Contextualism in Bible

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 270
  • Published : April 8, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
One of the biggest debates between Christians is how to read the Bible. By understanding what He meant by what He said, one can fulfill God’s will. There are various interpretations to His words. Contextualism, in the Bible, refers to interpreting text in context to which the Bible was written. From a contextualist view, because there are many books that come from various years, the reader must take into account the historical context at the time the book was written. Also, the reader must take into account the social, political, and theological context in order to get meaning from text. Contextualists also believe that God is the author of the Bible, through the words of human authors. When reading interpretations of scripture, it is easy to notice whether the interpretations have a contextual view or a literal view. One can also see the pros and cons of contextualism in its practice.

In Genesis, it can be read that the creation of the heavens and earth were created in six days by God. In the Bible, the term “yom” denotes the period of time that passes between each major creation event. Norman L. Geisler’s interpretation of the time of a “day” is as follows. . . It is true that most often the Hebrew word yom (“day”) means “twenty-four hours.” However, this is not definitive for its meaning in Genesis 1 for several reasons. First, the meaning of a term is not determined by majority vote, but by the context in which it is used. It is not important how many times it is used elsewhere, but how it is used here. Second, even in the creation story in Genesis 1–2, “day” (yom) is used of more than a twenty-four-hour period. Speaking of the whole six “days” of creation, Genesis 2:4 refers to it as “the day” (yom) when all things were created. Third, and finally, yom is elsewhere used of long periods of time, as in Psalm 90:4, which is cited in 2 Peter 3:8: “A day is like a thousand years.” (Norman L. Geisler, 639) According to Geisler, the time of a “day”...
tracking img