Greetings to all,
I once came across something in Richard Swinburne's Revelation: From Metaphor to Analogy that might interest my blog readers.
The Oxford University professor writes:
"There are scriptural passages which taken with their
normal meanings imply doctrines contrary to later
orthodoxy: for example Christ's statement in St John's
Gospel (14:28) that 'the Father is greater than I.'
There are other scriptural passages which are
ambiguous, but which perhaps more naturally seem to
imply doctrines contrary to later orthodoxy, for
instance the reference to Christ in the Epistle to the
Colossians (1:15) as 'the first born of all creation.'
What rather has happened is that one party in the
Church proposed, and eventually a Church proclaimed as
official doctrine, one interpretation which they claim
is the most plausible interpretation of the Message of
Scripture and Church tradition as a whole. This forces
them to claim that certain past ways of worship were
misleading, and certain statements of past theologians
false, and that certain passages of Scripture have to
be interpreted with other than their normal meanings
(i.e. their meanings if taken in isolation)."
See page 138 of Revelation. This quote is taken from the Clarendon Press, 1992 edition.