Too Many Interpretations of the Bible?
Skeptics love to say that since the bible has so many different interpretations. So much so that this is enough reason to dismiss it as untrustworthy. “So many people read the bible and come to different conclusions; how could it possibly be true?”. How can anyone know that their interpretation of the bible is correct especially when there are so many different denominations?
So, Whattaya Do?
Ask a question: are the truths of the bible, or any truths for that matter, dependent on a man (a denomination)? Or, is truth immutable regardless of what any man decides?
You see, if something is true, it is true independent of man and not because of any man. We don’t decide what is true, we discover what is true. Ironically, this is something that is true in the scientific community (where there are many views and theories), as well as the biblical community.
Scientific truth is no different than biblical truth. In both disciplines, men have to observe, study, test, and present their conclusions to be evaluated by their peers. There are many different views when it comes to the science of cosmology for example, but that doesn’t mean none of them are true.
The same holds true for the scriptures.
The fact is that there are some basic interpretations of scripture that all major denominations agree on and believe to be true. Some of those interpretations include the deity of Jesus, salvation by grace through faith, the sinfulness of man, and the triunity of God. Then, there are other less significant truths in scripture that some denominations disagree on.
There are interpretations of essential doctrines that are universally held by all Christians, and then there are minor doctrines that they disagree on – no different than any science department at any major university. The history of church councils proves this to be true.
So yes, there are many interpretations of the scriptures, however there is agreement on the essentials of Christian doctrine. As Rupertus Meldenius wisely said “In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity”.