Misunderstood Verses

Misunderstood Verses

When the Sadducees questioned Jesus about the resurrection and attempted to theologically baffle Him, the Lord responded, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29). While having a vast knowledge of the Law of Moses, these religious leaders failed to “understand” their real meaning. When Jesus gave the parable of the soils (Matt. 13:3-9, 18-23), He explained the seed sown on the first type of soil in these words: “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart” (v. 19). The lost person does not “understand” the word sown in his heart. In contrast, the fourth soil is explained in this way: “The one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty” (v. 23). The one who is saved and fruitful is the one who “understands” the word proclaimed.

Understanding God’s Word is vital! We cannot merely superficially read the Bible and expect to be benefited by it. We must read carefully and prayerfully. We must read regularly and patiently. We must study diligently, comparing scripture with scripture. We must take note of the immediate and remote context of a given text of Scripture. We must use whatever English dictionaries, Greek lexicons, and other helps we may have or be able to obtain. We may profitably consult various accurate translations. Even judicious use of reliable Biblical commentaries may prove valuable. And, most important, we must come to the Scriptures with an eagerness to learn, a sincere desire to allow Scripture to speak to our heart, a commitment to believe what we read, and a submission to the authority of God’s Word.

In this section of the True Discipleship website, we intend to examine individual passages of Scripture that are commonly misunderstood. You may have heard of this misunderstandings or mistakes in interpretation in sermons, Bible lessons, or classes. You may have read them in articles, tracts, or books. In cases like this, sometimes a verse may be misread or misunderstood because of a poor translation. At other times, a false teacher may “distort” or “twist” Scripture to his own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). Frequently we simply misunderstand a verse because we do not understand the context, do not know the original language, have not examined the meaning of a word, or have accepted an interpretation by someone who has merely passed on a misunderstanding that he himself was taught.

Hopefully, you will find this section interesting, enlightening, and helpful in your own understanding of God’s precious, inspired, and authoritative Word. If anyone would like to offer a commonly misunderstood verse, take the time to email True Discipleship!

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