Learning and Following the Spiritual Laws of Bible Interpretation!
(Ver 2.4) People generally do not like to follow rules. If the speed limit is 35 they like to push it 41 or 42 and see if they get away with it. Life is full of rules and we should begin to realize that these laws have benefits and reasons for existence. Laws should be viewed as positive things in the world. You live by them every day, they govern what you do and if you violate them, you pay the consequences. Without laws we would live in a world of chaos. There are natural laws, scientific laws, laws of gravity, laws of aerodynamics, laws of governments and these all provide structure to our world. When we abide with them and cooperate with them, we usually live in a world that is safer and generally a better place to exist. So do people not realize that the spiritual laws in the Bible are also given to us for these same reasons. By learning about the spiritual laws of God in the Bible we can better understand what the Bible means. By ignoring these spiritual laws, we have what we have a lot of today, we have a church of chaos, disagreement, contention, arguing, controversy, and the lack of agreement and harmony.
Without people following the laws of Bible interpretation, we have hundreds of possible interpretations available about what the Bible means. I’ve got bad news for most people, not every Bible interpretation is the truth. A lot of the teaching in the church is just someone’s opinion of what they think the Bible says and this is not how God intended it to be. If God was interested in your opinion, he would have asked you to write the Bible. Your opinion is not worth a dime, in the eyes of God. Your intelligence is so far below that of God, that it is probably humorous to God to hear what you have to say and what you think is right.
NO PRIVATE INTERPRETATIONS
So what are these laws of Bible interpretation that we should learn to follow? I hope you understand the importance of laws, for I will not expand that part of the discussion any further. Up until now I have just introduced you to some basic concepts of the usefulness of laws. Now I will talk about a couple of the major rules of correct Bible interpretation that not too many are following. The first law of Bible interpretation should be one that everyone knows, because I think it is the most important to know and use. I’ve already touched on it a little bit in the introduction and it has to do with keeping your opinion out of your interpretations. An interpretation represents a biased opinion of the facts given. People cannot interpret the Bible without putting what they know and have experienced into it. Your personal experiences, your prejudices, your upbringing, even the words of your pastor are all factors into how you view the Bible. What you see in the Bible is always slanted by the many complex factors of influece and these are sometimes very difficult for people to get out of their minds in order to see clearly what God is saying.
2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
God writes this as being something that we should know first. That makes it sound very important for us to know. Some do not know how God writes the Bible and therefore come to the wrong conclusions. God can hide the most important things in obscure verses deep in the middle of the Bible. I wish I could give you a good reason why God does some of the things that He does, but I’m not God and I do understand all of them, by far. I just do the best that I can with what I have learned so far, and you should do the same. Anyway, this verse in 2 Peter tells us very clearly that the Bible is not open to our private interpretations. In other words, God is not interested in your opinion or what you think that it means. If people would learn this one simple rule, it would help them tremendously. You see in the word “private” carries the meaning of “self”. That means that people are putting their own spin on what God has said. Instead of learning what God says about the subject, they want to ignore God’s words for what they think is correct.
What we learn from this verse in 2 Peter is that the Bible interprets itself. What does that mean? It simply means that God is smarter than you and I, and He has given us His own explanations on what He has said in the Bible. While this sounds good on the surface, it is also a challenge to us. Finding God’s explanations and definitions are not always as easy as you would like to think. It involves an effort and a level of work to study the Bible and find out what God has said. God could have made the Bible easier to understand, but He didn’t, so we work with what He has given us. We bow to His greater wisdom on the subject and submit to His design. If you do not do this you will continue to be lost in your mindless reality and you will miss what God has for you. So learn this first rule and it will change your perspective greatly. It will also cause you to ignore what other people think the Bible means. That alone is worth a fortune of your time and Bible study effort. People on the internet who do not give Bible verses, I very quickly just turn off and do not read. It sure saves a lot of time not to have to listen to the opinions of ignorant people.
Another aspect of what a private interpretation is, can be the use of any other book or source other than just reading the Bible. You see I talked to a guy on the internet the other day and he gave me his interpretation for some prophetic scriptures in the Old and New Testaments. His major problem was the fact that his interpretation was dependent upon information from history books, internet calendars and way too many sources that did not include God or the Bible. That is an obvious example of interpreting the Bible in error. Once you set foot outside of the Word of God you are treading on Satan’s realm and domain of deception. Another example of error is interpretations that name modern individuals, entities, governments, organizations or whatever else you care to interpret into the Bible. I have heard repeatedly the reference to the Pope being the antichrist and this is crazy speculation and a clear example of a private interpretation. The pope did not exist when the Bible was written, but Satan did exist.
