Why is the bible so hard to understand?


10 Answers

Didge Doo Profile
Didge Doo answered

It's not so difficult. Not really.

The Bible is a collected mish-mash of the religion, poetry, myth, history, pseudo-history, and customs of a Semitic race who lived in the ancient world. (They're still with us, of course, and are a remarkable people, but the Bible isn't about modern Israel or modern Judaism.)

To understand it properly you need to know a little of their history and customs, and you need to know something of the international situation at that time.

Some years ago I was talking, through an interpreter, to a group of South Americans. It wasn't the lack of words that made it such a difficult task -- the translator was competent -- it was the lack of a common culture. Things I understood because I'd grown up with them were very mysterious to some in the group.

So it is with the Bible. To understand it you need to understand the culture of the people who wrote it.

Of course, if you think that it's God's word you're going to have trouble with all the inconsistencies and contradictions, the brutality and the immorality.

In my opinion, if the Bible had truly been written by God he wouldn't have written it in Aramaic or Hebrew, but in HTML (Hyper Text Mark-up Language) and he'd have used hyper-links. Then you wouldn't have had to ask this question.

sm cl Profile
sm cl answered

The Bible can be difficult to understand because of the antiquated language used in many translations, and because the customs and phraseology used in ancient times are sometimes not easy to relate to today. The use of Bible aids and the like can be of much use. 

John McCann Profile
John McCann answered

Because it says insane things!

How easy would it be to understand not eating meat with milk, wearing garments of two types, walking on water and all the other things in the bible that we know did not happen, such as exodus.

AnnNettie Paradise Profile

Because in the bible there are puzzling sayings, prophecies, and illustrations that require much study and meditation. Hence, personal study includes digging into God’s Word. (Proverbs 1:5, 6; 2:1-5)

Ty Hibb Profile
Ty Hibb answered

Knowing this about the bible might help in understanding the way it was written. It was the creator purpose to fill the earth with humans exercising their "free will" in the right way. The selection of those type of humans will be done through the use of the bible. Here is what the book says about the process. Only a wise creator could accomplish such a thing with a book.

Matt 11:25,26 – At that time Jesus said in response, “I publicly praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intellectual ones and have revealed them to babes. Yes, O Father, because this is the way you approved.

Matt 13:13-15 - That is why I speak to them by use of illustrations; for looking, they look in vain, and hearing, they hear in vain, nor do they get the sense of it. 14 And the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled in their case. It says' You will indeed hear but no means  get the sense of it, and you will indeed look but by no means see. 15 For the heart of this people has grown unreceptive, and with their ears they have heard without response, and they have shut their eyes, so that they might never see with their eyes and hear with their ears and get the sense of it with their hearts and turn back and I heal them.

1Cor 1:19 – For it is written: “I will make the wisdom of the wise [men] perish, and the intelligence of the intellectual [men] I will shove aside.

Ray Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered

Actually, with explanation the Bible is not too bad to read.

And it has loads of interesting (and historically important ) stuff in there.

Great insights on the human condition too.

Neither of the two above occur in the Qu'ran, which is just didactic.

(But if you are interested in any of this stuff, and are prepared to take the trouble (after all, even Shakespeare requires some explanation) the Bible is actually quite interesting, the Qu'ran, just isn't.)

Not sure any of that is the basis for a belief system/faith, though.

DDX Project Profile
DDX Project answered

So one can start a billion dollar industry to help you understand it.

Deston Elite Profile
Deston Elite answered

Because it's based on history more than anything else. It's like trying to understand Shakespeare's writing without a mentor or some way of helping. And if anyone does help, they can't quite make up their mind on what it means because there's so much conflict on what certain phrases, titles, and sayings meant.

Cookie Hill Profile
Cookie Hill answered

The original Bible was written in Hebrew and then Greek, this was the language spoken by the people at that time and as time went on people wanted to read God's word the Bible in their Language so many translations were printed the first one in english was the King James Version of the 16th century, which is difficult for us to understand but it was easy for them back then because that is how they all spoke.  Today we have God's word the bible written in the english we speak today, and having a personal study ,praying for God's help according to 2Corinthains 4:1-4, shows that when we turn to God he gives us  a clear understanding of his word so we will know what to do to please him.

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