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AKA: Sez who?

Every now and then you might see an answer that looks wrong, but has received a lot of upvotes and even been accepted. Where did that answer come from and how do we fix the current terrible state of affairs?

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Absolutely not!

Scripture is never interpreted by popular opinion, but is always itself alone the final rule of faith and practice.

There are right answers and wrong answers. When we try to discern what Paul meant, or Isaiah, or Jesus, it is not a subjective question of what is meant by a character in a book, but an extra-textual question of what the real-life historic person intended. Similarly for word studies or translations, etc.

But we must hold no pretense that we are deciding in any "authoritative" way which answers are right and wrong. We do not generate truth, we can only point to the authoritative source, scripture itself.

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    I urge anyone coming across this site: don't believe anything just because it's been accepted or gotten high votes. Follow the logic, search the scriptures, and be convinced before God and in the Spirit. – Ray Jul 9 '12 at 22:35
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    Excellent point about interpretation not being by popular opinion. It really is a different philosophy from the way Stack Exchange works. I do find that highly voted answers are also the ones I think are correct, but that's not always the case. – Jon Ericson Jul 9 '12 at 23:27
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    You're right that it's not very SE. It's not the model you want as the basis of a site like this, and I'm sure it could never be official policy in an ecumenical site like this: it is my own dogma. But I'm willing to stand firmly behind it, for better or for worse. – Ray Jul 10 '12 at 0:29
  • Is it the official position of this site that Scripture "is always itself alone the final rule of faith and practice"? Because I can't subscribe to that. – Bruce Alderman Jul 11 '12 at 21:36
  • Not at all--as it said, it never could be official policy. – Ray Jul 11 '12 at 22:15
  • To clarify further, my point is not so much in the infallibility of scripture, or its authority on matters that are not explicitly spiritual. Rather I want to disavow any notion that interpretations generated (or parroted) on this site are to be taken as the final word on the matter. It is a "let God be true and every man a liar" issue for me. – Ray Jul 12 '12 at 2:19
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The answer to that depends entirely on what you mean by "authoritative":

  • No: There is no official organization vetting the answers here and the site is not endorsed by any religion, institute of higher learning, or publishing house. Correct answers and bogus answers are mixed together and there is no guarantee of validity. (Think Wikipedia.)

  • Maybe: Over time, this site aims to collect the best answers anyone can find to the questions posed. If you find or know a better answer to a question, answer it yourself! If you see an answer that you like, vote it up! You can help make the internet a better place to learn about the Bible.

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