Monday, March 03, 2008

Too Difficult To Understand

A reason people make for not reading or studying the Bible is that it is too difficult to understand. While there are some very difficult passages that even the most brilliant scholars and theologians may struggle with, this is not the case for the Bible taken as a whole.

The reformers used the term perspicuity, which refers to the clarity of scripture. The basic message of scripture is essentially clear. It does not mean that every single nuance will be understood, but the basic message of sin and redemption will be evident.

I'm not sure that I agree, but Martin Luther was convinced that if part of the Bible is unclear or confusing, it is further clarified in other portions of scripture. I think that parts of the Bible are just confusing, and there will be continued debate among theologians and scholars.

True study of the Bible involves work. When people say that it is too difficult, it is an excuse for other reasons that may be painful or shameful to verbalize. When saying it is too difficult, one is really saying that they don't want to put the time and effort into learning it. It could be because they simply don't have any interest, they are lazy, they feel it is boring, they feel it is not relevant, or simply have better things to do.

The truth is that the Bible is not too difficult to understand. It's basic message is clear, even though parts may be confusing. You do not have to go to school and learn Hebrew or Greek to understand the Bible. You may need a good commentary, but the most important thing needed is the desire.

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