There are two main schools of interpretation. One is call “Allegorical” while the other is “Exegetical”.
What’s the difference between the two???
Allegorical Interpretation is – “Giving” meaning to the passages of the Bible.
Exegetical Interpretation is – Extracting, or getting the “original” intended meaning of the author of the passages in the Bible.
I have read some works of Catholic writers who uses “Allegorical Interpretation”. I believe I have lost one copy of my document written by St. Francis of Assisi that interprets the passage in the book of Matthew about the good Samaritan. Anyway, I just want to point out that it is almost totally different from Exegetical point of view.
Today, what most Bible interpreters do is Exegesis, since this is more conservative in approach, clearer and sound.
Talking about Exegesis, there are underlying rules, these are the two main rules:
1.All passages in the Bible has “only one” intended meaning. This means that in each passages, there should be only one interpretations. Different Bible Study lessons then only differs with their “application” of the passage in their lives but not in the interpretation of the passage (hope this is clear enough)
2.There are “certain” (not all, but some) passages in the Bible that are simply vague and beyond interpretation. In this case, we should not add nor give an interpretation out of it, just leave it as it is. Time will come that God will just reveal its meaning. This means that we should not add, assume or subtract something from these passages. For it will not only lead to false teachings and false doctrinal stands, worst, a cultic movement.
I do hope that this note has given you a clearer idea why reading the Bible should not be a big problem. Furthermore, the Bible itself encourages us to meditate on it day and night.