The CRACKED acronym was developed to help interpret the Bible correctly and answer potential Bible contradictions. When using CRACKED we gain a clear understanding of how to read pretty much anything to get to the actual meaning.
Early meaning and manuscripts
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Context – What is the historical, social, and geographical context? What are the other words and verses around it? What was the book speaking about? Basically put, don’t “take it out of context” because anything pulled out of its framework will seem strange. Ask, where was this written and why?
Revealed – God’s word must be revealed to us. To those who don’t believe some things in the Bible seem foolish, while to us it seems powerful (1 Cor 1:18). This is because the Holy Spirit helps us interpret and understand the Bible (1 Cor 2:14).
Author’s Intent – The Bible was written by men, who were carried along by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). This means both man and God played an important role in writing the Scriptures. What was the intention of the author, behind what was written? If a man says, “We will take care of you” the meaning changes depending on whether he intended to communicate that he was angry and the “we” was an army, or that he was compassionate and the “we” was him and his grandmother baking cookies.
Credibility – Any document should be given some credit, and not judged harshly before it is interpreted correctly. We Americans may call it the “innocent until proven guilty” technique. We read to understand, without assuming the author is off base.
Knit Together – The Bible always has a bigger picture in mind than we do: each book of the Bible, each story in every book, and each paragraph of every story is part of something larger than themselves. Read to understand that what has been written, likely refers to something before or after it.
Early Meaning and Manuscripts – We have to get back to the earliest meanings and manuscripts (as close as we can to the original) if we want to really understand what was said.
Dialect – The Bible is literature, and it must be read as such. There are many different genres of literature present in the Scriptures, and we should identify the intended style before making assumptions and interpretations.