Have you ever read some of David Berçot's works (for example, Common Sense and Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up?)? His thesis, esp. in Common Sense, is that the way to unlock the true intent and meaning of the N.T. scriptures is to study the custom and practices of the early Christians (2nd century). He pretty much says it is the only way to find the true intent of the apostles' directives and writings. Do you think this is necessarily the right interpretation of the Scripture? Isn't the Bible, like the U.S. Constitution, a living document such that it changes over time? For instance, the framers of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution never had in mind women's rights, other minorities like African Americans, or gays. But lawyers and legislators apply it today -- as a matter of principle -- to those areas. Isn't this all the more the case with the Bible, esp. since the Spirit works through the Bible and Hebrews says the Word is "living and active"? -- William Lee

I hope you saw my recent piece on David Bercot at the website. (David is a friend of mine, and I have read every book he has written.) All I would add--and really this is just to re-emphasize my point--is that the 2nd century church is not exactly the "early church." Many things had changed by that time.

The Bible is not quite the same as the Constitution. The latter document is a human one, the former a divine one. Both require interpretation and application, but there the similarity ends. I am not saying that Bible study is easy. It is hard work! But no, I do not believe "living" (Hebrew 4) means constantly spinning out fresh interpretations or doctrines. (Probably you didn't mean that, either.) In the immediate context, living meant that Psalm 95, referring to the desert period as well as the time around 1000 BC, still applied in the first century AD. And that means the warning (unchanged, of course) still echoes and resonates two millennia later.

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