Conservative Colloquium

An Intellectual Forum for All Things Conservative

The Necessity of Authoritative Biblical Interpretation

Posted by Tony Listi on March 6, 2008

Protestants place private judgment and interpretation over any authority, but what do they think of the following Bible passages? These verses seem to imply the need for interpretation by an authority and also that Scripture is not as clear and understandable as Protestants claim.

Nehemiah 8:7-8 “the Levites, helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. And they read from the book, from the law of God, clearly; and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.”

Acts 8:27-31 “And he rose and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a minister of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. And the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot.’ So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless some one guides me?’ And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.”

2 Peter 1:20 “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation….”

2 Peter 3:15-17 “So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, beware lest you be carried away with the error of lawless men and lose your own stability.”

And let’s not forget the countless times in the Gospels when the apostles or others do not understand what Jesus is saying and he has to explain things further to them.

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