Does the Holy Spirit guide your Bible Interpretaion?


#1

If you interpret it (the bible) by what the Holy Spirit tells you, then why does the Holy Spirit tell people different things???

There are so many different beliefs in so many different churches based on so many different interpretations of the Bible!!

We are taught that there is One Truth. The Bible tells us how to deal with questions and differences on beliefs and traditions. You see how the question on Gentile circumcision was brought before a Church Council in Jerusalem. They didn’t leave it up to the Church in Antioch.

If you feel this was only due to the Apostles being in Jerusalem, then how is the Church supposed to deal with controversies (such as Jesus’ Divinity, the Holy Trinity, the OT and NT canons) which came up during the Churches History?

I don’t know, maybe my knowledge is,
NotWorthy


#2

Speaking for myself I know that I am still far too much a slave to my passions for the Holy Spirit to get a word in edgewise. If I appear to have received a revelation of sorts regarding some part of scripture, I all too often fall prey to my pride. If after checking the church’s interpretation I find that I have discovered something new then it is almost certainly of the devil or simply my imagination. Even if it turns out to be something the church agrees on, it could easily again be from the devil in order to tickle my pride.

John


#3

NotWorthy,

If I may answer the question in the title, I would sincerely hope that the Holy Spirit guides my Bible interpretation. But there is enough background noise (as prodromos points out) that if my interpretation is at all “iffy,” I don’t trust it.

A recent example of this is my discovery that in the Hebrew of Genesis 3:15 the phrase that is translated “strike at his heel” has the first person plural pronoun suffix in it–that literally it appears to be more like “strike at our heel.” It occurs to me that this is God identifying Himself with the woman’s offspring–a clear reference to Jesus as Son of Mary and Son of God. But I know just enough Hebrew to be dangerous, and so I am keeping this in my mind under the category of “interesting but unproven” until I hear confirmation from somebody else more qualified than I am to speak about it. After all, how many centuries of Bible translators have not followed this interpretation?

  • Liberian

#4

[quote=NotWorthy]If you interpret it (the bible) by what the Holy Spirit tells you, then why does the Holy Spirit tell people different things???

There are so many different beliefs in so many different churches based on so many different interpretations of the Bible!!

We are taught that there is One Truth. The Bible tells us how to deal with questions and differences on beliefs and traditions. You see how the question on Gentile circumcision was brought before a Church Council in Jerusalem. They didn’t leave it up to the Church in Antioch.

If you feel this was only due to the Apostles being in Jerusalem, then how is the Church supposed to deal with controversies (such as Jesus’ Divinity, the Holy Trinity, the OT and NT canons) which came up during the Churches History?

I don’t know, maybe my knowledge is,
NotWorthy
[/quote]

What interpretation? The Word of God is for the most part straight forward & to the point, so that even the most simple of peoples can read & understand. I believe that persons “interpret” the Scriptures in so many different ways as only to impress themselves with their own “knowledge”, which is not only sad but a travesty.

There are so many different “churches” (really only one established by Christ Himself) because all of these “churches” are based on someones PERSONAL INTERPRETATION of the Bible. All these “churches” claim to be rooted & centered in and on the Bible, but are not, they are only rooted in & on misinterpretations & perversion of the scriptures.

The One Holy Catholic & Apostalic Church is the only Church, & she is not based on personal or misinterpretations of the Bible, & is in fact NOT BASED ON THE BIBLE at all. Why? Because the One Holy Catholic & Apostalic Church has been in exsistence longer than the New Testament was ever even formed into the 27 books we find it in today. Another fact that will blow your mind is the fact that THE BIBLE IS CATHOLIC DOCTRINE, & all other “churches” that are rooted in the Bible are rooted in Catholic Doctrine (or their misinterpretaion of it) whether they realize it or not.

The Bible is based on Catholic teachings, not the Church on the Bible.


