(Biblical) Myth Busters: God’s Word and Interpretation
“Debunking the biblical myths believed by the big dummies of this world”
- The Scriptures are simple enough that a child can understand them (I don’t need qualified and trained pastors).
The passage normally referred to by those making such claims is (Mark 10:15//The dummies’ interp. = The Scriptures are so simple that they can be understood/interpreted by children). The parallel in Matthew’s gospel reveals that what Jesus is referring to is not the simplicity -or difficulty associated w/understanding or interpreting the Scriptures, but rather the disposition necessary from those wanting to be saved (or “enter the kingdom of heaven”) (Mat 18:1-4 = Entering like a child means be humble – i.e. submissive and teachable, like a child; e.g. Semper Reformanda). These verses therefore have nothing to do w/what is required to understand or interpret the Scriptures. When addressing that issue, the Scripture themselves bear witness to their difficulty on more than one occasion (2Pe 3:15-16; Luk 8:9-10; Act 8:29-31). God’s prescription for dealing w/such difficulty and making sure we are understanding or interpreting the Scriptures correctly is seeking out qualified and trained pastors; those possessing the proper character qualifications (Luk 8:15 w/Mat 13:23 [1Ti 3:2-7]; 1Ti 6:3-4; contra Eph 4:18) and hermeneutical skills – including: 1) legal orientation (Isa 8:20; Deu 16:20; Psa 89:14; Mat 5:17-19; Pro 1:1-3 w/Rom 15:4; Rom 3:31; e.g. 1Co 9:7-11; Mat 16:5-12; contra e.g. penal substitution = A violation of Lev 27:29; Num 35:31-33; Eze 18:20 and child abuse), 2) competency in the original languages, special genre (e.g. prophetic) and overall grammar (e.g. Rom 10:20-21 w/Isa 65:1-2; Mat 22:32, 41-46), 3) a sound biblical theology (e.g. as a governing system – 2Ti 1:13; e.g. as the evolution of a particular subject – Heb 3-4 [Sabbath], 5-7 [Priesthood], 8-10 [Atonement; e.g. 10:1-4), 4) familiarity w/the entire Scriptures and the ability to prove your interpretation not only in its given context but also the rest of the Scriptures (2Ti 2:15 “present yourself approved…no need to be ashamed…rightly handling [interpreting]” = Demonstrating/proving your interpretation is how you gain approval, avoid shame and show yourself to be a person correctly interpreting the Scriptures; 1Ti 4:13-15 = Practicing and immersing include both reading/familiarity and teaching or proving [exhortation is the act related to preaching – what most of us think of as teaching]; 1Ti 4:16 = Practice carefulness in your interpretation; e.g. Mat 12:1-14 w/Matt 22:29; Mat 24:15 w/Dan 9-12; Luk 24:27; Act 28:23). These skills are forged in the fires of careful and constant practice, and hours of meditation [i.e. the pursuit of understanding] (Heb 5:14; Jos 1:8; Pro 2:1-20; Psa 119:99).
- The Holy Spirit helps me understand the Scriptures (I don’t need anointed pastors).
The only ones given the Holy Spirit for the purpose of understanding the Scriptures are the anointed pastors of the church (Eph 4:11 w/Isa 66:21; Joh 16:13 w/Joh 20:22 w/1Co 2:3-16; 2Co 3:5-8; 1Th 1:5; 1Pe 1:12 and 2Pe 1:21; 1Jo 2:18-20 = Those who are antichrists do not accept the “anointed one from the Holy Spirit” [anointed pastor – see also LXX Dan 9:26]).
- You are safer trusting yourself than another man when it comes to understanding what the Bible teaches (Solo Scriptura).
Unless you meet the criteria given above, believing that it is safer to trust yourself than someone else forgets the fact that we trust people more qualified in a specific area over ourselves all the time. The stupidity of such a statement is thus revealed when considering an equivalent: it is safer to trust yourself than your doctor when it comes to medical issues – especially those which will determine whether you live or die. Why would you trust yourself (an untrained hack whose medical ignorance far outweighs your medical knowledge) over someone who has spent countless hours in study and demonstrating their competency (whose medical knowledge far outweighs their medical ignorance)? Guaranteed if your pastor has been properly trained, then the ratios of biblical knowledge to ignorance are similar and the gap between you and him, equally substantial (again like the average patient in relation to their doctor). Hence the reason, pastors were at one time referred to as “spiritual physicians”. It should also be mentioned that Scripture makes explicit those w/the greatest potential for leading us astray are those who lack the proper training or qualifications to serve as pastors (2Pe 3:14-16). Does this mean we follow our pastors blindly? Hardly. We must always be Berean. But this connotation refers to taking a position of teachable trust and self-education – not distrust and suspicion (Act 17:10-11 = The Jews in Berea were considered “more noble” bc: 1) they were teachable to what Paul was saying though they had not heard such teaching before [i.e. they gave him the benefit of the doubt] – 11a “received the word w/all eagerness”, 2) they took the time to educate themselves according to the Scriptural support he provided – 11b “examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so” ). The proper question therefore is never, “Should we – or shouldn’t we trust another man?” but rather, “Who is the demonstrated and qualified expert?” Leaving your life in his hands will always be the safest choice (Hence Heb 13:17).
 That the pastor-teachers or anointed pastors are the only ones possessing the Spirit for the purpose of interpretation or discerning truth for leading God’s people is consistent w/the anointing (of the Holy Spirit) given only to the priests, prophets and kings in the OT. The idea that all believers now possess such an anointing (or the Spirit for the purpose of interpretation) comes from the big dummy Martin Luther and his doctrine of the “priesthood of all believers” – a gross misinterpretation of Rev 1:6 (sb w/Exo 19:6) and Rev 20:6 (sb w/Rev 20:4-5).
 It is an unfortunate reality that today most men functioning as pastors have not been properly trained. This however doesn’t mean we “throw the baby out w/the bath water” by viewing all pastors this way. It instead means taking the time to find those who are trained and never taking them for granted.