The infallible rule for interpreting Scripture is the Scripture itself. Therefore, when there is a question about the true and full meaning of any part of Scripture (and each passage has only one meaning, not many), it must be understood in light of other passages that speak more clearly. The supreme judge for deciding all religious controversies and for evaluating all decrees of councils, opinions of ancient writers, human teachings and individual interpretations and in whose judgment we are to rest, is nothing but the Holy Scripture delivered by the Spirit. In this Scripture, our faith finds its final word.
Whenever we read Scripture and come across something that doesn’t make sense to us we should not walk away and say, “it is too difficult to understand.” We should mind the rest of Scripture and gather together other passages on the same topic to make sense and better clarity of what we are reading. We also should not approach “Bible study” with groups of people asking, “what do you think this passage means?” and go around to each person asking what they think it means and validating every opinion that comes about. There is only one true meaning to each passage of Scripture. Those passages may have some multifaceted truths within them but there is only one objectively true meaning.
An example of this would be asking, “who is the serpent in Genesis chapter 3?”, “Is it an evil talking serpent?”, “Is it just a metaphor?”, or “Is the serpent a fallen angel or Satan himself?” Just reading Genesis chapter 3, over and over, will not give a straight answer but when we look elsewhere, Scripture makes it very clear. Revelation 12:9 “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth and his angels were thrown down with him.” And Revelation 22,” And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”
Lastly, the reason we do this is because the Scriptures are our final authority for our life, faith and practice. Though churches may make or hold to “Confessions of Faith” such as the Baptist Faith & Message or various other Baptist confessions, these are only tools to help a body of believers be united in how they believe particular doctrines should be interpreted, but even they, fall very short of Scripture, which is the word of God.
In Christ, Pastor Daniel