Saturday, February 20, 2010


The following is a useful guideline and resource from D.A. Carson to helps us more carefully interpret the scriptures. For my Proverbs students, these well compliment the principles we discussed in class. Take a look at these and see how your daily Reading Posts line-up against them.

Here is a helpful 1996
essay by D.A. Carson, offering some preliminary guidelines in answer to the question, “What parts of the Bible are binding mandates for us, and what parts are not?” And here’s an updated version of the essay in PDF.

Here’s the outline of his introductory principles on the topic:

1. As conscientiously as possible, seek the balance of Scripture, and avoid succumbing to historical and theological disjunctions.

2. Recognize that the antithetical nature of certain parts of the Bible, not least some of Jesus’ preaching, is a rhetorical device, not an absolute. The context must decide where this is the case.

3. Be cautious about absolutizing what is said or commanded only once.

4. Carefully examine the biblical rationale for any saying or command.

5. Carefully observe that the formal universality of proverbs and of proverbial sayings is only rarely an absolute universality. If proverbs are treated as statutes or case law, major interpretive and pastoral errors will inevitably ensue.

6. The application of some themes and subjects must be handled with special care, not only because of their intrinsic complexity, but also because of essential shifts in social structures between Biblical times and our own day.

And here is a shorter version of Carson's explantion of each point >>

3 John 8
Bill H.

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