Studying the Bible: Is the Bible Hard to Understand?

STUDYING THE BIBLE- Introduction
Many people avoid reading or studying the Bible.  They say it’s just too hard to understand.  It may be comprehensible to ivory tower scholars but not me.  In fact, religion in general is just too difficult to sort out.  Well, is the bible too hard to understand or can God speak directly to all of us through His Word?

STUDYING THE BIBLE- Problem 1:  The Heart
Well, there are several reasons why the Bible seems hard to understand.  Perhaps the primary reason is that people do not want to understand the Bible because their hearts are dead set against it.  If they have any respect for the Bible at all, they seem to twist it to fit their sinful attitudes — and if they have no respect for the Bible, if it’s world view is alien to them, they simply choose to think of themselves as the gods of their own universe.

STUDYING THE BIBLE- Hard Work Necessary
Another reason people do not understand the Bible is because they do not work at understanding it.  Anything really valuable requires diligent attention.

STUDYING THE BIBLE- Not Religion, but Revelation
You see, the Bible is in some respects difficult because it deals with some very profound realities.  The infinite Creator of the universe and, of course, His relationship with us, His creatures, is not merely encompassed in simplistic notions.  The Bible may be so simple a child can understand it but, of course, it is also so deep a theologian can drown in it. The truth, in fact, is that Christianity is not a religion at all — it is the revelation of a real God with whom we can have an intimate personal relationship.

STUDYING THE BIBLE- Conclusion
Well let me conclude by saying although there are some profound and difficult concepts in the Bible, in the final analysis those who beg off their responsibility to study the Bible are simply making excuses.  I like the way Mark Twain put it: “It’s not the parts of the Bible I don’t understand that bother me, it’s the parts I do understand.”  The Bible is plainer than most people realize.  Except for small children and those with learning disabilities, the central teachings of the Scripture can be understood by anyone who is willing to put forth the effort and who is enlightened by the power of the Holy Spirit.  On a personal note, let me also hasten to add that before I became a Christian, reading the Bible was like reading someone else’s mail.  Now the letters, of course, are letters addressed directly to me! On understanding the bible, that’s the CRI Perspective.  I’m Hank Hanegraaff.