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THEOLOGY > Bible > Truth > Importance of Interpretation   


Since the Revelation is from God and, therefore, Truth, the Bible is to be trusted in what it teaches and affirms. Assuming that the interpretation of what the Bible teaches and affirms is correct, then whatever the teaching is, that teaching must be accepted. The Bible does not suggest; it decides. It does not provide options; it informs man as to what is.

For instance, consider the white horse and rider in Rev. 6:2: “And I looked, and behold, a white horse. He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer.” Because this verse is the result of God’s Revelation, it is Truth. It is Truth in that it teaches exactly what God intends for it to teach. But what does God intend to teach?

Interpretation enters and provides several possibilities. The first horse and horseman of the Apocalypse is said to represent: one, good; two, evil; three, some historical person or event; four, Christ; five, Antichrist; and six, the spirit of conquest.

Now what is the Truth taught? Perhaps one of the above six is the truth, perhaps a combination of the above, or perhaps none of the above. The fact is that Revelation 6:2 is Truth and teaches what God intends for it to teach. Whichever interpretation of the above is the proper one, that is the one that is the Truth regarding the text and is the one that must be accepted.

Erickson’s words need to be given a serious consideration: “The Bible, when correctly interpreted in light of the level to which culture and the means of communication had developed at the time it was written, and in view of the purposes for which it was given, is fully truthful in all that it affirms” (CT, I, 233-4). The problem, obviously, is not the text; the problem is the interpreter’s understanding of what the text affirms.

To say that the Bible is Truth is to say that the Bible,
properly understood and interpreted,
teaches exactly what God intends for it to teach.

The burden is not upon the text; the burden is upon the interpreter. However, it must be remembered that the Bible is Truth in and of itself whether it is correctly interpreted or not. The interpreter may not be correct in his interpretation of what God teaches in His Revelation, but what God teaches in His Revelation is Truth.

And He opened their understanding,
that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
Lu. 24:45

Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Ps. 119:34

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