Correct Bible Interpretation Rules Part 5 — No Place for Private Interpretations
(Ver 1.2) This is now Part 5 in the series of lessons on Correct Bible Interpretation. If you have not read through this series from the beginning I would strongly suggest that you return back to “Part 1” first. I’ve been going through various rules and the keys to successful and correct Bible Interpretation and now want to touch on probably one of the most important rules that I have been shown by God. The ignorance and the misuse of this one rule gets more Christians into the hot water of error than probably the others all combined. It seems like humans are naturally opinionated and like to express their opinions usually very loudly. Whenever a person doesn’t understand what is being said, many times they close their eyes to it and attempt to come up with their own explanation of the meaning of the verse. This is called a private interpretation. The Bible actually warns us not to go there, but still this is a common human trait we all must face and conquer. Here is a definition of interpretation that I found on the web:
Interpretation: Opinion regarding a set of facts. A degree of subjectivity is involved on the part of the individual, based on his or her experience, personality, and biases.
Did you notice what that definition said? It said people often times use their own experiences, their personalities or their biases to determine what they think about a stated fact. I see ministers doing this all the time in what they teach. They are letting something external to the Word of God dictate what they believe it says. That is a very dangerous approach to take when studying the Bible. Here is a verse of scripture that I referred to earlier:
2 Peter 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
That is a critical word from God with far reaching consequences. It says we shouldn’t use our own private interpretations to explain God’s Word. The clear implication that is made is that the Bible interprets itself. Some would read 2nd Peter 1:20 and say that is a restrictive context that only applies to prophetic books like Isaiah or Revelation and other books that were written by God’s prophets. But I’ve got news for you that almost every book that I’ve studied has some very clear prophetic words recorded in them. It’s easier to find a scripture of prophecy than to find a scripture that is not prophetic.
So the bottom line, is if you don’t understand what is being said shut up and don’t try to teach it like you do. Unless you can find scriptures that back what you think is true and accurate leave it alone and don’t speculate. I’ve recently heard some ministers teach Revelation and they said some things that were clearly just their own opinions. The problem is when they stand up and teach it with authority like it is a word from God they influence others to believe a lie. This makes it much harder when God does reveal the truth for people to accept.
Here is another example of a private interpretation. Many in the body of Christ teach that healing went out with the death of the last Apostle. God doesn’t heal anymore, we have doctors that have replaced God. It doesn’t matter that they don’t have any scripture to back what they are teaching, the damage is done, people’s faith is destroyed and many Christians die as a result. There are more private interpretations of the Bible on the internet than there is the truth of God. That makes it extremely difficult to place the truth at the top of the list. I have heard men leave me comments and tell me why I am wrong over and over and almost everytime, it has to do with their private interpretation of the scriptures. Whenever you have to look for a reality outside of the Word of God by studying commentatires or history books, you have departed from the truth to teach a lie. Please learn to give God more credit than that. There is much more information in the Bible than what you currently know and understand. God help us all from people teaching their own opinions.