Four Communication Gaps that you must use to interpret and apply the bible correctly:
1) Bridging the Language Gap:
-Even scripture itself says it will be hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16). If we distort the bible, and interpret it wrongly we will come to our own conclusions, which most of the time can be wrong.
-One of the reasons there are so many misinterpretations is because we don't understand the language Gap- -Some words just don't translate well from age to age and time to time-
-There are some vs.' that tell us clearly what to do and how to act that are easy to understand (Colossians 3:13, Ex 20:12, etc.) But, there are others that are hard to interpret (John 6:58, Matt 16:18-19, etc.).
- Example: Meekness:
2 Tim 2:25 - Since our culture defines meekness almost as "weakness", this vs. could be very misunderstood. People could say that since this vs. says to instruct one-another with meekness, that that would mean we shouldn't really instruct one-another at all. It's considered more loving in our culture not to even confront people with their sins, but just to leave them alone. We see that in the bible meekness wasn't defined as "weakness", but, it was defined as "power put under control." This definitions is almost the complete opposite of what the world views meekness as.
So, we see that by checking the language gap we will be able to interpret the bible much easier.
2) Bridging the Culture Gap:
-Cultures are different. We can't interpret the bible in 20th century America and forget the fact that cultures do indeed change!
-If you ignore the culture gap, you can and will end up misinterpreting scripture.
-Our culture has changed very much when we compare it to the culture of that of the bible.
- Here are 3 questions you must ask yourself to make sure you can bridge the culture gap-
1. What can I learn from history about the culture of that date and place that might impact my interpretation of the passage?
2. Can the meaning of the words in the original language shed some light on this subject?
3. Is there anything else in scripture on this same subject that will help me understand the passage?
Remember to always ask these 3 questions when you are studying or even just reading the bible.
3)Bridging the Geography Gap:
-In modern maps we see that Jerusalem is under Jericho. But, when we read the bible, some passages say "They traveled down to Jericho from Jerusalem."
-Many people have used these passages to prove that the bible is wrong. However, if we simply look at the land, we will realize that when you travel to Jericho you are 'literally' traveling downwards.
-So, we must know the Geography gap in order to interpret the bible correctly!
4) Bridging the History Gap:
-You have to understand the historical settings of people in order to understand scripture.
-We see that Pilot (in Jesus' time) came into Jerusalem with a complete different history then the Jews knew him as. You must know the history of people in the bible to interpret it rightly!
-But, you must know that in order to apply this gap, you must already have applied all the other gaps as well.