Sometimes I feel in despair because I’m not sure what to believe. It seems that I get mixed messages from people I want to believe. From one party I hear that the Bible is plain and can be understood, from another I hear that Genesis would have been plain if I were a 1500BC Hebrew, from yet another I hear that passages in the New Testament can’t properly be understood without learning New Testament Greek. So which is it and why should I bother? Is there one way to understand the words of the bible? Does it actually matter that people think differently about it. Can we truly agree with with the main message of the bible when we differ on the peripheral messages? How can we know that we got the message of Jesus correct if we don’t know whether we got the message of creation, or destruction correct?
I have a problem, in that I feel like things should be plain and there should be a right. Not that things are necessarily easy, I’m all for intellectual battle; I just want everyone in the room to agree at the end of the battle (not on all topics, but ones that are from a passage of scripture). When things are too hard and too many people disagree it upsets me because I feel like I don’t understand anything. Which isn’t really true at all, some things I understand (somewhat) and some things I don’t. It will always be that way I suspect. The main problem is that when things go belly-up in my mind I don’t know where to go next. If I’ve struggled through something and can’t understand it, I don’t say “okay lets set that aside and come back to it in the future” I just stop, I get lost, I don’t just start reading a different book of the bible. I feel like I have to do everything systematically. If I start a book I need to finish it and if I can’t then I stop. It’s not giving up, it’s more like a permanent state of confusion.
I need to change this. I need to be able to evaluate things for myself and not mind so much if people differ on a topic of little consequence. I need to just read the bible and let God speak – if something’s confusing I shouldn’t get bogged down in it.
Why, for something so important to me, can’t I just get it right? Why can’t I just read and pray and trust?
There’s a good song by Jeremy Camp called Understand:
To know that you are everything I need you to be
You’re my ever present help in time of need
I know you understand it all
So why don’t I get back on my feet again?
For something a little more light-hearted; there’s a “Klingon Language Version of the World English Bible” available for the Sword Project.