Through no fault of her own, my teenage daughter was in a horrific traffic accident, suffering a traumatic brain injury that required emergency surgery. It was an absolute miracle that she survived. Praise God! And praise the doctors and hospital staff that cared for her! She spent a month in the hospital and it took several more months for her to fully recovery. During the first couple of weeks in the hospital, we realized she was not going back to work any time soon so we wanted to file a state disability insurance claim. Not knowing the exact procedure, we asked for help from the hospital social worker. He directed us to the hospital medical records department and they directed us back to the social worker, who then directed us to the doctor in charge of my daughter’s care, who then directed us back to the hospital medical records department. In spite of this run-around, we finally figured out how to file our claim and we sent it off to the state, only to be rejected and told we needed to start over. To make a long story short, we spent months going through a process that should have only taken a couple of weeks. Have you ever had an experience like this?
For many, understanding the Bible is a good example of a confusing run-around. There are so many different points of view, it’s impossible to know who is providing truth and who is only twisting the message for their own personal gain. Everything we know about Jesus is found in the pages of the Bible, so it’s important to have some basic understanding of this astonishing book. For those who don’t know, the Bible is a collection of 66 smaller books composed by 40 different writers over 1,500 years with a total of over 700,000 words. The fact that all these books fit together perfectly, even though they were written by different authors, sometimes hundreds of years apart, is one example of the Bible’s miraculous nature. In addition, there are many predictions made in several books of the Bible that were fulfilled in detail hundreds of years later. Christians believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God. Christians believe that the human authors of the Bible were directed by God to write each and every word.
So why would God allow the understanding of the Bible to become so confused? The truth is God hasn’t allowed confusion. If you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are empowered by the Spirit of God to understand everything written in the Bible. Some things will be understood immediately and other things will require some Christian maturity to fully understand. The simple point I’m making is the Bible doesn’t cause confusion – people misinterpreting the Bible cause confusion. Keep in mind, God has a spiritual enemy, known as the devil, who is actively trying to disrupt God’s message.
So how do you find Bible teachers that are providing the truth? You compare them to Jesus. In order to do this, you’ll need to read at least some of the Bible yourself. Even if you have not yet trusted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you can get God’s help in reading the Bible by simply asking him in a sincere prayer. The book of Mark is the shortest book about the teachings of Jesus and is a good place for you to develop an understanding of what a sincere follower of Jesus should look like.
I want to make one final point about the Bible before I go. When Jesus walked the earth preaching his message of salvation, he constantly used the Old Testament portion of the Bible as his supporting text. Jesus believed the Old Testament to be the inspired Word of God – for me that settles the issue.
The Bible is God’s book of instruction, left for us to find our way to the kingdom of God. We need to know what’s in the Bible. You can study the book on your own or you can find a trusted teacher who is a sincere follower of Jesus. Some people live and thrive on a strict vegetarian diet, while others live and thrive on an all fast food diet. Some people love reading a good book, while others would much prefer watching a good movie. Some people insist on studying every word of the Bible, while others are content learning about the Bible from a trusted teacher. The fact that we are all different is one of the beautiful things about God’s creation. Your approach to the Bible is a personal choice and something you should carefully and prayerfully consider. There is no right path that everyone needs to follow.