Bible colleges, seminaries, conferences, or even the pulpit should be seen as providing tools and ways to study the holy Scriptures. These tools and methods providers should never be viewed as end in themselves. The serious student of Scripture must put these in his or her toolkit and then get to work, wrestling with the text of Scripture and like Jacob, you say of the text, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Gen. 32:26).
This brings me to the analogy of faith (analogia fidei), which historically says that we must interpret the obscure in light of the clear, the implicit in light of the explicit, and the narrative in light of the didactic. In other words, we are to let Scripture interpret Scripture.
And the more I think about this principle of interpretation, the analogy of faith, along with the checks and balances of the practice of sound grammatico-historical exegesis, it’s the more I’ve come to realize that mastery of Scripture is no overnight matter–it’s a lifelong commitment.
Let me end this post with a passage from Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s timeless classic, Lectures To My Students, where Spurgeon views the Bible as its own best illustrator:
If you want anecdote, simile, allegory, or parable, turn to the sacred page. Scripture truth never looks more lovely than when she is adorned with jewels from her own treasury (taken from “To Workers with Slender Apparatus,” First Series, emphasis added)
One more thing, as you read Scripture, make it a habit of seeing how one passage of Scripture sheds light on another. After all, Scripture, which knows only one Author, does not contradict itself.