Bible Reading Like An Apostle: Reading for the Purpose of Application
As we begin to examine the apostles' example for reading Scripture it is important to note that though we may distinguish between biblical interpretation and biblical application– and this may be a helpful distinction to make on a regular basis– we must never separate the two. Scripture is useful so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Understanding this, we realize that when the apostles read the Scripture, they did so for the specific purpose of applying it to their lives and the lives of others in the Church. This is why the Apostle Paul may read a particular civil law from Moses: Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain (Deut. 25:4 NIV 1984), and derive a principle for specific application within the New Covenant community (see 1 Cor. 9:8-12). We too are to read the Bible with this purpose, as instructed by the Apostle, ”Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom,” (Col. 3:16a NIV 1984). So we cannot imagine that we may properly interpret what is being communicated in the biblical text unless we come to the Scripture with a fervent desire to put what God has revealed into practice.
Labels: Bible study