Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

A book for Christianity

To come to know God or come to know how to live best and how to find a good church, one is best to consult the Bestseller of all time, the Bible. When looking for a church it is not so important to search for Christianity or Christendom. Best is that one starts by reading the books which are the foundation or the cement of what has become the Church.

In Christianity it is all about having a relationship with God by the intermediary Jesus Christ. One first has to get to know the Divine Creator before one can go looking for His houses.

Bible texts, languages and translations

Bible texts are not always easy to follow or understand. Though it is one of the best guides for life, it requires attention from the reader and persistence and will to follow and understand.

When we want to read the Bible we have first of all to choose a translation and should remember that it is only one of the many translations that there exist. Do not worry too much about what translation you would like to buy. Go to a bookshop and read some paragraphs in different bible translations. When you find one which is in a language that suits you best, try that first. Later on, you always can come to read the literal translated and more accurate Bible translations, in case you had not chosen directly for a literal translation. Youngsters and beginners are often better off with a paraphrased Bible, though we would not recommend that. There are Bible Students all over the world who offer very good contemporary literal Bible translations in many easy to read languages. Do not go for those big Bible translations where there is more space given to the notes than to the Bible Words of God. A Bible with just cross-references is the best solution.

One Author is telling as it is

Taking up the Book of books, we should remember that though it is a compilation of several books written by different people, the author or principal to write down everything is only One Person, namely the Divine Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Keeping that in mind, we should also remember that That Task Giver is a man of truth Who is not telling lies, and as such all what He says should be taken as one opinion which does not contradict.

“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?” (Nu 23:19 RSV)

“Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David.” (Ps 89:35 RSV)

“in hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago” (Tit 1:2 RSV)

Intended message

When reading the Bible we should always remember the basics of interpretation: looking for the Author’s intended message, reading it in context and with the whole of Scripture in view, even considering how believers throughout history have interpreted it. Hereby not forgetting that many human beings gave their idea about the text, but that those interpretations should be taken as such being ideas of fallible men and not always telling the truth or giving the right interpretation to a certain part of a text.

Construction for all to see and understand

We also should not believe those priests and pastors or other clergies that say it is not up to non-clergy to read and understand the Bible. The Bible is a God-given present for all people, not for a few exceptions or studied people. We always should give the Bible time to give us the necessary spiritual food, when we are ripe for it. We should consider the Bible as the tool of a Masterworker, the Architect, giving Him time to mould us and prepare us for building His righteous creature.  Look at the Bible like a huge building, where you can not see all the rooms at once. You need your time to investigate all the places. The instruction the word of God gives is like a building construction Engineer telling the other people involved in raising a building what should be done at every stage of the building, so the building can be done exactly as it was planned as the Architect wanted it.

When looking at construction plans, they are not always easy to read at first glance. The same with the Plan of God or with the bible. We should give it enough attention to see all the details and to understand why certain things are like they are designed.

We should also not avoid difficult ‘drawings’ or texts when we encounter such in our reading sessions.

When we come across a problematic passage, we might prefer to focus on the verses that are more accessible or understandable. But avoiding these texts doesn’t make them disappear. Eventually you or someone you love will want an explanation.

writes 6 Wrong Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages.

Requesting the Planner for more  information

We should remember also that when a passage is not clear to us, the best Person to ask about it is God Himself. Therefore, do not forget to pray about it and ask God for more insight.

Some Christians assume that Scripture’s perspicuity implies that its interpretation should be straightforward. But that is not always so. God has given us a brain, a mind, and we should use our brain to come to understand.

the Bible isn’t a pocket dictionary for faith and practice.

In his Word, God has spoken through complex narrative and poetic philosophy. He’s recorded commands complete with rationale, motivation, and explanation. He’s provided principles, then called us to thoughtful application and situational wisdom. That’s why he’s given us minds for thinking, pastors for teaching, a community for learning, and his Spirit for illuminating. These good gifts would be gratuitous if God’s words to us were always clear—which, by its own admission, simply isn’t the case (2 Pet. 3:16). { 6 Wrong Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages.}

When encountering a difficult passage, we, next to our prayer, could also speak about it with others around us and ask some church leaders for more information on that part of scripture.

