Author Topic: God's Word and Our Interpretation  (Read 2050 times)

Papster

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2009, 03:22:06 PM »
The issue in this topic is "our interpretation." My thought is as soon as we make scripture a matter of "our interpretation" we have closed our ears to the Word of God. Would God deliver to his people a writing that was so esoteric that only learned scholars could understand it and explain it in side-column notes for the humble unenlightened pew sitter? It was not so for Augustine, or for Luther. God's Word said what it said, period.  
In the Fall 2009 issue of Word & World: Theology for Christian Ministry, a publication of Luther Seminary, the topic is "Canon". One article deals with a Lutheran approach to scriptures: "You shall bear witness to me": Thinking with Luther about Christ and the Scriptures by Gary M. Simpson. He makes a distinction between a common question we ask, and one Luther asked.
....

I'm not saying that I agree with the comments in the Lutheran Study Bible (I haven't bought or used it); but I do believe that there is a Lutheran approach to scriptures that focuses much more on what the Word does than about what the Word says.

Thank you Brian for your well reasoned and presented thoughts. I do not think that the "Lutheran" approach that focuses on what the Word does, is a uniquely Lutheran approach. Many Christians recognize the power of God's Word to do many things. The power of the Word comes from the way God uses the Word to question us, just like the Adam and Eve incident. "God called to the man (and woman) and said, 'Where are you?'" I believe that happens every time we encounter the Word, God is simply asking, "Where are you?"

One of the points that I wanted to make about the interpretation issue, is that there is a problem when we go and question scripture, scripture always questions us. As we grapple for the answer, the Word does things, the Word is what God uses to call us to change. That is the power of the Word.

As for the Lutheran Study Bible, I was using the references to illustrate, how the Word can be stripped of the power that God uses to move us when we apply a post-modern interpretative hermeneutic to the text.


 I would remind us all that "THE Lutheran Study Bible" from CPH, has a different footnote, and you should find it a much better response.

TV

Thank you "TV" for your comment. I do know that THE Lutheran Study Bible from Concordia is a much richer resource. I was grinding my axe on how disappointing the Lutheran Study Bible from Augsburg/Fortress really is. I have not sprung yet for the purchase price of the Concordia offering.

« Last Edit: December 30, 2009, 03:24:13 PM by Papster »

jpetty

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2009, 04:01:08 PM »
I gather that the phrase "Word of God" is used here to describe the Bible.  The author of the fourth gospel would find that odd.

Voelker

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2009, 04:20:09 PM »
I gather that the phrase "Word of God" is used here to describe the Bible.  The author of the fourth gospel would find that odd.

Perhaps. Yet in that same book Jesus has no problems identifying Scripture as the Word of God:

εἰ ἐκείνους εἶπεν θεοὺς πρὸς οὓς ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ οὐ δύναται λυθῆναι ἡ γραφή... (Jn 10:35)

John might well indeed find a bound, printed, one-volume collection of the Scriptures to be odd; this does not necessitate, however, that he would find at all odd someone calling the Scriptures "the Word of God".


Brian Stoffregen

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2009, 05:54:02 PM »
One of the points that I wanted to make about the interpretation issue, is that there is a problem when we go and question scripture, scripture always questions us. As we grapple for the answer, the Word does things, the Word is what God uses to call us to change. That is the power of the Word.
I don't think that these approaches are mutually exclusive. I find that the more I ask questions of the text and find answers, the more I find the text asking questions of me.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2009, 05:56:17 PM »
I gather that the phrase "Word of God" is used here to describe the Bible.  The author of the fourth gospel would find that odd.

Perhaps. Yet in that same book Jesus has no problems identifying Scripture as the Word of God:

εἰ ἐκείνους εἶπεν θεοὺς πρὸς οὓς ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ οὐ δύναται λυθῆναι ἡ γραφή... (Jn 10:35)

John might well indeed find a bound, printed, one-volume collection of the Scriptures to be odd; this does not necessitate, however, that he would find at all odd someone calling the Scriptures "the Word of God".
However, he also sounds like a good Mormon by declaring that scriptures state that we are all gods. You sure you want to stick with that verse?
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Weedon

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2009, 06:03:06 PM »
God became man by nature that men might become gods by grace.  It's true.  Just not in the Mormon sense. 

