An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 6 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 247 of 270
denies the authority of the Holy Scriptures.  Even so, this still leaves a
big margin, and the heart -cry of many readers is, 'O that there were an
infallible guide'.  While such an attitude is understandable, a ready -made
rule of thumb would rob the exercised reader of more than it would give.  To
be under law even in this sense is contrary to the reign of grace.  The
believer must still 'search and see' if he would be numbered with God's
nobility (Acts 17:11).  However, there is one infallible test for every
translation or interpretation that is made, the weak spot being, however,
that he who applies the test is not of himself infallible.  There must always
be, therefore, a margin to all our conclusions.  In some things we can
rightly say, 'One thing I know'.  In others we remind ourselves that 'now we
see by means of a mirror enigmatically'.  Keeping these limitations in mind,
the infallible test of any and every interpretation is summed up in the
words, 'fitly joined'; sunarmologeo (Eph. 2:21; 4:16).
The guide that we believe every reader can safely trust can be
illustrated very simply by a jig -saw puzzle.  If a claim is made that the
given jig -saw puzzle has been put together, an examination of the completed
whole will soon show whether the claim is justified.  If any one piece should
be found out of place, this means that some other similar piece is out of
place, and the rectifying of one mistake may reveal others.  If all seems
satisfactory, yet upon examination it can be demonstrated that one piece has
been manipulated, that some awkward projection has been whittled down, if in
other words, any piece of the puzzle bears evidence that it has been 'made to
fit', then the whole must be rejected as either dishonest or just plainly
untrue.  We will not particularize any one interpretation that may be at the
moment exercising the mind of the reader.  All we say is, remember that any
word, if seen in the lexicon or concordance, may have a variety of related
meanings, and the reader who is content with such 'proof' can easily be led
astray.  Nothing but an exhibition of the usage of any particular word is a
safe foundation upon which to build, and before any interpretation is
accepted, a good time should be spent in seeing if it 'harmoniously fits'
into the whole structure of the Scriptures, and if it does not, however
superficially acceptable such an interpretation may be, it should at least be
put aside until fuller investigation leads to a decision.  If after wide and
unbiased collation and comparison the reader can say of any proffered
interpretation, 'it fits', then, and only then, can he rest as satisfied as
it is humanly possible to hope to be while we are still encompassed with
We do not intend to pillory any particular teaching, but it may be that
one illustration of our meaning will make that meaning clear to some.  Isaiah
60:1, 'Arise, shine; for thy light has come ...' has been quoted as one of
the proof texts that show that there will be a period of illumination on the
earth before the Second Coming of the Lord, a teaching known as 'The pre -
Millennial kingdom'.  This verse, however, is severed from its context, and
two verses back (Isa. 59:20) we read, 'And the Redeemer shall come to Zion
...'.  Now this verse is like the awkward little projections which must be
whittled away in order to 'make' Isaiah 60:1 fit.  There is embedded in the
prophecy of Jeremiah a solemn warning against the illicit use of a 'pen -
knife' (Jer. 36), and we trust enough has been said.  We decide nothing, we
only suggest a way to 'Prove all things'.
Jubilee.*  In dealing with the great importance of redemption in the typical
history of Israel, the year of the jubilee must be included.  The jubilee
occurred every fifty years, when hired servants were restored to liberty, and