How to interpret the Bible?

Erkki Koskenniemi
Sanna Tarvainen

The Bible is interpreted in several ways, but not all interpretations bring credit to their originator. It is easier to achieve a better result when a couple of basic principles are held in mind.

Our Bible was born under a period of hundreds of years. When interpreting it, it is wise to ask how the first readers or hearers of this book understood it. Indeed, what were the thoughts of those who heard the words of Jeremiah, when one of many prophets foresaw the destruction of Jerusalem after it had abandoned God’s will? And after this destruction, what did people think when they heard the words of Isaiah, the wonderful promises of the 40th chapter? How did the first hearers of Revelations interpret the forceful prophecies? Answering these questions asks for the will to learn, to read bigger entities and ask for advice. But it is worth it.

Historical understanding builds many bridges to our own everyday life. A Christian reads the Bible as a whole, with Christ as focus, and little by little, understanding grows.  It is in this process that a book collection that was born in the course of centuries becomes what it really is − a love letter to You, sent by the Almighty God.

All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:18-21, ESV)

Dear God, thank You for teachers who teach your Will. Please, let me find them!