Where do we get our interpretation of the Word of God from? Is it divine revelation, or is it our own opinions and ideas? It is important to have a correct definition of interpretation and to realign to what God authors.
“What is your interpretation of this verse?” to most people would mean “What do you think this verse means?”
But this is not what the word ‘interpretation’ means.
‘Interpretation’ from the Oxford Dictionary is defined as:
- The action of explaining the meaning of something.
- An explanation or way of explaining.
- A stylistic representation of a creative work or dramatic role.
‘Interpretation’ from the Oxford Thesaurus is defined as:
- ‘the interpretation and application of the Bible’s teaching’.
- explanation, elucidation, expounding, exposition, explication, exegesis, clarification, definition
Other words we see are: ‘meaning, analysis, decoding, translation, transliteration, and paraphrase’.
Here is the bottom line truth about ‘interpretation’:
‘Interpretation’ is about ‘our explanation’, it is not about ‘out opinion’.
Let me put it this way: If it’s not accurate to the original intention, it’s not an interpretation, it’s a distortion!
2 Timothy 2:15 says, Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
We have substituted ‘Handle the Word of God correctly’ with ‘Interpret the Word of God as seems best to you’. Interpretation that comes from divine revelation is accurate because the Source is God. Interpretation that does not come from divine revelation is dangerous and erroneous because the source is us. We cannot handle the Word of God correctly outside of divine revelation from our Father in heaven. Our application is aligned to our interpretation, and this is why it must be founded in divine revelation.
We do what we believe, therefore, if our belief is incorrect, our doing will be incorrect. Trying to change what we do without changing what we believe will result in ongoing frustration and disappointment. True freedom is connected to right believing, and right believing is connected to divine revelation, not natural interpretation.
John 8:31-32 states, To the Jews who had believed Him, Jesus said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I fear too many Christians are coming up with their version of truth, and it can never lead to lasting freedom. Only God’s version of the truth can result in true freedom.
We must seek the truth.
We must pursue the truth.
We must deeply desire the truth.
We must position ourselves to receive the truth.
God may say different things, to different people, from the same scripture, but He will never contradict Himself from the same scripture.
It’s time to know THE TRUTH and to get our interpretation from divine revelation.