Quote from Purple Sage:
"So do you think that the writers of Scripture and the people who canonized the books of the Bible intended for individuals to make private interpretations? Or do you think that they knew the one correct interpretation and intended all believers to also know that one correct meaning of what was written?
This is my basic problem: If two people both read the Bible and both pray to be guided by the HS to understand it and then come up with two contradictory interpretations of some of the verses, how do you know who is right? Since we can't go back and ask Paul or John or anyone else what he meant when he wrote the words down, what then was left to us to be a reliable guide? And since God does not contradict himself, and there are so many opposing HS-guided interpretations, obviously many people are getting it wrong, which indicates to me that private interpretation doesn't work whether you (general you) believe your private interpretation to be guided by the HS or not. There has to be something else that was indeed protected by the HS which preserved the proper interpretation of Scripture to pass down to all believers.
Maybe we can go through this chronologically. BTW do you see degradation in the church? Just trying to understand you view a little more.
Old Testament- Jews are practicing to uphold the law and the traditions in the Temple, orally and with written scriptures ? right? Not sure when Jews had something in writing to refer to. They are waiting for the Messiah.
Jesus comes and appoints 12 disciples.
He is not recognized as the Messiah and Jesus says because of your laws and traditions (your religion) you cannot see who I AM.
A Christ centered oral tradition begins with Jesus and continues with His disciples.
Paul comes along and see the church, the body of Christ, the house of the living God, which the other disciples either did not see much of or didn't write it down.
At some point the oral teachings were not enough and saints, the believers, were going off track, the degradation was occurring already during Paul's time, maybe even earlier.
Some began writing it down, the gospels, the epistles were written mostly to churches, but some to individuals. This is the apostles' teaching that we are to hold steadfastly. Notice that it is the apostle's teaching that we are to hold steadfastly. The church fathers at the time of the canonization were to hold the apostles' teaching just as we are in 2011. Who were the apostles at that time? I don't know. I only know of the 12 disciples and the apostle Paul. Apparently there were some at that time that the believers were exhorted to listen to. In the original Greek, the word 'Apostle' means sent one.
42 And they continued steadfastly in the 1teaching and the fellowship of the apostles, in the abreaking of bread and the bprayers.
9 1aHolding to the 2bfaithful word, which is according to the 3teaching of the apostles, that he may be able both to exhort by the 4chealthy teaching and to 5convict 6those who doppose.
5 Which in other generations was 1anot made known to the sons of men, as it has now been brevealed to His holy 2capostles and 2prophets in 3spirit,
The verses below from Peter was clear that the prophecy of Scripture was to be completely trusted.
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of aScripture is of 1one's own 2interpretation;
21 1For no prophecy was ever 2borne by the will of man, but men spoke from God while being 2borne by the Holy aSpirit.
Decades pass and the believers still have the oral teachings, but they now have some letters to refer to. I guess the letters were scattered around in different cities?? Did they get all the letters together at some point?
Centuries pass with different church leaders interpreting what the apostles' teaching is. Every church leader who interprets, has his own interpretation. Right? Unless you believe that the church leaders at that time were infallible then it is inevitable that there be some misinterpretations. Right? (I'm just thinking this through out loud with you)
A lot of things have effected the church by the time of the canonization. Rather than having elders and deacons, there is now a hierarchy of men, the clergy. Pagan things. Money. Politics.
At the time of the canonization, were they just fed up with the confusion and heresy so they said, let's get together all of the apostles' teachings and the written letters/gospels and form the core items of the faith?
Nicene creed and the other creed that starts with an A? is more complete. Were there so many interpretations that they thought it'd be good to set it in writing what the core items of the faith are??
To me, it seems like there was a real need to get it all into one Book that the believers could refer to because oral teachings can become distorted quickly. If the wrong emphasis is placed on the wrong item then a huge misinterpretation can occur.
Even the church fathers were disagreeing and misinterpreting the apostles' teaching so that they formed the Bible for us to refer to. Likewise, now we have the Bible to refer to when we hear individual interpretations.
I don't see much difference in the church fathers' having their own individual interpretation and a christian in 1980 having their own interpretation. A christian is a christian is a christian. All Christians have the Holy Spirit in them.
1 John 2:27
27 And as for you, the 1anointing which you have received from 2Him 3abides in you, and you have 4no need that anyone teach you; but as 2His anointing 5ateaches you concerning 6all things and is 7true and is not a blie, and even as it has taught you, 8abide in 2Him.
12 For the Holy 1Spirit will teach you in that hour what should be said.
26 But the 1aComforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the 2Father will send in 3My name, He will bteach you call things and remind you of all the things which I have said to you.
Would you trust Billy Graham's interpretation? If not, why? Is it because he isn't a church father or does the person have to go to a particular school?
I am not necessarily wanting answers to all my questions...it was just my way of thinking out loud in a systematic way. I may be wrong on some things. I am not a history scholar, but hoping to learn from you all about this. Frankly, it's hard for me to say 'why' I trust an individual's interpretation. It either makes sense in my spirit or it doesn't make sense. The reasons may be that it is illogical (like the babies can't confess or believe example above) or it may be that there are many verses that could prove otherwise and it depends on the emphasis of the whole Bible. You have to keep in mind God's eternal purpose or plan, which is to build up the body of Christ to ultimately be the New Jerusalem in eternity future.
Another example is Grace versus Law. There are some verses that make it seem like grace is all you need, grace and faith and mercy. Then some verses seem like the Law and keeping the law is important. Keeping His commandments. Well, maybe it's both! There is a balance.
My point that I keep coming to is that the doctrinal differences divide us into different camps. We need to focus more on Christ and all that He has accomplished, praising and thanking Him continually. The practices divide us, too. There are core items of the faith that all Christians have in common, and that is what really matters.
For you, Purple Sage, do you have believers in real life to fellowship with? If not, you have to start somewhere. It seems like you are leaning toward the EO, then maybe you can find a group of women to study with weekly. What is most important is to get nourished by the word and as you grow, the Holy Spirit will teach you all you need to know. I think of myself as a child, I don't know a lot, but I know some. I have to eat to grow to learn. The Bible is good for food, for you to grow, and the learning will come spontaneously. It's okay to not know and don't worry if you make a mistake in choosing where to start. Sorry if I am being to presumptuous to advise you. I sense a seeking spirit in you and that's a good thing.
2 As 1newborn ababes, long for the 2guileless bmilk 3of the word in order that by it you may 4cgrow 5unto dsalvation,
3 If you have 1atasted that the Lord is 2good.