To the Ephesians Paul wrote: “Be not foolish, but know the will of the Lord,” (Eph. 5:17). The passage identifies two alternatives: Be foolish or understand the will of the Lord. He further wrote, “How that by revelation was made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote before in few words, whereby when ye read, ye can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Christ,” (Eph. 3:3-4). The word “mystery” simply means something not heretofore made known., (v. 5).
He declares that God chose the word method of revealing His mind to man. Whatever is characteristic of this type of communication is true of the Scriptures. Whatever strength or weakness that is inherent in this type of communication is inherent in Scripture as well. A word is simply a symbol of an idea, a vehicle of thought. Words are arranged into sentences and sentences into paragraphs and etc.The student of the Bible will endeavor to determine the meaning of a statement at the time it was written and how it was understood by those addressed. This is true of any document. To properly understand, one must be able to determine if a word or a passage is being used in a literal sense or in a figurative sense. Continue reading » Literal or Figurative: How Can We Determine?