When it comes to the Bible and seeking to rightly interpret its true meaning, many people are too subjective in their approach to it. By subjective, I mean approaching the Bible from our own emotional influence. The picture of this is sitting in a Bible study and asking each person, what does this text mean to you? This approach would give you at least 10 different meanings. The truth is however, it doesn’t matter what the text means to me, but rather what it actually means. We don’t have the right to change the meaning of scripture, but our goal should be to tap into what the writer meant when he wrote it. There is however examples from the Bible where the historic Author had a specific meaning in view, that writers in the New Testament under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, took what was said and used the same passage to relate to an entirely different event.
The example that comes to mind comes from the book of Hosea. in 11:1.NKJV. “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. Hosea specifically has in mind the historical event of the exodus, and i doubt if he even had in mind the way in which Matthew used it in reference to Christ and his flight into Egypt. Matthew 2:14-15 NKJV When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night and departed from Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the Prophet, saying, out of Egypt I called my Son. There are certain texts like Hosea that have two meanings. First in its historical setting, second in how it relates to Christ later on. We could say this about much of the prophecies surrounding Christ in the Old Testament. However the thing we need to safeguard against is giving the text multiple meanings. Many people who read the Bible who come up with wrong meanings, claim revelation knowledge from the Spirit. This is how they come up with their deeper teachings, so called. But the Holy Spirit who inspired the written text isn’t gonna come up with a meaning thats contrary to what has been written.
The amount of times I’ve heard over the years, ” the Lord showed me,” as people have been reading their Bible are plentiful. Now I’m not saying that the Spirit doesn’t give us illumination when we read the text. But when my interpretation of scripture is erroneous, and I’m still claiming the Lord showed me, something is wrong? Rather than finding fault with the text itself, I would rather take the stance that something is wrong with the interpreter. As you can probably tell, I think Bible interpretation is a big problem in the church. To establish false doctrine on a faulty biblical interpretation is nothing new, yet it gives the false doctrine a greater foothold if people are using chapter and verse. Chapter and verse doesn’t always mean the people are right, for they could be twisting the verses out of context. This is where we require greater diligence and research. It isn’t always outright lies that trip us up, but half truths, or things almost right are more dangerous. May God help us and guide us by His Spirit in the pursuit of His truth!