Any firm believer in the Bible should understand that NO contradictions exist in the perfect word of God. Below, I outlined several points that have helped me begin to understand the Bible as it was intended to be understood. Perhaps the list might help others as well.
Things to Understand Before You Will Ever Understand the Bible:
#1) God’s use of language is perfect.
#2) God does not lie
#3) The Bible is full of mysteries and riddles that are ours to solve.
#4) Our understanding is limited
#5) We can ask God for wisdom if we lack it.
#6) Though He wants us to have strong critical thinking skills, and be willing to study and discover on our own, we can always ask Him for revelation when we need it.
#7) We must come to the LORD humbly and curious as children. Children don’t know everything, and they certainly don’t pretend to know all. Therefore, when we ask questions, we shouldn’t assume the answer is wrong just because it opposes some things we’ve learned. Haven’t we been lied to by other human beings? …Exactly…Therefore, we should approach God with an empty cup.
#8) We must read carefully; for if you blink or miss even a word, you can miss something big.
#9) Life was different in Biblical times. Often without realizing it, we tend to impose what we know today upon our Biblical ancestors. They had no cellphones, landlines, internet, supermarkets, factories, daycares, hospitals…etc. Please leave your modern thought process behind. It will not help.
Moving right along…
With that established, allow me to explain the reason for this blog. I recently stumbled upon a skeptics annotated Bible and it erked me. In a sense, I was glad to see many common misperceptions and concerns organized as well as they were. Hopefully those with better biblical comprehension might share their understanding following a similar structure. Even so, it erked me to know that such publications exist which can wittingly and unwittingly mislead others. Although the Bible may seem to contradict itself in a number of places, there really are NO contradictions.
Take it from someone who’s been there. I have questioned many things in the collection of books we call the Bible. It took quite some time for me to even begin to understand the depth of the Holy biblical scriptures, but one day, I discovered for myself that the puzzle wasn’t flawed. Instead, what was flawed had been my own perspective all along! So I did some soul searching and came to understand that my inability to see from the proper viewpoint was due to the following hindrances:
#1) An unwillingness to see the truth. Accepting truth often requires a willingness to release a lie or lies we’ve held on to. Sometimes we think we’re ready to learn the truth, but we’re unwilling to let go of a familiar lie.
#2) it takes time, effort, and critical thinking…and I was honestly too lazy to sift through haystacks of lies.
#3) ignorance was bliss. Knowing the truth meant that my life would have to change. It meant that I would have to admit many things I took pleasure in were wrong…and I was a horrible sinner.
#4) I could not humble myself enough to forsake my own “wisdom” at that time. But when I swallowed my pride and started asking, God began revealing…and my former “wisdom” became folly. Nowadays, among other things, I live to help others better understand the Bible.
Accolades don’t determine who can fellowship with God. God is everyone’s Creator and Heavenly Father whether they know it or not and He does not call the qualified, but He qualifies the called. Those who are willing to lend themselves and their services for His glory and honor don’t need fancy titles, just the willingness to follow His lead.
There are a plethora of theologians who have earned the right to sign their names with the titles “Ph.D” or “Dr.”. Even so, there are many among those seemingly qualified people who do not believe the Bible is literal truth. What an absolute shame! I have read commentaries by accredited “authorities” on the subject who suggest that the very first book of the Bible is allegorical. In other words, they believe it is false from the start! Yet there are many believers without fancy titles who have a fuller understanding of the Bible. Accolades mean nothing to God. Don’t get me wrong, to us, they are generally good indications that a person invested time and energy to acquire knowledge in a particular area. Nevertheless if the Holy Spirit of God does not reveal truth, we often will not see it.
At any rate, let’s start mounting a response to the skeptic(s) who put together that “annotated bible” I came across. The response is not intended to shame them, but to share with them. I’ve had my own phases of skepticism and being a Bible Skeptic at least suggests that one is exposing themselves to the light of truth even if they’re always wearing spiritual sunglasses, or even blindfolds, to behold it.
Unfortunately, it would take an entire book to answer even a tenth of the common questions skeptics might have. If the LORD gives me the wisdom to do this, it may become one of my next projects. For now, however, blogs will suffice. This one, just so happens to be the introduction for my next series of blogs which will be called “Answers for Skeptics”. In them, I endeavor to demonstrate the absence of contradictions by explaining twenty misconceptions following the order of their presentation in the Skeptics Annotated Bible.