I think these are really helpful although I'd like to comment on #10. Although this is very much true we can sometimes look too hard to make Jesus fit into things in a way he's not meant to. For a classic example, Song of Songs is a wonderful love poem and rightly praises romantic love. It does teach us about Jesus in that he shows us that he is a God who rejoices in love and sex in correct context. It is not, however, an allegory for Jesus and the church. I don't want Jesus climbing my palm trees and taking hold of my fruit, if you know what I mean!
10 Principles for Interpreting OT Narrative:
- A narrative usually does not directly teach a doctrine but rather illustrates a doctrine or doctrines taught propositionally elsewhere
- A narrative records simply what happened, not necessarily what should have happened or what should happen every time
- We’re not always told at the end of the narrative what was good & bad; narratives invite reflection and thoughtful pondering based on other teachings
- The things that happen in a narrative are not necessarily a positive example for us, even if the person is a positive figure by and large
- Most people are far from perfection; so are there actions
- All narratives are incomplete and selective in details; sometimes what is left out is as important as what is included (what is important is that we know everything the inspired author intended of us to know)
- A narrative is not written to answer all our theological questions and they are misinterpreted if we come with our questions, rather than the questions the narrator wants to answer
- God is the real ‘good’ character and the hero of all biblical narrative; he is the only one always worthy of emulation
- The historical narratives are always to be interpreted by the teaching material
- Always remember that Jesus told us the story is about him; you haven’t finished understanding the narrative as a Christian until you see how it helps you to understand and know and love him
Till Next Time!
H/T: Good book Company