Four Encouragements for Those Who Sometimes Find Bible Reading Difficult

Do you ever stumble over the difficulty of some of the words of Scripture? It’s not just obscure places and people and practices in the OT; there are significant passages in the NT which are also quite difficult or ambiguous.

Here are some points that might help you:

  1. Someone as intentional about his speech as Jesus—He got every word from His Father (John 8:28)—was never accidentally unclear. If something He said was in any way ambiguous or difficult, He meant it to be. Sometimes, as a good book points out, clarity is “hard-won” for the reader.
  2. Jesus said He sometimes used parables to hide truth from people whose eyes were not open to it anyway (Matt 13:10–17).
  3. Jesus said clearly in John 16:25 that not all of the things He said prior to that point were plain (cf. Num 12:8).
  4. Peter, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said of Paul’s scriptural writings that some of them were hard to understand (2 Pet 3:16).

It’s okay for you to find some parts of the Bible difficult. It’s not okay to leave it at that. Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled, but the food they need they may have to dig for.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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