Why should I believe your interpretation of the Bible?

 

Since there are so many so-called different interpretations of the Bible one complaint often voiced is that everyone has a different interpretation of the Bible. Because many people arrive at varying conclusions when they read the Bible, there is supposedly no way to arrive at a consensus. People point to the variety of denominations as an example that there can be no unanimity among Bible believers.

This idea neglects to take into account certain facts. The great majority of Bible readers have no problem agreeing on the Bible’s central teachings. Even those who do not believe the Bible to be true have no difficulty whatsoever discerning the main message.

Within all branches of Christianity, we find the same basic understanding as to what the Bible teaches. They usually accept the same creeds that assert such basic truths as that God made man in His image, with freedom of choice, and that man chose to rebel against God, thus bringing sin into the world. Moreover, God, because of His everlasting love, became a man in the person of Jesus Christ and died a substitutionary death on our behalf, paying the infinite penalty of sin. Men can have their relationship restored with God through placing their faith in Jesus Christ.

The Bible’s message is clear for those who will read it with an open mind and seek to understand its meaning. The problem comes when people attempt to make the Word fit their preconceived ideas. This is not the fault of the Bible, but of the people who attempt to force the Bible to say whatever they want it to say. Often the disagreement is not so much with the interpretation of the Scriptures, but with the application.

As for various denominations, it must be stressed that these are usually not formed because of division over Christianity’s central teachings. The differences are a result of a variety of factors, including cultural, ethnic and social ones. Doctrinal differences are not always that crucial.

Some people use this argument as an excuse for not believing in Jesus, but like all others, it does not prove to be valid. Jesus made the main issue crystal-clear, “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (John 3:36).

 

The critical issue is not that of some differences in interpretation or denominations, but rather the person of Christ Himself. He clearly and repeatedly claimed to be God Himself and the ultimate Judge of everyone. What will you do with the person of Jesus and His claims?

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