“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5

LIGHT FOR NOW: You can’t give the bible a careless reading approach and not arrive at improper interpretation and application.

In our previous study as we begun taking the interpretation a step further, we looked at the golden rule of the scripture which is: The bible will never mean today what it never meant when it was first written or a text of scripture can never mean what it never meant. Recall, the interpretation of a text must be what the author intended when he wrote it. Let’s begin to explore the first interpretation which is: Interpretation of literal or figurative expressions. For example, if a sentence is written in a plain literal way, it must be retained that way. However, where a sentence has pictorial and figurative expressions or explanations, one has a duty to find out its meaning as explained in the scripture. The golden rules in the interpretation of literal or figurative expressions are:

  • Whenever a statement is impossible (naturally), a figure of speech is intended.
  • In bible reading, never make the figurative literal and the literal figurative.
  • When you literally interpret a figurative expression, you miss out of the author’s intent of using such figurative expressions.
  • Figurative expressions (most often in scriptures) communicate spiritual truths.

Therefore, in bible interpretation, the figurative shouldn’t be taken literally and the literal shouldn’t be taken figuratively. in bible reading, the literal should be taken as literal and the figurative should be taken as figurative. The instance one makes a literal statement figurative or vice versa, one deviates from the meaning of the statement. Hence, one must read carefully to see if the words, phrases or sentences in view are used literally or figuratively. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Never be careless in bible reading.

PRAYER: I declare that I am delighted, alert and focused in bible study whenever I am studying, in Jesus Name, Amen.

QUOTE: The literal shouldn’t be taken figurative and the figurative shouldn’t be taken literal in bible interpretation.


Published by lightfromtheworddevotional

Light from the word is a scripture based daily devotional by Prophet (Dr.) John Linus, Senior Pastor Word of Faith Covenant Assembly Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

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