What should you do when the Bible seems confusing or contradictory?
[Steve Myers] We had a question come in from a viewer, "How do I have a successful Bible study?"
Now, continuing on with another important concept—it's found over in 2 Peter 1:20 2 Peter 1:20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
American King James Version×. Now in 2 Peter, right in the first chapter, he tells us very clearly, "That knowing this first, no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation." In other words, we've got to be careful how we interpret the word of God. What if there's a passage that's unclear? What do we do? Do we force our own interpretation into that passage? Or do we look to the word of God to explain what that particular passage is all about? That's what 2 Peter 1:20 2 Peter 1:20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
American King James Version×is telling us.
Make sure that when we find a scripture that seems to be confusing, look at the context. Look at the scripture. Compare that scripture that might seem unclear to another passage that is clear. We should always let a clear Bible passage interpret an unclear one. And so as we think about studying our Bibles, we can't force our own interpretation into what the Bible's telling us.
Let's look at a quick example of that. It's found—the one I picked out is over in 1 Corinthians chapter 2 and in verse 9 it tells us, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Corinthians 2:9 1 Corinthians 2:9But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him.
American King James Version×). Now that's a quotation from Isaiah 64:4 Isaiah 64:4For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither has the eye seen, O God, beside you, what he has prepared for him that waits for him.
American King James Version×. Now if you were to stop right there and look at that particular passage, you'd probably come to the conclusion that, you know, we just cannot understand what God has in mind for us. We can't understand God's plan. We can't understand what the future holds if we just stop reading there. Yet, if we allow the Bible to interpret itself, if we take that passage into greater context of what 1 Corinthians is saying, we'd read on. And here's what it says just a verse later—in verse 10 it says, "But God has revealed them to us through His spirit" (1 Corinthians 2:10 1 Corinthians 2:10But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
American King James Version×).
So as we put that particular verse in context, eye has not seen, but because God has opened our minds to through His spirit, we can see. A few verses later it even tells us, it says the spirit—"By the spirit we can know the things that have been freely given to us by God" (1 Corinthians 2:12 1 Corinthians 2:12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
American King James Version×). And so you see, when we take that into context, we can zero in on a passage that might seem unclear and yet, looking at the entire verse, we begin to see it does make sense.
God does open our mind to His truths. So don't be confused by a scripture that might seem unclear. Remember that concept as we study the Bible, let the Bible interpret itself.
That's BT Daily. We'll see you next time.