Monday, September 11, 2006
“THAT’S JUST YOUR INTERPRETATION”
After a few comments questioning the reliability of the Bible and it's many interpretations, I thought I would share this from The Christian Research Institute.
How many times has this happened to you? You quote the Bible in a conversation only to hear, “That’s just your interpretation?” Is one interpretation of the Bible as good as any other?
When someone says, “That’s just your interpretation,” usually what they are implying is that no one interpretation of the Bible is better than any other. But the Bible is not abstract art, which we can look at any way we want to. Instead, the Bible is a collection of history books, songs, proverbs, letters, sermons and prophecies — what they’re doing is simply playing with it.
Yet having said this, I’m well aware of the fact that people do interpret the bible very differently. You see to “interpret” the Bible properly, you just can’t take a part of it and interpret it in some fanciful manner. Some people, of course, do that, but they’re not really interpreting the Bible — what they’re doing is simply playing with it.
In addition, let me point out that most differences in Biblical interpretation by people who are seriously committed to understanding it, are pretty minor indeed. The big picture — who God is, what God has done in history, what God expects of us now, and what God has in store for us in the future — is pretty clear. The differences that remain are the kinds of differences you would really expect whenever finite, sinful human beings are trying to understand an infinite perfect God.
The next time someone says to you, “That’s just your interpretation,” you might try saying something like this, “Well, then, what’s your interpretation?” Ask them to show you just how their interpretation fits the language and context of the bible better. Often, here’s what you’re going to find, that the person is just making excuses to avoid having a close encounter with the clear teachings of the Word of God.