© 2012 • Hillcrest Church of Christ
Can the Average Person Understand the Bible?
by Danny Boggs
The Bible answers emphatically, “Yes!”
“For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14). The commandments that God gave to Israel are part of a grand story revealed in the Bible, a story that spans from creation to eternity. Embedded in the story are fearful warnings, hopeful promises, and instructions for every era and every person.
The knowledge we need to navigate this life and to enter the next is not too difficult to attain. It is not beyond reach. When we study the Bible carefully, it sinks into our hearts and inspires us to obey the Lord. The above passage implies that we can understand the Word of God well enough to teach it — it fills not only the heart, but the mouth.
“Understand” is the Bible’s repeated charge (e.g. Proverbs 8:5, Matthew 15:10). Jesus challenged, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command” (John 14:15). Anyone who really loves the Lord can learn what the Lord expects and can do it. Communicating effectively is no problem for the God who created the universe. When we persist in ignorance and misunderstanding, the fault is our own. “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:17).