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Articles

Can We Understand The Bible Alike?

The Holy Spirit said it is possible to understand the Bible (Ephesians 3:3-4; John 8:32). Among those who believe this is true, there are some who deny that we can understand it alike. You will often hear something like, "You have your interpretation and I have mine." Is it true that God revealed something which men cannot uniformly understand?

First, notice the words of Paul. "Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (1 Corinthians 1:10). Paul expected the Corinthians to agree upon spiritual truth--it was essential to harmony and peace among the church.

Second, Jesus prayed for unity among believers. "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me" (John 17:20-21). When Jesus prayed for this, do you suppose He believed it could be realized? Did our Savior pray for something which was impossible? Surely, we can see that a like understanding of God's will is possible. If not, then God is responsible for the divisions that exist. 

Finally, is there any reason for us not to agree upon the following plain statements? "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (John 8:24). "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). "Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God" (Luke 12:8-9). "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16).

Yes, it is possible to understand God's word alike. The fault of not understanding it alike is man's. That is, men who do not want to accept the truth will pervert it, while others are led astray by such men (Galatians 1:6-7; Romans 16:17-18).