My good friend Eric from “Hammer and Nail” has written an excellent article called “Same Bible – Different Interpretations – Why?” Eric examines the issues of hermeneutics, that is, biblical interpretation. He asks the question, “Why do two people both indwelled by the Spirit comes to different interpretations of the same passage of Scripture?” His answer:
So why do Christians with good intentions of determining the truth come to different conclusions about the meaning of scripture? The answer must be that we are fallen creatures. Even if we are redeemed sons and daughters of King Jesus, we are still affected by sin. This sin impacts not only our moral judgments, but also our intellect. We do not interpret perfectly.
I agree with Eric, and I agree along with Eric that our fallen nature should not keep us from studying Scripture and coming to conclusions. But, recognizing that we are fallen creatures should lead us to hold to our conclusions with humility.
I wonder if the same fallen nature that causes us to misinterpret Scripture also causes us to hold tightly to our interpretations to the point of condemning those who disagree with us.