1 Peter 1:20 question


#1

I have used this verse when arguing with protestants about the bible, but I feel that I’m a hypocrite because I myself have made private interpretations, but the interpretations im making actually help evangelize for the Church, what I am doing is I want to go through the entire bible and find “catholic” bible verses, for example, in Genesis 8:20, I am I sinning and/or being a hypocrite because I see it as a symbol or parallel to Mass/Eucharist?


#2

I think you’re mentioning 2 Peter 1: 20 which reads:

“Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation,”

We are not allowed to make personal interpretations on Scripture of which the Church has already infallible defined, this is why it leads into the next verse (21),

“for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God.”

Of course, we are all not sure of whether our opinions are actually guided by the Holy Spirit or our own personal wills at times. But whatever the Church has infallibly declared truth by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit cannot be denied (such as the Eucharist) but whatever else that doesn’t contradict the Church is permissible, I believe.


#3

I don’t understand why you feel like a hypocrite for using those verses. Could you explain?


#4

I think you’re mentioning 2 Peter 1: 20 which reads

Ahhhh I see…

I think that JeshurunPetrus is right. I believe that we can make our own interpretations of Scripture as long as we do not oppose the infallible teachings of the Catholic Church. However, if you are debating Protestants, maybe you should get an apologetics guide to the Bible since it would have information about which Bible verses are related to the teachings of our Faith. Also, if you use a study bible, that would be helpful since it would include plenty of information explaining what is meant by many of the verses (cultural significance, which verses are related to each other, etc.)

Apologist Steve Ray often says that our main disadvantage when reading the Bible is that we are not Jewish and so we often miss the point when reading the Bible.

God bless


#5

2nd Peter 1:20 and private interpretation.

The title of the thread said 1st Peter 1:20 (“1 Peter 1:20 question”) but I am going to assume you meant 2nd PETER 1:20 (“2nd Peter 1:20 question”). The moderator may change this thread title to “2nd Peter 1:20 question” so other people in the future can do searches and get to this thread easier, especially if you request this change.

johnnyt3000. You asked about 2nd Peter 1:20 and private interpretation.

I have used this verse when arguing with protestants about the bible, but I feel that I’m a hypocrite because I myself have made private interpretations, but the interpretations im making actually help evangelize for the Church, what I am doing is I want to go through the entire bible and find “catholic” bible verses, for example, in Genesis 8:20, I am I sinning and/or being a hypocrite because I see it as a symbol or parallel to Mass/Eucharist?

You are not being hypocritical. Let’s look catechetically WHY you are not being hypocritical, but first, let’s begin with the salient verses.

The backdrop to all of this is probably St. Peter talking about what “we” saw and heard during the Transfiguration.

Let’s briefly read the passage (with bold emphasis mine).

2nd PETER 1:18-20 18 we heard this voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain. 19 And we have the prophetic word made more sure. You will do well to pay attention to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21 because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

So the question you are raising basically is:

**
Considering 2nd Peter 1:20 (“no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation”), isn’t it “hypocrisy” when Catholics carry out “one’s own interpretation”? **

The answer is YES . . . . IF you are going against the teachings of the Church in such an interpretation.

The answer is NO . . . . IF you are in harmony with the teachings of the Church in such an interpretation.

Let’s look at the Pontifical Biblical Commission (which gives us an idea of this concept).

**
Pontifical Biblical Commission** The Spirit is, assuredly, also given to <individual Christians,> so that their hearts can “burn within them” (Lk. 24:32) as they pray and prayerfully study the Scripture within the context of their own personal lives. This is why the Second Vatican Council insisted that access to Scripture be facilitated in every possible way (<Dei Verbum,> 22; 25). This kind of reading, it should be noted, is never completely private, for the believer always reads and interprets Scripture within the faith of the church and then brings back to the community the fruit of that reading for the enrichment of the common faith. (from here bold and ul mine)

Yes there are constraints as to how we may or may not interpret Scripture.

You would expect constraints with truth being protected from doctrinal falsehood. The Council of Trent back in the 1500s AD put this teaching in the following manner . . .

COUNCIL OF TRENT Session IV “Furthermore, in order to restrain petulant spirits, it decrees that no one, relying on his own skill, shall, – in matters of faith, and of morals pertaining to the edification of Christian doctrine, – wresting the sacred Scripture to his own senses, presume to interpret the said sacred Scripture contrary to that sense which holy Mother Churchto whom it belongs to judge of the true sense and interpretation of the holy Scriptures – hath held and doth hold; or even contrary to the unanimous consent of the Fathers; even though such interpretations were never (intended) to be at any time published. . . .
[INDENT]– Council of Trent, Session IV, April 8 1546 (From page 11 Tan Edition Dogmatic Canons and Decrees of the Council of Trent). Bold and ul mine[/INDENT]

The laity do in fact have some authority and DUTY to spread God’s teachings when used in this proper context.

CCC 900a Since, like all the faithful, lay Christians are entrusted by God with the apostolate by virtue of their Baptism and Confirmation, they have the right and duty, individually or grouped in associations, to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth. . . .

I hope this helps.

God bless.

Cathoholic


#6

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