Use Caution when Interpreting the Bible
There are basic principles that can be used when interpreting the Bible. One important issue is staying clear of false interpretations that will twist the Word to mean something that is not true. The Bible says to rightly divide the Word of Truth. Some Bible scholars and Bible students have come up with several ways to assist in this interpretation. Remember you may use a commentary in your study of the Word of God; however, caution must be used due to the fact that a group of theologians contributed to the compilation of the commentary. The Holy Spirit is the final authority in the Bible.
2 Peter 3:16: As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
2 Timothy 2:15: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
A Literal Translation of the Bible
A literal translation is a natural or correct way of translation. The Bible should not be figured out using codes. When we see a verb or noun in the Bible they are still verbs and nouns. We should use the normal rules of grammar and not some special types of coded interpretation. When the Bible states things like: Mary was possessed by seven devils or Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the multitudes, this is the Word that should be received.
The use of metaphors and figures of speech can be accepted also in the literal translation of the Bible. For example: Jesus spoke of Himself in the Bible as “the door”. We know that through reading the scriptures that Jesus meant that He was the way to eternal life.
The Bible will also use “symbolisms” to convey a message. In Revelations 1: Jesus speaks of holding seven stars in His hand which are the seven churches. However when we study these scriptures we see that they were the angels of the seven churches. In these scriptures the Bible explained the use of the symbolism of the stars.
Revelation 1:16-20: And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength. 17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: 18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death. 19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; 20 the mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.
Again, use extreme caution in the interpretation of the Bible. Many people have been led astray through false teaching and by following the wrong “spirit” when interpreting the Bible. Open up your Bible studies with prayer.