In Luke 24:13-27, the resurrected Jesus approaches two disciples talking about the recent events of Jesus’ crucifixion. Cleopas, who didn’t recognize who approached them, expressed some doubt about Jesus (v. 21). Jesus responded:
And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (v.25-27)
Jesus was not happy that these men did not understand that the Old Testament scriptures were about him. Jesus was mad that they didn’t get it right. This is where I get the idea that interpreting scripture wrongly is a sin. We have to get the scriptures right or we are being fools and do not believe the right things.
In 2 Peter 3:14-18, Peter mentions Paul, the wisdom given to him and the letters he wrote. He says:
There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. (v.16-18)
Even though some of Paul’s teaching may be hard to understand, we are still expected to grow in grace and knowledge and protect ourselves from any error. Notice that Peter does not say that some things are impossible to understand, they are just hard. Teachings about male/female roles, divorce/remarriage, elders/deacons and predestination are hard teachings for some people. Learning how to interpret the word can help us. It is necessary for growth.