Have you ever wished you did not hear or see something? What we see and hear is hard to put back into a box of non-existence. Once we experience something we simply cannot put it out of our minds. Basically, we can’t unknow what we know. This is true when it comes to interpreting the Scriptures. Knowing the context of any passage usually helps immensely in interpretation. The original languages help too, but sometimes what holds us inches away from a better interpretation is what we know, or rather, what we have been told. Here is an example of what I am trying to explain. Take this verse from the Gospel of John.
“If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (John 20:23 NASB)
A seemingly simple verse, very straightforward teaching. It is very easy for Catholics to interpret, but a tough one for non-Catholics.