the action of explaining the meaning of something
If you have ever seen the art of interpretive dance, you know how a story can be told without the use of words / language.
The dance conveys a message, yet the manner in which the message is received depends on the receiver... according to their individual interpretation.
And whether there is music accompanying the dance, or silence, the message will be received differently, different emotions being sparked in a myriad of ways, again according to the recipient's interpretation.
Interpretation depends on the receiver's life experience, current understanding of the world and of oneself... in other words; many variables.
Sometimes, the message is widely misinterpreted, or new interpretations are derived.
A simple phrase, such as “you're funny” can be interpreted many ways, all according to how it is stated (if verbalized, how it is said, if read, the reader's disposition).
Since “funny” can mean several different things and is dependent on what sentiment and words precede and follow it (if any), this phrase can be interpreted as offensive, as encouraging, or some other manner.
Think of the many texts that mankind has looked to for knowledge, inspiration, guidance and 'truth'.
Now consider how interpretations have originated, mutated and changed... some quite outrageous from earliest interpretations.
The beauty of how meanings blend can lead to extraordinary insights... and outlandish contradictions.
Libraries are full of published books with much interpretation, some seemingly in agreement, some starkly diverse.
Typically a published book has to convey verifiable messages, supported by accurate and sound bibliography (ideas and messages previously believed to be true).
But has everything ever written by man's hand been verifiably true, accurate or sound?
The diversion from earliest interpretations are furthered by arm-chair philosophers and ideological theologians posting their interpretations on the internet.
Very few people are able to objectively view information and effort an interpretation unbiased to their ideological leaning.
It is inherently human to interpret according to one's current understanding.
Even highly honored scholars have their myopic interpretations according to their identity.
To expect a sparrow to be unafraid of a predator is asking that bird's nature to act unnaturally.
However, there is a way to see what is true and interpreted according to truth, not human bias.
What is quite notable and evident in the example of the earliest disciples of Christ was their abandonment of Jewish identity... and absorption of the rest of humanity they encountered outside of their homogenous group.
How was this possible and achieved?
Then He called the crowd to Him along with His disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for Me and for the Gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
- Mark 8: 34-38Some reading this blog may say that I too have my biased interpretation, based on how I identify myself with something exterior of me...
Yet, if I aim to identify myself with the Holy One who was revealed from Above, and if my understanding on loan from Him allows me to realize that He lives in me, and I am not my own, then who is it I aim to identify with?
Isn't this identity the effort of most religions of the world?... while their interpretations are distinct and seemingly opposed?
Yet, does not what is shared by Mark point out that it is in emptying oneself of man's interpretations the Way one finds the One who calls from Above?
Consider then what is meant when the message calls mankind to “deny themselves and take up their cross and follow Me”.
But may I suggest you use the interpretation that is taught from Above, not your own or another man's opinion.