Linux 4 Christians and Interpreting God’s Will

Someone on the listserv asked:

God's Word…Is it to be interpreted as it is or by some other means?

Others responded:

> It is impossible to interpret anything without bringing your own bias. Since I am not God, and can not completely understand his mind (it's much bigger than mine) I can only hope to interpret it with his help – which normally means leaning on the wisdom of others much wiser than me.

and others:

> This is what God gives us the Holy Spirit for:
> http://bible.cc/john/14-26.htm

My take (with some edits for clarity):

Well, to put a fine point on it – this says that that is what the Holy
Spirit is for – for the Apostles. To apply the same function to
today's disciples is an act of interpretation (inference) – which was
Taz's question in the first place. (BTW, I do make that inference –
but I realize it is an inference and not in the original context). Taz's question is probably "why  do you feel comfortable or think it proper to make that kind of inference?"

In Samuel, revelation came thru dreams, priests (Ephod/Urim and
Thummim), and the similar "lots", and prophets ("burdens" or prophecies/proclamations). In Genesis and the
gospels it came by angels, personal visitation by God (or the angel
of God), signs, dreams, and the act of blessing or cursing. Judges had wet
fleeces, etc. The Psalms record
David's fascination with thunderstorms as epiphanies. There are probably others I'm missing.

In the NT, you've got Paul telling us the "writings" were valuable in
Rom 15:4 (and the parallel to Timothy {2 Tim. 3:16 ff}). Of course, in the LXX at that
time there were the Apocryphal books included as well (and I would
argue there is no way to know how much influence the Pseudepigrapha
had in shaping the messianic concepts and expectations); Peter had
dreams, Paul had a vision, apostles were chosen by lots, three had a transfiguration revelation, John the Immerser had a "dove' and a voice, the Holy
Spirit spoke directly to Phillip, there was the "Joel fulfillment" in
Acts 2:17, etc. Angels aplenty here, too (Elizabeth, Mary,  shepherds, disciples at the tomb, etc.)

Most church traditions today are based on the acceptance or rejection
of early church fathers' interpretations (whom they don't read
directly) and/or councils, and later 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st
century commentary writers; and most are ignorant of this — and
loathe to admit it when they are informed.

FWIW: Paul said during his day that "For everything that was written
in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the
encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." I infer this to
apply to me. I pray to the Father that the Holy Spirit will discipline
and correct me. And another inference from Paul is that he assumes a
disciple will be somehow connected with a congregation (and by
extension, the leaders and teachers God provides thru them).

Other folks may argue some other path but God blessed me with an
analytical mind and I can usually spot a whole the size of a truck in
their logic. Me seeing it and being able to point it out to them
persuasive — well, those are two different things.

Bonus: It is a good practice to
talk to missionaries and ask what theological "things" they've learned
by the questions asked of the biblical text by their fellow disciples
in these congregations which differ from those asked by the "Western
world".

Note: Paul's end game was "courage". The "hope" was the necessary foundation (resulting from trusting God to act in the future as He had/has in the past — called "faith" in "churcheze") to produce "courage" so that Christians should do good works in thanks and praise to God — even if — and especially in — the face of opposition.

In short: Persevere in compassion and excellence toward others empowered by the hope and courage produced by faith in the God whose compassion and "steadfast loving-kindness" provided|provides a Messiah for us in our time of need — even in , especially in, the face of opposition.