On many occasions I am asked to translate in person for somebody. But, one of the hardest things to translate are documents. One of the many documents I translate for people are documents related to vehicles, houses, etc. The people I translate for understood the basics of the documents when they signed them. But they did not know the details of the policy. One thing I have found out is that people complain about a situation they are in, because they ignored the rules of what they bought. For example they complain sometimes about the insurance companies. Insurance companies do exactly what they say in their policies; the problem is that most people have never read their copy. What keeps people from reading their policy?
Sometimes people trust their agent so they figure there is no reason to question his word. This is sad because there are a few “bad apples” in every business.
Sometimes people claim the policies are too difficult to understand. I believe most people who say they have never attempted to read their policy anyway.
I have also noticed that many people look at religion the same way they would a life insurance policy. They put blind trust in a smooth talking salesman (some priest, pastor, or religious leader) and hope that he knows what he is doing. They never read their policy (the Bible) for they imagine that they couldn't understand it anyway. It is much easier to trust a priest or preacher than to read and study for themselves.
The Holy Spirit guided the apostles in the writing of the New Testament (John 16:13). Paul told the Ephesians that “when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ” (Eph. 3:4). The Bible was written so a person with a limited education can read it without difficulty.
Yes, there are some things that require a good deal of study. Peter spoke of the epistles of Paul “in which are some things hard to understand, which those who are untaught and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures” (2 Peter 3:16). Peter simply said some people will “twist” not only the difficult things, but also the “rest of the Scriptures.”
When a man claims the Bible is too difficult to understand, he is impugning the character of God. Jesus told us we will be judged by His words (John 12:48). It is against every law of humanity to hold a person accountable for something they can't understand. But, there is a big difference between the words “can't” and “won't.”
Jesus spoke of some in His day by quoting Isaiah 6:9,10. “Hearing you will hear and shall not understand, and seeing you will see and not perceive; for the heart of this people has grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, lest they should understand with their heart and turn, so that I should heal them.” (Matthew 13:14,15).
Proverbs 23:23 tells us to “Buy the truth, and do not sell it.” To those who do not have a “love of the truth,” “God will send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, that they all might be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thes. 2:11,12).
I have heard people speak of the Bible and say “it's a mystery to me.” The word “mystery” can be used in two different ways. Sometimes it means something that is hidden and cannot be understood. Other times it refers to something we are ignorant of. For example, the workings of a diesel engine are a “mystery” to me. I believe I could understand that engine if I applied myself, but right now I am ignorant of it. If the Bible is a “mystery” to you, it is because you have not applied yourself.
The Bible can be understood. It is given to us in this life and will be opened before us at the judgment (Rev. 20:12). What you know about God's word, and what you do about it, will determine what He says to you in the final day.
Let us imitate the noble Bereans who “searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so” (Acts 17:11).
- Justo Dorantes