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Why are There Different Interpretations of the Bible?

The Bible
Why are There Different Interpretations of the Bible?
on May, 16 2014
The Bible

Image credit: Bibbia con rosa taken by Vortix under Public Domain.

The Holy Bible says a lot about the Christian faith. It contains everything that Christians need to live a life of love, humility, and meekness. The Bible contains real life stories, parables, songs and different literary stories aimed at enhancing one’s faith in God. The goal of the Bible is for the betterment of the people. It lets the people know how to love and live a straight path. Sadly, for a book that has been written thousands of years ago, some of the original meanings have already been lost along the way. This is why a single Biblical text has now become open to several interpretations. Why does this happen?

One clear example is the text saying, “on the 7th day, He rested.” In this creation story, it is believed that God has finished all His creations on the 7th day. Yet, what is the 7th day in our modern calendar? Most Christians, especially the Catholics, believe it is a Sunday and holy masses are celebrated during this day. Some other Christian groups think it is on a Saturday. There are also those who have carried on the tradition of not doing anything during the Sabbath. This is why some Christian groups don’t go out of their houses during Saturdays. This is not something most Catholics believe in. This article will provide some reasons behind the various interpretations of the Bible.

• The Bible has been translated into several languages over the years. Some books in the Bible have never been completed or parts of it were never found. These discrepancies and translation nuances have paved the way for the different interpretations of the Bible. Take note that the slightest change in the use of a word or in constructing a sentence might change its entire meaning.

• The Bible was originally written for the Jews. Therefore, everything was patterned after their culture and way of life. It also includes the different scenarios during their time. There were no direct examples taken from modern context. However, based on how people have lived in the past, ideas on how life at the present should be lived, may be taken.

• Biblical interpretations are a product of human logic and understanding. Authors of the Bible are no longer around these days to fully explain what they meant by every word that they have written. We can only interpret their words based on the way the stories were written. Therefore, it becomes open to so many interpretations and “logical” explanations.

• Every book in the Bible belongs to a specific genre. There are parables, prophesies, biographies, proverbs and more. The problem with some people is that they think every word in the Bible is prophetic in nature. Therefore, they interpret it in a wrong approach.

• There are those who are simply closed-minded. They are not open to any interpretation given by other people. This is why they have made their own version. They interpreted the Bible in their own ways and understanding.

It is important to remember that there is no monopoly of truth especially if these “truths” were created by humans. Therefore, if the Bible is open to different interpretations, it is just fine. Just make sure that you get something positive out of these interpretations. Pick up the most important values that can be learned out of Jesus’ life, stories, and teachings.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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