One of the things that has always bothered me is why do equally intelligent people disagree on biblical interpretation? I see things pretty simply. Scripture is the absolute truth word of God. It is the only thing I know that meets the standards required to be absolute truth.
For something to be absolute truth is must meet three criteria. It must be universal, which means it is right for all people, all times, and all places. It must be constant, which means it is unchanging. And finally, it must be objective, which means it is not based on a person’s feelings, circumstances, etc.
There are ten basic reasons why I think equally intelligent people disagree on biblical interpretation. First, there can be a failure to approach Scripture with the proper respect. Seeing scripture as our sole authority of faith (what we believe) and practice (what we do) is proper respect, based on Scripture’s testimony of itself. When someone does not treat Scripture this way, it violates all rules of accurate biblical interpretation.
Second, is a lack of objectivity. Scripture is not subjective to our whims, opinions, and preferences. Scripture stands alone as absolute truth. We must approach Scripture objectively.
Third, some people are merely searching for proof, not for truth. They are looking for one verse that seems to agree with them, instead of looking at the all Scripture says regarding a subject. I have been known to ask people who want to debate with me, “Do you want to be right, or do you want to discover the truth?” Never be afraid of discovering truth, even if it disagrees with your preset opinion.
Fourth, they fail to equally consider all Scripture says concerning a specific subject. It is easy to over-value a verse that says something that agrees with you, and then to under-value the verse that disagrees with you. Fifth, some people just blindly accept another person’s opinions and research. They don’t study for themselves, they just read a commentary or book, and accept it without doing their own homework.
Sixth, filtering Scripture through self-issues, rather than filtering self-issues through Scripture. Some people want to filter Scripture through themselves, their experiences, their opinions, their woundedness, etc, instead of filtering themselves through Scripture. Seventh, over-analyzing, over-complicating, and over-spiritualizing a simple message. Let me boil the entire bible down to four words; “Love God, Love people”. Keep it simple.
Eighth, expecting the flesh to understand what only the Holy Spirit can teach. Some things just don’t make sense to you minds or our flesh. Don’t try to explain God. He is beyond explanation. His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts.
Ninth, some people read “into” or “out of” Scripture. They try to justify their preset opinion by removing or adding to Scripture something that fits their agenda.
And lastly, some people fail to understand the context. The context of a verse matters, we can’t just take a verse out of its context, and use it prove our point.
One reply on “Why Do Equally Intelligent People Disagree on Biblical Interpretation”
I am positive that I fail all 10 reasons.. but the one that really hit me hard was the fifth reason. I am feeling the Holy Spirit telling me to do MY homework,and not to always believe what I hear and see…. to be available for God’s Truth thru the Holy Spirit and to take the time to rekindle my Love and relationship with Him…..and be willing to say no to other peoples needs before making sure that I am doing my best in my own walk with God….. I know i need to study God’s word so much more than I do now… this is what I will pray about… be right in my walk.. not in someone else walk first… I am still baby stepping in my walk.