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Let’s use the Bible to tell us how to interpret the Bible

A fundamental assumption that I make in this book is that the Bible itself tells us how to correctly interpret the Bible. Therefore, rather than relying on man-made methods of interpreting the Bible we rely only on the Bible to provide the method of interpretation. That is what is unique about this book.

For example, we defined sound doctrine as the truth. This definition was not arbitrary but based on 2 Tm 4:3, 4.

2 Tm 4:3,4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

In the beginning of the above passage Paul tells Timothy that people will not endure sound doctrine. At the end of the same passage Paul refers to the same thing as ‘turning away from the truth’. Thus we can infer from 1 Tm 2:3, 4 that sound doctrine is truth. That is why we defined sound doctrine as truth.

As an aside, since every sound doctrine is true, a person who is able to separate truth from lie will also be able to separate sound doctrine from unsound doctrine. Thus, the ability to discern truth from falsehood is important for acquiring sound doctrine. Later we will see how one can acquire this ability.

In general, given a text, in order to get sound doctrine from that text, one needs the ability to determine whether that text teaches sound doctrine, and then one needs to interpret the text correctly to get the sound doctrine from it.

We have assumed above that the Bible is the only book that has sound doctrine. This simplifies our task of determining sound doctrine because we can now ignore all other religious texts. The assumption that the Bible is the only book that contains sound doctrine is based on the testimony of the Bible about itself in the following verses.

2 Sa 7:28 "Now, O Lord GOD, You are God, and Your words are truth, and You have promised this good thing to Your servant."

Ps 119:142 Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Your law is truth.

Ps 119:151 You are near, O LORD, and all Your commandments are truth.

Jn 17:17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth."

From the above verses it should be clear that the Bible emphasizes that it contains the truth. Since all other religious books conflict with the Bible on truth about God, therefore if the Bible is indeed the truth then all other religious books must be false, and are therefore unable to provide sound doctrine on the subject of God.

It is easy to see why all other religious books conflict with the Bible on truth about God. The Bible is the only religious book that teaches that salvation is by the atoning work of Christ who is God and man. Therefore, if the Bible is true then all other religious books must be false.

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