Defining Personal interpretation
Views and perceptions of the individual person on any matter.
Personal likes, dislikes that together with societal factors, create perceptions of certain statements.
Views of peoples and individuals as to the meaning of the message of God.
Opinions that are not infallible.
Prophesy and personal interpretation
The bible clearly states that prophesy is not the realm of personal perceptions, but rather that the truth of God should be interpreted as he meant it to be.
“19 So we have confirmation of the words of the prophets; and you will be right to pay attention to it as to a lamp for lighting a way through the dark, until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds.
20 At the same time, we must recognise that the interpretation of scriptural prophecy is never a matter for the individual.
21 For no prophecy ever came from human initiative. When people spoke for God it was the Holy Spirit that moved them. “
(II Peter Chapter 1 verses 19-21) New Jerusalem Bible
Place of church
The Catholic church is considered the final authority and defender of the scriptures. It is considered the “pillar and foundation of the truth” (I Timothy chapter 3 verse 15).
(for evidence and expansion see our article on Authority of the State, Church God, Angels and others, or our page on the Scriptural Basis For Catholicism).
The gift of the saints
Not all Jesus’ words, in life and in three years of preaching, are recorded in the bible, but these are still divine. Tradition, the interpretation of the bible by the early church is fully beneficial in the study of scripture, and has been vastly expanded over time, via clarification, and much research.
The gift of church guided conscience
This is furthered by the gift of conscience, which aids in showing us the texts with prayer and guidance. This aid cannot contradict the truth, but must work in conjunction with the church (Acts 15). It is advised that one should use a Catholic endorsed bible, with the 7 books excluded by modern protestant versions(, many such bible follow the blueprint of the second version of the “King James” version, which excluded them), and that one receive the full training of the church as to the scripture, and that one buys a Catechism of the Catholic church. One should further attend mass every Sunday, and obey the church. If interpretation of a passage is unclear, then the Catechism should clear up the meaning. God gives grace to those reading the bible, and an indulgence has been given before, for those who read it constantly for more than fifteen minutes, however- while reading the bible is encouraged, this should be done with the original message in mind, and with meaning in mind (”hold the message you originally heard”). The bible is not considered a textbook for science and history. It is beneficial for our spiritual edification, and is useful. If one is considering joining the Faith, they should join either confirmation or Adult initiation, at a Catholic church, where a firm foundation will be laid as to the message of the bible.
New Advent (on prophesy)
“Catholics For Truth” (dept. evangelism site Archdiocese of Johannesburg)
On Jehovah’s Witnesses
Eternal Word Television Network
Interpreting the bible
New Jerusalme Bible