One of the most important tools essential for proper biblical interpretation, or indeed for the interpretation of any book at all, is to recognize that not all words are used exactly the same way in every instance. This principle is not difficult to master, because it is regularly and intuitively understood. When, for example, someone says "you can reach me on my cell," we automatically choose the proper definition of the word "cell" from a list of various interpretive options. Since the context above is communication, not biology, or criminal justice, the reference to the word "cell" is correctly perceived to refer to a cell phone, rather than to a living biological cell, or to a prison cell.
Shane Rosenthal is executive producer of The White Horse Inn national radio broadcast which can be heard online at www.whitehorseinn.org.
Issue: "What Does it Mean to be Good?" May/June 2006 Vol. 15 No. 3 Page number(s): 16-17
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