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Two thoughts
1. This is a very fine observation:
"Greek is not a magic key that reveals the one and only possible interpretation; otherwise we wouldn’t have endless supplies of Greek commentaries."

2. Would you please say more about this point:
"I wonder how Peter would feel being told that his interpretation of the Messianic Kingdom was wrong because it was an individual interpretation and different from the prevailing (i.e., Rabbinic) views of the day. I suspect he wouldn’t agree." I think you're right Dr. Mounce, but I don't think I understand your point.

Thank you,

I think this is an important thing to remember, that in depth knowledge of original languages is not necessary for understanding Scripture. If the reader of the Word is using a faithful translation (or, as I do, uses several translations to get the broader meaning) and is diligent in understanding textual and situational context, then the original language becomes superfluous.

Everything here makes sense, but I don't see where the question that serves as the title was ever answered.

Can an individual interpret scripture? Yes or no?

Doc B:
Are you asking for Dr. Mounce's individual interpretation of that question? =)

The point about how Peter would feel was a bit tongue in cheek. The question is whether Peter is saying that no individual can interpret Scripture. I doubt he would think that he was not able to interpret Scripture.

To the other question, the question is whether the verse is saying that an individual cannot interpret Scripture but must accept the church's decision. I think the answer, as far as this question is concerned, is no. Interpretation is not limited just to the church.But having said that, I would give the warning that if your understanding of a passage is unique, if it totally diverges from the standard interpretation, it doesn't mean it is wrong but it would urge great caution.

Dr. Mounce, thanks for your answer! I love your column.

A typo: επιλθσεως

No, an individual can not interpret scripture. But we can seek to understand, knowing that Lord Jesus said, "Seek and you will find". Hearing the Word of God is a gift from God. It is revelation. Those who are not seeking, will not find. Those who are seeking, will find.


Do you think idias could mean "of its own" interpretation as in this translation below?

"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture at all is becoming its OWN EXPLANATION" (II Pet. 1:20, Concordant Literal New Testament).

Meaning, we have to match another Spiritually similar verse to interpret any given verse? 2 verses to interpret each other?


In Christ,

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