Friday, November 02, 2007

New Interpretations Tested by Church History

Please note: This post is a bit long, but if you have ever read anything by John Gill or Charles Spurgeon, it is worth it.

Recently I had some email communication undergo some questionable interpretive procedures, and, well, the hilarity ensued. I began the chain event with a call to plan a Christmas get-together for our Sunday School class...
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Christmas season is approaching quickly! I would love for our Sunday School class to get together and celebrate. . . . Let's not do any gift exchanges . . . Don't get me wrong, I enjoy gifts more than you do, but let's make this about us helping others . . . But I'm going to be disappointed if we fellowship together somehow! . . .

Someone called me out on my type-o, and I sent a quick update with this text:
But I'm going to be disappointed if we don't fellowship together somehow!

In order to maintain Terry's someone's dignity, I won't tell you who responded with this interpretive work:
I think authorial intent was that he was gonna be bummed out if we got together and did not bring him any gifts. I arrived at this by exegeting the E-mail (he likes gifts more than we do and he wants us to do something for others and he still wants us to get together) that was preserved for us by God! After all, He is sovereign.
Just my interpretation of the passage!

So, quickly, I recovered by responding:
You know, this is proof that we cannot see into the minds of the authors of the Bible. We must only take them at their Word.

Now, don't give up yet. This is the best part, from our very own church historian:

Brothers and Sisters,

You know.... after watching the "Amazing Grace" DVD on Sunday nights.... and hearing R.C. Sproul helpfully comment on the fact that if a person comes up with a new interpretation or one that cannot be found in the history of the church that it is probably false.... I thought it necessary to run brother Terry's interpretation of Todd's email through the test of church history. Thus, I went to the commentaries on this one and consulted John Gill, Matthew Henry, John Macarthur, and one of Charles Spurgeon's sermons. Here's what I found.

John Gill wrote: "In the firsteth email, one couldeth observetheth that the original writer of the email, with fingertipest to the keys accidentalliest tappeth the wrongest key. The factest that the writer wouldest be in much sorrow if those assembled in the church, those predestined before the foundation of the world, justified, and in the future glorified, who have taken part in churches two sacraments, namelieth baptism and the Lord's Supper, did not participatiteth in some event during the Christmas season gives us reason to believe that he is a Calvinistic Baptist. He meanteth to typeth "don't getteth togetherest" but insteadeth typest in the first email "do getteth togetherest." This email needs to be compared with the newest manuscripts which do in fact prove that the inspired writer of this email meanteth to sayeth "don't getteth togetherest." Three things therefore remaineth.& nbsp; The orginal writer wantest to get togetherest with those within the church, not to bring gifts for the other or for himself but to share Christ's love with others so that the elect may come. We also have reasoneth to believeth that the writer of the email is Superlapsarian.

Matthew Henry wrote, "By lookingnest to the original manuscripts it seems as though the most holy author of this there original email had his lofty and holy affections and desires setteth on typing "don't getteth togetherest". But do to a war which took place within this person's very soul, between the flesh and the Spirit, the writer's right index finger failed to reach down and hitteth the letter "N" with clarity and precision and thus an error took place in the original manuscripts. It is likely that a Masorite (Scott Lee) later came along and noticed the error and had it then correctedeth. This appears to be the case due to the evidence that we find in the SL translation "I'm going to be disappointed if we don't fellowship together somehow." It is the most recent manuscript available. We have everyieth reason to believe that the original writer of that email was baptized as an infant, due to the testimony of his parents belief in the gospel, the original writers love for his brethren and sistren and therefore have every reason to believe that the person is in the covenant."

John Macarthur commented, "In the first dispensation of this email the writer wrote "I'm going to be disappointed if we DO fellowship together somehow." Someone in a later dispensation came along, noticed the unfortunate error and recommended that the sentence be changed to "disappointed if we DON'T fellowship together somehow." We also have evidence in this statement to believe that the church will be raptured before the great tribulation and that Christ will return, set up a millenial kingdom which will also include the Old Testament sacrificial system. Those that don't believe in the message communicated in the original email should expect to be left behind to go through the great tribulation period."

And Charles Spurgeon commented, "Listen here men, women, young boys, and little girls, remember that in the firsteth email we have the welcome of the original author to cometh at once and welcome to this here Christmas party, bringeth a gift only to give away, and enjoyeth the fellowship. Do this and the Lord will be Glorified and His saints will be encouraged! We knoweth that not onest can do this unless it has been granted to him to do so, but to those who cometh we know that there election of this party is sure. Do this now, don't let your conscience cause you to linger from coming, sendeth your RSVP as soon as possible.... and the author of that email will welcometh you with open arms. Just as the Father welcomenest his long lost prodigal son. There's no need to walk an isle... just believeth the intent of the email at once, even while your sitting there in your office chair a nd then show your belief in this here email by sending an RSVP and coming to the party!! Let us pray..."

These are the observations that I found and thus brother Terry's interpretation seems to fall within the interpretation of the history of the church! God Bless you brother for your helpful insight in this matter!

Happy Reformation Day,


Wow. Hope you enjoyed.


1 comment:

Terry Delaney said...

I deny all charges!