Presupposition: We must be under God’s Word as disciples, not over it to “use it”.
People can “shed light” on the Bible with a “theological interpretation” or a magisterium.
Traditions develop and entrench. People base spiritual well-being on man-made constructions.
• Matthew 15:6 “Indeed you disregard the message of God by means of your tradition”
o Context: Jesus was confronting the Pharisee’s hypocrisy. The Pharisees were
looking to subjugate the Lord and His disciples by charging them with disobedience
to their man-made traditions. They spoke on a level that did not match true regard.
o Exegetical notes:
- Akuro (disregard) is in the indicative, aorist, 2nd person plural. This is a
general address to the group.
- Logos (message) is accusative, singular. This is action against Jesus, the
message God gives concerning redemption.
- Paradosis (tradition) is preceded by dia (by means of→instrumentality)
o Reflection: Institutions become established by taking up a particular point of
doctrine, hammer it into a bludgeon, and cower people to be zealous for it, usually for
pecuniary ends. It is high-handed to put an interpretative grid over the Bible to make
it say what that grid requires. This only serves to alienate people from God.
• Colossians 2:8 “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive
philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather
than on Christ.”
o Context: Paul desires that the Colossians be encouraged and united in Jesus. He is
the only place they need to go to find wisdom and knowledge. To be rooted and
grateful is not enough to resist the forces of the world. We must be vigilant.
o Exegetical notes:
- Blepo (watch out for) is in the imperative, 2nd person plural. Paul gives
commands to the entire church. He does not speak to individuals.
- Sulagegen (take control of) is a present and active participle in the singular.
- Philosophia (human wisdom) stands in contrast with divine revelation.
- Kenes apates (foolish misleading) draws its power from rooted traditions and
the world’s basic principles, deception with no good result or purpose.
o Reflection: God is leading us into the new creation, free from sin and evil. The
familiar “old stuff” has a pull, but exercising faith in Jesus loosens its grip.
• Ecclesiastes 12:11-12 “The sayings of the wise are like goads, and those from masters of
collections are like firmly embedded nails. The sayings are given by One Shepherd. But
beyond these, my son, be warned…”
- Context: Solomon reflected on how he sought out to write down proverbs with
precision. He realizes God is the master over revelation, and indeed is his Shepherd.
- Exegetical notes:
- Dabar (sayings) connotes words that must result in acts.
- Hakam (wise) are people who know what they are doing.
- Darbon (goads} is an instrument to urge others on
- Ba’al (master) a husband owns and lords over his own
- Asupa (collections) collection of learned men
- Ehad (one) one and only one
- Nata (embedded) fixed and established
- Reflection: There are those who say they have a “word from God.” Others write to give their take on things. I am warned against these. Only the Bible can be relied upon. Yet, God is not limited to my understanding of it. A disciple must remain open
to learn, even change his or her thinking to comport with Scriptural discoveries.