Biblical Interpretation Begins with Prayer

What part does prayer play in biblical interpretation?

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Biblical interpretation really begins with prayer because when we come to the Bible to understand the Bible and then, perhaps also, to teach the Bible to others, we're not standing over God's Word trying to use it to do things that we want to do with it. We're sitting under God's Word. And the way we bring ourselves into submission to God's Word is to pray for the guidance, and help, and direction of the Holy Spirit. And the same Spirit that inspired God's Word also guides us into an understanding of God's Word. We invite that work of the Holy Spirit through prayer.

Answer by Dr. Philip Ryken

Dr. Philip Ryken is the President of Wheaton College. Dr. Ryken earned a Master of Divinity degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and a doctorate in historical theology from the University of Oxford. He preached at Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church from 1995 until his appointment at Wheaton in 2010.