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Why Differences In Understanding

I believe the Bible, yet I often hear others arguing about what a verse means, or whether an idea is taught in the Bible. Why is there so much difference in how we interpret God's word?

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 ---steve on 7/14/05
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I believe that's 1 way that satan tries to split the Christian church apart, and sadly, in alot of cases, it's working
---antha6445 on 8/3/07

3. Many abuse the Bible and continue to add things to it depending on what message they want to give. Without question the prosperity movement is characterized by an obsession with the demonic.. It seems to have reverted to a form of animism, which holds that evil spirits inhabit and control both animated and inanimate objects. "The belief that natural objects and phenomena possess souls." Faith healers in the movement have more in common with witch doctors than medical doctors.
---lupe2618 on 8/18/05

2. Those verses give a reason why Christ was doing what He did. It didn't say, "Christians, go out and cast out demons". Jesus Himself said, "The works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness to Me, that the Father has sent Me" John 5:36. It is not much about the interpretation but how people add to His Word that makes the whole things wrong. I see that from the Prosperity message, that is why it is a false gospel.
---lupe2618 on 8/18/05

Brother Steve, The verses on the Bible have one meaning only. They have many applications but one meaning only. For example, the Mericles that Christ did, They only had one meaning only, "Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ(Messiah)" John 20:30-31. Now many Christians go around using these verses to go out and cast demons out.
---lupe2618 on 8/18/05

As in a dictionary, one word may have many different definitions and usages listed, so it is with word interpretations. The author of the Bible is God, they are his words. So in order to know the meaning of his words, you must be a part of God, that is be born-again and filled with his spirit, you must have the mind of Christ in order to understand God. His words are spiritually discerned, so if you are unregenerate and not in spirited, then you will not receive the correct meaning.
---Eloy on 8/9/05

There are a number of reasons for the different interpretations of the Bible. One is: preconcieved ideas. (We come up with what we want the Bible to state, than find a verse - usually taken out of context - and make it read as we want.) Two: Some folks don't know the difference between a parapharse and a translation. (Usually, a paraphares is only goof for a short time period.) Three: we don't know what the original meaning might be. There's a lot more, but my 85 words are used up.
---WIVV on 8/9/05

, my theory is that there are some who want to have their own opinions, and change verses to fit what they want to think. i avoid this by using nine different translations.
---steve on 7/25/05

Amen, Jeffrey ... on both accounts!
---DoryLory on 7/19/05

Yes, DoryLory, the missionary might be the father of many nations, but, unless I've really mistaken your gender, God would have to change a few things to grant that promise to you. ;)

I do agree with you about believing God. He always requires that. But next time you want to claim an Old Testament promise, look in the epistles. You may find a greater promise for your situation there. :)
---Jeffrey on 7/19/05

Bruce - The Bible is filled with symbolism (ie: "Egypt" is symbolic of bondage). Therefore, I can't see why "Assyria" can't be symbolic of any enemy we face. Dottie Osteen (wife of the late John Osteen, TV minister) was healed of cancer years ago, & has said that she claims Nahum 1:9, confessing that cancer shall not come upon her a second time. So, needless to say, I personally can't see a problem with your friend claiming it in her situation. Actually, it makes sense to me. :)
---DoryLory on 7/18/05

Hi Jeffrey - I believe God is obligated to faith ... "According to your faith, be it unto you." It's the system He set up. I don't know why He did that way but He repeatedly says in His Word, "If you will believe Me for it, I will do it."

As far as making any of us the father of many nations. I know an overseas missionary who has been setting up and managing orphanages for the past 20 years and I'm sure he would beg to differ with you. ;)
---DoryLory on 7/18/05

I will say this, though. Most of the promises I've seen in the Word that are given to us, His children, in this Age of Grace are greater than the ones He gave to Israel, His servants, in the Old Testament.
---Jeffrey on 7/18/05

Well, DoryLory, God did promise to supply all our need (Phil 4:19). And He certainly can go beyond His promises because Eph 3:20 says He's "able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." But He's really not obligated to give you something He promised to someone else.

