Dear Pastor Andy, when having discussions with different people about the Bible, I hear people say things like, “our human brains are too small to truly understand what God means.” But can that be true? Look at the following scriptures and see for yourself.
Must we do more research in order to get the understandings of things that we don’t understand?
Interesting choice of scripture for your question.
It’s actually understood that without the Holy Spirit, one cannot truly understand God’s Word (the Bible). There is also much mystery in the Bible that we may never fully understand until we’re standing face to face with Christ Himself and can ask Him there. But I think we can understand the Scripture pretty well. Especially since, as Christians, we’re reading it from the lens and understanding that everything, from creation to Revelation, is about Christ. I think that it’s when we choose not to realize this, nor know the 2nd half of the Bible, that things can get really complicated.
Now, there is a right and a wrong way of reading the Bible. For example, when reading the New Testament, you need to:
- Figure out what prompted the writing or the letter
- Look for what’s clear (who, what, where, etc.)
- Look for what’s unclear (cultural background, etc.)
Many misinterpret the Bible because they take passages out of context. So keep everything in context with the chapter, with the letter/book, and with the theology of the whole Bible.
Also, when reading the Old Testament, in order to best understand it, we need to:
- Recognize the purpose of the writing
- Know, remember, and be able to recognize God’s character
- Know God’s overall message
Finally, the Bible is not meant to be just read, but obeyed. If you don’t respond to what it teaches you, then even if you follow all of these steps, you are still reading it incorrectly.