For those who believe the Bible to be the Word of God, this is an extremely important question.
The Bible can be hard to understand:
1. The Bible is a printed book. Our culture has a shrinking preference for reading books, especially complex ones. We can get our information from things like blog posts, news summaries and video clips. These are informative, but they are brief. They do not require in-depth analysis or thoughtful reasoning.
2. The Bible can be complex. Its stories, poetry, letters and laws were written in ancient times and written in ancient languages. The assumptions and attitudes of the authors are not the same as ours. In many cases, interpreting the Bible requires our patience and work, which can sometimes be discouraging.
The Bible is not TOO hard to understand:
1. It’s original authors were writing for the common person, not the educated elite. The Old Testament law and New Testament epistles were read in their entirety to whole congregations. In another words, the Bible was intended to be understood by all of us.
2. There are many tools and resources to help us understand and apply the Scriptures. There are pastors and teachers who are called to this ministry. Study Bibles, commentaries and reference guides are written for laity with no formal training.
Be encouraged. God does not communicate in a way we can’t understand. However, we must discipline ourselves to hear God, and study is an important way to do this. We can get discouraged from reading God’s Word not so much because it is hard to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it can be work.