Principles For Interpreting The Bible

Rules for interpretation

Work from the assumption that the Bible is authoritative.

1. The Bible interprets itself; Scripture best explains Scripture.

2. Saving faith and the Holy Spirit are necessary for us to understand and properly interpret the Scriptures.

3. Interpret personal experience in the light of Scripture and not Scripture in the light of personal experience.

4. Biblical examples are authoritative only when supported by a command.

5. The primary purpose of the Bible is to change our lives, not increase our knowledge.

6. Each Christian has the right and responsibility to investigate and interpret the Word of God for himself.

7. Church history is important, but not decisive in the interpretation of Scripture.

8. The promises throughout the Bible are available to the believers of every generation.

9. Scripture has only one meaning and should be taken literally.

10. Interpret words in harmony with their meaning in the times of the author.

11. Interpret a word in relation to its sentence and context.

12. Interpret a passage in harmony with its context.  When an inanimate object is used to describe a living being, the statement may be considered figurative.

13. When an expression is out of character with the thing described, the statement may be considered figurative.