Is the Bible hard to understand? [99 in :99]
We’ve all heard someone say that they think the Bible is hard to understand. And, let’s be honest, maybe we’ve been that person. The idea behind this is the belief that the message of the Bible is hidden from the average person. But is that really the case? Let’s explore the answer to this question as we discuss the clarity of Scripture.
While it’s true that some parts of the Bible are more challenging than others, we believe that God intended His Word to be understood, and that He directed the Scriptures to be written in such a way that anyone can understand them with the help of the Holy Spirit.
This means that, in many ways, the Bible can be read as any other book. The same methods of interpretation that we use when we read narrative and biography, poetry and proverbs apply to its text. And it means that when we apply these methods of interpretation, we will recognize its central message.
This doesn’t mean that everything is equally clear to us today, and it doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes in our interpretation. Certain types of writing are less clear to us, such as the apocalyptic visions of Revelation.
But it does mean that when the biblical authors use metaphors, anthropomorphisms, and phenomenological language, we can safely read them as such. And most importantly, it means that, with God’s help, all of us are capable of understanding the biblical text for ourselves, and discovering the good news of God’s plan of redemption through the person and work of Jesus Christ.