Thursday, November 11, 2010

Interpretation and Application of Scripture Part 2

Bringing joy. Proverbs 10:1 has a narrow interpretation but broad application: “A wise
son brings joy to his father, but a foolish son grief to his mother."

The “interpretation” is narrow, referring only to sons and the joy they bring to fathers or the grief they bring to mothers. However, the “application” is much broader. Wise children bring joy to the whole family, extended family, and many interested parties, while foolish children bring
grief to people.

Drunk on wine
. Ephesians 5:18 (NIV), says not to get drunk on wine, which leads to
debauchery. The “interpretation” is very narrow, simply forbidding getting drunk on
wine. However, the “application” (with help from the scope of Scripture) would include
getting drunk on any alcoholic beverage, and would even go beyond that to include
anything that compromises us mentally or physically, such as recreational drugs, which
also lead to “debauchery” (the Greek word means reckless abandon, dissipation,

Interestingly, the Old Testament also connects alcohol to reduced sexual
inhibition (Hab. 2:15). Thus a proper conclusion to draw from this verse is that Christians
should not be drunk on wine or other alcoholic beverages, or use recreational drugs or
other such things that lead away from God to a lifestyle of dissipation.


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