We cannot read into the [biblical] text some meaning if it
conflicts with the writer’s intended meaning.
[For example,] in the early 1960’s the folk group Peter,
Paul, and Mary sang a song about a young boy’s imaginary
world, which sadly falls aside as he grows into manhood.
When I first heard that song in junior high, my friends
told me it had a hidden meaning about marijuana. The "magic
dragon" was supposed to be the marijuana, which, of course,
you "puff" on. We bought into this secret meaning because
it was not unlike contemporary musicians to hide
counter–cultural messages in their songs. That, to us, was
what the song meant.
But is that really what the song meant?
Peter, Paul, and Mary had a 30–year reunion tour. Late in
the program, Peter Yarrow was about to lead the audience in
singing "Puff," which had since become a popular American
folk song. But he prefaced the song with a comment: "Many
people thought this song was about drugs. But it never was.
It was a simple song about a boy and his dragon, and the
sorrows of leaving boyhood. I know. I’m Puff’s daddy."
Rex Koivisto, "One Lord, One Faith" (Bridge Point, 1993)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Frank Gallagher on Oct 18, 2000
Contributed by Clark Frailey on Dec 19, 2000
Contributed by Paul Fritz on Oct 18, 2000
To personalize the interpretation and application of any scripture use the following acrostic: S-P-A-C-E-P-E-T-S (Sin to Confess - Promise to Claim - Attitude to Change - Command to Obey - Example to Follow - Person to Imitate - Error to Avoid - Truth t