What are the 8 basic principles of how to properly interpret and understand the Scriptures?  All but one of these principles is basic on the teachings found within the Scriptures.  I have found these 7 principles beneficial when needing to discern between what is consistent with the teachings of Scriptures and those ideas that are simply man-made.  If we all would simply follow these 8 principles, there would be a lot less confusion and division within God’s people.

 1.  THE UNITY OF SCRIPTURES.  Just as God is One, so His Word is also One.  Just as it is taught in the Sh’mah,

Hear, O Isra’el, the LORD our God, the LORD is One.  (Deuteronomy 6:4)

The Bible is not to be divided up – or seen as two or more distinctively different revelations from God as Christianity teaches – but the Bible is to be seen as One Continuous text with One Continuous Revelation from God.  The breaking up of the Bible into two parts – an “Old Testament” and “New Testament” – is a violation of this principle; instead, the writings of the disciples should be seen as an extension of the “Writings,” the third part of the Tanakh (aka, Scriptures).

2.   THE SUPERIORITY OF TORAH.  The first basic principle I have named “The Superiority of Torah,” and it is based on the teachings founding in the book of Midbar (Numbers) 12, 

Then the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent, and He called Aaron and Miriam.  When they both had come forward, He said,

Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision.  I shall speak to him in a dream.  Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; with him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, not in dark sayings, and he beholds the form of the LORD.  Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant, against Moses?”  So the anger of the LORD burned against them and He departed. [Midbar (Numbers) 12:6-9′]. 

Just as God’s anger burned against Aaron and Miriam that day for them speaking against Moses, the anger of the LORD burns against most Christians who speak against God’s Holy commandments, calling them, “legalistic works” that have been “done away,” “annulled,” “replaced,” and even “superseded,” which is almost all of Christianity.  Therefore, I believe their position against the Torah (the Written Law), which is a violation of this principle, is a perversion and an abomination, and I am sure that God would ask each of them as He did Aaron and Miriam: “Why then were you not afraid to speak against My servant Moses?”  Am I saying that the believing Pharisee, Sha’ul Paulus (Paul), was wrong?  No, I am saying that their traditional interpretation of his writings are wrong.

. 3 THE PRINCIPLE OF TORAH.  The second principle is closely connected to the first.  It is the Principle of Torah, which is based on Deuteronomy 13,

If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams (a religious leader) arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign of wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, “Let us go after other gods (where you have not known) and let us serve them,” you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams (or a religious leader); for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. [Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:1-4]

The statement, “Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,” is given as an example, not as the only scenario where this commandment is to be applied.  In other words, if any religious leaders teaches you anything that is in violation of what God’s commandments teach you in the Written Torah, you are to ignore that teacher and don’t do what they told you to do.  If we used this principle in evaluating a sermon or teaching by Christians, I wonder how many of them would fail this basic principle, particularly those preached today?

4.  THE PRINCIPLE OF CONTINUATION & MAINTENANCE OF TORAH.  Another basic principle of proper interpretation and understanding that we find taught within the Scriptures is this one taught in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4 and chapter 12,

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4,

You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you. [Devarim (Deuteronomy) 4:12]

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12,

Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it. [Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:32]

As we can see that we are taught that we are NOT TO ADD TO God’s commandments, neither are we TO TAKE AWAY FROM THEM, or even TO DELETE ANY OF THEM.  Therefore, we are to continue their maintenance as God has commanded them.

5.  THE BEREAN PRINCIPLE.   This principle is an extension of the first four principles, and it is taught in Acts 17,

The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews.  Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, EXAMINING THE SCRIPTURES DAILY TO SEE WHETHER THESE THINGS WERE SO, (Acts 17:11)

What Scriptures were they examining?  What is called the “New Testament” had not been written, so they were not examining any of these writings, but they were studying the Scriptures that are still studied in synagogues around the world, the Tanakh (the Law and the Prophets).  This is how we should be whenever we are taught something regarding the Bible.  We should examine ALL the Tanakh – from Genesis 1:1 – Malachi 4:6 – to see if what we are being taught lines up with the Scriptures, and if it is, we should stop to consider the truth of it.

