interpretation…

April 23, 2007

I used the word interpretation in this post, a word obviously open to interpretation. A word I use very easily, while others seem less comfortable with this word. Dictionary.com defines the word interpretation as :

1. the act of interpreting; elucidation; explication: This writer’s work demands interpretation. 
2. an explanation of the meaning of another’s artistic or creative work; an elucidation: an interpretation of a poem. 

To use the word interpretation when referring to the Bible can get some emotions running. Why do the Bible need interpretation? When using this word when referring to the Bible, it sounds like we are trying to argue away certain truths from the Bible.

I see interpretation as the way we see everything. Two people read a book, and understand it differently. Two people read a poem… Different people look at history, and see things differently. Everything is interpretation. Which doesn’t mean that there is no limits. Obviously some interpretations seem to be more realistic than other. But how do we choose between them?

How do you interpret the word interpretation? What comes to mind when you hear to word? Positive or negative connotations? Why?

One Response to “interpretation…”

  1. Joe Says:

    interesting thoughts… currently studying for a Masters and finished a week intensive in a Gospels course. This prof’s take was very wooden… do this, this and this and you’ll get GOOD EXEGESIS… ok…

    a while back, I had a class with a prof of more “critical realism” backing that talked about community exegesis. There’s danger in both sides of this coin…

    I’m curious about your blogs… My wife and I have been praying for strongly for South Africa now for almost 5 years. We are feeling God moving us towards something there, church specificially, but not sure what that means. I’m a church planter/apostle type leader myself, but have only ever experienced the States. What are your thoughts on an American coming to SA, partnering with local believers for the establishment of a missional congregation? What would that look like?

    please email me your thoughts as I am horrible at check back on blog sites.


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