“The Bible is basically easy to understand.” This was displayed in front of the classroom. I put it there on purpose. I was teaching them a three week course on Bible study.
The class was designed because the pastors discovered a real need in the church to know how to understand the Scriptures. It was safe to say, however, that they were all there because they believed that the Bible was not easy to understand.
The statement facing the class was designed to do two things. First, it was designed to shock. My hope was to confront their beliefs head-on and boldly. Second, it was designed to let them know where I was headed with the lessons. If they believed that the Bible was not easy to understand, and I know that they did, then this was the going to be our end goal. It was designed to give them hope and to help them rid themselves of the fear they already expressed.
I prefaced the statement by explaining what the word “basically” meant by drawing from some historical references to Martin Luther and his motivation to translate the Bible into the common language. I told them that the basic theme, the primary message, of the Bible is clear and easy to understand – even to a child. This set the framework for the coming lessons and, I think, helped them to relax.
See, I have been in many programs where the subject of Bible study has been the focus. And, rather than making it plain, teachers often make it complex. My assumption is that they want to intimidate people so that they feel more educated or spiritual. Of course, it could be that they really do not know themselves. The reason is not quite clear to me, but this is: dropping ten heavy books down on a table and telling your audience that studying the Bible will require an arm and a leg’s worth of diligence and several years of holy education is not helping them.
My classroom full of eager learners was proof.
With the statement still in front of them, I said, “God is not trying to trip you up.” If we believe that God has communicated His message with the intention of us understanding it, then we must assume that He did it in such a way that we could understand it. Is that too much to assume?
To me, it is not much to assume at all. In fact, I think that it should imply to us that reading and understanding the Bible is not something that only Pope’s and priests can do. It is something that we all can do – and should do. For this reason, I put together what I believe is a starting point to get every Christian on the road to getting the most of their Bible.