When I began teaching classes at a local Bible College, one statement that kept coming up was “we preach themes.”
By this I meant we don’t preach beliefs that are founded on one or two Scripture passages. Instead we emphasise what Scripture emphasises.
Along that same line, preaching themes means that we find the theme (core truth) of the passage through observation.
Sadly this is becoming less and less prevalent as individuals are placing their own interpretation upon Scripture passages instead of letting the Bible speak for itself.
Friday I finished teaching a class on the major prophets covering Isaiah through to Daniel. The commentary used as a my secondary source did an excellent job of literally interpreting all of the prophecies.
That is…..until we came to Daniel seven!
It was amazing to see a scholar who had so carefully interpreted Scripture for so many chapters go to incredible lengths in Daniel to explain why “the passage doesn’t mean what it looks like it means.” 1
This reached a climax when he explained the seventy-weeks of Daniel didn’t refer to the Antichrist, but instead Herod the Great. He was able to produce many historical facts to back this up, but of course no Scripture!
Thankfully the students were immediately able to see the problem with his interpretation 2. But my heart aches for many Believers who would believe this kind of false doctrine.
In a world that looks at a passage and says “I know what that means!” may we allow Scripture to speak for itself.