As a naturopath, I have learned that our God created certain plants and animals for food. That may not be a surprise to you because it makes sense. But what many don’t consciously consider is that there is a significant difference between real food and processed “food,” and whole food concentrated supplements vs. synthetic supplements. Understanding the difference also helps us to understand how the written Word of God is to be accurately handled (II Timothy 2:15). Let me explain.
Food as God Designed it in Nature
The difference between food as we find it in nature (fruits, vegetables, clean animal meat) and processed “food” created by man is that real food has many naturally-occurring, biologically-active component parts. Packaged, canned and bottled products have had most of the natural parts processed out of it. Real food contains a multitude of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and enzymes that synergistically work together in just the right combination so that the body can use it to repair, build and restore itself.
In my health care practice, I discuss with my clients how they can begin to transition to a more natural whole food diet. And I also test them on whole food supplements as a part of their nutritional therapy program, along with working with them on a whole food diet. These kinds of supplements are carefully taken from nature’s food and made into concentrated whole food supplements that retain all the naturally-occurring components. These supplements are directed toward priority targets (organs, glands or systems) that are in need of more help than even a good diet can provide. The body responds to real food and will reject processed “food.”
In contrast to real food and whole food supplements, processed “food” has basically destroyed most of the necessary component parts and, therefore, offers no real nutritive value. Vitamins that are sold in supermarkets or health food stores are laboratory-created synthetic vitamins. For example, a synthetic B Vitamin may contain one component of Vitamin B12 or B6 or even a selected combination of the B complex. But what this kind of synthetic vitamin lacks is the naturally-occurring B complex necessary to actually nourish the body. If one has a heart condition like diagnosed congestive heart failure, synthetic B Vitamins won’t help. The heart, in this case, is reacting to starvation of a natural B complex diet and whole food supplementation.
Vitamin C is another example. If you look on the back label of a Vitamin C product, it says “ascorbic acid.” This is only a fraction of the whole food Vitamin C complex. Synthetic Vitamin C will not cure scurvy, but the naturally-occurring Vitamin C full complex will.
Also, taking synthetic “vitamins” might temporarily stimulate the body, but potentially may actually be harmful. Excess quantities of the same can produce the same symptoms of a nutritional deficiency. For example:
Excess synthetic Vitamin B1 may cause hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid).
Excess synthetic Vitamin D may cause a negative calcium imbalance and even be fatal. It may also cause a loss of bone calcium.
Here is the point: synthetic, single component vitamins will throw the body out of balance because they lack nutritive value to properly feed and repair the body. Whole food supplementation with naturally-occurring components will give the body the genuine replacement parts it needs for life and vitality.
How the Bible is to be Studied
The above commentary relates to how the Bible is to be accurately handled. Just as the body only recognizes whole foods and not partial components of synthetic vitamins and minerals, so the Bible must be correctly understood with all the component parts, not a single verse or passage isolated from its context or the overall context of the Bible.
“The sum of Your Word is truth.” – Psalm 119:160 (NASB)
The sum consists of all the component parts which is what I try to constantly employ in what I teach. If you are familiar with my books, the Covenant Heritage Series, you have noticed how often I refer to and apply the two basic principles of interpretation:
- The Bible is to be understood in its context, and
- The Bible must be allowed to interpret itself.
These basically cover the whole scope of the Bible. Without this approach, the small component parts, like words and verses, can easily be misconstrued as to what the Bible says and means.
Take a watch, such as a mechanized fine Swiss watch. What makes it work and keep time? The gears, the train wheel, the pinion? Would you not logically say, “All of them.” Yes, of the roughly 130 component parts of a Swiss watch, all of them must work together to make the watch tick and perform as designed.
So it is with Bible study. All the component parts must fit together so the Bible makes sense. Of course, it’s an ongoing task, isn’t it? There are some doctrines we can be sure of and others – well, we need more time and study. But let’s remember, the total sum of the component parts of the Bible will offer the best opportunity to be correct and certain about what God has said.
This is how I have taught in my books and why I have designed and am putting together the Bible Mastery Boot Camp. It teaches you how to use all the tools of interpretation so that all the component parts of the Bible come together and result in clear understanding of what the Bible says and means. There is no place for personal opinion or private interpretation (II Peter 1:20). Using these tools helps you discover the Bible for yourself.
Lawrence Blanchard, ND, MDiv