A Guide to Interpreting Lists

The Lord's Prayer

In this article we are continuing to examine lists in the Bible. More particularly, we are considering how best to interpret these lists. The previous two articles in this series are:

This time let’s take a look at The Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:9-13. (Luke also gives an account in Luke 11:2-4). This prayer serves as a model given by the Lord to his disciples when they asked Jesus to teach them to pray.

A Guide to Interpreting Lists

The Ten Commandments

 

The most popular list in all of the Bible is undoubtedly The Ten Commandments. It is the original Top Ten list. So popular is this list that one might have difficulty recalling the list without picturing Charlton Heston in his theatrical role as Moses. The issue before us is one of interpreting this list.

A Guide to Interpreting Bible Lists

 

Most people use lists. We use them to aid us in grocery shopping, to accomplish our daily tasks, and to work on projects. David Letterman made a name for himself on late night television by including a ten point list during each of his shows.

The Bible also uses lists to recount details, to catalogue bits of information, and to instruct us. Particularly with the instruction type of lists in the Bible, we discover a literary device that is often employed. By understanding this device, our learning and application of listed instructions will certainly be enhanced.

Flee & Pursue

2 Timothy 2 22

Nearing the end of his life, Paul wrote young Timothy. Part of his instructions concerned Timothy’s sanctification or being a vessel for honorable use (2 Timothy 2:21). This sanctification would be realized by two contrasting movements. These movements move the believer away from a prodigal path and turn him down the pilgrim road.