Sjolander Road Fellowship

Declaring the God of Unconditional Love




Someone recently alerted me to the fact that in eastern cultures the idea of prophesy denoted much more than foretelling. Prophesy was generally synonymous with poetry, the use of dramatic, often rhythmic wording, with ample use of elaborate figures of speech to convey thoughts and impressions in a highly stylized and emotionally charged fashion. As most anyone who has read, studied, or written poetry will attest, poetry is open to many interpretations and not even the author always knows exactly what the words convey, in the sense of being able to verbally explain every one to the reader. Poetic words seek an emotional impact and project meaning which is beyond the capability of ordinary prose.


One need read very little of the so called prophetic books of the Bible in order to see that they are not exclusively a collection of predictions. Prophets were clearly messengers and instructors who used elaborate literary devices in an attempt to convey thoughts which did not lend themselves to ordinary language. If prophesy was an exercise in simply foretelling future events, there would be no reason to communicate in a fashion that required a seminary degree to unravel.


This broader definition of prophesy, as it relates to understanding that of the Bible, draws into question the entire notion that someone can decipher such prophesy in a concrete, objective way which must be accepted by others. Poetry does not lend itself to objective interpretation, and it employment invites, in fact demands, the liberty to see it in a very personal and subjective way.


Therefore, those who purport to be our instructor in correct interpretation of the prophetic books of the Bible are attempting the impossible. The use of this form of communication implies that there is no common, necessary interpretation and each individual is rightfully left to draw his or her own message and conclusions. If they did need any help, God would provide it.