Comparing

It is up to us to compare the explanation of those people with the sayings in other parts of the Bible. All texts in the Holy Scriptures must be in agreement and do not contradict each other. If there is any contradiction, it is due to a wrong assumption. In that case, one will have to become better informed and read the text according to its correct interpretation.

We should be wary of scientific diagnosis or endless speculation, especially if it’s absent of a warmed heart and any bedside manner that demonstrates genuine love for others — and ultimately for God.

“The aim of our charge,” Paul says, “is love” (1 Tim. 1:5). { 6 Wrong Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages.}

Judging

Some people want to look at the Bible for being able to judge God or to ‘attack’ believers. they want to undermine the faith of lovers of God, by twisting the words of the Bible, or to show others how the clergy is just doing the opposite of what is written in the Bible. They do forget that perhaps those clergy or not the right people for God and do not belong to a church that really is in line with God. We may not forget that the majority of churches in this world do have another God than the God of Jesus Christ and lots of them even use graven images of their god and other gods or saints.

E. Clark warns

We can easily study the Bible in such a way that we preside in judgment over it — as if we’re the ultimate arbiter of what is true and right and good.

Instead, we must allow God to sit in judgment over us through sacred Scripture. His Word is what discerns the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Heb. 4:12), exposing our sin alongside his provision of salvation. When we confront difficult texts, therefore, we must be careful not to cross-examine the witness of God. We are ultimately the ones in need of scrutiny, not the other way around. { 6 Wrong Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages.}

It is not for us or anyone else to judge the ways of God. Instead of looking at Him with judgment, we should try to understand why God works in any way.

Reaching for quality

It does not matter how fast you go through reading the whole Bible. The best is to give it some time each day. Each day reading a chapter for example. Either by going from the first until the last book, chapter after chapter, or by choosing some book of interest and going from there, not reading the whole Bible in the order of the books.

When reading a book, do not forget to take time to think about what you have read. Ask yourself what it was about, what the message is, and what you can learn from it.

In case you come up against difficult verses, do not worry to read them over and over again. Chew on them. do not mind reading them again the next day. Try it again the next day, reading the whole paragraph now, and wonder about the verse in context. In case there are cross-references, go and have a look at those verses, and see what is written there.

Tuning in

When taking the time for yourself and the Bible, make sure there is nothing to distract you. ‘Tune in’ to that one channel of God, listening in yourself to what you are reading in that Book of books. Do not let social media messages interrupt your reading. Put your phone aside for some time … the reading time … for listening to the Speaker God. It is with Him that you are in conversation when you are reading the Bible. It is Him that you should then give your time … Listening to Him.

When there is enough willingness to listen to the Words of God, they shall come over properly and not like a badly tuned radio, with crackling and distorted sounds.

+

Preceding

Is reading the Bible necessary?

