Monday, October 11, 2010
Four Principles for Scripture Interpretation
In preaching Sunday on 2 Peter 2:1-3, I spent a good bit of time on the interpretation of Peter’s mention that the false teachers were “denying the Lord who bought them” (v. 1). In so doing, I mentioned four principles of Scripture interpretation:
First, we never base our theology on a single text taken out of context.
Second, we allow Scripture to interpret Scripture. We interpret Scripture by comparing Scripture with Scripture.
Third, we interpret Scriptures that are less clear in their meaning by Scriptures that are clearer in their meaning. We understand passages in the shade by comparing them with those in the light.
And fourth, we always assume that the Scriptures are in perfect harmony and not in conflict with one another. What we see as differences are only apparent differences. The Scriptures are clear (perspicuous), though our ability to understand them is often clouded by sin.