6 Mar 2010

Were the apostles' letters understood when written?

Submitted by theshovel
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This writer contacted me after having read the following article on confession.

This was altogether a surprise and a welcome surprise. Your premise that the audience UNDERSTOOD his message is the door for understanding. I am disposed to accept your view. It is plausible and resonates. I WANT to believe it. Thank you. JJ

Hello jj!

Good to hear from you again. Yes, I am firmly convinced that the letters of the apostles were written in such a way as to be understood, at least as to what they were getting at. Of course, that doesn't mean that each one of them understood or even believed everything they had written, but they were not baffled by the wording. They may have thought that the writer was off his rocker because of the absurdity of what was being proposed, simply because they understood the direction of his message. Remember how even the Pharisees had understood that Jesus' parables referred to themselves even though they were blinded to really understand the truth? With John's letter, his words struck a resounding note to those who had ears to hear. Even though the believers to whom John wrote had been intimidated by certain deceivers among them, they were stirred from within by his words. As you stated, it resonated within them of the life that also witnessed to them. This is the power of the message of Christ to those who believe. It calls to them according to the wisdom of God, and they hear and believe. Life from the dead overcomes all human wisdom. :)

Jim

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I have to believe they were understood, since the fundamental principle of interpreting a passage is to understand what it meant to those to whom it was originally addressed. What annoys me is to encounter someone who insists there is a secret or symbolic meaning lurking below the surface, as though God were an employee of the CIA sending out coded messages. Such wander far away from the plain sense of the passage and develop an entire superstructure built on thin air!
theshovel's picture

I'm with you on that whole secret or symbolic malarkey. When people overlook the amazing life of Christ that is testified to within the pages of the Bible, I suspect their desperation to gain some kind of message from God leads them into futile attempts such as what you're describing. Thanks for your response. :)

Jim

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Random Shovelquote: No differences in Christ (view all shovelquotes)

... in Him there are no differences because His Spirit has truly made us one!! True understanding comes as my measuring sticks keep getting snapped and I once again have my eyes opened to the measureless life of Christ who is MY life.   source