By the way, I can think of one Old Testament promise He will probably never give you. He'll probably never make you the father of many nations - nor me, either. :)
---Jeffrey on 7/18/05

There are people who believe that if you don't believe they way they do, your going to hell. I believe what I know from the bible to be true, same as others. If I see someone who believes different than me, I search it out a little further and sometimes God shows me something different. some would say everybody's right and no one is wrong. I believe the word, if someone says something to me, I don't understand or agree with I search it out, and have the Holy Spirit teach me.
---Rebecca_D on 7/17/05

It seems that the Holy Spirit might make a particular passage (promise or otherwise) real to us in such a way that we might recognize He is speaking to us directly. This might well include a promise that had a specific application at another time to another individual.

Sometimes, it can be wishful thinking that makes us claim a promise. An individual once told me that while she had had very bad experiences with men in the past, God had
---Bruce5656 on 7/17/05

promised her that it would not happen again Nahum 1:9, "affliction shall not rise up the second time
However, the verse she quoted was not intended as a reassurance of Gods protection to anyone. Rather it speaks of the full and complete judgment God was to bring on Assyria that would be so complete that it would never need to be repeated.
---Bruce5656 on 7/17/05

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Hi Jeffrey - I don't know what to say. When it comes to claiming the promises in God's Word, I've always been taught that if I have a need, I should go to the Word, find a promise to meet that need and stand on it (pray & trust God to bring it to pass).

You make an interesting point when you say "depending on the circumstances." Actually I believe, if the circumstance fits, go for it!
---DoryLory on 7/16/05

For instance, if I need a place to live & want to stand on God's promise for favor(Psalm 5:12), where does it say I can't tread on a certain piece of property and ask God for it? Just because He made the promise to Joshua, the Bible doesn't say I can't make a similar claim. His intentions are the same for every generation. Jesus repeatedly said, "According to your faith, be it unto you." It really is a matter of where your faith is. (By the way, I have claimed property & it does work.)
---DoryLory on 7/16/05

1 Corinthians 10:11 says that the things that happened to the Israelites are examples, recorded for our instruction. God wants us to learn from their experiences. And as far as their delay in getting possession of the promised land ... Hebrews 3:19 says it was because of their unbelief. So again ... the way I see it ... it comes down once again to what Jesus said, "according to your faith." I believe it always comes down to our beliefs.
---DoryLory on 7/16/05

Revelation before Pentecost (Acts 2) was also different at times.

Mat 6:14-15:
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

1 John 1:9:
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us {our} sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Israel had to forgive to be forgiven. Now, we only have to confess our sins.
---Jeffrey on 7/16/05

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Earlier, in Numbers 13&14, the people refused to take the land God had told them to take. So God told them to wander in the wilderness for forty years. Then the people changed their minds and tried to take the land, but they couldn't because God had already changed the revelation.
---Jeffrey on 7/16/05

I can give you some examples, DoryLory.

You're right, "The counsel of the Lord standeth for ever" (Ps 33:11). His purposes don't change, but God gives different instructions to different people depending on circumstances.

God told Joshua (Josh 1:3), "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses."

That won't necessarily apply to you, even if you need a place to live.
---Jeffrey on 7/16/05

, well barbara, since you asked, there was a man who implied that we should emphasize the old testament and pretty much ignore the new testament. he was big on law, and very reluctant to accept christian truths. i forget where i heard this, but it seemed strange at the time, and still does.
---steve on 7/16/05

We tend to conceptualize and rationalize everything when there is no need. God is simple and there is one simple truth. Love Him and love another. Love is all you need. If people could go back to simplicity there would be less misinterpretations.
---Maha on 7/15/05

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What specific examples do you have in mind?
---Barbara67 on 7/15/05

Most of us are dependent on English translations none of which are accurate. We all have our favourite versions which are slightly different so we get confused. When we have doubts about any subject we should compare with other scriptures on that same subject using a concordance or even asking others more knowledgeable than ourselves. When possible look up the Greek and Hebrew original meanings of words. These are not always what our English versions say. Jesus knew the original, perhaps we should also.
---Xanthi on 7/15/05

Because too many Christian are speaking in themselves and not listening to the Holy Spirit--which means hearkening to what the Holy Spirit has been telling our spiritual ancestors for thousands of years.
---Jack on 7/15/05

Daniel and Debbie, you are so right! People want to interpret what God said, rather than just letting Him speak.

