Friday, May 20, 2022

How to Interpret Scripture

A Reformation principle is to interpret Scripture with Scripture. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16). When we interpret Scripture with Scripture, we are being taught by the Spirit of God. He will guide us into all truth (John 16:13).

How we interpret any verse of the Bible is to compare Scripture with Scripture. We look at the other verses in the same chapter, as well as the book and the whole Bible. That is to say, Scripture interprets Scripture. Scripture is not properly interpreted, when taken out of context.

F. F. Bruce wrote,  "Any part of the human body can only be properly explained in reference to the whole body. And any part of the Bible can only be properly explained in reference to the whole Bible." 

Dr. Bruce understood the danger of taking a verse out of context. It must be explained in the context of the chapter and book where we read it, as well as the context of the whole Bible.

When Satan tempted Jesus, he quoted Scripture (Luke 4:3-8). It was a passage taken out of context. Other Scripture was ignored. Jesus overcame his temptation, quoting another passage of Scripture. That's a warning for us today.