The same is done in Revelation, with no way of determining whether the interpretation is correct, as contrasted with the historicist method which contains checks and balances in reference to biblical typology and actual dates in history.While it may be reasonable to draw parallels, as in “This reminds us of …,” we should beware of persons who declare “This means that …” without any support in Scripture.
But the way Scripture is used in this “method” is very old. But let’s just use a little common sense to look at this text again.
We ran into this “plain reading” just recently in a church business meeting in which a very conservative church had a conversation about women elders – who are found in a great many of our western churches. Does this sort of literal reading only exclude women?
Thus an examination of the literary, historical and cultural context of a passage is important in discerning its meaning for us today, particularly on potentially divisive subjects.
While this method recognizes that God met man in the context of human culture, it also recognizes that the essential truths of the Bible transcend its cultural and functions as the Word of God for all cultures.
This “plain reading” method is a fairly recent phenomenon used by Seventh-day Adventists to bolster their point of view.
Perhaps we should say that the designation “plain reading” as a hermeneutical method is new.
We believe that the only proper use of allegory in interpreting Scripture is when the texts itself instructs us to do such, as in Galatians .
People who advocate this method say that Ellen White advocated this method.
This method was used to arrive at the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church which are not supported by a more natural interpretation.
Protestant Reformers like Martin Luther and John Calvin rejected this method because it tended to ignore the plain sense of passages and were impossible to critique in any fair manner.
The immediate reaction to this by one woman was to quote 1 Timothy 3:1-7: elders. In real life, the woman who brought up this text was unimpressed by any of this “plain reading.” But she was very sure that an elder could not be a woman, even though the text doesn’t explicitly say that.