It takes being in line with God’s spirit for an accurate interpretation of the word of God. Interpretation of God’s word belongs to God alone, says Joseph in Gen 40:8. Also, there is also academic knowledge compulsory for an accurate bible interpretation-Hermeneutics.
QUALIFICATIONS OF A BIBLE INTERPRETER
1. Spiritual qualifications:
That spiritual qualification has an important place in the list of qualifications cannot be debated. If spiritual things are spiritually concerned, only the spiritual man can discern them, if the natural or carnal mind is at enmity with God only, a regenerate mind will be at home in scripture. That an interpreter must have the same spirit who inspired the Bible as the qualification for interpreting the Bible has been well stated in the Bible.
a. He must be born again 1Cor. 2:14; Jn. 3:1-13.
b. He must have a sincere desire to know the truth Jn. 7:17. No bigot can make a good interpreter. A Christian should have real convictions, but a bigot is a person who holds convictions without having real reasons for holding them, and who is not willing to test his own convictions in the light of the truth.
c. He must be willing to obey the truth when he sees it: submission to God’s known will is a necessity for every Christian, but especially for those who wish to teach God’s word.
d. The interpreter of the Holy Scriptures needs to have living fellowship and communion with the Holy Spirit. Inasmuch as all scripture is of God as they were given by the Holy Spirit 2Pet. 1:21. The interpreter of scripture must be a partaker of the same Holy Spirit’s living fellowship. No one can explain it properly but through the help of the Author, 1Cor. 2:11, 12, 15, and 16. beginning interpretation in a spirit of self-reliance and self-confidence we shall not fully succeed. Our natural ability and training will not, by themselves make us good interpreters of spiritual things. We must maintain fellowship with and walk in the spirit.
2. Educational Qualifications:
An interpreter should have the proper educational requirements. No man in the history of the Christian church has possessed all such requirements. The person with an average measure of intelligence can with industry and adequate guidance from teachers and books discover the central meaning of the majority of the passages of the Bible. The requirements for understanding the principal truth of the Bible are not as strict as to shut the Bible up to the literate. To ask that every interpreter of the bible should possess comprehensive linguistic equipment would be to deny the task of interpretation to all but a handful of specialists, who might lack other equally essential qualities even though had the linguistic knowledge. All Though, such linguistic knowledge is important.
a) A complete Acquaintance with the Bible itself.
He must know the Bible well enough to make comparative studies. His knowledge must be of the whole Bible. He must know it’s-structure, its contents, its doctrines. He must know the form and content of every book of the Bible and how each book fits into the whole.
b) A knowledge of Bible Geography and History.
The biblical interpreter should be acquainted with the geography of Palestine and the adjacent regions. He should also unite a familiar acquaintance with history. beginning to know these things will help us not to be fanciful in our explanation of the Bible. Christianity is a historical religion.
c) A knowledge of Bible Manners and Customs.
Many times, a bible passage depends for its meaning upon some custom or practice in the lives of the people at that time. The speech of any people is a reflection of their way of life. We must know something about life in the Bible times in order to understand the Bible correctly.
d) A knowledge of Chronology.
The science of chronology is also indispensable to the proper interpretation of the scriptures. The succession of events, the division of the ages into great eras, the scope of genealogical tables, and the fixing of dates, are important and call for patient study and laborious care.
e) A knowledge of Politics.
The study of politics, including international law and the various theories and systems of civil government, will add greatly to the accomplishments of the exegesis, and enable him better to appreciate the Mosaic legislation, and the great principles of civil government set forth in the New Testament.
f) A Knowledge of Science.
Not everyone has the opportunity to study natural science. Some sciences like Geology, biology, astronomy, and mineralogy have an important connection with the Bible and anything that we can learn in these subjects will help us in interpretation. Our explanation of the Bible need not violate known facts of science.
g) A Knowledge of Philosophy.
The same may be said of the history and systems of speculative thought, the various schools of philosophy and psychology. Many of these philosophical discussions have become involved in the theological dogma, and have led to peculiar principles and methods of interpretation, and to cope fairly with them the professional exegete should be familiar with all their subtleties.
h) A Knowledge of Ancient Language.
The Bible was written mainly in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic Translation is always very difficult, and some expressions cannot be translated exactly from another language. Translators also make mistakes. The most accurate interpreters work from the original languages. Though we cannot all know Greek and Hebrew the two major languages of the Bible. But the interpreter who works without these languages should be careful seeing that he is at the mercy of the translators, he should also learn from the commentaries and other books written by those who do know Greek and Hebrew.
i) A Knowledge of Basic Tools of Biblical Study.
