Biblical Salvation Depends on Correct Interpretations

Not only do we take it for granted that everyone had free access to a Bible and could read it, but that they could even understand it correctly once they read it.  Having studied the Bible my whole life in home, church, college, and work as a preacher, not only is it a difficult and boring book (especially the KJV which most English-speaking people used until the past few decades), it’s difficult to understand at times.  Regardless of which of the multiple English translations you use, the difficulty in understanding the Bible is seen and proven in the massive amount of disagreement over what it teaches.  We’ll get into this more in an article on the divisiveness of hearsay religions, but for now let’s just note the difficulty of understanding this 2000 year old book written in another language on the other side of the world.

How are people to interpret the Bible?  Does it always literally mean what is says?  Or does it speak to us in figurative ways?  Or both?  And if so, then how do we know?  Well, you could always hire an expert pastor, priest, or preacher to tell you what to believe about it, which is what most people do.  Or you could purchase the book of an “expert” who will also be glad to tell you how to interpret the Bible, which is what most pastors, priest, and preachers do.  The problem is that there are hundreds of “experts” who disagree on what the Good Book teaches and how to interpret it correctly.  One denomination interprets the Bible this way and another one that way.  Even within denominations a wide variety of opinions concerning Scripture can be found.  The reason for the division in Christianity is the difficulty of interpreting what the sixty-six books of the Bible teach on certain subjects.

Some of the Bible authors themselves even had trouble understanding one another.  Even the author of the book called Second Peter admits that the writings attributed to Paul were difficult to understand.  Yet we’re supposed to believe that Peter was inspired of God!   Peter allegedly writes of God’s will and Paul’s wisdom, “And account that the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you; as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”  (2 Peter 3:15-16).  What?  The Apostle Peter says that the Apostle Paul is hard to understand?  No wonder most Christians don’t even read the Bible much outside of church services.  Peter certainly doesn’t write so that the average 16-year-old would want to even try to read this epistle so that he or she can be saved from eternal torment in hell and go to heaven to be with the God of love.

The Bible is too long, random, and inconsistent, for us to come to any unified interpretation of it.  Michael A. Singer notes, “If you try to read about God in a book, you’ll find five other books that say the opposite.  Better yet, you’ll find five interpretations of the same book.  Somebody writes something and somebody else gets a Ph.D. proving it wrong.”[1]  If God wanted people to be saved from eternal torment in hell, then surely He would have written a book that was easier to understand (and a less boring one, too).  And if you disagree that the Bible is boring, don’t you prove that it’s boring by the fact that there are at least a hundred things you’d rather do every day then read it?  Stephen King writes better books than the so-called apostles and he doesn’t have to claim to be writing God’s word in order for people to read his book!

 

[1] Singer, Michael A.:  The Untethered Soul, pg. 177

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