The several interpretations of Scripture abounded no less in the past than in the present. Hence in his Millenial Harbinger, Alexander Campbell began his first article, “On the Laws of Interpretation,” with these words.
A more essential service, in our judgment, no man can render the present generation, than to call the attention of the readers of the Sacred Scriptures to the standard rules of interpretation. We are daily more deeply convinced that the confusion, ignorance, enthusiasm, and superstition of this generation are attributable more to false principles, or, perhaps, to the lack of all principles of interpretation, than to all other causes combined.
Whether or not the good writer was correct in his conviction expressed above in the second sentence, he certainly was right that one renders an essential and blessed service in often calling to mind the rules of interpretation or the means by which we properly understand the meaning of Scripture.
Our people have long excelled at expounding these rules, and so it should be. One of the prime means of expelling spurious readings of the Bible is through awareness and application of these rules to individual passages and verses.
We are thankful, therefore, for the great work that has gone into past efforts to bring us the sense of Scripture, and our prayer is that we may apply and live those principles and commandments of the Lord.