Have you ever heard someone say, “I just can’t understand the Bible!” Or maybe this one, “Well, that’s just your interpretation. Ask 10 people what a verse means and you will get 10 different answers.” I’m sure you have either heard these comments or maybe even made them yourself. Truthfully, they are bogus. That’s right, nonsense. Don’t you think that sometimes those are just convenient crutches to avoid a teaching or conclusion that people do not like? I think so.
My thesis is that the Bible can be understood. Let me make my case.
Truth Comes from God
To some this is a truism that really doesn’t need repeating. To others it is hogwash. We have previously talked about the inspiration of the Bible and have argued that the inspiration of Scripture (2 Timothy 3:16) is so important because it means the words of Scripture are from the very mind of God.
But for our purposes now we understand that any communication from God can be understood. God is not the author of confusion in spiritual matters (1 Corinthians 14:33). He seeks to be understood. Even in the early days of the church the Christians were reminded not to speak in tongues unless someone was present who could interpret (1 Corinthians 14:27, 28). Since the Bible comes from God it can be understood. If God created us then he can communicate with us.
Think about it. If you can read the manual and understand how to program a DVD recorder, you can certainly understand God. God is all-knowing while the DVD people are not. He knows you personally, the DVD people do not. The issue really boils down to a single question. Can God communicate with his creation? The answer must be “yes!”
It is God’s desire that we all speak the same thing and stand in the same mind or agreement (1 Corinthians 1:10). Divisions are opposed by the Lord ( 1 Corinthians 1:10-18). If these things are true – and they are – God would play no role in creating or contributing to religious misunderstanding and division. Truth comes from God. Men are the source of confusion.
Confusion Comes from Men
If we are correct that the Bible can be understood and if God is able to communicate with us, then why all the confusion? That’s a really good question. Hundreds of denominations and sects, each teaching something different makes for an embarrasing religious landscape. It is the not the Bible’s fault.
We struggle with understanding the Bible because of one of four reasons:
- We have not yet studied enough to come to an understanding;
- We do not like what it says;
- We have been taught wrong by someone else who does not like what it says;
- We are too lazy to study for ourselves and have entrusted a mortal to teach us what we should learn on our own.
Pretty harsh assessment? You are correct. But argue against it and please leave your comments here so they can be seen by all readers. Keep in mind a few key verses as you comment. (To my facebook friends I invite you to comment here if you like. On FB is fine too.)
“Knowing this first, that no prophecy is of any private interpretation.” (2 peter 1:20)
“You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)
“…so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:4)
God’s word can be understood. While there may be some questions that are not answered in Scripture God has given us all we need for our salvation. Let us all try to speak the same truth and stand on the same ground so that the unbelieving world can be saved.