When studying the Bible, interpretation is often tougher than the background check on a passage. And the Bible is unclouded, I’m not let to just make something up that might appear to suit. “But cognize this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is of one’s personal interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of anthropoid will, but men traveled by the Holy Spirit talked from God.” 2 Pet 1:20-21

This means that we can’t conjure up up our personal interpretation, but we must look for what the Holy Spirit destined when He composed the verse

Understanding that there is only one interpretation to Scripture that is dead on target prepares us to do the proper kind of homework on the passage and draw the best conclusions as to meaning

The Bible teaches that God is not the author of confusion, according to 1 Corinthians 14:33. Therefore, the Bible can be construed by us. The universal rule of biblical construeation is that a passage should be construeed literally unless there is some reason in the context we should construe it otherwise

A acquainted verse to all Christians is: John 3:16 (NIV) “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not decease but have lasting life.” This verse literally means that:

God’s love for us is tangible
Jesus was an existent reality and truly the one and only Son of God
Eternal life is tangible and goes on after this one ends
Not everyone gets to go to Heaven and Jesus is the Way

Sometimes there is a clue in the context or even a definition as to how literally we are expected to construe the passage. For example, Revelation 12:9 (NIV) says, “The enthusiastic dragon was hurtled down—that past serpent named the devil, or Satan, who leads the entire world astray.” The verse defines what the dragon is in the text for the reader. Also, one will note that after chapter 3 in the book of Revelation, there is much fashioned symbolism and allegory

The Bible also uses different types of figurative language:

A parable or story to illustrate the simple truths such as the Parable of the Sower, Luke 8: 4-15

A metaphor. Often you’ll see a comparison without the phrase “much and much is like so and so” as in John 15:1 where Jesus says, “I am the truthful vine.” Jesus is not a vine but compares Himself to a vine

A hyperbole. Sometimes there is exaggeration for emphasis. In John 21:25 (NIV), Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were composed down, I opine that even the entire world would not have room for the books that would be composed

Anthropomorphism, that is, attributing to God human characteristics or experiences, even though the Bible is clear in its teaching that God is Spirit. “The eyes of the Lord travel to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His”. (2 Chronicles 16:9 NASB)

Interpreting the Bible correctly, we must discover what the passage meant in the time and language of the author. Knowing the culture, the existent setting of the passage, the geography, traditions and rules can assist us construe the Bible more clearly

Don’t make interpretation mistakes! Download Scott Newton Smith’s brand new free guide, 10 Big Mistakes When Studying the Bible so you can get clear insight in your own personal Bible study program

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