Summary: Do you agree or disagree the Bible is beyond the understanding of the average person?
Do You Agree Or Disagree-Part 2
Do you agree or disagree the Bible is beyond the understanding of the average person?
The claim the Bible is beyond the understanding of the average person is the results of the disagreements that exist among scholars, theologians, pastors, and educators in the Christian community. These disagreements create confusion.
When the interpretations of the Bible by scholars, theologians, pastors, and teachers are compared with what is written in the Bible it isn’t difficult to see why the average person claims the Bible is difficult to understand. It is not the Author of the Bible who has created the confusion and disagreement. It is the adding to or taking away from the Bible. It is the
claim the original texts have become so corrupted they no longer reflect accurately what was originally intended. This is why it is important to recognize how God has spoken to us.
God speaks to us through “creation” (Psalm 19:1-4; 119:89). He speaks through His prophets and in these
last days through “His Son” (Hebrews 1:1). He speaks through “the church” (Ephesians 3:10; 1st Peter 1:23,25; 2nd Timothy 4;2). He speaks His word in the heart of the believer. Moses told the Israelites prior to their entering the Promised Land, "the word is
very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it" (Deuteronomy 30:14). If this was true of the Old Testament believers, how much more of the Christian believer.
The foundation of Christian faith and practice is the Word of God. Whatever does not measure up to biblical teaching or departs from biblical teaching is to be rejected and exposed. Every doctrine taught, every message preached and all traditions must be put to
the test of the Bible. Why must all preaching, teachings, traditions and rituals that do not
pass the test of the Bible be exposed.
When traditions are placed on an equal plane with the Bible or above the Bible in time traditions becomes the dominant factor in the doctrine of the Church and the beliefs of the people. When alleged revelations that contradict or supplement the special revelation in
the Bible, the Bible becomes only a part of revealed truth. When cultural conditioning becomes the standard of right and wrong rather than Bible the Bible becomes a book to be used to achieve the self-fulfilled life.
Because the Bible is a record of the Word of God spoken in many ways, through creation, prophets, Jesus, apostles, and the church it is the true, dependable, trustable, and trustworthy source for Christian faith and practice. Its authority rests on God’s Word.
In his second letter to Timothy Paul wrote, “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work” (2nd Timothy 3:16-17).
The Greek word translated "inspired" literally means "God-breathed. The phrase, "all Scripture" includes the Old Testament. Paul told Timothy "from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings" (2nd Timothy 3:15). "Sacred writings" is also a reference to the Old Testament. In his letter to the Romans Paul wrote, "whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction" (Romans 15:4). "Whatever," by definition, means "all": and in this instance includes all the books of the Old Testament.
Peter, referring to Paul’s letters, said, "in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures" (2nd Peter 3:15-16). Since the words "the other scriptures" are used in Peter’s statement concerning the letters of Paul, the implication is clear, all of Paul’s letters are Scripture. What "the other scriptures" are, in addition to Paul’s letters, is not specified, but in all likelihood the reference is to other portions of what will later become the New Testament. Second Timothy 3:16 and 2nd Peter 3:15-16 clearly identifies “all Scripture” as being the written word of God.
It is often claimed the spoken word of God is not identical with the written word. When the claim is made those who make the claim overlook the testimony of the Holy Spirit. They ignore the fact the Holy Spirit bears witness to our spirits that the Scriptures are God’s written word. They are "God-breathed," given by the immediate inspiration of the
Holy Spirit. This means that the believing community and the individual in whom the Holy Spirit moves and dwells has the assurance the Bible is God’s written word. In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul wrote, "we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit" (I Corinthians 2:12-13) Thus the Holy Spirit, whom believers have received, alone can bring knowledge and validation of the divine authority and truth of Scripture.