Now if we interpret the writings of the disciples in a way that contradicts the Tanakh (aka, “Old Testament”), then our interpretation is wrong.  Instead, their writings should be seen as an extension and further development of the Tanakh (aka, “Old Testament”).  Christianity’s designation of these alleged two parts of the Bible – “Old Testament” and “New Testament” – is completely man-made.

6.  THE PROPHETIC PRINCIPLE – The sixth principle of interpretation is given in Amos 3.  In this passage, we read,

Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets.  (Amos 3:7)

The phrase “the prophets” refers to the biblical prophets, not to those who call themselves “prophets” in many churches of today.  Every major event that happened in Y’hoshua’s/Yeshua’s (Jesus’) life has been spoken about in the writings of the Tanakh, the Scriptures, but there is no prophecy given that says that God was planning on bringing an end to His commandments given in the Written Torah at all, except to punish the Northern Kingdom; therefore, I see Christianity’s teaching against the “Law of God” as a violation of this principle.

7.  THE PRINCIPLE OF CONTEXTS.  This is the only principle that is not based on the teachings of Scripture, but it is the idea that to properly interpret and understand the Scriptures, we need to place the biblical text back into its original contexts, interpret and understand it within those contexts, and then bring that meaning forward to our day and time to see how it should be applied.  

8.  THE PRINCIPLE OF REPETITION.  The final principle is “the principle of repetition,” which is that something is established when it is spoken by two or more witnesses and/or passages of Scripture, so we should not accept anything as “doctrine” that is based on only ONE verse of Scripture.  Truth, therefore, is not based on “it is written,” but upon, “and again it is written.”  This principle is based on three verses found in the Written Torah that began as a criterion for who should receive the death penalty:

If anyone kills a person, the murderer shall be put to death at the EVIDENCE OF WITNESSES, but no person shall be put to death on the testimony of one witness. [Ba-Midbar (Numbers) 35:30].

Although this states that there is a need for the need for “the evidence of witnesses,” but it doesn’t state how many is the minimum number of “witnesses” that are needed.  We get this in the next two verses.

On the EVIDENCE OF TWO WITNESSES OR THREE WITNESSES, he who is to die shall be put to death; he shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness.  [Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:6]

Here we can see that the minimum number of “witnesses” is given here, and when it says “witnesses,” it means “eyewitnesses,” which until the use of DNA in the courtroom, it was the highest form of evidence given.  The last verse about this is found in Devarim (Deuteronomy) 19,

A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; ON THE EVIDENCE OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES a matter shall be confirmed.  [Devarim (Deuteronomy) 19:15]

In this verse, we can see that the criterion for the death penalty is now applied to every sin or iniquity that a person could commit.  Thus, no one can be convicted of any sin (crime), unless there is at least two eyewitnesses to the sin.  However, by the time of the Second Temple period, this last verse has become a general principle for truth.  For example,

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother.  But if he does not listen to you, TAKE ONE OR MORE WITH YOU, so that BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES every fact may be confirmed. (Matthew 18:15-16)

Here we can see that Y’hoshua/Yeshua (Jesus) based this teaching on the Written Torah, specifically the book of Devarim (Deuteronomy).  We can also see this same principle Another verse where we see this same principle being applied is 2 Corinthians 13,

This is the third time I am coming to you.  EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES.  (2 Corinthians 13:1)

Therefore, Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) is counting each time that he goes to Corinth and teaches them as a “witness,” and so since he will be there “three times,” he sees this as a fulfillment of this principle taught within the Written Torah.  And again in the Sha’ul Paulus’ (Paul’s) epistle to his protege, Timothy,

Do not receive an accusation against an elder except ON THE BASIS OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES. (I Timothy 5:19)

Here we can see Sha’ul Paulus (Paul) using this same principle when considering any accusation made against any leader or elder.  We see this same principle used in the book of Hebrews,

Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES. (Hebrews 10:28)


Thus, if these 8 principles were used when interpreting the Scriptures, it would cut out many of the man-made teachings that are currently being used and taught within Christianity and are used to divide God’s people into so many denominations and groups.


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