I beleive the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated, copied, and interpreted correctly. In the course of my studies of the Bible, I've discovered that it has a long and convoluted history. So, these are my discoveries and my musings of Christian history and doctrines.

Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The Lost Writings of Papias Part 1

Some people might interpret a verse literally, symbolically or even allegorically. Sometimes it is obvious which method to use because the writer tells us directly. For example, Jesus told his disciples "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of his sleep." His disciples thought he was talking in a literal sense and that "he had spoken of taking rest in sleep." But that is not what Jesus meant. Next the gospel tells us: "Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is Dead." 1

On another occasion, Jesus told his disciples that "A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father." Because some of his disciples did not understand what Jesus was talking about, they said: "What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith." After explaining what He meant, Jesus then said "These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father." Later, His disciples said to Him: "His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb." 2

Another time, after Jesus had spoken unto the multitude in parables and then sent them away, His disciples came unto him and said "Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field." 3 Jesus then explained to them the parables and asked them "Have ye understood all these things?" and then they replied "Yea, Lord." 4

On yet another occasion, Peter asked Jesus "Declare unto us this parable." Whereupon Jesus asked "Are ye also yet without understanding?" 5 He then proceded to explain the meaning of the parable that he had just given.

Mark writes "But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples." 6 Note that in regards to the parables that Christ taught, Mark says He explained "all things" to his disciples and not "some things".

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to two of His disciples who were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Luke tells us that "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself." 7

As the apostles went about their ministry, often they would go about explaining the meaning of the scriptures. Paul sent many letters in which he tried to clear up any misunderstandings with regards to gospel principals. Paul himself said "Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech:" 8

To the unbelieving Jews, the gospel was given in parables. But to the followers of Jesus Christ, the gospel was explained in plain terms.

  1. John 11:11-14
  2. John 16:16-29
  3. Matthew 13:36
  4. Matthew 13:51
  5. Matthew 15:15-16
  6. Mark 4:34
  7. Luke 24:27
  8. 2 Corinthians 3:12


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