KEY SCRIPTURE: John 2:20 KJV” Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?”
In the above scripture the Jews answered the Lord concerning His statement about raising the temple in three days, after it has been pulled down. They interpreted it as, how could he raise a building that was built over forty-six years in three days.? This was their interpretation to the Lord’s statement. We find this trend going on among many people who try to interpret the word of God. Things get rougher when it comes to interpreting signs and symbols used to explain certain parts of the scriptures. Often, such statements are parables, that may not find their interpretation literal, as compared to other scriptures. The error of these Jews is the same error that plagues most people in our times, who wrest the scriptures in trying to interpret it.
The scriptures itself shows us how to interpret itself. Isaiah 28:13 gives us the basic approach.” But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; … …”. The bible although is a combination of a number of books, was written by one author who inspired all the human vessels (2 Timothy 3:16,17). This author is the Holy Spirit. No Scripture stands in isolation.
Isaiah 28:13 says God has given his message, from precept to precept, and line upon line, there a little, here a little. To be able to give good interpretation to the scriptures you need to have a good knowledge of the scriptures. By such knowledge, you would be able to explain certain symbolic statements, because, their meaning is given at other portions of the scriptures. You would also be able to see literal meanings of various statements that must be interpretated literally.
The Jewish people approached Jesus’ statement purely from a natural and none scriptural point of view. The Old Testament gives lots of prophecies about Jesus’ birth, suffering, death and resurrection. Isaiah 53, Ps 16:10,11; Hosea 6:2) With the principle of Isaiah 28:13 they would have understood that He was talking about His death. Well, the Holy Spirit who throws light on various scriptures was not with them to assist them. (John 14:26.) To add to what has been said above; for proper interpretation, one needs to first consider the context of the scripture and find the literal meaning as the author said it to its expected audience. Knowing the culture of the people at the moment of that scripture also gives more insight into the meaning of the verse.
To also have a good understanding of the scripture, you need to always approach the scripture with an opened mind, and not with any preconceived notions which may not help you see what the passage or verses may be saying.
THOUGHT: FOR GOOD INTERPRETATION, YOU NEED A GOOD KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORD, AND THE ILLUMINATION OF THE SPIRIT.
2Timothy 2:15 KJV” Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Acts 17:11 KJV “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”.