I hadn’t heard the phrase in a while, but saw it again on Facebook this week: “We don’t interpret the Bible, we merely understand it.” I’m sure the person saying it had good intentions, but it’s a ridiculous statement.
If we don’t interpret the Bible, we can never hope to understand it. And if we come to understand what the Bible is saying, then we have interpreted it correctly.
Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked.
“How can I,” he said, “unless someone explains it to me?” (Acts 8:30-31)
I’m glad Philip didn’t have a prejudice against interpretation. He interpreted the Isaiah passage the eunuch was reading, helping him to understand God’s message.