The Story:Those whom we encourage to consider the truth of Scripture sometimes complain that the Bible is open to too many interpretations. No one can know for sure what it really teaches. Well, in the first place, certainly not someone who never takes the time to read or study it. But what about that claim? How can we be sure that our understanding of Scripture is true in any instance?
First, by becoming familiar with all the Scriptures, so that you understand the larger, overarching narrative and thrust of God’s revelation (2 Tim. 3.15-17).
Second, by comparing Scripturesfrom various places in order to shed light from familiar passages on those that are less familiar (1 Cor. 2.12, 13). Theologians call this the “analogy of Scripture.”
Third, by checking our understandings against the teaching of the Churchdown through the ages – staying within the grand tradition of interpretation that believers in all places and times have held to be true (2 Thess. 2.15). This is called the “analogy of faith.”
In our day, the resources of earlier generations of believers are more readily available to all Christians than in any previous era. The Spirit Who moved men to write the Scriptures also enables them to understand them, and He has not changed.
The Structure:We need to be good students of God’s Word. There’s just no way around this. Seek the Lord to give you the attitude of Jeremiah or Job concerning His Word: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart…” (Jer. 15.16 ESV); “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food” (Job 23.12 ESV). When we hunger for God’s Word, we will make the time and learn the skills necessary for understanding it as we should. Then we’ll be able to “pay attention” to and allow it to light our paths more effectively day by day.
Would you describe yourself as “hungry” for the Word of God? How do you measure that?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “The Word More Sure: 2 Peter 1.12-21,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.