The Clarity of Scripture

“In a day when it is common for people to tell us how hard it is to interpret Scripture rightly, we would do well to remember that not once in the Gospels do we ever hear Jesus saying anything like this: ‘I see how your problem arose–the Scriptures are not very clear on that subject.’  Instead, whether he is speaking to scholars or untrained common people, his responses always assume that the blame for misunderstanding any teaching of Scripture is not to be placed on the Scripture themselves, but on those who misunderstand or fail to accept what is written.  Again and again he answers questions with statements like, ‘Have you not read…’ (Matt. 21:42), or even, ‘You are wrong because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God’ (Matt. 22:29; cf Matt. 9:13, 12:7; 15:3; 21:13; John 3:10, et al.).

“Similarly, most of the New Testament epistles are written not to church leaders but to entire congregations.  Paul writes, ‘To the church of God which is at Corinth’ (1 Cor. 1:2), ‘To the churches of Galatia’ (Gal. 1:2), ‘To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons’ (Phil. 1:1), and so forth.  Paul assumes that his hearers will understand what he writes, and he encourages the sharing of his letters with other churches: ‘And when this letter has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read also the letter from Laodicea’ (Col. 4:16; cf John 20:30-31; 2 Cor. 1:13; Eph. 3:4; 1 Tim. 4:13; James 1:1, 22-25; 1 Peter 1:1; 2:2; 2 Peter 1:19; 1 John 5:13).”

(Wayne Grudem, Chapter 6: The Clarity of Scripture; Systematic Theology, pp 106-107, 2000)

 

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