When reading a passage in the Bible What person is there who can set aside What he wants it to mean Or expects it to mean Or thought it meant yesterday Or has always heard that it means Or what his friends want it to mean?
Who is there among us Who is truly free Simply to listen And consider?
It can take quite some time to learn how to work the Bible puzzle—and for many of us, one of the first steps seems to be coming to the realization that it is, indeed, a puzzle at all! I remember taking offense when I heard a certain author call it that sometime in the early 2000s. My view of it at the time went something like this:
We’ve been “given everything we need” in the Bible, so it’s all in there.
If we were just faithful and diligent, it would all make perfect sense. It’s very “clear”.
The Spirit helps us understand it, so what’s to puzzle over? (The way I understand it, therefore, must be pretty close to being right.)
While there are indeed some contrasts between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, it is a grave mistake of hermeneutics to assume that they will differ at every point of doctrine. I do believe that they have much more in common than many have been taught to believe. And many will assume a difference before ever checking for similarity.
I do not believe that A thousand preachers Having set out to use the Bible To change this ailing world Could extract from its pages Even a tenth of the treasure That can be extracted by One man listening Intently to what it says Simply because he wants To understand his Master.
The motive for reading affects The message received.
If you wanted to straighten out A boatload of Bible interpretation problems, You could start by seeing to it that never again Would anyone mistake themselves for being In the immediate audience to whom A passage was written, when they are not.