1:3

to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;

  1. Proverbs 1:5

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

  1. Proverbs 1:6

to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.

  1. Proverbs 3:7

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

  1. Proverbs 3:35

The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.

  1. Proverbs 4:1

A Father’s Wise Instruction: Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

  1. Proverbs 6:6

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

  1. Proverbs 8:33

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

  1. Proverbs 9:8

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

  1. Proverbs 9:9

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

  1. Proverbs 9:12

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

  1. Proverbs 10:1

wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

  1. Proverbs 10:8

The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

  1. Proverbs 10:14

The wise lay-up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.

  1. Proverbs 11:29

Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

  1. Proverbs 11:30

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.

  1. Proverbs 12:15

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

  1. Proverbs 12:18

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

  1. Proverbs 13:1

wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

  1. Proverbs 13:14

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

  1. Proverbs 13:20

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

  1. Proverbs 14:1

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

  1. Proverbs 14:3

By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.

  1. Proverbs 14:16

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

  1. Proverbs 14:24

The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.

  1. Proverbs 14:35

A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

  1. Proverbs 15:2

The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

  1. Proverbs 15:7

The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.

  1. Proverbs 15:12

A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.

  1. Proverbs 15:20

wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

  1. Proverbs 15:31

The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.

  1. Proverbs 16:14

A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it.

  1. Proverbs 16:21

The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

  1. Proverbs 16:23

The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

  1. Proverbs 17:2

A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

  1. Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

  1. Proverbs 18:15

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

  1. Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

  1. Proverbs 20:18

Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.

  1. Proverbs 20:26

wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them.

  1. Proverbs 21:11

When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

  1. Proverbs 21:20

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.

  1. Proverbs 21:22

wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

  1. Proverbs 22:17

Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,

  1. Proverbs 23:15

My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.

  1. Proverbs 23:19

Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.

  1. Proverbs 23:24

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoices; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

  1. Proverbs 24:5

wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,

  1. Proverbs 24:6

for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

  1. Proverbs 24:23

These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good.

Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.

Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.

56. Proverbs 28:11

A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.

Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath.

If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise:

the ants are a people not strong,
    yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
    yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no king,
    yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
    yet it is in kings’ palaces.

In summary, better to be wise than not.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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First and Last

Revelation 22:13

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.

Mark 10:31  &  Luke 13:30

But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Our culture admires those who come in first. We give them recognition, rewards, and hold them up as a standard of greatness. On the other side, those who finish last are not even mentioned nor rarely identified. We generally classify them as a loser of losers.

Yet Jesus destroyed the concept of first and last from a humanistic perspective and reserved the title for himself.

With two parables, Jesus superimposed the concept just because one is first or one comes last doesn’t give them priority in God’s eyes. In Matthew’s writing, the narrative of Labors in the Vineyard emphasizes he who owns can distribute how he wants too without any outside conditions. In this case God owns and he can adhere to your conditional promises or he can choose to be generous and give more than agreed too. Since it is HIS, HE doesn’t have to comply to someone else’s rules or expectations.

Again, Luke writes a similar statement in chapter thirteen that being chronologically first or last may be a human perspective of importance, but God works on a different value system. HE will shake up people’s semblance of fairness and determine people’s position of leadership as HE chooses for HIS Kingdom’s government.

Jesus’ own life blows apart the importance mankind places on being first or last. He preached a message of the Kingdom of God which will rule the world. His disciples believed it would happen in their life time. During the three plus years Jesus trained and prepared them for leadership, he also mentioned several times that his mission will eventually lead to his death. They didn’t truly understand that message until after his ascension into heaven. Until then, they continue to jockey for position of leadership within HIS kingdom where even onetime John’s mother asked Jesus to make both her sons sit next to HIM on his throne.

Our culture emphasizes winning over losing. Jesus’ value system places greater emphasis on first serving others. To win or to lose are temporary states of events. Serving others though is a lifetime process which leads to help others win. Losing is the school of discovering oneself and improving oneself for better service for others.

The real winner who has already taken the title is Jesus. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. He started the entire human process called LIFE and he will be there at the end when humanity is totally resurrected into a new age.

We are his students putting into practice values which create a world which allows all to flourish. In our lifetime, we will win and lose. There will be times we will be first in line and times we will be last in line. It doesn’t matter. What matters is God freely living HIS life in you where you reflect HIS glory for the sake of others.  Remember, Jesus has already taken the first and last position of the most important event you are involved with – your Life.   

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved