St. Vincent of Lerins (5th century) and Bible Interpretation
[5.] But here some one perhaps will ask, Since the canon of Scripture is complete, and sufficient of itself for everything, and more than sufficient, what need is there to join with it the authority of the Church’s interpretation? For this reason,—because, owing to the depth of Holy Scripture, all do not accept it in one and the same sense, but one understands its words in one way, another in another; so that it seems to be capable of as many interpretations as there are interpreters. For Novatian expounds it one way, Sabellius another, Donatus another, Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, another, Photinus, Apollinaris, Priscillian, another, Iovinian, Pelagius, Celestius, another, lastly, Nestorius another. Therefore, it is very necessary, on account of so great intricacies of such various error, that the rule for the right understanding of the prophets and apostles should be framed in accordance with the standard of Ecclesiastical and Catholic interpretation.
[6.] Moreover, in the Catholic Church itself, all possible care must be taken, that we hold that faith which has been believed everywhere, always, by all. For that is truly and in the strictest sense “Catholic,” which, as the name itself and the reason of the thing declare, comprehends all universally. This rule we shall observe if we follow universality, antiquity, consent. We shall follow universality if we confess that one faith to be true, which the whole Church throughout the world confesses; antiquity, if we in no wise depart from those interpretations which it is manifest were notoriously held by our holy ancestors and fathers; consent, in like manner, if in antiquity itself we adhere to the consentient definitions and determinations of all, or at the least of almost all priests and doctors."
I have read a fair amount of the ECF but never came across this until tonight when I was reading "The Fathers Know Best" by Jimmy Akin. So even before the reformation, there were those whom were espousing heterodoxy based on their interpretation of scripture. These particular doctrines were heresies and the Church used the early ecumenical(world wide) councils to condemn them in order to preserve the faith and keep it pure and without error.
St. Lerins says in the5th century: "there are as many interpretations as there are intepreters."
Luther said in the 16th century responding to Melancthon's concern over the direction the reformation was going, "Every plowboy has become his own pope."