“The Interpreter” (Song Description and Lyrics)

The following is a description of the music single, “The Interpreter” (by Timothy Brindle and Masomphenya), which was released on August 12, 2020. (For a translation of this blog post in Chichewa, click here: [“Wotanthauzira” tanthauzo komanso mawu a nyimboyi]).

As fellow students at Westminster Theological Seminary, Malawian lyrical theologian Masomphenya collaborates with Timothy Brindle on the song “The Interpreter,” in which they interpret one another’s lyrics from English to Chichewa, and vice versa. Playing on that concept of interpretation, Timothy and Masomphenya provide the listener with a theological resource in Biblical interpretation, also known as hermeneutics. The outline of the song is as follows:

-Verse 1: Scripture Interprets Scripture
-Verse 2: Jesus Christ: the Interpreter of Redemptive History
-Verse 3: Pentecost: the Reversal of Babel

Here is an overview of the “The Interpreter” that can be used for a Bible Study or a small group:

1. Verse 1 – Scripture Interprets Scripture
One of the most basic and foundational principles of Biblical interpretation is that Scripture interprets Scripture. As read by Masomphenya in the song’s introduction, the Westminster Confession of Faith says, “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.” (1.9). This method of Biblical interpretation is especially necessary when the child of God encounters parts of Scripture that seem difficult to understand, or seem to contradict with other parts. Since God cannot lie (Heb. 6:18), and His infallible Word reflects His blameless character (Ps. 119:137), the Christian can trust the Inspired Word to interpret itself. “The unfolding of Your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Ps. 119:130).

2. Verse 2 – Jesus Christ: the Interpreter of Redemptive History
In Scripture, God interprets His own saving acts. Geerhardus Vos makes the point that (1) God first promises in advance what He will do to deliver His people. (2) God then enters into redemptive history to fulfill His Word by saving His people and judging His enemies. (3) Then the LORD interprets the meaning and significance of His miraculous work for His people’s understanding (Vos, Biblical Theology, 6). This notion of God interpreting His own saving acts was embodied by Jesus Christ in Luke 24 when the Author of Scripture laid out His interpretation of redemptive history: it is all about Him and His death and resurrection (Luke 24:25-27, 44-49). To see Jesus as central to the storyline of Scripture is to read God’s Word with the veil removed as we behold the glory of His person and work (2 Cor. 3:12-4:6). As said in the chorus, Jesus Christ as The Word (Ho Logos, John 1:1-2) and The Faithful Witness (Rev. 1:5) interprets and reveals His Father to us – in order that we might know Him, which is eternal life (John 1:18, 17:3).

3. Verse 3 – Pentecost: the Reversal of Babel
Although God scattered the nations of fallen humanity and confused their languages in Genesis 11, in the following chapter He promised to gather the nations back to Himself through the offspring of Abraham (Gen. 12:1-3, 15:1-6, 17:1-14, 22:15-18), who is Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:16). When the crucified, resurrected, ascended Christ poured out His Holy Spirit on His people, He enabled them to declare God’s mighty acts in the various languages of the Gentile nations who were present (Acts 2:1-11). In this way, Pentecost served as a reversal of Babel.
With the close of the Canon of Scripture, Christ’s mission continues! Through the translation of the original Greek and Hebrew text into the tongues of the nations, and its faithful interpretation and proclamation, God the Father is assembling and gathering His Chosen Race – namely, His new creation humanity – from every people group, nation, tribe, and tongue, through their union with the Second Adam, by faith.
Now, instead of looking for some new revelation outside of Scripture, Christians are called to trust the all-sufficient written words of the Spirit of Christ who still speaks to us today from Genesis to Revelation (2 Tim. 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:3-4). When Jesus returns in glory, which is His final redemptive act, then He will disclose corresponding new special revelation, and we will respond in never ending worship of the Lamb who was slain, but now lives forevermore! (Rev. 2:17, 3:12, 22:3-5)

“The Interpreter” Song Lyrics (written by Timothy Brindle and Masomphenya)

Intro: “The infallible rule of interpretation of Scripture is the Scripture itself: and therefore, when there is a question about the true and full sense of any Scripture (which is not manifold, but one), it must be searched and known by other places that speak more clearly.” (Westminster Confession of Faith 1.9)

Verse 1 – Scripture Interprets Scripture

When you search His Word, and it’s meaning at first is blurred
You can turn to other verses to discern and learn
It’s Sure and Firm,
The same Spirit who wrote it is the interpreter of His perfect Word!

Ukawerenga mawu komano osawamvetsa
Fanizira ndi ma verse ena kuti umvetsetse
Mawu ndiowona- alibe ma mistake-
Mzimu yemwe anawaremba- amawatanthauziranso- clear clear
————————————————————————————–
When you read Sincerely,
but it’s meaning is seemingly hidden so that you’re still grieved and weary,
God’s people, hear me:
Please turn to other parts of Holy Scripture that speak more clearly!

Ukadzikhuthula mawu ukumasanthula
Koma tanthauzo ndikukhala ngati likuvuta
Anthu amulungu apa tcherani makutu
Onaninso ndime zina kuti muvetse mwatchutchu
———————————————————————–
A supposed contradiction?
Look close what God has written
The problem isn’t Scripture, bro the problem is within men!
– My lying wretched flesh
but His Truthful Words passed His own Character’s Lie Detector Test!

