Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reading Scripture

Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman."

30 ἀλλὰ τί λέγει ἡ γραφή; ἔκβαλε τὴν παιδίσκην καὶ τὸν υἱὸν αὐτῆς· οὐ γὰρ μὴ κληρονομήσει ὁ υἱὸς τῆς παιδίσκης μετὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ τῆς ἐλευθέρας.

I find that blogging through Paul means either quoting a verse at the beginning or the end of each chapter.  His writing is so logical as he lays out his arguments.  Here his is concluding a section where he is describing two covenants -- one of works and one of faith.  Or, to us his language, one of slavery and one of freedom.  It is clear that the way of works leads to slavery and death, but Christ leads us to freedom.  It also seems clear that Jews need Jesus as much as anyone else.  But that's not what I want to emphasize here.

What fascinates me is how Paul starts this verse.  He asks the question ἀλλὰ τί λέγει ἡ γραφή.  That really needs to be the first question we ask as well.  What does the Scripture say?  That needs to be how we decide truth.  It doesn't really matter what we think or even what theologian we admire.  What does the Scripture say?

I will admit that this is a tad simplistic because we cannot really determine what the Scripture says until we have some basis in hermeneutics.  Godly men differ on how to interpret various passages.  But that doesn't mean that both interpretations are valid.  There will come a day when the Presbyterians and Baptists will both know exactly what the proper mode of baptism is, for example.

Even though this is a bit simplistic I think that it gets to the fundamentals of how we must think.  What does the Scripture say?  There may indeed be some difficult passages.  However, enough of it is crystal-clear and that should settle matters for us.

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