…believe it or not. :slight_smile:


#5

Correct! My point in the post was basically an argument against Sola Scriptura. I hear so many times that “The Bible is My Guide”! If that was meant to be so, then we would all believe exactly the same thing?!?

The problem, all too often, is we’ve have forgotten to read the bible the way it was intended, based on our Jewish Roots! OK, maybe that’s a bad way to say it, but it was written 1900 years ago (give or take) and we’ve lost the richness of the culture in which it was written.

Need an example? What did Jesus mean by the “Eye of the Needle?” On another thread, there were many different authoritative explanations, mine included. Back in 100AD, there was ONE!

So my point is, God knew what He was doing when He established His Church, and had the Spirit to Guide the Magesterium to help us develop our doctrines and beliefs.

Thank you,

NotWorthy


#6

I think we are guided by the Holy Sprit in all things. The Holy Spirit guides our reading and interpreting the Bible and it guides our conversations on this message board. But due to pride, wrath, greed, etc. along with just simple human limitations of understanding we make mistakes.

Look at people’s comments on this thread from a few Catholics. Their acts are guided or encouraged to be right by way of the Holy Spirit but I see an awful lot of sinful Pride.


#7

[quote=Shibboleth]I think we are guided by the Holy Sprit in all things. The Holy Spirit guides our reading and interpreting the Bible and it guides our conversations on this message board. But due to pride, wrath, greed, etc. along with just simple human limitations of understanding we make mistakes.

Look at people’s comments on this thread from a few Catholics. Their acts are guided or encouraged to be right by way of the Holy Spirit but I see an awful lot of sinful Pride.
[/quote]

Hi, Shibboleth:

I believe the Holy Spirit guides me by giving me the grace necessary to be humble enough to accept that which He chose to give unerring (and infallible) direction in interpreting Holy Revelation, including the Bible. Outside of this grace, I am prone to “creating” my own interpretations that diverge from the True and Authentic meaning of this Revelation. I can accept this grace, or not. It is my choice.

The Holy Spirit chose to give this unerring (and infallible) direction to Jesus’ Church. This church is the Catholic Church. As long as I align myself to the Catholic Church’s interpretation of this piece of Revelation (and everything else, like Sacred Tradition), I can be 100% absolutely sure that the interpretation is exactly and perfectly what the Holy Spirit intended for us to understand and accept.

If my personal interpretation is different than this, I know I need to ask the Holy Soirit to open my heart up to the True meaning given by the Church. Pride may get in my way, so a lot of prayer is needed. I know the Holy Spirit will guide me and show me to be humble enough to accept the Truth.

I believe there have been numerous instances throughout history, when good Catholics have lost sight of this: that they need to be humble in accepting God’s ordinary way of securing our salvation (through his Church), and they diverge from the Truth and form their own way of “securing” their salvation by creating new interpretations, retaining some interpretations from the Church, and rejecting many others. Granted, some of them got frustrated with the Church for good reasons, but they chose the wrong way to deal with the situation. This, to me, is risky. It is like trying to find a destination in a large US city without being able to ask someone who knows, like a police officer, who has been trained and has a lot more experience in this city than you. I admit: it is a little humbling having to stop to ask for directions, but I know the police officer will know.

The same thing goeas with the Church. I know it contains everything I need for my salvation, including the correct interpretation of Scripture, so I go to her for the right answer. It may be a bit humbling at times, but at the end, I’ll get the right answer, and won’t get lost.

Many times I hear that the Bible is “infallible”. However, infallibility implies the ability to reason, and make a decision. Only intelligent beings could potentially be infallible. For this reason, the Bible is not infallible. It is unerring, though. But also, for this same reason, an infallible entity is required to interpret this unerring document correctly. That function was given by the Holy Spirit to His Church.

Jorge.


