Question:

Scripture is unclear at times and at other times seems to be contradictory. With that in mind there are many different interpretations from many different sources. So, my question is this; If what the Bible says is true, not according to personal interpretation, who or what organization is the true scriptural authority? It seems a simple question, but one that will be difficult for anyone without that true authority to answer truthfully.


Answer:

Let me restate your claim in the form of logic:

P1: Scripture is unclear at times and at other times seems to be contradictory.

P2: There are many different interpretations from many different sources.

P3: The truth is not for personal interpretation.

C: Someone or some organization has to determine what is true authority.

From this, it is easy to conclude that you are a Roman Catholic who wishes to assert that the Roman Catholic church has the sole authority to determine what is truth.

The first premise is true only in part. "As also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you,as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures" (I Peter 3:15-16). Some sections of the Bible are difficult, but that doesn't mean all or even most of it is hard. God expects His word to be understood. "Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is" (Ephesians 5:17). Nor did Peter say that it was impossible to understand Paul, only that some of his writings take more effort to understand than others.

"And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts; knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" (II Peter 1:19-21).

Notice that the reason Peter says prophecy of Scriptures is not for private interpretation is because the prophecies originate from God and not man. It is not for man to declare what God meant to say. Thus, this passage contradicts your conclusion that someone man or organization of man must decide. Prophets did not give their private views on what God told them. They spoke as God directed.

That there are differing views about a passage does not change the simple fact that there is only one correct view and it is up to each person to learn the truth. Learning the Scriptures is a personal obligation. The church is involved is teaching, but each person is to delve into the teachings of God for himself. "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). The single source of truth is the Scriptures, not an organization of men or a single man. Therefore the second premise does not change the fact that there is one truth that is understood one way.

Therefore, your goal was not reached.