Nazarene Space

Rules and Tools for Prophetic Interpretation

"The Golden Rule of Interpretation:"
"'Take every word at its primary, ordinary, usual, literal meaning unless the facts of the context indicate otherwise.' This rule is recognized by all logicians, grammarians, and rhetoricians as the true criterion by which one must be governed. When one is guided by this princple he cannot go far afield. On the other hand, if he ignores it, he is free to roam at liberty and can never know whether he has interpreted the Word of God correctly." This rule is often quoted by prophecy scholars, but rarely is Dr. David L. Cooper given any credit for it, though as far as I can see, he is the first to put it to use for prophetic interpretation as far back as 1935.

Another rule is stated week after week by Dr. Jack Van Impe on his television show: "The Bible interprets the Bible." For proof look at the Book of Revelation, in which most of the Bible's prophetic symbols wind up, so all you have to do is go back through the Bible and see how the symbol was used before. However, Yeshua used some prophetic symbols not found in any Scripture before like the seven stars and the seven lampstands, Revelation 1:12. Yet here still the Bible interprets the Bible" as seen in Revelation 1:20.

Some good tools for prophetic interpretation is a King James Bible and a Strong's Concordance. Every word in the King James Bible is listed in the Strong's Concordance along with every verse the word is used in. You also can look up the word's true meaning in the Strong's Concordance's ancient Hebrew and Greek dictionaries in the back of the book.

These rules and tools will keep you focused on the Biblical way of interpreting the prophetic Word not the human way of interpreting the prophetic Word. They will keep you close to the Biblical truth and away from human error.

Views: 307

Comment by Paula McJunkin on June 16, 2009 at 2:35pm
Great Post!!
Comment by WESLEY MOREIRA SILVA on June 16, 2009 at 2:53pm
Comment by Shawn on June 16, 2009 at 3:00pm
intersting couple of rules. I enjoyed reading it. I have a couple of thoughts...

"Dr. David L. Cooper... he is the first to put it to use for prophetic interpretation as far back as 1935."

A rule that dates back only to 1935? Shouldn't that be called "a modern idea on interpreting prophecy" rather than a rule of interpreting prophecy?

As for the second rule where it is stated "Yeshua used some prophetic symbols not found in any scripture before" - Some may find it interesting to know that a great number of the events, symbols, and ideas found in the book of Revelation can also be found in the Zohar. Although certain aspects of the NT may appear NEW to us, to the Jew who has maintained the oral traditions of the kabbalah, the concepts in the NT are old news.
Comment by James Trimm on June 16, 2009 at 3:37pm
Wasn't the first led by a prophet?... I'm just sayin... seems like a self contradiction...

"Surely Adonai YHWH will do nothing,
but he he reveals his secret to his servants the prophets."
(Amos 3:7)

And boy is he getting ready to do something...

Just a thought, and I am not pointing to ANYONE that I think is a modern prophet.
Comment by James E. Auel on June 16, 2009 at 4:50pm
Torah whether Genesis or Revelations or any writing that fit in to true Torah has three ways it can be read. Literal, Allegorical, Spiritual. The allegorical and the Spiritual forms can never take away from the literal, meaning no personal interpretation. "This verse was written for me and is referring to me specifically." Only Messiah can say that! He is the WORD that's why!

Note: don't compartmentalize!!! Just because a verse or chapter happen to be there, make sure the thought is done. The verse and chapter were made by a preist that did a verse or chapter every time his donkey changed direction while riding it. The words are inspired, the verse and chapter markings aren't!

Example: Acts 10 and 11 In Chapter 10 Peter was given a vision of unclean animals. It's not till chapter 11 that we find out what the vision really is about. Food to eat aren't what the vision is about!

Yah's Blesssings and Shalom!!!!!!!
Comment by James Trimm on June 16, 2009 at 8:09pm
If the Messiah in his first coming was the "perfect" referenced in 1Cor. 13 then there would have been no prophets in the NT... but instead we have reference to prophets (Acts 13:1) Paul teaches about prophecy in 1Cor. 12 and 14 as if it is a cuurent gift, and of course the book of Revelation is an entire book of prophecy. So 1Cor. 13's "perfect" cannot be the first coming of Messiah.
Comment by Charles William Gilbert on June 17, 2009 at 9:16am
I enjoyed this post since I am interested in the prophetic books of the Bible. Charles Gilbert


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