To really understand God's Word, we must study all scriptures that relate to a subject without leaving any part out, and without adding anything or changing anything. And we must take them in context, recognize the figures of speech, understand the culture of the people, and remember to whom He was speaking.

You're right, Daniel! It is a lot of work! And it takes patience!
---Jeffrey on 7/15/05

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Okay, Daniel ... case in point.

I'm curious to know why you feel Christians shouldn't be standing on promises given to Israel? The reason I'm wondering is because Psalm 33:11 says - "THE plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through ALL generations."

I've always understood that if there is a promise in the Bible that applies to our need, then we can claim it. The Bible repeatedly states that God does not show favortism (Acts 10:34 for example).
---DoryLory on 7/14/05

Example: Some are prone to quoting promises made only to Israel and expecting them to be equally fulfilled for Believers! How often do they agree the curses are to be also?! The Church is not Israel; don't interpret Scripture as if it were! The method of how God saves us from sin has never changed: It's always been by FAITH in what God alone must do! Until one approaches the Bible with the attitude God asks of all who look for His will, much of it will be hidden from you. Pray for understanding first.
---Daniel on 7/14/05

The main reason is because most people come to passages with a BIAS of how does this help me prove what I already believe, instead of, what does this passage really have to say to me from God; even if it changes what I believe! Rather than use ALL OF SCRIPTURE in CONTEXT, checking into History, details of the Languages, culture, etc., people often want to reduce what they need to believe to only a few favorite verses (often taken out of context!); Bible study is hard work YOU must do to get the truth!
---Daniel on 7/14/05

I think it also has to do with some who add to the bible (making up different rules, doctrines and sacraments as they go along). It confuses many and they lose their way. Then the lost depend on man (rather than on the Word of God) to guide them. I think if one reads the bible (in context), doesn't pull out versus just to prove a point, and prays for enlightenment, most of us will come to the same "interpretation".
---Debbie on 7/14/05

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Ephesians 3:10 talks about the manifold wisdom in God's Word. God's wisdom truly is many-sided and has varied layers, this is why it's open to interpretation. We're all at different levels in our relationship with the Lord and these different levels will most certainly reflect our interpretation of Scripture. It's just another indication of how great our God is.
---DoryLory on 7/14/05

Humans have different points of view on nearly everything. There are different influences in our lives that form our opinions. Our parents, our experiences, teachers, professors, pastors, tv, friends.
Scripture is inspirited by God. 2Timothy 3:16 2Peter 1:20,21 Therefore ask God to help you to understand His word. 1Cor 2:1-16 James 1:5 Col 3:16,17 Study the word of God 2Timothy 2:15
---Ulrika on 7/14/05

Differences in interpreting a verse in the Bible results because we have differences in the amount of knowledge acquired (or prior knowledge and background information), experiences, and present conditions (the "spiritual" help we could get, the environment that we are presently exposed to, the doctrines that we hold, etc.)
---bebet3754 on 7/14/05

Hi! Perhaps folks are just expressing their opinions about doctrine, Steve. I agree with Alan we are all affected by our early teaching, our current church doctrine, perhaps theological training and/or our mentors who disciple us. Our beliefs are like a security blanket, so when we hear a scripture that is being debated, it gets our attention doesn't it? It's very important to remain united in our faith however. Afterall, we are all on the narrow way to the celestial city! Blessings!
---Elsie on 7/14/05

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Steve; Ot's because the bible was written thousands of yrs ago and not in English!
---1st_cliff on 7/14/05

Steve:You have heard the saying 5 fingers are not alike.Well man in his sinful self influenced by the Devil& free will God has given us plus our worldly desires read many different things into the same verse Resulting in so many denominations & ideologies; that is why Jesus created One Universal church under one figure head Jesus Christ, who promised to be with & guide us always till the end of time Sad to say many departed from this teaching.resulting in this chaotic mess.
---Emcee on 7/14/05

I think Steve it is to do with our childhood. Our beliefs and attitudes in secular matters are fashioned by our parents care for us, and their teaching and values.
So too in our Christian journey ... we will pick up beliefs and interpretations from our early Christian nurturers.
These Blogs show that the Bible CAN be read in different ways ... to have different understandingss should not spoil our unity in Christ
---Alan8869_of_UK on 7/14/05

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