#8

[quote=Delgadoajj]Hi, Shibboleth:

I believe the Holy Spirit guides me by giving me the grace necessary to be humble enough to accept that which He chose to give unerring (and infallible) direction in interpreting Holy Revelation, including the Bible. Outside of this grace, I am prone to “creating” my own interpretations that diverge from the True and Authentic meaning of this Revelation. I can accept this grace, or not. It is my choice.

The Holy Spirit chose to give this unerring (and infallible) direction to Jesus’ Church. This church is the Catholic Church. As long as I align myself to the Catholic Church’s interpretation of this piece of Revelation (and everything else, like Sacred Tradition), I can be 100% absolutely sure that the interpretation is exactly and perfectly what the Holy Spirit intended for us to understand and accept.

If my personal interpretation is different than this, I know I need to ask the Holy Soirit to open my heart up to the True meaning given by the Church. Pride may get in my way, so a lot of prayer is needed. I know the Holy Spirit will guide me and show me to be humble enough to accept the Truth.

I believe there have been numerous instances throughout history, when good Catholics have lost sight of this: that they need to be humble in accepting God’s ordinary way of securing our salvation (through his Church), and they diverge from the Truth and form their own way of “securing” their salvation by creating new interpretations, retaining some interpretations from the Church, and rejecting many others. Granted, some of them got frustrated with the Church for good reasons, but they chose the wrong way to deal with the situation. This, to me, is risky. It is like trying to find a destination in a large US city without being able to ask someone who knows, like a police officer, who has been trained and has a lot more experience in this city than you. I admit: it is a little humbling having to stop to ask for directions, but I know the police officer will know.

The same thing goeas with the Church. I know it contains everything I need for my salvation, including the correct interpretation of Scripture, so I go to her for the right answer. It may be a bit humbling at times, but at the end, I’ll get the right answer, and won’t get lost.

Many times I hear that the Bible is “infallible”. However, infallibility implies the ability to reason, and make a decision. Only intelligent beings could potentially be infallible. For this reason, the Bible is not infallible. It is unerring, though. But also, for this same reason, an infallible entity is required to interpret this unerring document correctly. That function was given by the Holy Spirit to His Church.

Jorge.
[/quote]

The only problem with this statement is that the Catholic Church has only infallibly defined a tiny tiny amount of scriptures. The only thing that a Catholic individual has to go on most of the time when dealing with Scripture is what something cannot be… but for the most part with all but a few verses Catholics are allowed to have their own opinions on what a particular verse in question means.


#9

[quote=Shibboleth]The only problem with this statement is that the Catholic Church has only infallibly defined a tiny tiny amount of scriptures. The only thing that a Catholic individual has to go on most of the time when dealing with Scripture is what something cannot be… but for the most part with all but a few verses Catholics are allowed to have their own opinions on what a particular verse in question means.
[/quote]

Shibboleth:

Thanks for your response. If that is the only problem, then you’re more Catholic than I (or maybe you) thought! The Bible is not a “catechism”. There are many different kinds of literary forms in the Bible. The catechism is a secure guide for the faithful. I’m reading it right now, and it’s thrilling!

In a case where the Church doesn’t have a set interpretation of some part of the Bible, the faithful are free to have an opinion on whatever it is, as long as it doesn’t go against the teaching of the Church. At least the Church is there to put any doubts or contradictions, etc. to rest. I’m not an expert in this matter, so I would welcome any other Catholic to go into more detail here. I would appreciate it!

Take care, Shibboleth, :slight_smile:

Jorge.


#10

[quote=Delgadoajj]Shibboleth:

In a case where the Church doesn’t have a set interpretation of some part of the Bible, the faithful are free to have an opinion on whatever it is, as long as it doesn’t go against the teaching of the Church. At least the Church is there to put any doubts or contradictions, etc. to rest. I’m not an expert in this matter, so I would welcome any other Catholic to go into more detail here. I would appreciate it!

