Roadblocks to Interpreting The Bible Accurately # 1

The Bible IS comprehensible. It is not some mysterious material with hidden meanings that elude the average reader. Most times, the reason why the Bible might appear hard to understand is due to some flaw in the reader. He/she is doing something that obscures the clear meaning of the text. This becomes a roadblock to a clear understanding of Scripture.

The first obstacle in understanding the Bible is a preconceived notion. Many tend to interpret the Bible based on by THEIR experiences, culture, worldview and philosophies.

For example, Christian feminist theology emerged around the 15th Century and really crystallized in the 20th.

This branch of Christian theology seeks to empower the woman against subjugation and oppression which may be centered around Scripture. It seeks to explain or re-explain gender roles, women in leadership positions in the Church, as well as submission in marriage.

This movement, as noble as it is, SOMETIMES falls into the error of downplaying portions of Scripture which teach that women submit to their husbands.

The Bible is CLEAR that wives should submit to their husbands:

1 Peter 3:1 (NKJV)

1 Wives, likewise, BE SUBMISSIVE TO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives.

Ephesians 5:22-24 (NKJV)

22 Wives, SUBMIT TO YOUR OWN HUSBANDS, AS TO THE LORD. 23 For THE HUSBAND IS HEAD OF THE WIFE, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so LET THE WIVES BE to their own husbands IN EVERYTHING.

The extreme adherents of the feminist theology movement often attempt to re-interpret these verses. This is reading the Bible with a preconceived notion—it is to have a belief system ALREADY, and then try to FORCE the Bible into the mold of your belief system. The Bible should change our minds and beliefs, not the other way around!

As stated earlier, the intention behind this movement is just and noble. No true interpretation of Scripture would encourage the oppression of any people, gender or race.

So although attempting to stop female subjugation is a praiseworthy endeavour, it must be done the RIGHT way. The issue arises when submission of a wife to her husband is COMPLETELY ruled out. Note that husbands too have instructions they ought to follow in their marriage (see Eph 5:25-29, Col 3:19, 21, 1 Peter 3:7). In fact, this is SO serious that an irresponsible husband cannot be a bishop (1 Tim 3:4-5).

The Biblical way to truly liberate the women is to teach mutual love and understanding between the couple, not encourage the wife’s rebellion. This is pseudo-freedom (a false sense of liberty). Virtuous wives are COMMENDED in Scripture because submission was NEVER a sign of weakness, but strength and godliness (see 1 Peter 3:1-6, Pro 31:10-31).

So we must not compel a text of Scripture to say what WE want it to say. Many Christians come to the Bible to find what THEY want to hear, not what the Bible ACTUALLY says. This is known as an eisegesis. An eisegesis READS INTO the text what it is not saying. It is speaking TO the text, instead of letting the text speak to you.

The opposite of an eisegesis is an exegesis. An exegesis DRAWS the meaning OUT OF the text. It is letting the text speak, instead of speaking TO it. We must not be subjective when reading the Bible. We must be unbiased—we must say what EXACTLY the Bible has said, not what WE want it to say.


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.


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