Danagers of self interpretations of the Bible
Here is an interesting study from a book authored by DE Stanton in 1972.
In 1969 a survey was conducted among 10,000 Protestant pastors and 7,441 people responded to the questions asked. These questions asked if they believed in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity. Here are the responses:
? Those who didn?t believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Episcopians 30%, Baptist 30%, United Presbyterians 35%, and Methodist 51%.
? Those who didn?t believe our Lord's Virgin birth.
Episcopians 44 %, Baptist 44%, United Presbyterians 49%, and Methodist 60%.
? Those who didn?t believe that the Bible is inspired?
Episcopalians 80%, United Presbyterians 81%, Methodist 82 %, Lutherans 57 %
What should we infer from all this? Self-interpretations has caused many to turn away from Jesus Christ.
But some people quote Paul saying -And no man shall teach his neighbor, neither his brother, saying Know the Lord; for all shall know me, from youngest to the oldest (Hebrew 8:11). They argue that since Paul wrote this, why teach others? If one reads a few sentences prior to this, he will understand what Paul means! Paul has quoted this sentence form Jeremiah 31:34. It is a prophecy for the Israelites. This has nothing to do with Christians (ie. if you read the whole chapter, you will understand it). Hebrews 10:16, says, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their Hearts, and in their minds, I will write them?
In Eph 3:5 Paul writes, Which (mystery of Jesus) in other ages was not made known to the sons of men as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets. Since Paul says that it was revealed only to the apostles and prophets, we have to study from them alone, and not from anyone else.
We now know that the argument that the anointed need not be taught again is unjustified. We have to learn the true teachings from the apostles and prophets. So obey what they ordered, and learn from what they taught. (ie. learn their interpretations)