Anyone can observe an event: Jesus died. But to say that Jesus, the One Born of Mary, is the Incarnate Word of God and that this Crucified One is Lord — that is an interpretation of the event and an explanation of Who He is and what His deeds mean. Our Faith is based on that Apostolic interpretive confession.
But it's the ApApostolicnterpretation of these Scriptures and our application of these prophesies to Jesus' life and death that is paramount. Other people read/know the same texts, and yet don't apply them likewise.
I understand the importance of the Apostolic interpretation. But I do not believe we should give the impression that the simple lay person cannot understand God's Word through the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. I have heard of many accounts where Catholic and Orthodox lay folk were discouraged from reading the Bible, being told they were unqualified to understand it.
An example from St. Seraphim comes to mind: From Valentine Zander page 54, about the young man who was still a child:
""The Staretz' way of putting pieces of bread dipped in wine into his visitors' mouths by means of a long wooden spoon struck him (the young man) as so comical that he could not stop laughing.
"His mother sent him out with a scolding, and then later told him to go back to the Staretz and apologize. The child found the Father alone and reading, sitting on a coffin which he had had brought into his cell.
"O it's you my friend," he said kindly, "do you read the Gospels?"
"When the boy replied that in his family it was thought that only the clergy had authority for such reading,
the Staretz opened his Gospels and read the text of Matt. 7,1-2 "Judge not, that you be not judged." This saying affected the boy profoundly and he often came back to Sarov to see Father Seraphim.""
I have heard these same explanations over and over again from Catholics, who have been lulled into a state of complacency over their souls because they have relegated their understanding of Scripture to prelates, who have encouraged this practice supposing that it makes for more docile sheep. And not having built upon a sound knowledge of the Bible are easily led by flashy media presentations into believing that Jesus was married.
Or they are easily led astray into non-Catholic churches where a living relationship with the Scriptures and Jesus is taught. I believe the church has failed them. If they had been taught the fullness of the faith, they never would have left. Now they are without the Sacraments and the intercession of the Saints, and all the other helps to salvation they could have had as well. This is tragic.
At the time of Christ's birth, the shepherds were not in need of an apostle to explain to them the significance of the angel's words. In the ignorance and simplicity of their hearts they fell down at the Savior's crib in adoration.
A sheep that does not know the voice of their shepherd is a very vulnerable sheep. I believe our mission is to reconcile souls to God, not to prelates and heirarchs, who might at some time be in error.
I am not saying we don't need the interpretation,structure, and legitimate authority, I am just saying everyone needs to learn to hear the voice of the shepherd and they should be taught that by those entrusted with the eternal salvation of their souls, in order that they be taught properly, how the Church interprets Scripture.