Testing This Guideline Against Three Cases

How does this guideline apply to three specific situations of the past where the church changed its interpretation of some passage of scripture? (E.g. the Earth moving around the sun; whether slavery is permitted or should be prohibited; whether it is OK for Christians to charge modest interest on loans.) How do you believe this hermeneutical principle should apply in some or all of those cases?

Response:

Are the Bible’s statements on the relative movement of the earth and sun of the same nature as its statements on what is morally good about human sexuality and whether modest interest can be charged? Is it possible that with respect to the movement of the heavenly bodies the Bible uses language that humans at that time would have understood, perhaps language that was not strictly speaking correct in all regards? Does the Bible command the existence of slavery, or does it acknowledge its existence during biblical times?

What do you think about these two views?

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