Sometimes a little clarity is needed
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The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture (often called the “perspicuity of Scripture”) teaches that “the meanings of the text can be clear to the ordinary reader, that God uses the text of the Bible to communicate His person and will.” ”The witness of the Church throughout the ages is that ordinary people, who approach it in faith and humility, will be able to understand what the Bible is getting at, even if they meet with particular points of difficulty here and there.”
This doctrine is in contrast to other positions like that of the Roman Catholic Church, which asserts that Scripture is imperspicuous (unclear) apart from the interpretative framework of the Catholic church and tradition, and of positions like that of Postmodernism and Mormonism, which assert that subjective experience should be preferred over knowing the originally intended meaning of scripture, since it is basically unclear.
~ Theopedia, “Clarity of Scripture Perspicuity“
This is part 7 of the series “How to Interpret the Bible“, so if you have not yet read the introduction, you should do so. Likewise, we have already covered “Ask God for Help” and “Standard Definitions Don’t Depend on What the Meaning of the Word ‘Is’ Is“. Part 4, “Pay Attention to Whom Is Being Addressed“, was a special case of “Context, context and context“. In “How to Interpret the Bible, Part 5: Literal Interpretation Does Not Mean Lack of Symbols or Poetry” it was stressed that taking the Bible literally does not mean that there aren’t different styles of writing within it, but certain sections and the context can guide us easily through this. In Part 6, I challenged readers to use the smell test to see if what was being presented made sense, was logical and did not contradict the clear passages of Scripture.
Speaking of clear, it has to be stressed that the majority of Scripture actually is clear if read without preconceived ideas. The biases, preconceived ideas and desires for the Bible to say something other than what it means are all eisegesis, or reading into Scripture rather than extracting the meaning out of it.
In the end, everything boils down to whether we trust God or not. Do we really believe God? Do we take Him at His word, or are we so mistrusting that we believe that He cannot leave behind a clear record for people to understand?
He even tells us how to understand using various principles, including: Continue reading