Conversations from Campus: Bible Interpretation 1

Rick Mattson Bible, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

One of the questions I get most frequently in my travels is how to properly interpret the Bible.

Backup for a second.

Imagine you’re 19 years old and grew up in the church. You go away to college and discover that a lot of sincere, Spirit-led people interpret the Bible different than you.

And different from each other.

This raises several questions in your mind:

1. Who’s right?

2. Are there any rules or guidelines for interpreting the Bible?

3. Who makes these rules? Why should I believe them?

4. In the end, isn’t up to each individual to interpret the Bible for their own life, based on how God is leading them?

With these questions and a few others in mind, you show up at a 9pm talk in your dorm lounge to hear what a traveling “apologist” (a what?) says about these matters.

He is emphatic about one main thing:

Participating in the interpretive community.

You’ve never heard of this. It sounds like a nature hike at a state park.

He insists that it’s wrong to interpret the Bible in isolation. That you need to take part in the historic conversation┬áthat’s been unfolding around the Bible for two millennia.

The interpretive community? The historic conversation?

The apologist from St. Paul, MN, is maybe a little wacky.

*********

We’ll find out next week.

photo credit: Cape Disappointment, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center
http://goo.gl/fSUu99

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