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icon1.gif  Miller's Rules of Bible Interpretation [message #1076] Fri, 26 February 2016 15:47 Go to next message
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Miller's Rules of Bible Interpretation


This page is an edited version of "Miller's Rules of Bible Interpretation," originally from The Second Advent Manual, by Apollos Hale. https://m.egwwritings.org/en/book/1203.579#581.


In studying the Bible, I have found the following rules to be of great service to myself, and now give them to the public by special request. Every rule should be well studied, in connection with the Scripture references, if the Bible student would be at all benefitted by them.

I. All Scripture is necessary, and may be understood by diligent application and study. 2 Timothy 3:15, 16, 17.

II. Every word must have its proper bearing on the subject presented in the Bible. Matthew 5:18.

III. Scripture must be its own expositor, since it is a rule of itself. If I depend on a teacher to expound it to me, and he should guess at its meaning, or desire to have it so on account of his sectarian creed, or to be thought wise, then his guessing, desire, creed, or wisdom, is my rule, not the Bible. Psalm 19:7-11; 119:97-105. Matthew 23, 8-10. 1 Corinthians 2, 12-16. Ezekiel 34:18, 19. Luke 11:52. Malachi 2:7, 8.

IV. To understand doctrine, bring all the Scriptures together on the subject you wish to know; then let every word have its proper influence, and if you can form your theory without a contradiction, you cannot be in an error. Isaiah 28:7-29; 35:8. Proverbs 19:27. Luke 24:27, 44, 45. Romans 16:26. James 5:19. 2 Peter 1:19, 20.

V. God has revealed things to come, by visions, in figures and parables; and in this way the same things are oftentimes revealed again and again, by different visions, or in different figures and parables. If you wish to understand them, you must combine them all in one. Psalm 89:19. Hosea 12:10. Habakkuk 2:2. Acts 2:17. 1 Corinthians 10:6. 9:9, 24. Psalm 78:2. Matthew 13:13, 34. Genesis 41:1-32 Daniel 2:7., and 8. Acts 10:9-16.

VI. Visions are always mentioned as such. 2 Corinthians 12:1.

VII.
How to know when a word is used figuratively. If it makes good sense as it stands, and does no violence to the simple laws of nature, then it must be understood literally; if not, figuratively. Revelation 12:1, 2; 17:3-7.

VIII. Figures always have a figurative meaning, and are used much in prophecy to represent future things, times, and events; such as mountains, meaning governments; beasts, meaning kingdoms. Waters, meaning people. Lamp, meaning Word of God. Day, meaning year. Daniel 2:35, 44; 7:8, 17. Revelation 17:1, 15. Psalm 119:105. Ezekiel 4:6, 7. To learn the true meaning of figures, trace your figurative word through your Bible, and, where you find it explained, put it on your figure, and if it makes good sense, you need look no further; if not, look again.

X. Figures sometimes have two or more different significations; as day is used in a figurative sense to represent three different periods of time. 1. Indefinite. 2. Definite, a day for a year. 3. Day for a thousand years. Ecclesiastes 7:14. Ezekiel 4:6, 2 Peter 3:8.

XI. Parables are used as comparisons to illustrate subjects, and must be explained in the same way as figures, by the subject and Bible. Mark 4:13.

XII. To know whether we have the true historical event for the fulfilment of a prophecy. If you find every word of the prophecy (after the figures are understood) is literally fulfilled, then you may know that your history is the true event. But if one word lacks a fulfilment, then you must look for another event, or wait its future development. For God takes care that history and prophecy doth agree, so that the true, believing children of God may never be ashamed. Psalm 21:5. Isaiah 45:17-19. 1 Peter 2:6. Revelation 17:17. Acts 3:18.

XIII. The most important rule of all is, that you must have faith. It must be a faith that requires a sacrifice, and, if tried, would give up the dearest object on earth, the world and all its desires, character, living, occupation, friends, home, comforts, and worldly honors. If any of these should hinder our believing any part of God's word, it would show our faith to be vain. Nor can we ever believe, so long as one of these motives lies lurking in our hearts. We must believe that God will never forfeit His word. And we can have confidence that He that takes notice of the sparrow, and numbers the hairs of our head, will guard the translation of his own word, and throw a barrier around it, and prevent those who sincerely trust in God, and put implicit confidence in his word, from erring far from the truth, though they may not understand Hebrew or Greek.

These are some of the most important rules which I find the word of God warrants me to adopt and follow, in order for system and regularity. And if I am not greatly deceived, in so doing, I have found the Bible, as a whole, one of the most simple, plain, and intelligible books ever written, containing proof in itself of its Divine origin, and full of all knowledge that our hearts could wish to know or enjoy. I have found it a treasure which the world cannot purchase. It gives a calm peace in believing, and a firm hope in the future. It sustains the mind in adversity, and teaches us to be humble in prosperity. It prepares us to love and do good to others, and to realize the value of the soul. It makes us bold and valiant for the truth, and nerves the arm to oppose error. It gives us a powerful weapon to break down infidelity, and makes known the only antidote for sin. It instructs us how death will be conquered, and how the bonds of the tomb must be broken. It tells us of future events, and shows the preparation necessary to meet them. It gives us an opportunity to hold conversation with the King of kings, and reveals the best code of laws ever enacted.

This is but a faint view of its value; yet how many perishing souls treat it with neglect, or, what is equally as bad, treat it as a hidden mystery which cannot be known! Oh, my dear reader, make it your chief study. Try it well, and you will find it to be all I have said. Yes, like the Queen of Sheba, you will say the half was not told you.


"Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." Isaiah 50:10.

[Updated on: Fri, 26 February 2016 15:49]

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Re: Miller's Rules of Bible Interpretation [message #1107 is a reply to message #1076] Wed, 02 March 2016 16:28 Go to previous message
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EDIT: This message was originally directed to a message from a now former member of this forum which I was confused about.


"Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the Lord, and stay upon his God." Isaiah 50:10.

[Updated on: Sun, 13 March 2016 17:04]

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