2 Peter 1:19-21
“First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation,” vs. 20
One of the very best conversation stoppers when talking about scriptural interpretation is to say, “Well, that’s just your opinion!” Not only does this emphatic statement end the debate, it reflects the common notion that we are free to interpret scripture in just about any way that we want. And not only that, it implies that every person’s conclusion is as valid as any other, because, “it’s all just opinion.” Now it is true that scripture can have value on many different levels, and we don’t all have to be skilled in exegesis before starting to read. Still, it’s also true that the bible is a tough book to interpret and understand…every word of it comes out of a particular time and context and the more we know of those things the more clearly it can speak to us. Frankly we’d be foolish not to consult those familiar with the original languages and ancient cultures before forming our own conclusions about scriptural prophecies and testimonies. The more we learn in our individual studies the more Spirit-directed insights will come our way. Relying on our own interpretation will never get us beyond the limits of our own knowledge and imagination. Trusted and reliable guides will expand our consciousness and allow the Holy Spirit to fill our minds with new challenges and even cause us to reform our lives. The bible is not a dead book. It’s fresh and new for every generation of informed reader…and is our primary connection to Jesus.
Thought for the Day: What tools have helped me understand the bible?