How do we interpret the Bible? Everyone has rules that they follow that help them understand each passage as they read. Fancy theologians have a word for those rules: a hermeneutic. A hermeneutic is the process that each person uses when they read the Bible to understand it's meaning. There are lots of rules that we use in our hermeneutic. Here are some examples:
- The Bible doesn't contradict itself.
- You have to read the Bible for what it says. You can't make things up.
- The Bible interprets itself.
The most important rule, however, is the one Jesus gives us in Luke 24:44-53. He tells us that the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms point to him. "“These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations." When Jesus opened the disciples' minds, he told them that it focuses on his death and resurrection.
But our temptation is to turn the Bible away from Jesus and to make it about ourselves. We act like the stories from the Bible are about life lessons that we should learn or give us principals by which we should live. But that's not what the Bible is about. It's about Jesus. Listen to more.