Hhm? Mawu khala ngati akuzitsutsa?
awerengenso bwiinobwino memba
alibetu chilema- mtima wanga ndwomwe uli ndi matenda
Malemba ali true ngati umunthu wa namalenga
———————————————————————
Chorus:

He’s the Interpreter who gives interpretation
of His perfect works, He took the curse to save men
Opereka tanthauzo yemweyo ndi tanthauzo
la ntchito zake zangwiro, mpulumutsiyo aaah

None have ever seen God the Father – no men
Only Christ – who makes Him known for us to know Him
Palibe anawona Mulungu atate Njee
Koma Khristu- yemwe amatidziwatsa za iye
———————————————————-

Verse 2 – Jesus Christ: the Interpreter of Redemptive History

Posanthula Malemba tipeza ichi
lemba lililonse limachokera kwa Jesus (Yesu)
Mabukhu onse 66 amagwirizana
Kuti umvetse Baibulo Yesu ndiye Keys

As we search we will see this, every word is from Jesus
So all 66 books are in perfect agreement.
It isn’t hard to see their harmony
To unlock the Bible’s meaning, the Son of God’s the Key
————————————————————————–
Ukawerenga chi-/ pangano chakale ndi-/
Chabe chitsanzo cha mtima oleza ba-si? (hhu))/
24 ya Luka/ Mawu ndi opatulika/
Yesu ndi tanthauzo la mawu anawaluka!!!

When you read the Old Testament, and turn its pages
Is it just examples for learning patience?
Luke 24 – Christ’s Words are sacred:
Behold – the Author of Scripture’s interpretation!
————————————————————–
Mabuku amuchipangano chakale- paliponse
Amakamba za imfa ya Yesu ndi kuwuka kwake
Popanda Yesu- mpingo sungamvetse kalikonse
Luke 24 ndi phunziro la m’mene tingatanthauzile mawu ake

So the Law, Psalms, and Prophets – yes, every section
They stress and mention His death and resurrection.
Without Jesus, ALAS! the Church is clueless
But Luke 24 is His class on Hermeneutics!
——————————————————–
Chorus:

Opereka tanthauzo yemweyo ndi tanthauzo
la ntchito zake zangwiro, mpulumutsiyo aaah
He’s the Interpreter who gives interpretation
Of His Perfect Works, He took the Curse to Save Men

Palibe anawona Mulungu atate Njee
Koma Khristu- yemwe amatidziwatsa za iye
None have ever seen God the Father – no men
Only Christ – who makes Him known for us to know Him
—————————————————————————

Verse 3 – Pentecost: the Reversal of Babel

As descendants of Adam, every man’s a brother
But after Babel, we can’t understand each other
Because God scattered the nations – confused their tongues
But God will gather through Abram – that is through his son

Ndife pachibale ngati mbumba ya Adamu
Koma after Babulo sitimvana chiyankhulo
Yahweh anawamwaza nkuwapatsa ziyankhulo
Koma kudzera mwa Abramu/ mwana wake adzasokhanitsa
———————————————————————————

The precious Cross, Christ died for many lost
Then ascended to pour out the Spirit at Pentecost
When the nations understood each other’s words, they are baffled
— Thus Pentecost is a reversal of Babel!

Atafera anthu ake khristu anakwera kumwamba
kukatumiza Mzimu pa tsiku la Pentecosto
Maiko anamvana chiyankhulo anadabwa – ooh no!
Pentecosto ndikutembenuza kwa Babulo
——————————————————

Claim you’re a Prophet who makes known His Will?
Well, in the O.T., false prophets were stoned and killed!
Receive revelation outside His Perfect Word?
If you could speak in tongues, you’d need an Interpreter!

Your deceitful heart will shout lies to trick ya –
But now the (Holy) Spirit never speaks outside of Scripture
Mtima wanu onyeng’a ‘funa kukusocheretsani
koma Mzimu sayankhula kunja kwa mawu man

When He returns, unending revelation
We’ll respond, “everything that has breath, let’s praise Him!”
Akadzabwera mpomwe vumbulutso silidzatha
Tidzayankha, “zamoyo zonze zimulemekeze”
———————————————————–
Chorus:

He’s the Interpreter who gives interpretation
of His perfect works, He took the curse to save men
Opereka tanthauzo yemweyo ndi tanthauzo
la ntchito zake zangwiro, mpulumutsiyo aaah

None have ever seen God the Father – no men
Only Christ – who makes Him known for us to know Him
Palibe anawona Mulungu atate Njee
Koma Khristu- yemwe amatidziwatsa za iye

Song credits

“The Interpreter” by Timothy Brindle and Masomphenya
Written and performed by Timothy Brindle and Honest Kachaje
Produced by Mikey Bingo
Scratches by DJ Average Joe
Recorded, Engineered, and Mixed by Average Joe at his nuclear underground studio
Executive Producers: Colin and Jonathan Brack
Artwork by Paul Van Tiem
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