That's Just Your Interpretation

J. D. Conley
November 11, 2012

One of the most common arguments people make in discussing the Bible is, “That’s just your interpretation.”  This thread worn phrase is more of a surrender than it is an argument.  The use of this declaration implies no one can really know the truth.

But God has given man a written revelation with the understanding that it can be correctly  interpreted.  This means that for every teaching, there is a meaning that God originally intended to convey.  It is our task to ascertain that one and only interpretation.  There is only one such interpretation to any given passage – the right one, God’s view!   Jesus said, “Ye shall know the truth…” (Jn. 8:32).  Paul said, “Speak the same thing…be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment”  (ICor.1:10).  Jesus also said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine…”  (Jn.7:17).  These passages are predicated upon the presupposition that individuals can, with proper study and logical reasoning, arrive at the conclusions that God intended to transmit.

So, there is no such thing as my interpretation and your interpretation.  There is only God’s meaning.  People must not shrug off the conflicting views on various Bible subjects (e.g. baptism, mechanical instruments of music in worship, the one church, etc.) as hopeless and irresolvable.  Instead we must be busy in studying God’s book.  We must refrain from misinterpreting and misusing Scripture (cf.2Cor.4:2; 2Pet.3:16).  We must carefully consider both sides of every issue (IJn.4:1; Pro.14:15).  We must “take heed therefore how we hear” (Lk.8:18), i.e., make certain our hearts are genuinely receptive to the truth (Lk.8:15).