Thursday, September 26, 2013

Private Interpretation

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. 2 Peter !:20

It has been my pleasure and honor to know several preachers, or pastors as some call them. So it is that I am not in fear or awe to the point that I cannot speak plainly to them. One man of God that I have in mind quoted the above to me as though he was imparting some great wisdom. In fact, he was passing on a traditional view held by many who have just not thought it out before speaking.

Second Peter 1:20 has been mangled in a number of ways, yet it is as simple as can be. But let me list some of the interpretations I have heard.

First, the classic one, is you must have the Bible presented to you by the church, as if to say, "Don't try this at home!" This is the view of those who chained the Bible to the pulpit in olden days. Don't want anyone reading the Word on their own. Who knows what kind of trouble they could get into!

This view has almost disappeared, though there are some who still believe you should not have a Bible at home. It's like the door to truth has a sign on it that says, "For Priests Only".

But the way my preacher friend understood it was, you must never attempt to understand a verse by its self. You must have at least one corroborating scripture to back it up.

This "wisdom" is pretty popular. So next time you hear them pronounce this insight, you may wait and wait, but they never give you another verse. It is like they are saying, "Never interpret any scripture on its own-except this one."

The answer to this one is right there. Read the next verse. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (2 Peter 1:21).

This should clear up the meaning of the preceding verse. Otherwise you would be saying, "Don't trust any part of the Bible on its own. After all, it is inspired by the Holy Spirit."

So if you can't sleep some night, it's ok to read your Bible all by yourself, even one verse at a time. Don't call your preacher up. He probably needs the rest. After all, he's only human.

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