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I understand that there are eight such rules for interpretation of Biblical texts. Briefly stated, they are as follows: 1. Definition: What does a given word mean? Is there any reason for believing that its meaning is other than the normal, plain meaning associated with it? (I have heard this rule stated as, "When the plain sense makes sense, seek no other sense." 2. Usage: The meaning assigned to words and idioms must be consistent with a way in which the audience to which they were originally directed would or could have understood them. 3. Context: The meaning of each word must be understood in the context of the words immediately preceding or following it. Ignoring context is a source of many misinterpretations. 4. Historical background: The interpreter must have some awareness of life and society in which and at the time when a text was written. 5. Logic: Does the interpretation make sense to human reason? Does it conform to the laws of language and of grammatical analysis? 6. Precedent: An interpreter must not ignore established usage for a word, or invent a usage for it that has no known precedent. 7. Unity: A portion of Scripture must be interpreted or construed in a manner that is consistent with the rest of Scripture. 8. Inference: An inference is a fact reasonably implied from another fact. It is a logical consequence. It derives a conclusion from a given fact or premise. It is the deduction of one proposition from another proposition, the truth of which is established by competent and satisfactory evidence that would convince an unprejudiced mind beyond reasonable doubt.
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