Should we only read the “pure word” of the Bible, and not receive anyone’s interpretation of it?

In Acts 8 Philip the evangelist met an Ethiopian man who was reading the prophet Isaiah (vv. 26-28; cf. 21:8). Philip asked him, “Do you really know the things that you are reading?” (v. 30). The Ethiopian responded, “How could I unless someone guides me?” (v. 31) and later, “I beseech you, concerning whom does the prophet say this?” (v. 34). Philip did not tell him that it was adequate for him to read the “pure Word” or that he did not need human exposition to understand it. Rather, “Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he announced Jesus as the gospel to him” (v. 35). The Bible does not record what Philip said, but through his speaking he led the eunuch to “believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God” and baptized him (vv. 37-38). The eunuch was not saved through merely reading the “pure Word”; he needed Philip’s teaching to open the Word to him.

The following article from Shepherding Words goes on to show how interpretation is Biblical, and that we should be humble and allow ourselves to be perfected by those whom the Lord has given as gifts to His Body.

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