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Old 07-12-2009, 01:09 PM
Steve Schwenke
Posts: n/a

I appeal to the dictionary only to clarify what the Bible already says. We must have a standard of defining words, so that we don't talk past each other. So, if I cannot give a precise definition to a word, I look it up in the dictionary, test the dictionary with the Scripture to see if the Scripture agrees with how the word is defined, and when it agrees, I use it to bring clarification to the argument, and to keep the argument focused on the correct thing.

If we discuss "ordinances" and Chette thinks "ordinance" means one thing, and I think "ordinance" means something else, but we never agree on a definition of the word, the discussion becomes useless. The dictionary brings us to a point where we should be able to agree on how a word is being used, and then we might be able to get somewhere. Otherwise, we are right back in Judges where everyone does that which is right in his own eyes, because there is no common definition of the words we use.

(BTW - my mentioning Chette and "ordinances" was only an illustration - not an attack! Please do not take offence!!! )

So the final authority for doctrine, etc is the AV. The Dictionary brings clarification to the words we use in our dialogues so that we can understand what we are saying to each other. It also helps us understand how the Bible uses words, particularly those that have multiple meanings, and particularly those that are being misused in modern language.