Every expositor of the Bible should be able to handle commentaries. Bible dictionaries, concordances, and other versions of the Bible. These are important tools.
J) A Good Knowledge Of History.
He ought to combine his topographical expertise with a working understanding of world history. Testing the veracity of the sacred writings frequently benefits by looking at the historical and contemporary records of various populations. What a wealth of illumination ancient writers provided for the biblical stories!
K) Good Knowledge Of Antiquities.
The Antiquities of the Ancient World: A beginner should look into every ancient artefact from every nation and race since they may provide insight into the Hebrews’ antiquities. Along with learning about the traditions of his own nation, he should also research those of other races and nationalities.
L) Good Understanding Of Natural science
The remarks or references of the sacred writers have an incidental impact on a good understanding of natural science, geology, minerals, and astronomy. Whatever the ancients may have known about these topics, a modern interpretation should be aware of what current science has shown.
M) A Good Knowledge OF General literature.
A familiarity with broad literature should be added by the interpreter of God’s word to all these learnings. The great works of human brilliance, the well-known epics, the literature of all the great nations, and the holy books of all the religions will be helpful in determining the accuracy of God’s oracles.
N) Intellectual Qualifications
Finally, there are academic requirements for a good interpretation. Hermeneutics is not only a science but an art. The rules must be applied with skill and this requires intellectual ability. The standards of the finest scholarship must be employed with insights. Judicious use of intellectual abilities reflects itself in high quality of exegesis.
Note these points below:
a) Quick and clear perception (ability to see the point): A ready perception is especially requisite in the interpreter. He must have the power to grasp the thought of his author and take at a glance its full force and bearing. With such ready perception, there must be united a breath of view and clearness of understanding which will be quick to catch not only the import of words and phrases but also the drift of the argument.
b) Imagination is needed but must be controlled: The true interpreter must often transport himself into the past and picture in his soul the scenes of ancient times. He must be able to put himself in the place of biblical writers and see feel and think the way they did. He needs to be able to read between the lines and thus see the implications of statements. At the same time, he must be able to keep his imagination under control, so that at all times he is aware of the differences between what is true reasoning and what is speculation.
c) A balanced mind: He cannot be a person who is liable to take everything to the extreme, but one who can see both sides of the question and keep a reasonable balance. An interpreter of scripture and indeed of any other book should have a sound well-balanced mind. For dullness of apprehension, defective judgment, and extravagant fancy will prevent one’s reason and lead to many vain and foolish notions. The faculties of the mind are capable of discipline and may be trained to a very high degree of perfection, but some men inherit peculiar tendencies of intellect. Some are gifted with race powers of the imagination but are utterly wanting in the critical faculty. A lifetime of discipline will scarcely restrain their exuberant fancy. Others are naturally given to form hasty judgments and will rush to the wildest extremes. In others, peculiar taste and passions warp the judgment, and some seem to be constitutionally destitute of common sense. Any and all such mental defects disqualify one from the interpretation of the word of God.
d) Sober judgments: Above all things, an interpreter of scripture needs a sound and sober judgment. There must be the mental ability to analyze, compare, examine, and evaluate. He must not allow himself to be influenced by hidden meanings or spiritualizing processes and plausible conjectures. He must have enough reasons for and against a given interpretation: he must judge whether his principles are tenable and self-consistent; he must often balance probabilities and reach conclusions and make decisions on the basis of emotion rather than reason will not make a reliable interpreter of scriptures.
e) Acuteness of intellect: The exegesis has been noted for acuteness of intellect, a critical sharpness to discern at once the connection of thought, and the association of ideas. This qualification is of great importance to every interpreter. He must be quick to see what a passage does not teach, as well as to comprehend its real import. His critical acumen should be associated with a master power to analysis, in order that he may clearly discern all the parts and relations of a given whole.
f) Use of reason: The use of reason in the interpretation of scripture is everywhere to be assumed. The bible comes to us in the form of human language, and appeals to our reasons and judgment; it invites investigation and condemns a blind credulity. It is to be interpreted as we interpret any other volume, by the rigid application of the same laws of language, and the same grammatical analysis. Even in passages that may be said to lie beyond the province of reason, in the realm of supernatural relevance, it is still competent for the supernatural. In matters beyond its range of vision, the reason may be incompetency, and by analogy and manifold suggestion show that there are many things beyond its province which are nevertheless true and righteous altogether and to be accepted without dispute. Reason itself may thus become efficient in strengthening faith in the unseen and eternal.
