God Has Spoken But What Has He Said?

A Coherent Guide to Interpreting the Bible for Yourself

by H. A. Habermehl

 

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Why do Christians disagree so much about what the Bible says?

Is it possible to know whose views are right?

Can the Bible really be understood at all?

Answers to these important questions lie in the straightforward set of principles of interpretation developed in this book. The author uses many examples to show how to apply these principles.

If you are searching for solutions to Bible problems, here is a book that will clear up your confusion and reaffirm your belief in the veracity of Holy Scripture.

The author first lays out a set of principles of interpretation. These are: 1. The literal principle. 2. The context principle. 3. The progressive principle. 4. Understanding parables. 5. Biblical spiritualizing. 6. Types and symbols. 7. Prophecy. 8. The application principle.

The author then discusses some controversial subjects; the subject of election versus free will, the millennium, and divorce, showing how application of the interpretation principles above can lead to arriving at conclusions.

The emphasis is on the process by which conclusions are arrived at, not the conclusions themselves. As the author says, "It is my opinion that if we would reach agreement on these principles first, we would all come to the same conclusion."

Price: $12 postpaid in U.S.

 

Published by Antiphon Books, Cortland, NY, USA

 

Contents

Acknowledgment
Preface
Introduction

SECTION I. APPLYING THE PRINCIPLES

1. Why Rules? . . . . . . . . 1

2. The Literal Principle . . . . . . 5

3. The Context Principle . . . . . 19

    A. Near Context . . . . . . . 21

    B. Far Context . . . . . . . 34

    C. Total Context . . . . . . 37

4. The Progressive Principle . . . . 39

    A. Law Teachings vs. Epistle Doctrines . 40

    B. Kingdom Teachings vs. Church Doctrine 46

5. Understanding Parables . . . . . 53

    A. Parables Interpreted Point by Point . 54

    B. One-Point Parables: Central Truth Given 56

    C. One-Point Parables: Central Truth not given Explicitly . . . . . . 59

    D. Parables Related to the Kingdom of Heaven . . . . . . . . 62

6. Biblical Spiritualizing . . . . . . 77

    A. Examples from Paul . . . . . 78

    B. Examples of Other Writers . . 81

    C. Examples of Prophetic Significance . 83

7. Types and Symbols . . . . . . 87

    Types . . . . . . . . . 87

    Symbols . . . . . . . . 97

8. Prophecy . . . . . . . . 101

    A. Historical Setting . . . . . . 102

    B. Prophecies with Double Fulfillment . 104

    C. Old Testament Prophecies and This Present Church Age . . . . . 107

    D. Symbolism and Prophecy . . . . 109

    E. Flashback in Prophecy . . . . 112

    F. Refer Back in Prophecy . . . . 115

9. The Application Principle . . . . 117

SECTION II. COMBINING THE PRINCIPLES

10. Free Will or Election: Which? . . . 141

11. The Millennium Enigma . . . . . 151

12. Divorce . . . . . . . . . 161

 

SECTION III. DEVELOPING THE PRINCIPLES: SPECIAL CASES

13. PRINCIPLE DEVELOPMENT:

Progressive Revelation . . . . . 169

    A. God's Communication with Man . . 169

    B. God's Purposes for Man . . . . 170

    C. God's Covenants with Man . . . 172

    Transition Books . . . . . . 175

14. PRINCIPLE DEVELOPMENT:

Spiritualizing . . . . . . . 181

15. PRINCIPLE DEVELOPMENT:

The Application Principle . . . . 189

    I. Determine the Intent . . . . 191

    II. Classify the Text . . . . . 191

        A. Principle statements . . . 192

        B. Subordinate Statements . . 194

Reflections . . . . . . . . . . 199

References . . . . . . . . . . 201

LIST OF TABLES

Table

1. Kingdom Parables Interpreted . . . 69

2. Examples of Spiritualizing . . . . 88

3. Fulfilled Feast Types . . . . . 89

4. Feast Types As Yet Unfulfilled . . . 90

5. Departure from Egypt Typified . . . 90

6. Joseph as a Type of Christ . . . . 91

7. Days of Creation Typified . . . . 92

8. A Wilderness Experience Typified . . 94

9. Events Leading Up to the Time Gap of Prophecy . . . . . . . . . 107

10. A Comparison of Prophetic Scriptures . 116

11. A List of the Ten Commandments . . 176

12. Spiritualizing by New Testament Standards 184

 

LIST OF FIGURES

Figures

1. Event-flow diagram of Revelation . . 113

2. Event-flow diagram of the seven-year period . . . . . . 114

3. Application flow chart . . . 137, 198

 

Published by Antiphon Books, an imprint of The Harp and Dragon, 25 Madison St, Cortland, NY 13045, USA.

Copyright 1995 by H. A. Habermehl, B.A.Sc. Edited by Anne Habermehl, B.Sc.
ISBN 0-9647260-0-9
Library of Congress Catalog Card number: 95-77490

 

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Telephone and fax 607-756-7372