A gracEmail reader writes concerning faith and understanding. His comments are in italics; mine are not.
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I have been musing over the difference between inspiration and interpretation. We understand and believe that Holy Scripture is God’s divine revelation to humanity through the Holy Spirit and human agents.
God’s greatest revelation is Jesus Christ himself, to whom all of Scripture points, leads, and bears faithful primary witness (John 1:9, 14; 5:39-40; Heb. 1:1-2). We therefore read and study Scripture, not standing alone as a mere book, but in light of Jesus — his identity, his work, his character, his deeds, his attitudes (spirit) and his relations with people (Luke 24:27; 2 Peter 3:15-18; Rev. 19:10). The Holy Spirit also leads us into truth as it is in Jesus. Bible study is more than academics. It also involves revelation of another sort, what some people prefer to call illumination (Eph. 1:16-17; 2 Tim. 2:7; 1 John 2:27).
This being true there is only one correct meaning to what God has written, correct?
That is true when God has only one meaning in mind. However, Scripture itself often interprets other Scripture with various levels of meaning, or different applications — even with fulfilled prophecy (Acts 1:20-26; Matt. 1:23; 2:18, 23). God might have more in mind than one “meaning” in a Western, logical, academic sense. The Bible is a book intending to create and nurture a relationship, not just a book of “truths” or “doctrine” or “answers.” Yet it is true in all that it affirms, it does supply right doctrine (“teaching”), and it provides fundamental answers to our most basic questions about ourselves as created by God to live in fellowship with him in his universe.