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2009, 06:04:54 PM »
God became man by nature that men might become gods by grace.  It's true.  Just not in the Mormon sense.
How is that different from the Mormon sense?
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Weedon

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2009, 06:14:29 PM »
Brian,

You know your St. Athanasius, no?  Was St. Athanasius a mormon?  The Lord Jesus gives us the *grace* that lifts us to adoption as the Father's beloved Children; he does not make us *essentially* divine (which is the mormon teaching, no?), but graciously exalts our nature which to all eternity remains a very human nature - but a nature that partakes by grace of the divine nature.  To use the analogy so beloved by the Fathers:  the iron is irradiated and heated by its union with the fire, but it never becomes essentially the fire. 

Voelker

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2009, 06:18:42 PM »
I gather that the phrase "Word of God" is used here to describe the Bible.  The author of the fourth gospel would find that odd.

Perhaps. Yet in that same book Jesus has no problems identifying Scripture as the Word of God:

εἰ ἐκείνους εἶπεν θεοὺς πρὸς οὓς ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ οὐ δύναται λυθῆναι ἡ γραφή... (Jn 10:35)

John might well indeed find a bound, printed, one-volume collection of the Scriptures to be odd; this does not necessitate, however, that he would find at all odd someone calling the Scriptures "the Word of God".
However, he also sounds like a good Mormon by declaring that scriptures state that we are all gods. You sure you want to stick with that verse?

Brian,

Since you're near the desert, allow me to suggest taking on a new spiritual discipline, one which will be of great benefit to you and (most importantly) others. Specifically, that of Simeon Stylites. We will be more than happy to hear of your experiences in a few decades.

Also, to Pr. Weedon: thank you.

Richard Johnson

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2009, 09:31:08 PM »
I gather that the phrase "Word of God" is used here to describe the Bible.  The author of the fourth gospel would find that odd.

Perhaps. Yet in that same book Jesus has no problems identifying Scripture as the Word of God:

εἰ ἐκείνους εἶπεν θεοὺς πρὸς οὓς ὁ λόγος τοῦ θεοῦ ἐγένετο, καὶ οὐ δύναται λυθῆναι ἡ γραφή... (Jn 10:35)

John might well indeed find a bound, printed, one-volume collection of the Scriptures to be odd; this does not necessitate, however, that he would find at all odd someone calling the Scriptures "the Word of God".
However, he also sounds like a good Mormon by declaring that scriptures state that we are all gods. You sure you want to stick with that verse?

Brian,

Since you're near the desert, allow me to suggest taking on a new spiritual discipline, one which will be of great benefit to you and (most importantly) others. Specifically, that of Simeon Stylites. We will be more than happy to hear of your experiences in a few decades.


 ;D ;D ;D ;D
The Rev. Richard O. Johnson, STS

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2009, 10:23:30 AM »
Brian,

You know your St. Athanasius, no?  Was St. Athanasius a mormon?  The Lord Jesus gives us the *grace* that lifts us to adoption as the Father's beloved Children; he does not make us *essentially* divine (which is the mormon teaching, no?), but graciously exalts our nature which to all eternity remains a very human nature - but a nature that partakes by grace of the divine nature.  To use the analogy so beloved by the Fathers:  the iron is irradiated and heated by its union with the fire, but it never becomes essentially the fire. 
So, according to your analogy, the iron is not fire even though it is greatly influenced by the fire; but the biblical passage does state: "You are gods."
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2009, 10:25:25 AM »
We will be more than happy to hear of your experiences in a few decades.
I doubt that.
"The church had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Weedon

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Re: God's Word and Our Interpretation
« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2009, 10:28:45 AM »
Yes, Brian.  Quite like "This IS my Body." And yet "the bread that we break is a communion of the Body of Christ."