Take care, Shibboleth, :slight_smile:

Jorge.
[/quote]

Good point. For example, if you read John 6, where Jesus talks about eating of His flesh. Many individuals interpret this so many different ways. The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus was talking about the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

Contrary to what Shibboleth says, I, as a Catholic, can interpret that any way I wish to. The only problem is, if that interpretation leads me to doubt that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, I am putting my soul in danger of sin, every time I take Communion. The Interpretation is not sinful, but if it leads me to not properly discerning the Eucharist (as Paul states), then I’m at risk.

Simple, huh?

NotWorthy


#11

[quote=NotWorthy]Good point. For example, if you read John 6, where Jesus talks about eating of His flesh. Many individuals interpret this so many different ways. The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus was talking about the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

Contrary to what Shibboleth says, I, as a Catholic, can interpret that any way I wish to. The only problem is, if that interpretation leads me to doubt that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, I am putting my soul in danger of sin, every time I take Communion. The Interpretation is not sinful, but if it leads me to not properly discerning the Eucharist (as Paul states), then I’m at risk.

Simple, huh?

NotWorthy
[/quote]

I am not sure what you are referring to in regards to contrary to what I say… please clarify. Of course the Church does not take away one’s free will but it does hold and explain in the CCC that if one knowingly professes the opinion that an infallible teaching of the Catholic Church if false the are automatically in a state of schism.

When one takes a close look at the logical argument though I don’t see so much of a distinction.

Bible - Infallible writers
Person - Fallible interpreter

Magisterium - Infallible writers
Person - Fallible interpreter

Now, one person above noted that they pray to the God for guidance from the Holy Sprit to help them understand and follow the teachings of the Church. I also see a statement from a Protestant claiming the same in reference to the Bible.

In both cases you have fallible people trying to understand infallible writings with guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The only difference is that the writings of the Magisterium may be less difficult to understand since they are closer to us in time and less apt to be misconstrued.


#12

[quote=Shibboleth]IIn both cases you have fallible people trying to understand infallible writings with guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The only difference is that the writings of the Magisterium may be less difficult to understand since they are closer to us in time and less apt to be misconstrued.
[/quote]

But the Magesterium does have the Holy Spirit to Guide them and keep them from teaching something which is not true.


#13

[quote=NotWorthy]But the Magesterium does have the Holy Spirit to Guide them and keep them from teaching something which is not true.
[/quote]

OK, but your approach to understanding the Magisterial writings is no different that the Protestant’s approach to understanding Biblical writings. This is why so many priests and bishops have incorrect practices and teachings since Vatican II. Sometimes the infallible writings of the Magisterium are just as difficult for the fallible person to interpret as the Bible.


#14

[quote=Shibboleth]OK, but your approach to understanding the Magisterial writings is no different that the Protestant’s approach to understanding Biblical writings. This is why so many priests and bishops have incorrect practices and teachings since Vatican II. Sometimes the infallible writings of the Magisterium are just as difficult for the fallible person to interpret as the Bible.
[/quote]

Shibboleth:

I think some of those bishops and priests you mentioned may not be as humble as they should be. I don’t think they misunderstand, or that it is hard for them to understand. Rather, they may feel they have a flexibility to change or depart from the Rubrics of the Liturgy as they see fit. But, the fact that they are not impeccable does not mean that the interpretation of Holy Revelation given to us by the Church is incorrect.

You’re right, Shibboleth. There is pride on both sides. However, the Catholic side still has the Magisterium guaranteed protection from the Holy Spirit.

I differ in opinion as far as your first sentence above. In the Catholic Church, the “deciphering” of Holy Revelation has been done. No guesswork here. No interpretation by individuals of the Magisterium is required. Merely acceptance with the help of grace. In Protestantism, this is not the case.

Also, divergence from the Magisterium did not just begin after Vatican II. Take Tertullian, for example. He started out great, but fell away from the Truth towards the end with his own “church movement”. The forces of Evil will always try to damage the Church, persecute it and try to destroy it, but it will prevail. Jesus promised us that.

Jorge.


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