You have heard people say;”there are so many
interpretations to the Bible” or “the Holy Spirit
can give many interpretations”. Is it true?
Does the Bible support that notion? Can the
Bible mean many things or have multi-
meanings? GOOD QUESTIONS-So listen:
If you meet with any teacher or preacher who
wants you to believe he or she has just
discovered what other people have never seen
in the Bible until he came along…BE ON
If you meet anybody who claims to have a
REVELATION the Bible does not seem to
clearly state exist..BE ON ALERT!
If you listen or read any comments on the
Bible saying that the right interpretation of a
Biblical text is only revealed to a particular
person and the group he or she leads…BE ON
If you listen to anyone tell you what the Bible
means to him or her now and they often begin
with “In my own opinion” but not what it
meant to the original recipients of that
If you come into a congregation where the
Bible can mean “MANY THINGS” and even
mean what never crossed the mind of the
human author nor divine author at the time it
was written…BE ON ALERT!
Be careful of people who start with; “I have
found the reality or revelation or deeper
knowledge of what the Bible should be and
everyone else have missed it”.
Understand that the “buck stops” with Christ.
No interpretation exceeds Jesus Christ. None!
“Is it not written; “These are a shadow of the
things that were to come; the reality, however,
is found in Christ”?- Col. 2:17. Christ is the
unending limit of God’s revelation.
The Bible can not mean many things, it can
only mean what it meant to the original
It cannot mean one thing to people 2000years
ago and then mean something else to you
But listen the application can vary from time
to time while the interpretation remains the
same interpretation of the THE AUTHOR
INTENDED for that Biblical text. When we
interpret the scriptures, we seek the
understanding of the author not our opinion
no matter how religious it seems. God will
now use that first interpretation afresh in the
life of the reader reading today. God’s word is
not a narration of a raving mad God…who
speaks in such a way that He means many
things. If that happens, He can not hold
anybody responsible for breaking the Ten
commandments.If the words have multiple
meanings- one person can say “Thou shalt
not kill” means “thou shalt not kill so we all
are vegetarians”. Until we understand what
thou shalt not kill meant to the first recipient,
we are not allowed to throw in our ideas.
I know this sounds strange but I am not the
first to say this.I only re-echoed what Peter
said. Apostle Peter said; “But know this first of
all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter
of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy
was ever made by an act of human will, but
men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from
God…As to this salvation, the prophets who
prophesied of the grace that would come to
you made careful searches and inquiries.
Seeking to know what person or time the Spirit
of Christ within them was indicating as He
predicted the sufferings of Christ and the
glories to follow.”(2 Pet. 1:20-2& I Pet.
1. The interpretation of a text is not in your
hands-“no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of
one’s own interpretation”.
2. The interpretation of a text has both human
and divine author-“but men moved by the
Holy Spirit spoke from God”
3. The interpretation of a text is fixed to
specifics- “searches and inquiries. Seeking to
know what person or time the Spirit of Christ
within them was indicating as He predicted”.
Therefore all interpretations are simply a RE-
ECHO of what was first spoken and understood
by the first recipients of the Bible message.
What the Holy Spirit does is to help you
understand what they understood but also
apply it to your situation now. The application
can vary but the meaning is just one.
and run when someone tells you that he or she
has found what the human authors, first
recipients, the Apostles or the early Church
missed on any Church teaching or doctrine.
See Jesus use the same principle in Matthew
24: 38-39 and many other times. Noah’s flood
was interpreted as a literal event and taken as
it was taken when Moses wrote the narrations
but when he applied it, Jesus applied it to His
time because of the parallel resemblance to
His time. On divorce, He asked for a return to
the first interpretation which is “as it was in
the beginning” before a compromise by human
flesh twisted the truths for personal gain.
Since the author determines what the meaning
really is, we always seek to go back to how
the early Church understood salvation to be,
speaking in tongues to be, tithes to be,
baptism to be, ordination to be etc. If they did
not go wild on a teaching, if our
understanding today make us go a bit unruly-
it is not the Bible, we may have other
psychological problems. If it excites them, it
should excite us. The understanding of the
word should create the same effect and yes it
James said; “count it all joy….” (James 1:2).
If today, we can not count it all joy, then we
have not understood it the way it was meant
to be understood.
So dear student of the Bible; it is time to
return to seeking the author intended meaning
first. And sometimes that requires hard work
but with the Holy Spirit and commitment, it is
worth it.Shalom!
(c) Bishop Ponle Alabi #copea -inc


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