Presuppositions and the Biblical Text

In order to have an effective biblical study, we must be acquainted with certain things we must bring or
not bring to the biblical text. The following will affect significantly the way we understand the text.

ANALOGY OF FAITH (Deductive)

Analogy of Faith is the constant and perpetual harmony of Scripture in the fundamental points of faith
and practice deduced from those passages in which they were discussed by the inspired penmen either
directly or expressly, and in clear, plain, and intelligible language. The teachings of Scripture are totally
consistent. God is the author of neither confusion nor contradiction. If there seems to be a
contradiction, the passage is not properly understood or the presupposition is wrong. Some passages do
not teach doctrine.

ANALOGY OF SCRIPTURE (Inductive)

Developing and harmonizing apparently divergent teachings rests on the Principle of the Analogy of
Scripture, which contains three affirmations:

  1. Scripture should be interpreted by Scripture.
  2. Scripture should not be set against Scripture.
  3. Items that seem either secondary or obscure should be studied in the light of the primary and plain.

(These three principles are deductive guides to an inductive study of Scripture).

Always keep in mind the Unity of the Old and New Testaments:
The New is in Old concealed
The Old is in the New revealed

That means,
The Old Testament offers the key to the right interpretation of the New
The New Testament is a commentary on the Old
CAUTIONS

  1. Faulty theological deduction occurs when one passage is read into other passages. Observe the Analogy of Antecedent Scripture, i.e., recognize the period you are studying in Scripture and do not read back ideas that were unknown to the writer.
  2. Ignoring the progressive nature of revelation
  3. Allegorizing, reading own thoughts into the text against the historical narrative and meaning
  4. Spiritualizing the text, e.g., in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the thieves are the devil and his angels; the Samaritan is Christ; and the inn is the Church
  5. Extreme literalism, not seeing figures of speech for what they are
  6. Rationalistic approach, faulty use of human reason, such as denying miracles because they cannot be explained
  7. Existentialism, the Word of God is what happens in the encounter between you and the text, even though it did not happen, it has some meaning today.
  8. Mystical or lucky-dipping, picking a good luck verse for today
  9. Etymological approach, superficial connection of words between biblical and cultural words
  10. Accepting commentaries’ views uncritically or making your own judgments without checking the commentaries at all
  11. Twisting the text to suit purpose or raising texts beyond time-bound application

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