Is there a right of private interpretation of scripture?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Zenas, May 26, 2009.

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  1. Zenas

    Zenas
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    In his blog today, Albert Mohler took aim at Richard Holloway, Bishop of the Scottish Episcopal Church (Ret.). Despite his disbelief in God, Bishop Holloway still preaches and presides at communion. Dr. Mohler finds all this thoroughly scandalous. So far, so good. However, Mohler then adds:
    Albert Mohler does not seem to believe in a right of private interpretation of scripture. Somehow I always thought this was one of the tenets of Baptist belief, i.e., soul liberty.

    What say you?
     
  2. historyb

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    Dr. Mohler is right, Scripture can not be interpreted privately in a vacuum. There are criteria for proper Biblical Hermeneutics that's why there are confession and creeds and such.
     
  3. donnA

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    I agree, we can not interept it to mean any thing we want, it must fall in line with accepted traditional baptist teachings, otherwise we get false teachers and cults. without rule sof proper interpetation we can not condemn false teachers as being false.
     
  4. Zenas

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    So how can we discern whose creed or confession is correct? When we judge it by scripture, aren't we adding our own interpretation to scripture? Surely we can recognize that much scripture is susceptable to more than one interpretation. Otherwise we would only have one creed, one confession, one denomination.
     
  5. Zenas

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    Are you saying if it's not Baptist is must be false?
     
  6. historyb

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    By searching the Scripture

    No we are verifying that what the creeds or confessions says line up with Scripture. It's like an editor, your not looking at the meaning but that things line up
     
  7. preachinjesus

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    This has been a big sticking point for Dr. Mohler recently.

    It truly boggles the mind. I didn't think we, as Christians, have rights in Christ.

    That said one of the things that might be worth exploring is that this man's interpretation is invalid. One principle of hermeneutics that has held since the early church days has been that our interpretations of Scripture begin in community and are given validity through our:
    1. application in consistency
    2. coherency in terms of accepted orthodoxy
    3. personal testimony of interpretter

    Basically my contention is that this man's interpretation is invalid because he isn't a Christian. To follow Christ means you believe in God. According to Paul in 2 Corinthians 3:12-17 this man cannot properly grasp the meaning of Scripture because he has a veil over his (spiritual) eyes. :)
     
  8. Magnetic Poles

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    People have the right to any interpretation they believe is correct. Does it mean they are right? Nope.
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    As I mentioned above the early church had a three part test.

    It is pretty hard to sit under a man's teaching about truth telling who is constantly lying. Or hear from someone about how homosexuality isn't sin who is a practicing homosexual.
     
  10. Amy.G

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    2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.



    Seems like this verse has been misinterpreted. :)


    It means that prophecies in scripture did not come from the prophet himself (private interpretation), but came from God, spoken through the prophets.


    As believers, we have the privilege of interpreting the scriptures as the Holy Spirit leads. This is not the "private interpretation" spoken of in 2 Peter.
     
  11. DHK

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    You are quite correct.
    I may not agree with Jehovah Witness doctrine, but I will defend his right to believe it. It is a matter of soul liberty--the right to believe what you believe is true (even though you may be deceived). It is called religious tolerance. I also believe it is called freedom of religion. Don't we believe that in this nation? It has nothing to do with hermeneutics. That is an entirely different subject, than the title of this thread.
     
  12. Zenas

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    As citizens of the United States (and other countries as well) we have a right to freedom of religion. No one doubts that. But as Christians does God give us the right to interpret scripture according to our own judgment as led by the Holy Spirit? And if we are permitted to do that, what if we reach opposite conclusions on important issues? And I'm not talking about kooks and infidels like Bishop Holloway. There are, for instance, devout Christians who love the Lord take the Bible seriously as the inspired word of God who believe you can lose your salvation, others who believe in baptismal regeneration. Most people here would say they are just wrong, that the Bible teaches no such thing, but they would be just as quick to say you are wrong and they don't understand why you can't see it.
     
  13. tinytim

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    It falls under a couple of Baptist Distinctives.. Soul Liberty is the main one it falls under.. but can be seen also in Priesthood of the beliver.. and this principle of interpretting scripture is what leads to the Baptist Distinctive of Seperation of Church and State, because we feel the State should NEVER dictate what we MUST believe...

    I will defend his right to believe it, even if he is wrong.
    As I will defend the right of those that want to run from this Heretic... (Not Mohler, the other guy:thumbs:)
     
  14. donnA

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    nope

    if your baptist what other teachings are you going to go by, if you didn't beleive baptist teachings you wouldn't be baptist.
     
  15. Andy T.

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    Do we have the right (before men) to interpret Scripture ourselves? Sure. But we don't have the right (before God) to be wrong in our interpretation.
     
  16. Jon-Marc

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    That's the problem we have now and the reason we have so many religions that disagree with one another on what the scriptures say; people are doing their own interpretations instead of letting the Holy Spirit interpret for them.

    Our thoughts are contrary to God's, and we cannot think like God without His help. Trying to interpret His word on our own only causes confusion and disagreement.
     
  17. DHK

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    That may be true, but we still can't force our beliefs on others. There are many Charismatics that are adamant that the Holy Spirit has led them to a belief in speaking in tongues is for today, that the gifts of healing and of miracles is for today. I believe I am just as led by the Spirit that they are wrong. Both can't be true. I believe they are deceived.
    But they have the soul liberty to believe what they believe is true (even if it is wrong).
     
  18. Magnetic Poles

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    And how many on any side of an issue are open to the question, "What if I am wrong about this." If other sincere Christians believe they are led one way, why am I invulnerable to being wrong? Dogmatism can also lead to error.

    I believe there are some things that none of us will ever know with certainty. We try to find the mind of God, but all of us fall short.
     
  19. gb93433

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    What else would one expect from an unbeliever?

    http://www.albertmohler.com/blog_read.php?id=3839
     
  20. Zenas

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