The Bible has been used to justify a number of Christian beliefs through the centuries. It has been used to support slavery, racism, and the degradation of women. Over time, some of these literal translations of scripture were replaced by interpreted views of the Bible. Such revisions were morally justifiable as a commitment to living by the spirit of the Savior rather than the strictly confined letter of Old Testament law. These changes have represented a subtle evolving denominational shift in the understanding of scripture.
There are two general approaches to understanding the Bible which merit review. Institutional Adventism has traditionally employed the "historical-grammatical method" characterized by a literal translation of scripture.13 Some Adventists believe that because the writing of biblical authors was divinely inspired, the written words are absolutely accurate to history, fact and description. There is some difficulty with this method relating millennia-old metaphorical descriptions relevantly to current times. While some Adventists take great pride in being known as a "Bible-believing Adventist," at some level, most employ some degree of interpretation. If Adventist Christians were to live by the absolute literal translation of all scripture, their world might be a very brutal place to this day replete with public stonings and floggings.
Given the limitations of strict literalism, some Adventist scholars are coming to consider the merit of other approaches to understanding scriptures. These methods include a "historical-critical" of Biblical interpretation--also known as "form criticism" or "higher criticism."14 In this method, context, tandem historical events, language translation, and the review of metaphorical idiom become part of a dynamic of understanding the Bible. This method recognizes both the limitations and necessity of words--accepting that the spirit of the message must start with language, but that the message only begins there.
This evolving shift from a dogmatic literal translation of scripture to an interpretive evaluation of scripture is fundamentally important to the continued relevancy of the Bible in twentieth century contexts. Furthermore, as a shift in the Adventist theological paradigm, it is compatible with traditional Adventist commitments to education and higher learning. This change has fundamental import to the issue of homosexuality, for it is the possibility of an interpretive view that allows the potential of Christian acceptance for gay men and lesbian women. Admittedly, there is a "middle ground" between these two scriptural positions that many Adventist church members and clergy find to be a compromise. Some Adventists are able to entertain the possibility (to varying degrees) of interpreting scripture rather than solely relying on a literal translation.
13. Ervin Taylor, reviews Receiving the Word: How New Approaches to the Bible Impact Our Biblical Faith and Lifestyle, by Samuel Koranteng-Pipim, in Adventist Today, March-April 1997, 7.
|Última actualización en Viernes, 14 de Septiembre de 2012 20:48|