How To Understand The Scripture Episode 4
Civilization and culture: For instance, the message of the law and the message of faith are not the same. And they are given to different classes of people at different dispensation. The understanding of this fact will help a good teacher to communicate his teaching better. While correcting Apostle Peter, Apostle Paul said these words:
“But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
What Apostle Paul is communicating to Apostle Peter here is that in the old order, Apostle Peter is very correct. However, evaluating his message in this present truth, he is very wrong. Therefore is very important we know how to put a round peg in a round hole. And if we don’t know that, definitely in our teaching we will be found guilty of dispensing a wrong doctrine. Though, sometimes this mistake takes place knowingly or unknowingly.
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Civilization and Culture:
It’s vital for one to acquiesce that the writing of bible is within the evolution of times, histories and civilizations. Therefore, write-ups in the bible cannot escape the injection of things or events that occur through these times, histories and civilization. Again, while studying the bible is very important to study in the light of time, history and civilization. This will help to create a better understanding of the subject matter in focus. For instance the acts of worship under the auspices of Moses are quite different. We can ascertain this by going through the five books Moses wrote.
And in it, is clear that what is obtainable in the books of Prophets are varies from Moses’s method. The same is also with the Gospels and the Epistles. It is obvious that, times, histories and civilization affected the making of the writings. Hence culture becomes a permanent variable feature in the writings of the Scriptures. And one cannot take it away while studying the Scripture. If culture is not taken into consideration it may lead one taking some basic facts out of context.
Worthy to note is that in all of these, the only person that is constant is God. Even as events and histories and civilization continues to unfold. Therefore, in the light of this, the constant justifies the variables and not vice versa.
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As a matter of fact, while studying the bible, one should understand that God in His very essence did not change. Though affirmatively, or otherwise events and civilizations vary. The factor of time, history and civilization created a level of significant differences in the recordings of the Scripture. And this however, depicts something important and that is the scripture is written in a progressive revelation. Understand that as stated earlier that God in His very essence does not change. So He is constant in His nature and nothing can change Him. Nevertheless, as man continues to relate with God, His understanding among men continues to gain ascendency.
One may likely conclude that the God in the Old Testament is different from the God in the New Testament. Somehow, it may be fitting to say that they are two different personalities. This is possible if one looks at the activities ascribed to God in both Testaments. It is easy to deduce that the God in the Old Testament is a very wicked God and has a character problem. Well, the truth is that it is not so. The fact is that God’s revelation in man continues to increase and man became aware of certain realities about God.
This continues till the full revelation of God took place in Christ. That is said in order to say this. Whichever way the recordings portray God in the events and civilizations, the study should be in the light of Christ. The main reason is that the full revelation of God is in Christ. Therefore, one has no other option that to study the scripture in the light of Christ.
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The Knowledge Of God Is The Standard:
This is to say that we should see each and every event through the lens of Christ’s nature. If such does not comply with the nature of Christ, then it is not of God. No matter how glorious it may appear. This implies that to understand comprehensively the nature of God, events and civilization in the scripture cannot be the parameter. The misunderstanding of the subject of God’s nature is a huge issue. The lack of proper concise understanding of this subject has great impart in inducing erroneous doctrines in the church.
One cannot but accept the fact that civilization counts in the recording of the events in the Bible. The levels of civilization a certain people attended at a given time affected the way they lived their life. Overtime, this becomes what we call culture. So in the Bible days the people’s culture which is a product of their civilization has certain level of consideration in the recording. This is because it showcases the level of response of the people to the inducement of God’s knowledge or message in their lands.
Therefore, so many cultures in the bible days were regarded as vile, amorous and vulgar as the case maybe. The tagging of the cultures is rooted in the appraisal such cultures receive from those that know God. Therefore, the knowledge of God becomes the yardstick to judge cultures. However, this judgment is subject to the level of God’s revelation in man at a given time.
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To be continued…….
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