Monday, October 14, 2019

An Estonian clergy wrote:

We must not interpret the Bible in a too narrow way. We must interpret it in its full scope, without reducing nor reinterpreting its message. We must not remove or reinterpret the parts that seem inappropriate to modern humans, because that would leave only a pitiful shadow of the Holy Scripture. The revelation given to Moses and the prophets is to be taken as it has been passed on to us. (…) The valid interpretation is the one Jesus taught his disciples and which those passed on to us, and which the church has taught throughout the centuries without change. This is the right interpretation, any different interpretation is wrong or distorted.

(Arne Hiob, 10 October at 20:15 on Facebook group “Kiriku sõbrad”)

That’s the teaching of a Bible fetishist (somebody who takes the Bible for the Word of God).

Questions I’d ask to Arne:

  • Does “interpretation” mean how to apply it to concrete questions like legislation about LGTB people, divorce, abortion?

  • Which church has taught throughout centuries without any change in their interpretation? The Roman Catholic one? The Estonian Lutheran church?

  • Do you agree that there are humans who studied the Bible thoroughly and who come to opposite results regarding above questions?

  • Do you agree that Jesus says (Mt 10:14-15) that those who refuse to welcome his disciples are worse than the people of Sodom and Gomorra?

Actually I even translated these questions and asked him on that same group:

Milline kirik on õpetanud evangeeliumit muutumatult läbi sajandite? Kas mõne usuõpetuse “tõlgendus” tähendab, kuidas seda õpetust rakendada konkreetsetes küsimustes nagu nt. Maa kuju, orjapidamise, LGTB inimeste või abielu lahutamise suhtes? Kas on olemas inimesi, kes jõuavad või on jõudnund nendes küsimustes tulemustele, mis on kiriku tulemustega vastuolus? Kas nende hulgas leidub ka inimesi, kes õppisid Piiblit tõsiselt? Kellel on kohtupäeval hõlpsam põli: “Soodoma- ja Gomorramaa” või “Need kes Jeesuse õpetust vastu ei võta”? (Mt 10:14-15) Kas Sõna sai lihaks või raamatuks? (Jh 1:14)

But don’t expect me to translate his answers here. Enough philosophy for today! (I hope!)