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Interpreting Scripture And Feminine Hygiene

Updated on January 22, 2009

Interpreting Scripture

I have three basic principles I use when I interpret the bible.

1. Christo-centric Hermeneutics: This is the philosophy of biblical interpretation that says that the purpose of all scripture is to reveal Christ.

Christo-centric: "Making Christ the center, about whom all things are grouped, as in religion or history; tending toward Christ, as the central object of thought or emotion." [1]

Hermeneutics: "The theory and methodology of interpretation, especially of scriptural text." [2]

If we believe what Jesus said, then we know that the bible is all about Jesus. That's obvious in the New Testament, But, you may ask, what about the Old Testament? Jesus himself says the Old Testament is about Him. - "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me." John 5:39.

2. Line upon line

Understand the easy stuff first, then move on to the harder parts. Again, the bible explains this in Isaiah 28:9-10: 9 "Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts? 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little."

Some parts of the bible are very clear. Other parts are more obscure. If there is something we don't understand, we go back to what we do understand, and start there. Sometimes, it's necessary to set something aside and come back after we have more knowledge. As we grow in wisdom and maturity, so will our understanding of scripture.

3. Guidance of the Holy Spirit

In John 14:26 Jesus says, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things ..." God, in the person of The Holy Spirit, wants to build a relationship with us. When we study the scriptures, it's an opportunity for God to speak to our heart and soul. If there's something you don't understand about scripture ... Ask God, and expect an answer.

James 1:5: If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

"Scape Goat"

A goat was to be sacrificed on Yom Kippur
A goat was to be sacrificed on Yom Kippur

An Example

I was surprised at how well this works when I was once "randomly" assigned the following scripture to write a devotional about: Leviticus 15-16. (I put the word "randomly" in quotes, because I'm pretty sure God arranged this.)

Now, Leviticus 15 focuses on the Levitical laws about various bodily functions and fluids, including feminine hygiene.

Consider: Leviticus 15:19: When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.

What was I supposed to do with that? Here I was a single man, asked to write a devotion about something I have little knowledge of, on a delicate topic for a very socially conservative audience. Oh, yeah, I could move up a few verses and talk about "wet dreams". That would be a real hit!  And so, I thought I'd move on to Chapter 16. It was about Yom Kippur. ... I could focus on that and simply ignore the part before it.

Except, when I prayed about The Holy Spirit told me, "I put those laws before Yom Kippur for a reason. I want you to write about that." So, I prayed and I researched and I looked and I applied the principles.

One of the first things I discovered was that "Unclean" is not actually a moral judgement. It is simply an acknowledgement that something is unhealthy. It was one of the things that lead me to understand that sin is not simply moral failure (The Greatest Sin).

What follows is the Christo-centric, research based, Holy Spirit led devotional I wrote regarding the "Levitical Laws on Hygiene"

The Devotional

There is certainly nothing morally wrong with natural body functions. However, discharges of various bodily fluids can certainly be unhealthy. If we don't take care of our personal hygiene, we can become ill and possibly infect others. Sin is like this. In this passage, God uses the physical as a metaphor for the spiritual. In our natural state we are all unclean and cannot stand in the presence of a Holy God. Furthermore, if we are not careful, we can spread this problem to others.

However, God does not want us to die in our natural, unclean, state before Him (Leviticus 15:31). So, he provides a way that we can be clean and approach Him. On the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) God tells Moses that blood is to be shed for the remission of the peoples sins (Hebrews 9:22).

While water may wash away infection, the blood of animal sacrifices cannot wash away sin (Hebrews 10:4). The sacrifices made by the Levitical priesthood were a picture of the sacrifice to be made by Jesus on the Cross (Hebrews 9:11-15). God always provides a way for those who are willing to be cleansed, so that they can stand in His presence, and not die in their natural unclean state.


Father in Heaven, you are a Holy God, and we thank you that while on our own we are not "clean enough" to stand in your presence, you have provided us with the cleansing blood of your Son, Jesus. Now that you have cleaned us, bring us into your Holy presence and reveal yourself to us. Amen.



