How does our faith in Christ affect our interpretation of the Bible?

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Our faith in Christ is fundamental to how we interpret the Bible. The psalmist in Psalm 119 prays, "Lord, open my eyes that I can see." Or in Isaiah, there is this kind of curse in Isaiah 6; "Seeing they will not see, and hearing they will not hear," meaning they can read the information or hear the words but not really understand what's going on. And the point of both of those passages is that the work of the Spirit to give us faith eyes that see and ears that hear is fundamental to interpreting Scripture. Without a renewed heart, the Bible is, in some sense, a condemning word against us. But once God has renewed our heart and gives us eyes that see and ears that hear, once we have that faith, we perceive for the first time that the Bible is God's message to his people about salvation through his Son. And so, when it comes to faith and when it comes to grasping the gospel, and grasping the message of Scripture, faith is the necessary first prerequisite for adequately understanding and apprehending the significance of the gospel through the Scriptures to us.

Answer by Dr. Miles Van Pelt

Miles Van Pelt is Associate Professor of Old Testament and Academic Dean at the Jackson campus of Reformed Theological Seminary.