Is there a Right Way of Reading the Bible?

Question:
Is every Bible reader entitled to interpret the scripture to suit himself or herself?  Whether you answer this question yes or no, please comment on whether self-seeking interpretations are the actual result, the intended result, or not a result of the sola scriptura (Bible only) doctrine.

My Reply:
Many do interpret the scriptures as they see fit, and this is called Eisegesis.  Exegesis is the opposite, which is pulling out from the scriptures, and is the correct means of interpreting scripture.

Abbott and Costello (old day comedians) came up with 3 ways to prove that 13x7=28.   After watching the clip, you'll see that all 3 ways of calculating it works, but they're all wrong ways of doing math, and if done correctly, we'll find that 13x7 actually equals 91.
 In the same way, we need to remember that when we read the Bible, there is a right and a wrong way of going about it. Remember, it wasn't written to us, but to people of that time.  Now, that doesn't mean that it's not intended for us to read, nor does it mean that we can't learn from it or apply what we learn to our lives, especially when you look at the fact that the letters in the New Testament were written in response to issues, or problems that needed to be corrected among Christians in the Church.  It only means that everything we read from it needs to be understood in its original context.
 For example, if you read 1 Corinthians 14:34-35, and take it into your own meaning, then you'll probably come up with what so many have when they took it out of context...that women should shut up in church and not be allowed to even talk. But you need to understand what's going on there, for that's not at all what Paul is saying.
Paul wrote the letter to the Corinthian church in response to complaints from some church members (members from Chloe's household). Also later, he says, "now about what you wrote..." Everything Paul's talking about is in response to complaints written to him, and needs to be kept in context with the rest of the letter.
The issue happening there was that:
1) men in their 20s-30s often married young girls, often who were in their early teens. Sounds gross today, but it was common in the time of the writing of the letter.  Now if you observe teen girls in church today, you'll notice that most of the time, they'll goof off and pass notes.
2) Some of the sermons were over their heads in understanding. So when they missed something (from #1) or didn't understand, they asked somebody next to them, not necessarily their husbands. This caused distractions and made it difficult for people who did understand and were trying to listen, to hear.  That's why Paul says that they should ask their OWN husbands, and wait until they get home to ask them.
So in Paul's response to this issue, he's telling them that they need to be quiet during this holy time, and to keep their focus on the Lord, whom is what the whole service is to be all about, and save their questions for later...it's about orderly worship, not muffling women from church leadership or participation.

But now, if I were to tell you to read that passage and ask you what it means to you and what you got from it, then chances are you'd come up with something completely different...and that's eisegesis, and not how the scriptures are to be read.
---Pastor Andy
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