10 Commandments of Biblical Interpretation

1.    You shall love nothing more than the triune God.


2.    You shall put nothing in God’s place – not even scripture, not to mention an ideology, cause, or tradition.


3.    You shall not use Scripture to justify or place God’s imprimatur on our causes or agendas.


4.    You shall respect the objective givenness of the Bible, standing under it in order to understand it.


5.    You shall honor the interpretations of our forebears and their efforts to summarize the meaning of the Bible (e.g.. regula fidei).


6.    Do not use the Bible to “clobber” others.


7.    Do not use the Bible to authorize idolatry (e.g., leading others to follow other gods, imposing alien agendas on scripture, acting as though we, and we alone, understand the Bible).


8.    Do not take the interpretive work of others as your own. 


9.    Do not be unfair to others’ interpretations.  Deal with them at their strongest points not their weakest and do not caricature of parody them.


10. Allow the Bible to be God’s Word, a life-giving mystery that commandeers us to God’s service by pointing beyond itself to it source and author, the triune God.


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