The Bible is without a doubt the most misquoted and misunderstood book ever to be written. Because the Bible simply feels like it’s only a book made up of a bunch of texts thousands of years old, written by dozens of different people, and some of the things it contains just don’t make any sense.
When Charles Dickens was still alive, people would come up to him with questions about his books, asking him what he meant and what he was trying to convey. But now that he’s dead, who has the final say on what “A Christmas Carol” is supposed to mean or imply? Answer: no one. His book is now up for interpretation. Is the Bible up for interpretation? According to 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed” (NIV). The final interpretation, the truth, can only be revealed by His Holy Spirit, the same way that Scripture was revealed to its writers in the first place.
Now you might be wondering: wasn’t the Bible written thousands of years ago? Wasn’t it written in a completely different time and context from today? Hasn’t it gone through several translations? The answer to all of those questions is yes. So how can we possibly apply Scripture and its teachings to today’s world, let alone consider it a literal and accurate historical account? Simply put, the truth has never changed, only our perspective on that truth. God is timeless; He has no beginning and no end. Revelation 1:8 reads, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty’” (NIV). If God is beyond time, then His truth and understanding are never out of date. Psalm 33:11 reads, “But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations” (NIV). In which case, why would God’s written message to the human race only apply to those who lived during the time it was written? If He is a limitless being, why would His word be constricted by time? If Scripture is old and dead, then its author would have to be too, but according to Hebrews 4:12, “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (NIV).
So what’s the point? Does this change anything? As crude and corrupt humans, it is in our nature to turn and twist things into something that makes us feel good or allows us to live in any way we choose. A classic example can be found in the book of Genesis when Satan, as a serpent, asked Eve, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” (Genesis 3:1, NIV). He led Eve to “reinterpret” a direct command from God, which led to sin and death entering the world.
The Bible is the word of God. As Christians, do we put our faith in man’s simple and faulty reasoning or in the hands of an almighty, all-knowing and all-loving God? According to 2 Corinthians 5:7, the answer is clear: “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (NRSV).