But it behoves the expounder of God’s word to see that all his principles and processes of reasoning are sound and self-consistent. He must not commit himself to false premises; he must abstain from rushing to unwarranted conclusions. Nor must he ever question. All such logical fallacies will necessarily vitiate his expositions, and make him a dangerous guide. The right use of reason in biblical exposition is seen in the cautious procedure, the sound principles adopted, the valid and conclusive argumentation, the sober sense displayed, and the honesty, integrity, and self-consistency everywhere maintained. Such exercise of reason will always commend itself to the godly conscience and the pure heart.
g) Apt to teach: In addition, to have the above-mentioned, ht e interpreter should be apt to teach (2tim. 2:24). Finding out the truth is one side of hermeneutics, giving that truth to others is the other side. No man is a complete interpreter unless he is able to make others see clearly what he himself knows. Without such aptness in teaching, all his other gifts and qualities will avail little or nothing. Accordingly, the interpreter should cultivate a clear and simple style, and study to bring out the truth and force of the inspired oracles so that others will readily understand.
3. An Interpreter Must Be Of Faith
We have the fundamental component that everything rests on because we are God’s people. We must have confidence in God. This is the most fundamental prerequisite for fully comprehending all of God’s message. The bible’s message can only be understood as a personal word when one has complete faith in God.
4. An Interpreter Must Be Obedience.
God’s word must be able to speak to us today and effect a change within us. We must be prepared to surrender to and put ourselves under the authority of God’s word.
5. An Interpreter Must Rely On The Illumination Of The Holy Spirit.
This is the work of the Holy Spirit indwelling in us (1 Cor 2:6-16; 2 Cor 3:15-18). We have a dynamic understanding of the meaning of the Bible and how it should be applied to our lives because of the Holy Spirit.
Frequently, we assume that since the Holy Spirit moved the apostles and prophets to write his word, then he will also move us to comprehend it without the need for historical or grammatical research.
Because of our isolation, we tend to believe that the Bible is all we need and that we don’t need any other literature or knowledge from the outside world and this brings a rise in misinterpretation of scriptures.
6. A Bible Interpreter Must Be A Member Of A Church.
We wouldn’t anticipate seeing this on a list of requirements for a competent biblical interpretation, would we? God’s message cannot be fully understood in isolation. We require the help of our brothers and sisters to verify our findings and hold us responsible. The church serves as a check and balance on our judgments.
7. He Must Know And Use Appropriate Methods Of Biblical Interpretation.
Christians need to interpret the Bible correctly. The main deterrent for most people to do it is this. Because it demands discipline, diligence, commitment, and hard work. Characteristics that the majority of Christians don’t value. There is simply no substitute for hard study and the use of quality tools for those of us who are called to teach and pastor others. Good tools will help us comprehend the context of the Bible’s books. They will give us background information, and cultural context, and aid in our understanding of the target audience. The majority of this material can be found in good commentary.
Everyone has access to the Holy Spirit, even though not everyone is blessed with the means to attend Liberty University or a pastor who is willing to devote the time necessary to teach hermeneutics. Some of them could be better equipped than some Christians who are untrained in those areas to explain the culture of the time or even comprehend the language in depth. God opposes the arrogant but shows grace to the lowly (James 4:6 NASB).
I SHALL STOP HERE FOR NOW, TILL THE NEXT UPDATE.
IF YOU TRULY WANT TO LEARN HOW TO BUILD MONEY-MAKING WEBSITES TO MAKE YOUR RECURRENT PASSIVE INCOME, I AM SURE YOU NEED TO HEED TO MY ADVICE.
If you’ve been running about and thinking about leaving the online world as I did before coming into contact with WEALTHY AFFILIATE during black Friday. I also joined; Leadsleap, ShareASale, Walmart, Atlantis, Udimi, Fiverr, Clevenard, and PLR. Brax, etc you’re darn lucky too, but only if you take action by starting immediately. Wealthy Affiliate (WA) is the greatest online platform to get started generating money online for free, even if you have no prior expertise. Build your WEBSITES, Build your FUNNELS, Use JAAXY KEYWORD Tool for free and Build your business today with SEO content and you will be able to swim on money tomorrow, just like many others in WA.
If you truly want to learn any make-money skill online, JOIN HERE FOR FREE, Wealthy Affiliate is the place to be with maximum training and support if you want to build a successful business online. JOIN HERE NOW FOR FREE, and take a walkthrough. Wealthy Affiliate is no “SCAM” and is the place to be with all kinds of training and support. I am having success in my business while training with WA.
Thanks for visiting this site and please don’t leave without commenting below. May your God bless you real Good as you join this legit business platform and avoid SCAMS. CLICK BELOW TO CHECK OUT MY BLOG.
GODSPOWER STRONG aka GODSTRONG.