Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Interpretative Principles for Paul's Vocabulary

First, always understand words by their literal meaning - or better, their common usage - unless context demands otherwise.
Then, do not force any specific contextual meaning onto other more general occurrences of the same word that lack the same, confining context.
Finally, do not read other passages (or doctrines or systems of theology) "into" a specific passage without first listening to what the passage itself says - and does not say.
Remember these principles when reading Paul's "multiple" and varied uses of the word "law" in Romans. (This probably also applies to other Pauline words like "sin", "all", and "everyone" as well.)

These are good conservative, grammatical-historical interpretive principles. If they lead you to some non-traditional readings of Paul's letters, you are still a conservative Christian.