I believe my interpretation of the Bible comes from the Holy spirit not from man. Man may speak words but I think the Holy.spirit opens our hearts to hear his word. I have a hard time with people that say Gods word says such and such which it does but His word also is received by me from the Holy Spirit. I have heard the same message from two different pastors but received one with faith and thanksgiving. How can you explain this. Am I having a mistaken belief or theology by saying this. I read the Bible everyday. I want the correct message that I believe comes to me with love always. I hope my question is clear forgive me if it is not. Thank you for any comments


The ONLY reliable source of truth is the scriptures. There is no way for you to be sure that what you believe comes from the Holy Spirit or from your own imagination or mind. I do believe that the Holy Spirit can help us to understand the scripture. In fact, this belief is supported by John 16:12 in which Jesus tells the apostles that the Spirit will guide them into all the truth. I believe that this was especially true of the apostles but that there is a perhaps more limited sense in which it applies to us.

I strongly urge you to remain humble about what you believe the Bible says and to not assume that your opinion/belief about what the Bible teaches is somehow inspired. I see no guarantee that any single one of us will have inspired understanding of the scripture. You should not rely on your feeling that the Holy Spirit has inspired your interpretation because there is literally no way for you to prove you are correct. You should have the spirit of the Bereans, who heard the message of Paul eagerly, but also searched to scriptures to make sure that what he said was a correct understanding of the scriptures (Acts 17:11). It entirely possible that you can be deceived. You are not an apostle. You have not had an apostle lay his hand on you to give you the miraculous gift of knowledge. I have known a number of people who were convinced they had inspired interpretation, yet they had widely different understandings of the scripture. This alone proves that they were deceived about their supposedly inspired knowledge.

I suggest you read the Bible carefully, read the work of conservative scholars, read different translations, listen to wise people who have deep knowledge of the Bible, learn hermeneutics (the science of how to interpret scriptures) and combine that with the help the Holy Spirit gives you to understand God’s Word. Do NOT rely on your own understanding. This is a very dangerous path and I have seen many go down this path to very bad ends.

I hope this helps.

John Oakes, PhD

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