Electronic Prayer Book

10. Making Scripture Mean What You Want

I prefer to say nothing of men, who, like myself, have passed from profane literature, to Biblical study, but who, if they happen once to have caught men’s ears by their ornate sermons, straightway begin to fancy that whatsoever they say is God’s law. Apparently they do not think it worthwhile to discover what the Prophets and Apostles really meant; they are content to string together texts made to fit the meaning they want. One would almost fancy that instead of being a degraded species of oratory, it must be a fine thing to pervert the meaning of the text and compel that reluctant Scripture to yield the meaning one wants!

ST. JEROME (ca. 400)