The Bible, history’s most published, studied, translated and quoted book, is baker illustrated bible commentary pdf its most misused and misinterpreted book. Cults and false religions use it to their own ends and others simply misinterpret it.
That this occurs so often leads many to assume the Bible has no clear meaning. This is a false assumption. That any given passage is misunderstood, purposely or otherwise, does not demonstrate that the author of the passage had no clear meaning in mind. Nor does it follow that the readers cannot discern this meaning. In this article we will expose common errors in Biblical interpretation and show how to avoid them. English word “hermeneutics” is derived.
Clearly the proper interpretation of the Scriptures was important to Jesus and His apostles. Notice that Peter addresses two problems: being untaught and unstable. It is ironic that in our day many consider ignorance to be bliss when it comes to studies such as hermeneutics. They mock Biblical scholarship as if study were inimical to faith. These are the ones about whom Peter warns, and today many of them can be heard preaching on TV.
The basic idea in hermeneutics is that the author’s meaning is to control our interpretation. God the Holy Spirit inspired the human writers of Scripture, who used their own languages in their historical setting to convey their meaning. The job of the interpreter is to come to a clear understanding of that meaning. This means, most importantly, that we love the truth and have a heart to learn, even if what we learn is not what we hoped for or expected. Yet, properly interpreted, this is what the Scriptures taught.
Errors in Biblical interpretation have existed for centuries. Since they are common, we can identify them, learn from them and thus avoid them in the future. Some of these errors have spawned huge movements. Roman Catholic church’s use of Scripture. At the other extreme, hyper-literalism is commonly used by Mormonism to make claims such as that God has a literal body that looks just like a male person. Let us examine some of these errors and consider how to avoid them. Imagine that someone read you one sentence out of the middle of a large book you had never read before.