Conversations from Campus: Bible Interpretation 3: The Impasse

Rick Mattson Bible Leave a Comment

Alison and Bob, two sincere, God-honoring, Bible-believing college students disagree on the meaning of a biblical text.

So who’s right?

The choices are:

1. Alison is right, Bob is wrong. Or:

2. Bob is right, Alison is wrong. Or:

3. They’re both wrong.

That all seems plain enough.

Question: Can they both be right?

Well, not in the same respect. To my thinking the Scripture cannot ultimately contradict itself. Thus opposing interpretations cannot both be correct.

At this point Bob, who’s actually a sophomore at Big U, offers a way around his impasse with Alison. He insists the text “means” whatever it “means to me.” That is, the Holy Spirit has led him to interpret the text a certain way for a specific situation in his life. Surely no one can forbid such reliance on the Spirit.

How would you respond to Bob? 

(I’ll offer a suggestion next week.)

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