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Bad Scripture Interpretations (1)

Let us begin with an example that goes back into Scripture itself. I have mentioned before the errors of the Pharisees when it came to the Scriptures. This is one more example of the same thing. In the gospels Jesus says "You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." He is pointing out an explanation of two passages of Scripture that the Pharisees combined and then twisted.

We are told to love our neighbor, yes. We are also told (yes, it is true) to hate the wicked. No, this is not an evil hatred that seeks to harm or leave a person in misery, but a godly hatred of the lifestyle and behavior of those who reject God. This is commanded of us so that we will seek to convert them and never allow them to influence us and lead us away from God.

The Pharisees took this to be only a vengeful and spiteful hatred. They enjoyed this ungodly hatred and encouraged others to practice the same thing. This is what Jesus condemns and tells us to "love our enemy". This is not a contradiction of the encouragement to hate the wicked, but a clarification of what that meant. So the Pharisees knew the passage, but interpreted it wrongly because they did not take the whole sense of Scripture together in unison.

This point is made not only to show the Pharisees' error. It is also to show that protestants and others who are separated from the Church are not the only ones to make bad interpretations of Scripture. Even the people of God can get things off if they are not listening to God's revelation to us through the Church (what was always said and agreed upon).

It should be clear that it is quite easy (unfortunately) to make mistakes when reading the Words of God. As said above, the "whole sense of Scripture" takes all of the words of God (written and spoken) together so that we can understand the point that our Lord is making in each instance. Do not let the devil lead you astray: we all need to submit to the truth of God and only then can know and understand what He is telling us.


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