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22. Does the Bible really interpret the bible, apart from the Church?


To suggest that we interpret the Bible would mean that we believe in the Bible plus one other source, our own personal interpretation.   Of course this is a violation of believing the Bible alone because a second source (our own personal interpretation) is now included and so Bible alone (Sola Scriptura) fails again.  

In an attempt to get around this, there are those who say and I quote “the Bible interprets the Bible.”    Bart Breuer, ex-Catholic priest speaking against the Church and for the Baptists, uses this phrase. So now they have seemingly solved a problem; since there is no personal interpretation, there is no second source outside of the Bible and so this can fit the Bible alone understanding (and so they think).    

In order for this statement to fit the definition of Bible alone, of course it must be found somewhere in the Bible.  There is just one problem; this statement is not found any place in the Bible.   The very moment someone believes “The Bible interprets the Bible,”  they now believe a concept that is not in the Bible.  And because it is not in the Bible, it is a violation of the Bible alone concept and so it actually refutes Sola Scriptura.  

We have already determined previously that the Bible alone is not in the Bible and therefore is self refuting.   And now we find a supporting argument “The Bible interpreting the Bible,” isn’t in the bible and so it is also self refuting. 

The Bible as an interpreter of the Bible doesn’t do a very good job and it is also intellectually dishonest, because the Bible has no ability to interpret itself.   The people saying this are actually using their own personal interpretation, or the interpretation of their local church.   

This is why if you go to a Lutheran Church you develop a Lutheran understanding; if you go to Baptist Church you develop a Baptist understanding; if you go to a Pentecostal Church you develop a Pentecostal understanding; and if you go to a Methodist Church you develop Methodist understanding of the Bible.  All of these groups teach different contradictory understandings of the Bible and yet they will believe in the Bible alone as the sole interpreter of itself. 

One Protestant scholar discusses this situation. “No one is trying to be dishonest. Everyone claims to be hearing the Word of God.   But the indisputable facts of the matter is that Lutherans, Presbyterians, sectarians, liberals, liberals, conservatives, East Lansingites, East Berliners, southern Americans, southern Afrikaners, Indonesians, and Ghanians, all read the same Scriptures and all hear different things.” (Robert McAfee Brown (Protestant Scholar); The one minute Apologist pg 7)