When people learn I have a Bible study podcast, I’m often asked: “You don’t interpret the Bible literally, do you?!” This question is usually accompanied by a peculiar look and a raised eyebrow, suggesting that no self-respecting adult would ever do such a thing.
My answer is: “Of course, I do.”
Interpreting the Bible literally means interpreting the Bible according to the way it was written.
When it’s written in the form of a narrative, I interpret it according to the rules of narrative. When it’s written in the form of poetry, I interpret it according to the rules of poetry and so forth. We may reject what Scripture says, but we have no right to twist it to say something the authors never meant to say.
Now that we’ve finished the beatitudes, I’m taking a break from the podcast to celebrate the arrival of my newest grandchild and spend lots of time with family. We’ll resume in September with the next section of the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew’s Gospel.
July 2021 Podcasts
The pure in heart are not those who are morally perfect. Rather their hearts have been cleansed of rebellion and rejection of God. The pure in heart live like the gospel is true, though not perfectly. One day they will stand before God and be accepted.
Like the merciful, those commit the costly act of refusing to answer injury for injury and seeking a peaceful reconciliation instead will find their inheritance as children of God in the kingdom of heaven. When we realize how deeply we ourselves are indebted to God’s grace and dependent on His mercy, we also realize we’re in no position to condemn the sins of others.
People marked by the being poor in spirit, mourning over sin, hungering for righteousness, pursuing peace and mercy, etc. will draw the hostility of the world, but they will be rewarded with eternal life in the kingdom of God. We, his disciples, are not to shrink from following Jesus for fear that the world might hate us. We are to follow him, even though that invites mocking, scoffing and persecution.
Bible Study Resources
- Word Study: mercy, eleeó
- Word Study: comfort, parakaleō
- Word Study: stumble, skandalizō
- Word Study: immorality, porneia
- 5C’s of Bible Study
- Bible Study 101: Observation
- Bible Study 101: Interpretation
- Bible Study Convictions
- 3 Tips for Bible Study in a post-truth world
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