Having seen on this site over and over again a problem of confrontation and arguments over Scripture, I thought I would post something that hopefully would be of a help to all of us. If you are concerned about rightly dividing the Word of God, then you are involved with a subject biblical scholars call hermeneutics. So then, hermeneutics is simply interpretation — hopefully, correct interpretation. But in the matter of hermeneutics, there is one important question: Whose hermeneutics are to be used? More specifically, is there a system of hermeneutics that will legitimately interpret the Bible? Guidelines must be found that will bring the confident assurance that Scripture is not being violated. A few moments’ thought will bring to mind the paramount fact that everyone who enters into a system of ideas brings with him a body of assumptions. One’s thoughts and expectations are inevitably colored by a lifetime of experience, teaching and emotions. Having said that, there is really only two ways of understnading the Scriptures: 1. Allagorical. 2. Literal. The allegorical method of interpreting Scripture became an attempt to replace Israel with the church. Those early church theologians adopted God’s promises made to Israel and claimed them for the church, saying that the Jews were no longer the Chosen People. Such rendering of the Old Testament fuels anti-Semitic feelings. Today, some people have been led to doubt that the Jews are Jews. They claim that people of white European descent are the true Jews, and that the rebirth of the state of Israel has nothing to do with the fulfillment of prophecy. Some even claim that Israel does not have a right to exist. But, I can tell you, that when Hitler looked for Jews to kill, he knew where they were! In the eyes of modern conservative interpreters, the real effect of these early commentators was to forever discredit the allegorical method of interpretation. It became a violation of hermeneutics to look beneath the surface of the Word for secondary or hidden narratives that have spiritual or prophetic significance. Most theologians shy away from using the very term “allegory,” but instead, refer to certain allegorical passages as “types and symbols.” The problem with the allegorical method, is that the literal meaning of the passage is usely disregarded in favor of the allegory. This is dangerous. It leads to fanciful interpretations that have no basis in fact. The interpretation then lies in the imagination and thoughts of the interpreter. All biblical passages must follow the guidelines set forth in the plain meaning of the Word. A type or symbol must ring true to the context of Scripture. LITERAL INTERPRETATION gives to each word the same exact basic meaning it would have in normal, ordinary, customary usage, whether employed in writing, speaking or thinking. In other words it is PLAIN. The literal meaning of sentences is the normal approach in all languages. It does many things but 3 of them are obvious. 1. The literal meaning of sentences is the normal approach in all languages. 2. All secondary meanings of documents, parables, types, allegories, and symbols, depend for their very existence on the previous literal meaning of the terms. 3. The greater part of the Bible makes adequate sense when interpreted literally. The literalistic approach does not blindly rule out figures of speech, symbols, allegories, and types; but if the nature of the sentence so demands, it readily yields to the literal sense. And here is the one thing that it does the best: The literal method is the only sane and safe check on the imaginations of man. The literal method recognizes that types, symbols, metaphors and allegories are found throughout the Bible. However, these are used to expound upon and explain the literal message of Scripture. John 1:6 says, “There was a man sent from God whose name was John.” That is literal. But John 1:29 shows John pointing to Jesus and saying, “Behold the Lamb of God.” That is figurative or symbolic. The literalist does not deny the existence of figurative language. The literalist does, however deny that such figures must be interpreted so as to destroy the literal truth intended through the employment of the figures. As with all things I post, all are welcome to disagree with it. I just hope some will read this and understand where some arguments tend to spring from. Uselly, it is because of this stated differance of how we grasp and understand the Scriptures. Have a good day and God bless.