Is the Bible Truly Difficult to Understand?

A brown Bible Jigsaw Puzzle

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.
Deut 30:11
Ps 119:130
Luke 10:21
James 4:8
Must we do more research in order to get the understandings of things that we don’t understand?

My Reply:
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.

2 Comments

  1. First, Jesus is indeed first and foremost the center of the whole Bible; Jesus is our first love (Revelation 2). Ephesians 1:7–“I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better”. I think this verse guides us in our Bible reading–ask/pray to our Lord for Spirit-filled wisdom and better understanding, to grow in our knowledge of Him, so that we’ll be equipped to point more people to Him, and to be ready for Christ’s coming kingdom (Matthew 25).

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