To read the Bible also means to interpret the Bible. But how do we do that? What principles do we use? How, for instance, do we deal with the different kinds of writing we find there? For example, is the passage we’re reading a parable, a prophetic-symbolic dream, or a historical narrative? The decision of such an important question of the context of Scripture involves an act of interpretation itself.
At times, some people use the Bible as a divine oracle: simply opening the Bible randomly to seek a Bible verse that they hope will provide guidance. But randomly linking Bible passages as one finds them can lead to very strange and wrong conclusions.
For instance, when a husband left his wife for another woman, the wife got great assurance when she found the following text: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman” (Gen. 3:15, NKJV). She was convinced, based on that verse, that her husband’s affair would not last!
Any text without a context quickly becomes a pretext for one’s own agenda and ideas. Hence, there is a great need for us not just to read the Bible but to interpret it correctly.