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How to Interpret the Bible Faithfully

Written by Jim Brandyberry on

We all know that how we interpret the Bible is important. Second Timothy 2:15 is the verse in Scripture that likely addresses this most directly: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.”

So, what elements help us most in “rightly handling the word of truth”? Many would respond that having a seminary education or understanding the biblical languages or having a large personal theological library can be useful. 

However, I would suggest that there are other characteristics that are even more essential to that goal.

  • Courage: Jesus said, “He that continues in my word is indeed my disciple” (John 8:31). This often involves a price to pay and that requires courage.
  • Honesty: Truthfulness in handling Scripture is imperative, regardless of the consequences.
  • Love for Truth: This has to be our objective, not just proving a point.
  • Low Ego: How greatly the Bible can be twisted when self gets in the way!
  • Objectivity: The ability to approach the Bible without the influence of emotion, preconceptions, or bias is indispensable in interpreting the Word of God.
  • Teachability: Let us remember the example of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8 who  asked the Apostle Philip to help him understand the book of Isaiah. He had the humility to look to someone who knew more than he did.

Then there are the qualities of studiousness and stability. Referring to the epistles of Paul, the Apostle Peter admonished that there are “things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures” (2 Pet. 3:16). Now, those are examples not to follow!

May God help us as we continue our journey in his Word. 

Jim Brandyberry

Rev. James Kenneth Brandyberry has ministered in Karachi, Pakistan, and holds the degrees of A.A., Dip.Th., B.S., M.A. and D.D. Jim pastored for several years and has had a wide range of speaking engagements throughout America, Asia, and Europe. Jim has been married since 1975 and has two sons.Along with his wife, Earlene, they began attending College Park in the year 2000.

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