The Bible is the most important book in the world because it contains the Gospel message which can bring true salvation and lasting transformation in any person’s life. However, some don’t understand the Bible just yet.
It holds some of the clearest explanations to most of the major events in the world before the emergence of modern civilization.
If a person would truly and carefully study and examine the Bible, one would trace the root of the problems that the world is facing today.
From a woman’s birth pains to the injustice that is happening in the world, the Bible has an answer for it.
As wonderful as these ideas are, the Bible does not, however, give an answer to all the things that we want to know because it was written to tell us what we need to know in this life so that we can all prepare for the next phase of our lives which is eternity.
This means that one can look at the Bible as the manual or guide on how we ought to live our lives but make no mistake about it, the Bible is the ultimate standard for everything in this life.
Despite the power and the wonder of the written Word of God, it has proven to be, for most people, even for the ones who are very eager to study and obey it, difficult to understand.
There are various reasons why that is so but before we go there, it is important to take note of the two basic characteristics of God’s Word.
These two are not comprehensive but it does lead us to the reasons why a lot of people do not understand the Bible.
The Bible is a Spiritual Book
The Bible has been examined by non-religious scholars and experts all over the world.
It has been scrutinized and assaulted by prominent thinkers in the world and even though they do not believe it or think that the Biblical teachings are absurd and outdated, they could not deny that the Bible is intelligible, intellectual, and in rare situations, inspiring.
While it is helpful and important to know that the Bible is credible, it is necessary to view the Bible as a spiritual book.
What does that mean? It means that every word from the Bible has the power to speak to the inner man or woman.
The Bible can engage the mind but most importantly, it can change the heart and soul of a person.
It is important to know this about the Bible because it is not a mere piece of literature that offers good advice to people.
It is God’s tool in changing the soul of a person and preparing it for its eternal destination.
The Bible has Spiritual Truths in Plain Language
Since the Bible is a spiritual book, it has spiritual truths that are discernible to the trained eye and the regenerated heart.
The Bible has profound lessons but is expressed in plain language or a manner that can be easily understood by anyone who desires to know it.
The Bible is made up of different figures of speech but the writers did not intend to obscure the biblical truths by writing in different ways.
Rather, they meant to use it for clarity and specificity.
Anyone who has engaged in an in-depth study of God’s Word would realize that what is puzzling or ambiguous to us is actually very on point for the people who received and heard the Word of God during the time it was written.
This is important because it gives us an insight that the Word of God is clear and plain.
This also means that the unique individuals whom God used to pen His Word have singular meaning and purpose in mind when they wrote the Bible.
With these two ideas about the Bible, let us look at some of the reasons why we do not understand the Bible.
1. Presence of preconceived notions about the Bible
Preconceived notions are opinions formed without any evidence or proof.
Sometimes they are called “unconscious biases” because people are not aware that they have already built a system of ideas about the Bible because of factors like upbringing, personal experiences, traumatic events, etc.
This is one of the reasons why people do not understand the Bible because before reading and studying the Bible for themselves and allowing the truth of the Scripture to come out, they approach it with preconceived notions already.
Some of the preconceived notions might be something about the inerrancy of the Scriptures, the existence of God, the origin of the Bible, and more.
2. Lack of time dedicated to reading the Bible
Reading, studying, and understanding the Bible require so much time because no one grew up being well-acquainted with the Word of God.
Even the most intellectual and eloquent people need a lot of time dedicated to understanding the Bible despite it being written in plain language.
While modern applications have a one-verse-a-day program for those who want to have a deeper knowledge of the Bible and grow a more disciplined reading habit, it still warrants a sufficient amount of time to be understood and applied.
As simple as the idea of time may be, it is one of the most obvious obstacles in reading the Bible.
3. Lack of knowledge in identifying basic patterns of Biblical passages
Since the Bible writers wrote the different books with a specific purpose and intent in mind, this means all Biblical passages have basic grammatical patterns.
How the first five books of the Bible are written is very different from the way the Gospel writers wrote their books.
How the prophet recorded their visions are very different from how Paul wrote his letters.
These basic patterns can be understood by any Christian who is willing to deepen their knowledge of the Word of God.
4. Lack of knowledge in knowing the genres of the Bible
One of the reasons why many don’t understand the Bible is because it has sixty-six books, written in three ancient languages, and has various authors with diverse cultural backgrounds.
This idea alone implies that there has to be a certain level of knowledge about the genres of the Bible.
Genres refer to the kind of literature present in every book of the Bible.
It is similar to the idea of knowing the patterns but the difference lies in knowing the socio-cultural and historical background of every book.
Not knowing the different genres of the Bible does not mean one cannot grow spiritually.
However, if one desires to grow in his or her Bible knowledge, knowing the genres is one of the initial steps one can make.
5. Lack of familiarity with the metanarrative of the Bible
The metanarrative is the “Big Story” or the overarching story of the Bible.
It serves as a thread that weaves the different stories in the Bible making them into one coherent story.
While every book in the Bible has a unique story and is sufficient in teaching spiritual truths, understanding where every book is placed in the metanarrative would help readers grasp how the Lord plans to redeem the world and those who believe in Jesus.
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