How Social Media is Shrinking the Bible

++

Additional reading

  1. Unread bestseller
  2. Bible
  3. Bible Word from God
  4. Word of God
  5. Bible Inspired Word of God
  6. Today’s thought “Word of the Only One God – To be read and listened at” (November 21)
  7. Bible Word of God inspired and infallible
  8. Appointed to be read (Our World) = Appointed to be read (Some View on the World)
  9. Best to read and study the Bible
  10. The Metaphorical language of the Bible (Our World) = The Metaphorical language of the Bible (Some View on the World)
  11. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen (Our World) = The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen (Some View on the World)
  12. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  13. God’s Blog recorded in a Book
  14. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and mouvement
  15. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  16. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  17. the Bible – God’s guide for life #7 Case example – King Josiah #2 Lessons from Josiah’s experience
  18. Written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope
  19. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  20. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  21. Do Christians need to read the Old Testament
  22. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  23. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  24. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  25. A question to be posed
  26. Bible Reading: is it worthwhile?
  27. Bible in the first place #1/3
  28. Bible in the first place #2/3
  29. Bible in the first place #3/3
  30. The Word itself should be enough reason to believe
  31. A vital question for believers
  32. Making time for God is crucial
  33. When found the necessary books to read and how to read them
  34. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  35. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  36. How to Read the Bible
  37. How to Read the Bible (sequel 1)
  38. How to Read the Bible (sequel 2)
  39. How to Read the Bible (sequel 3)
  40. How to Read the Bible (sequel 4)
  41. How to Read the Bible (sequel 5)
  42. How to Read the Bible (sequel 6) an after thought
  43. Thinking about the happiness by the Torah reading
  44. When reading your Bible be aware of changing language
  45. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
  46. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 3 Light and wisdom in words
  47. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 4 Words giving us wisdom and encouragement
  48. Literalist and non-literalist views
  49. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  50. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  51. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  52. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  53. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  54. We should use the Bible every day
  55. Feed Your Faith Daily
  56. 2 Easy Ways You Can Fit Daily Bible Time into Your Busy Life
  57. 3 Keys to Reading the Bible with a Fresh Perspective
  58. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  59. The manager and Word of God (Our World)The manager and Word of God (Some View on the World)
  60. If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?
  61. A special anniversary for the Church where Catholics and Protestants find common ground
  62. 500 years of a provision of the Word in the language of the peoples
  63. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers (Our World) = Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers (Some View on the World)
  64. A living Word giving confidence (Our World)A living Word giving confidence (Some View on the World)
  65. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  66. Lenten Season and our minds and hearts the spiritual temple in which God seeks to live
  67. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  68. Coming to the end of the year
  69. Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share
  70. Christian in Christendom or in Christianity
  71. Today’s thought “… his word abiding in you” (April 13)
  72. Be an Encourager

+++

Related

  1. Tips for new Christians
  2. Seeking God’s manna
  3. God’s Shaping Tools
  4. The Book
  5. Our Amazing Bible
  6. A Word on Bible Versions
  7. Our LifelineRead the whole of the Bible.How to Read the Bible
  8. Reading God’s Word (A basic guide to Bible reading)
  9. Video: How To Read the Bible
  10. Making the Bible More Approachable
  11. The Easiest Book in the Bible to Read
  12. Passive vs. Active Reading of Scripture: How to ignite a passion for the Bible
  13. 3 Transformational Ways to Read Scripture
  14. The Difference Between Reading the Bible and Meditating on God’s Word
  15. Reading the Bible in a Year
  16. A Sermon: Reading the Bible Together
  17. Book: Reading While Black
  18. Book: How (Not) to Read the Bible
  19. How Do I Read the Bible?
  20. How to Interpret Scripture
  21. Purpose of Scripture
  22. Reading Scripture as non-Scripture
  23. Reading Scripture as non-Scripture: Sola Scriptura and the Hermeneutics of Historical Artifact
  24. Reading the Bible Properly: John Behr, Stanley Hauerwas, and the Historical-Critical Method
  25. How to Read the Bible from a Universalist Perspective
  26. Simple Bible Study Tips – Old Testament & New
  27. The Importance Of Reading The Bible Daily
  28. Listening to God; March 14, 2022
  29. Digging in Deeper: Psalms 119:27
  30. Don’t Read the Bible Through in One Year
  31. How I Read the Bible Cover to Cover
  32. Hang Onto Every Word
  33. Reading the Bible aloud
  34. Some Things I Learned Reading The Whole Bible in 2020
  35. 3 Reasons to Spend Time With God
  36. Forgetting the Divine Word
  37. Misinterpreting Scripture
  38. The Danger of Error in the Church
  39. We are what we read.
  40. The Book That We Love: Uprooting & Planting
  41. How can we help people to let Christ’s word dwell in them richly?