Theology Tuesday – Interpretation

Do you believe you can understand the Word of God? Or, is that just for the trained and educated? The answer is “yes” to the first and “no” to the second.

Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. PSALM 119:34

Source: http://www.geocities.ws/gary_bee_za/packer/interpretation.htm

All Christians have a right and duty not only to learn from the church’s heritage of faith but also to interpret Scripture for themselves. The church of Rome doubts this, alleging that individuals easily misinterpret the Scriptures. This is true; but the following rules, faithfully observed, will help prevent that from happening.

Spiritual understanding—that is, the discernment of the reality of God, his ways with humankind, his present will, and one’s own relationship to him now and for the future—will not however reach us from the text until the veil is removed from our hearts and we are able to share the writer’s own passion to know and please and honor God (2 Cor. 3:16; 1 Cor. 2:14). Prayer that God’s Spirit may generate this passion in us and show us God in the text is needed here. (See Ps. 119:18-19, 26-27, 33-34, 73, 125, 144, 169; Eph. 1:17-19; 3:16-19.) 

Careful and prayerful observance of these rules is a mark of every Christian who “correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).