We shouldn't interpret the bible contents by ourselves individualy?


Peter 1:20-21
Above all else, however, remember that none of us can explain by ourselves a prophecy in the Scriptures. For no prophetic message ever came just from the human will, but people were under the control of the Holy Spirit as they spoke the message that came from God.

So there’s no good reading and interpreting the bible by ourselves? Or maybe he’s referring to prophecies(future events) only?


I was raised Catholic but left as a teenager and came later to the faith mainly by reading scripture on my own. But it’s not really possible to have totally private interpretations, especially in the west where Christian concepts abound in society in general, together with whatever catechism or Sunday School we may have received. My theology ended up being mainly Protestant, and I was pretty anti-Catholic.

Anyway, what happened in my case was that, after many years, I found myself, through study and circumstances I had never anticipated, being drawn back to the CC, beginning to appreciate her teachings and history-the truly wonderful aspects of her history-more and more. As I re-entered the Church I was finding myself agreeing with her, and began to cherish and respect the authority which had been given her and the teachings which that authority had preserved. I was beginning to understand the meaning of the term “sensus fidelium”, the sense of the faithful. In this way we understand the need for the Church’s role-without feeling the need to force ourselves to believe-which doesn’t work anyway.

Like the Eunuch with Philip in Acts 8, we need the Church in order to be able to fully and correctly understand the meaning of scripture and the gospel. We can hear the voice of God in the bible, and glean many truths from it-but we can also be easily led astray on key points, especially regarding salvation.


This verse is saying that, since the Holy Spirit wrote Scripture though men, we must believe in how He interprets it through men (the teachings of the Church). We can and should read and interpret Scripture privately, but we must always do so within the boundaries of what the Church teaches.


Hi Soul,

A good companion to the Bible is the Catechism of the >Cathoiic Church. See here :




If you mean “by ourselves” meaning “in your alone time”, then AbsoLutely, Yes! You should read any time you like, and it’s worthwhile! If you mean read without Him, as if you could block him from your thoughts at your own whim… ~shrugs~ then you’re wasting your time :wink:

btw. The future is only a moment away.


The history of the early church shows that people could and did interpret scripture any way they wanted. But, it was clear then and it is clear now, that wild interpretations are simply not helpful to anybody.

Such wild interpretations led people to believe that Christ was not God and Christ was not man, Well, which way is it? The councils of the church settled the issue by prayerful consideration of all the aspects of the issue.

The Jewish Study Bible (Oxfornd U. Press) surprisingly says that there are no official interpretations of the Hebrew Bible in Judaism. There are too many protestant groups to even worry about a consensus there. Catholicism has a few official interpretations.

The Catholic Church endorses religious freedom, but it doesn’t stop there. It believes that it has the true religion, including the appropriate interpretation of Scripture. Why go anywhere else? if you have a problem with something you think is wrong, be careful. Give it a lot of thought and prayer, and spend a lot of time studying it.

John Calvin was one of the reformers who promoted the idea of predestination of souls. So, there was nothing either way you could do to save your soul. HUH? Well, the Bible and the Church tells us otherwise, that we have free will, AND, for good reason, Christ told his disciples to baptize all nations, teaching them to observe all he had commanded. That goes straight against the idea of nothing-can-be-changed predestination. This is a prominent example of bad interpretation by Calvin.

There were rumblings in England hundreds of years before the Reformation broke out. I can’t think of his name, but this guy there said that private interpretation should be the rule – except that in England at that time, you could have any interpretation of scripture, EXCEPT Catholic interpretation – a contradiction if there ever was one.

Jesus is THE truth, not A truth. The first letter of Paul to the Corinthians is a plea for unity of belief and practice. That’s the way it should be.


JamesTheJust said:

We can and should read and interpret Scripture privately, but we must always do so within the boundaries of what the Church teaches.

That pretty well summed it up.

DO read and interpret the Scriptures, but always do so in harmony with the Church.

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 Church – to 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).[/INDENT]

Less specific about interpretation, but more specific about our calling and duty as laity, the CCC also states . . . .

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. . . .


That clearly says he is referring to prophesies. This verse speaks against trying to predict what a prophesy means like so many times we hear of someone who has ‘decoded’ the bible and now knows the date of the end of the world or something like that.

I think that if one tries to to interpret the scriptures oneself, you usually end up thinking you have found lots of contradictions. But it takes the ability to interpret the whole thing at once to find how the whole thing hangs together. For that you will need the thousands of years of monks and priests and saints etc, who have given us the interpretation as a whole (the church). You can’t just look at one verse in a vacuum. You will always find contradictions that way. And since it is such a large work, we need lots of help taking it in as a whole.


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