It often happens that a person has questions about some aspects or passages of the Bible. More than once, after consulting theologians, I am more mixed up, and sometimes messed up, than before. What is the correct way to handle questions about Bible passages?
After we left our business, because I had the impression that the Holy Spirit told me to get out and find out what life is about (the truths revealed in Scripture and to be prepared for eternal life), I wanted to do a masters degree at a theological correspondence college (I had a BA in Bible Theology). Fortunately I couldn’t do it. I will explain the ‘fortunately’ from what I understood in hindsight.
If you study at a theological school, you logically imbibe their particular brand of theology. Usually there is nothing wrong with it, but many colleges no longer believe that the Bible is the truth from Genesis to Revelation. So a student’s understanding of the Bible can become very warped. An example is six days creation. Without six days creation, God cannot have the authority He has in the Bible. So if you deny six days it can be very damaging to your faith.
I thought I had to study on my own, except for a number of reliable (as far as I could ascertain) commentaries. It turned out I was wrong. I had a Guide, the Holy Spirit, promised by Jesus: ‘I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever – the Spirit of truth.’ 1
Jesus made another wonderful promise, ‘But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.’ 2 It was very reassuring. I had hundreds of questions about the Bible, and I could consult the Holy Spirit. He never let me down. The Holy Spirit answers all honest questions.
I am not a man for ceremonies. So I didn’t put on church clothes, kneel and ask the Holy Spirit for help. I just silently asked, ‘please help me.’ Somehow, in some way, He would answer. He never let me down. Today I know Scripture is true, because of the special personal training by God the Holy Spirit. What a privilege! If I don’t understand something, I ask. The Holy Spirit knows all things, and He loves to help.
Conclusion: If you are confused by different interpretations, or you don’t understand the Bible, ask the Holy Spirit first. Then consult commentaries or others. But, be warned: watch out for false doctrines and interpretations. It is still a narrow road we are on.
- John 14:16
- John 14:26