INTERPRETATION

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INTERPRETATION“That is just your interpretation,” she said after hearing me read a verse. Any idea that did not match her own was rejected as an unacceptable private opinion.

The word “interpretation” is found in 2 Peter 1:20: “No prophecy of scripture is of private interpretation.” The New Testament writers expected their readers to understand what they wrote (Eph 3:4; I thes 5:27; I Jn 2:12-13). Jesus himself said every man is responsible for studying and reading the Scriptures for himself (Lk 10:26). The Bible teaches we must reject the notion that interpretation or explanation of Scripture is to be left to the reverend experts in some church of whatever name. After all, remember it was the “religious experts” who crucified Christ!

The Greek word here is “epiluso” which means to unloose, to make clear, to explain what may be difficult to understand (cf. Thayer). A clearer translation of this verse would be: “No prophecy of Scripture is of the prophet’s own invention,” or “No prophecy was of their own disclosure” (cf. Macknight and Barnes in www.Coffman Commentary.com). The passage explains that the truths which the prophets spoke were not originated by themselves, not their own invention, but were of higher origin imparted by God. They were not at liberty to give their own ideas, but were to deliver what the Lord had given them, the “God-breathed words” (I Pet 1:10-12; 2 Tim 3:16f).

If we speak only “the very words from God,” we will see the Scriptures alike (I Pet 4:11; I Cor 4:6).

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