While providing an online forum a sort of layman‚Äôs look at hermeneutical practices I faced some opposition. Much of it was in the shadows where I couldn‚Äôt see, but some was in the light of day where all could witness.
One in particular motivated me to write these thoughts. The person accused me of using human methods to studying the Bible instead of the Holy Spirit. He stated that his method (the correct method) of interpreting and studying the Bible was to use the Holy Spirit‚Äôs revelation – only. In other words, leave the commentaries, footnotes, and lexicons alone and bend your knees.
I agreed to some extent. In fact, prior to his comments I argued that Bible study without the involvement of the Holy Spirit through prayer can be futile if not just bad practice. It can lead the student into error and more likely a judgmental attitude since knowledge puffs up. He managed to miss that part before commenting.
His comments were misguided in another sense, too. (And I couldn‚Äôt help but find it humorous.) He stood strong on not using any human influence or assistance – that was his argument. He went to great lengths to argue it. But, he was an American unlearned in the original languages. So he was reading an American translation. Moreover, no one has the originals. Moreover, human wrote the Bible (under the inspiration of God).
So I wondered, ‚ÄúCan a believer truly study the Bible without any human intervention?‚Äù Not at all. In fact, where would he find the original manuscripts? He didn’t have them. He was using a King James Version of the Bible. So I turned to Acts 9:5 and asked him what is a prick? (Pun was intended, but I don’t think he got it.)