Some like to read that God knows the end from the beginning and therefore in Revelation He can tell us of caoming things that do not yet exist like the Pope. While this is certainly possible we must still attempt to interpret the Bible with the Bible and the Pope interpretation is a major conflict with many other verses in the Bible that teach us something differently. Understand that the Bible does not contradict itself in the proper correct understanding of the words written. In other words one verse is not going to conflict with another vese so we must balance the correct interpretation between both truths given. First, God says there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9). The thing that has been is the thing that shall be again. That right there tells me that the Pope is not God’s enemy and to declare him the anti-Christ is in opposition to God’s Word that there is nothing new. Then there is this verse in the N.T. that says “While we look not at the things that are seen, because the things that are seen are temprorary and the things that not seen are eternal” (2 Cor 4:18). God is basically telling us if we are looking for natural signs and ignoring the spiritual world you are going to miss it. Can you see the Pope? If you can see the pope then the pope is not what we should be focused on. What God is teaching us in this verse is that we should change our focus and not be fixated on the external things and try to perceive the spirit behind the external visible person. Ok, do not misunderstand what I am saying. We do live in a natural world but we should be dominated with the Spiritual things of God and not the flesh. If the anti-Christ comes in the flesh, people are only going to be able to discern him with their spiritual awareness and not by looking at the outward appearance that will easily deceive many.
Therefore learn to change your perspective to God’s point of view and see scriptures and things in the spiritual realm first and then you will understand what is happening in the natural realm. Correct bible interpretation is not easy, but it is achievable by simply learning the rules and this was only one small aspect of the subject and it is impossible to cover it fully in this one lesson.
IN THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES
The next thing that I would like to discuss is often misused and ignored. This law is a law found in the Bible and one that God has clearly spelled out. However, I guess people do not apply it to Bible study and Bible interpretation. Did you know everything in the Bible is not plainly laid out? God gives us some very valuable information in some very minor scriptures. For example, the virgin birth of Christ, which is a basic foundational Christian theological position and critical to the identity of Jesus, is only mentioned a couple of times in vague references. You would think that God would talk about this more clearly and give us many more verses that told us about this, but yet He does not. I was reading a blog the other day and this very deceived man was speaking about “homosexuality” not being mentioned in the Bible clearly so therefore he concluded that it was not important to God and that he could still be a Christian and a homosexual at the same time. What people do not understand is that it only takes two verses in the Bible to say the same thing and that means it is an established truth of the Bible. Because this man only found two or three verses against homosexuality, he came to the wrong conclusion and said it is OK to stay in sin. This is what God says:
2Co 13:1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.
Did you see what God says in this verse? God says that if you can find at the least two references in the Bible to the same subject, then that establishes the truth that you should live by. This is a basic truth that our courts and legal system needs to abide by. If it is just the word of one against the other, then you will have a very hard time figuring out what the truth is. But, if you can find two witnesses who agree, then that establishes the basis of the truth. So we learn that we cannot just go read a single Bible verse and try to make it say something that it does not say. We are required by God’s design to get a corresponding and collaborating witness to every truth. Knowing this fact will change almost everything found in many church doctrines. That means the people who try to teach snake handling in churches have a major problem with what they teach. They do err in their interpretation of the Bible by selectively preaching a single verse out of context. I’ll go even further than that today risking offending someone in the Catholic church. The Bible does not teach we need a Pope. Peter was not the first pope that they claim that he was. They take one verse out of context and try to make a man-made doctrine to establish the office of the pope and this is a dangerous way to treat God and the Bible. You can make the Bible say anything that you want it to. There is proof of this in every denominatio of the church. However, if people would only read and study the Bible using the rules of God to understand what is written we would all benefit and come closer to a unified set of beliefs. Learn to search your Bible for at least two verses to establish the truth and this will help you tremendously in how you view the truth.
These are just two of the most important basic spiritual laws of correct Bible interpretation that you need to learn and put into daily practice. Once you finally do this, you will begin to see that there is a major difference between God’s Bible truth from what some people are trying to convince you is the truth. There is a conept from our history that applies to today’s lesson on God’s laws. The Law of aerodynamis always existed from the time of Adam, but no man knew or understood it so we did not benefit from it. Do you see the application that I am getting at and the importance of knowing about God’s laws? People who do not know that spiritual laws exist can never follow them or utilize them to their advantage to understand God’s Word. However, once you discover them and learn to use them they have great potential for the same dramatic change in our lives as the invention of the airplane. Just a short time ago no one knew how to fly and today it is a common occurrence that everyone participates in. This is why I am teaching this subject today so that we can all benefit and begin to use God’s laws to understand the Bible. Thanks for reading my Bible lesson on the Laws of correct Bible interpretation. God Bless!
Posted on May 23, 2010, in Bible Interpretation, Rules and tagged Bible, Christianity, Church, God, Holy Spirit, Interpretation, Jesus, Prophecy, Revelation, Rules, understanding. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.