False Teachers Say…




The churches of Christ Greet You (Romans 16:16)




What does Interpretation mean? It is a generic term and may refer to any work of litera­ture.


Some general principles of the term are:

1. Referred specifically to the sacred Scriptures, the science of interpretation is generally known as hermeneutics, while the practical application of the principles of this science is exegesis.

2. In nearly all cases, interpretation has in mind the thoughts of another, and then, further, these thoughts expressed in another language than that of the interpreter. In this sense it is used in Biblical research.

3. A person has interpreted the thoughts of another when he has in his own mind a correct reproduc­tion or photograph of the thought as it was con­ceived in the mind of the original writer or speaker.
4. The Bible student has interpreted the Scriptures when he has in his own mind what was in the mind of the author or authors of the Biblical books when they were written.

5. It is accordingly a purely reproductive process, involving no originality of thought on the part of the interpreter.

6. If the latter adds anything of his own it is eisegesis (reading "into") and not exegesis (reading "out of").

7. The rules of the correct interpretation of the Scriptures will depend upon (a) the character of these writings themselves, and (b) the principles which an interpreter will employ in his interpretation. These principles will be in harmony with his ideas of what the Scriptures are as to origin, character, history, etc.

8. In the nature of the case the dogmatical stand of the interpreter will materially influence his her­meneutics and exegesis.

9. In the legitimate sense of the term, every inter­preter of the Bible is guided by certain principles which he holds antecedently to his work of inter­pretation.

10. The Bible is a unique collection of Divinely inspired writings and a revelation from the source of all truth. Thus, the Bible student will hesitate long before accepting contradictions, errors, mis­takes, etc., in the Scriptures.

There are special principles involved:

1. The Scriptures are a Divine and human product combined.

2. That the holy men of God wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit is the claim of the Scriptures themselves.

3. Just where the line of demarcation is to be drawn between the human and the Divine factors in the production of the sacred Scriptures materially affects the principles of interpreting these writ­ings.

4. That the human factor was sufficiently potent to shape the form of thought in the Scriptures is evident on all hands.

5. Paul does not write as Peter does, nor John as James; the individuality of the writer of the different books appears not only in the style, choice of words, etc., but in the whole form of thought also.

6. The Bible is written for men, and its thoughts are those of mankind (through inspiration), not of angels or creatures of a different or higher spiri­tual or intellectual character; and accordingly there is no specifically Biblical logic, rhetoric, or grammar.

7. The laws of thought and of the interpretation of thought in these matters pertain to the Bible as they do to other writings.

8. God (Deity) is the author of the Scriptures which He has given through human agencies.

9. The contents of the Scriptures, to a great extent, must be far above the ordinary concepts of the human mind.


The Bible is sometimes its own interpreter:

1. John 1:38: "And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by inter­pretation, A stone."

2. Hebrews 7:2: "To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteous­ness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace."

3. Luke 24:27: The Old Testament is used by Christ in interpreting to the two on the way to Emmaus "in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself," RV, "interpreted" (KJV, "expounded").

4. Acts 9:36: "Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and alms ­deeds which she did.”

5. First Corinthians 12:30: "To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another divers kinds of tongues, to another the inter­pretationof tongues."    

6. First Corinthians 14:26: "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, everyone of you hath a psalm, hath a doc­trine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an inter­pretation. Let all things be done unto edifying."

7. Second Peter 1:20: "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation."


a) Customs can change as long as you don't change the laws.

b) Laws can be changed only by the lawgiver.

c) Principles never change.

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