The Eschatology Of Christ, With Special Reference To The Discourse In Matt. 24 And 25 -- By: C. E. Stowe
BSac 7:27 (July 1850) p. 452
The Eschatology Of Christ, With Special Reference To The
Discourse In Matt. 24 And 25
It will be admitted, I presume, by every intelligent reader of the Bible and the commentaries upon it, that there is often very great vagueness, uncertainty, and inconsistency in the interpretation of its language. It will also be admitted, I believe, that these faulty interpretations cannot fairly be attributed to the language itself; for most readers are convinced that there is scarcely a mode of speech in the whole compass of literature more simple, direct, and intelligible than is the language of the Bible as to much the greater portion of it. There must be some other cause, and the following, I suppose, will generally be received as the true cause, namely: Men who profess to be Christians usually feel obliged to believe what the Bible affirms; if any passage of the Bible, therefore, understood in its obvious and true sense, states a sentiment which they are strongly disinclined to believe, there is a powerful temptation to reconcile the words to some other meaning more agreeable to the interpreter. Hence has arisen a very general practice of interpreting meanings derived from other sources into the words of the Bible, instead of simply explaining the words themselves according to grammatical usage, the context, and the nature of the subject. The art of interpretation, instead of being a simple hydrant by which the waters of life may be drawn out of their receptacles for our use, has too often been made a sort of forcing-pump, by which other waters, not of life, have been driven into the Scriptural reservoirs. Some interpreters are in this respect much more guilty than others, but almost all have participated in the sin more or less. There is scarcely one who does not find some passage somewhere in the Bible, in respect to which he would like a little more latitude than the strictest rules of grammatical interpretation, faithfully carried out, will allow him; and if he himself takes this latitude, he cannot be very severe on others when they take the same. Hence the very great prevalence of the practice in all parties.
BSac 7:27 (July 1850) p. 453
In view of these remarks, I propose to examine, by the strictest rules of grammatical interpretation, some of the more important eschatological texts contained in the record of our Lord’s discourses, particularly Matthew 24. 29–31, and its parallels Mark 13. 24–27 and Luke 21
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