Roadblocks to Interpreting The Bible Accurately # 2

The second obstacle to a clear understanding of Scripture is ironically, the erroneous belief that the Bible CANNOT be understood.

There are some who believe that the Bible is some ancient mystical book which cannot truly be understood. This belief is false. Why would God give us a Book He expects us to read but never comprehend?

When Jesus walked the Earth, He was deliberate to ensure that people understood God’s Word.

The Four Gospels record that He always taught the people:

Mark 6:34 (NKJV)

34 And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He BEGAN TO TEACH THEM many things.

Luke 5:3 (NKJV)

3 Then He got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. And He sat down and TAUGHT THE MULTITUDES from the boat.

John 7:14-15 (NKJV)

14 Now about the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple AND TAUGHT.

15 And the Jews marveled, saying, “How does this Man know letters, having never studied?”

Letters” here (vs. 15) translates the Greek “gramma” (γράμμα), which refers to the writings of the Scriptures. So Jesus was teaching from the Jewish Scriptures (Genesis to Malachi).

There were rabbinical schools in His day, where the “gramma” was taught. Jesus never attended such schools. Hence their surprise.

John 8:2 (NKJV)

2 Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and TAUGHT them.

Luke 24 records a teaching meeting between Jesus and two disciples, on the Emmaus Road. Jesus had met them in a perplexed state (vv. 13-24); they were upset that the Messiah was dead, and so was their aspirations for political rule and power (the Jews presumed the role of the Messiah to be a political one i.e. redemption from the political tyranny and oppression of the Romans who had colonized them). These disciples thus spoke like those who were without understanding.

Jesus’ next statement reveals this, “Then He said to them, “O FOOLISH ONES, and SLOW OF HEART TO BELIEVE in all that THE PROPHETS HAVE SPOKEN!” (vs. 25).

All that the prophets have spoken would be found in the Scriptures (Genesis to Malachi). So their fundamental problem was ignorance of God’s Word.

Jesus’ solution to spiritual unawareness is to teach. He points their attention back to what the Scriptures said.

He explains that the Messiah’s death and resurrection (for sins) was the message of the Scriptures, “Ought not (or was it not necessary for) the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (vs. 26).

Then He explains those SAME Scriptures to them, “And beginning at MOSES and ALL THE PROPHETS, He EXPOUNDED to them in ALL THE SCRIPTURES the things concerning Himself” (vs. 27).

The word “expounded” translates the Greek “dierméneuó” (διερμηνεύω) which is a compound word comprised of two other Greek words, namely, “dia” (meaning “thoroughly”) and “hermēneúō” (which means “to interpret”).

Thus, Jesus THOROUGHLY interpreted Moses and the Prophets (i.e. their writings in the Old Testament), revealing the things concerning Himself.

The result of this rigorous Bible teaching is enlightenment, “Then THEIR EYES WERE OPENED and THEY KNEW HIM; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “DID NOT OUR HEART BURN WITHIN us while He talked with us on the road, and while HE OPENED THE SCRIPTURES TO US?” (vv. 31-32).

The word “opened” (in vs. 32) translates the Greek “dianoigó” (διανοίγω) which means to thoroughly unpack, to explain.

So, Jesus taught them WELL, and knowledge replaced ignorance. He repeats similiarly in vs. 45, “And He OPENED THEIR UNDERSTANDING, that they might COMPREHEND THE SCRIPTURES.

This “opening,” we have seen, happens via teaching. So it is just not true that the Bible cannot be understood. You just need an explanation.

Jesus would not painstakingly teach if it is impossible to truly understand God’s Word. But He did so (taught laboriously) because what is taught (from Scripture) CAN be understood.

God communicated His counsel in the Bible using HUMAN words (Greek and Hebrew) because He wants people to understand. If He had no intention that man understand the Bible, why use a human mode of communication? He would have simply used a “spiritual language,” unknown to man.

The logical conclusion from the foregoing is therefore that the Bible CAN be understood. Albeit, via diligent study.


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.


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