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    • copywriter31 profile image

      James Ranka 

      6 years ago from Port Neches

      Pretty obvious from this information where Sharia Law's roots took hold and grew into the barbaric blight on women we now witness throughout the world... Sad.

    • profile image

      made in Gods image 

      7 years ago

      i think men love to feel that God is always putting a whamy on women for one reason or another. I always thought of it as God didn't want a woman to be bothered during her period and it was more sympathetic then her being called dirty woman or punished for sin

    • profile image

      Deborah Sexton 

      7 years ago

      Yahshua (Jesus) said he did not speak of himself. When he spoke, it was the words God gave him. He came to uplift God the Father and not himself.

      John 14:24

      "Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me"

      All scripture has always been about God and no one else

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What can you say about women bragging about the pain and menstruation? is it right or wrong?

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Thank you Joni!

    • Joni Douglas profile image

      Joni Douglas 

      8 years ago

      Sometimes words just get in the way. Thanks for spotlighting another gem in the Bible. No hidden meaning, no needing a pastor to interpret, it is right there in front of us.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Hi blessings to you all,

      Is good you interpretation, there is something more i'll add and is if you read all Leviticus 15 is forbidden for God to have sexual relationship with your spouse during the menstruation time, because we are in an unclean time during seven days, one of the reason of this is that during that time we (spouses) take time with our heavenly Father we dedicate time to Him and at the end of those 7 days we come back together as one, this make our marriage stronger, its a period of time where there is not intimacy but with our creator, it is hard but to me is one of God's plan to strength our marriages, like a over and over honeymoon every month.

      Blessings to you all,


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Perhaps the potential to use menstruating as a symbol of the uncleanliness of sin and the need for it to be washed away is the reason God created menstruating in the first place!

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Hi Jacquline!

      I assume you're asking about Ecclesiastes 3:19. This refers to being humble before God. Understanding that although we are made in God's image, that God loves his other creatures as well. We must have respect for all of God's creation, not for our sake, but for God's.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      what is meant by all things share the same breath-the beast, the tree, the man, the air shares its spirit with all the life it supports.

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Thanks W.E.!

    • Wrinkle Experts profile image

      Wrinkle Experts 

      9 years ago from Central PA

      Great work here!

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      It is pretty funny. I remember when I was handed my slip of paper for the first batch of devotionals and I saw what it was, I was thinking, "15 and 16" ... isn't that .. NO ... and I saw myself in youth group cutting up like the adolescent I was at the time, and I said, to God, "No, you didn't ..." and I looked up the scripture and then I said, "Yes, you did!" ... And yeah, I heard him chuckle.

      What I did learn though, was how many people just assumed "unclean" meant "immoral" ... when this devotial came out, (it was publsihed by the chruch for the church members) they asked me to speak about it. So, I stood up in two services, in front of about 700 people and ... and when I told my mom I was speaking at chruch, and she said, "Oh, honey, I'm so proud of you... what are you speaking about...."

      "Um, wet dreams and um feminine hygien mom."

      She said, "Well, I'm sure you'll do a great job."

      I love my mom.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice hub BDazzler....thanks for expounding on the topic so people know it's more than just literal in a physical sense.

      You did make me laugh with your reference to wet dreams...God does have a sense of humor and he appreciates us being real and transparent.


    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Very true!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      9 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Many cultures used to believe a woman was impure during her menstrual cycle. Some Native American tribes had women sleep in separate huts and bathe in the river frequently. It is always interesting to read how different cultures dealt with personal hygiene, which was not an easy thing because there were not CVS pharmacies around the corner.

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Oh yes, Little Sister! I'm sure he thought it was quite funny. And all my friends did too!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Hi Big Brother! Yes God truly has a sense of humor! LOL I clean enough now? hahaha

    • BDazzler profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Gulf Coast, USA

      Thanks ETT!

      One of the things that let me know God has a sense of humor is that this is the passage that we addolecent boys made fun of in youth group. I mean, you had wet dreams and women's periods in the bible, what Jr. High boy isn't going to laugh at that?

      And when I was assigned the scripture, I knew it wasn't "random", God remembered my laughter and wanted to bring me into a more mature understanding.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I never knew why God considered the women it makes sense!


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