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The Eight Rules of Biblical Interpretation




"And so we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation." [2 Peter 1:19,20 NAS]

We can't have a "sure word" about the meaning of Scripture (or anything else) unless we have a sure method to interpret the words.

The following eight rules are the center of all grammatical interpretation. They have been accepted and used by scholars from Socrates to the present. While my hope is that they will be used to "rightly divide the word of truth" of the Holy Bible, they are equally applicable to legal, historical, and other such language.

Since the Bible teaches that God is not the author of confusion [1 Cor. 14:33], how can the many disagreements today between Christians and the proliferation of the cults be explained since all, or nearly all, claim to use the Bible as the basis of their doctrines?

Nearly all false doctrines taught today by Christians and cultists alike can be traced to the distortion of the meaning of Biblical words. These eight rules are prayerfully offered in the hope that they may help many come to the truth of what God says in His Word.

The Rev. Guy Duty said in his book Divorce & Remarriage:

"When two interpretations are claimed for a Scripture, the construction most in agreement with all the facts of the case should be adopted. When all the facts of an interpretation are in agreement they sound together in harmony, like notes in a chord.

Biblical interpretation is more than knowing a set of rules, but it cannot be done without the rules. So, learn the rules, and rightly apply them...." (Divorce & Remarriage, Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1967)

Here are the eight rules:

This post was last updated: Apr. 7, 2015