One of the most damaging things one can do is tell a lie. Think about the drastic effects that a single lie can have. Lives can be changed forever because of a lie. In fact, souls can be lost forever because of a single lie. Let us revisit a familiar account recorded in the book of Genesis:
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (Gen. 3:2-6 NKJ emp. added).
“You will not surely die.” Five simple words changed the world forever. This single lie has caused death, disease, misery, and ultimately eternal separation from God for those who are not reconciled to Him. Lies have lasting effects.
Lies about the Bible
Over the ages, individuals, universities, and even religious institutions have told many lies about the Bible. Often times, these lies are told in an attempt to justify beliefs or practices contrary to the teachings of the Bible. For instance, proponents of homosexuality will sometimes claim that the Bible is a hateful book, since its teachings are contrary to their personal beliefs. Others will claim that the Bible condones slavery and degrades women. Claims such as these are usually made in an attempt to justify ignoring the Bible. In other words, some believe that if they can write the Bible off as a hateful book, that justifies not obeying its commands. Of course, such claims are false and can be easily dismantled when the scriptures are read in their context, but that is beside the point. The point is, lies such as these have lasting effects on those who do not investigate the claims. These lies can be the proverbial “nail in the coffin” for those who neglect to investigate such claims.
Along these same lines, some have tried to assert that the Bible was not written by the inspiration of God, but rather, by men. Again, such claims are usually made in an attempt to justify disobedience. Though these claims may seem impossible to refute, a simple examination of the evidence (historical accuracy, scientific foreknowledge, unity, predictive prophecy) will quickly prove that these claims are false. It is not our focus to examine such evidence at this time, but this writer encourages all to search for and examine this evidence. Every lie has lasting effects (especially those about the Bible).
The biggest lie about the Bible
The Bible has been completed and compiled for nearly two thousand years. The number of lies that have been spoken against the Bible since that time cannot even be numbered. Of all the lies, there is one more damaging than all the others: when an individual is told, or even tells themselves, that they cannot understand the Bible. It is true that the Bible can be difficult to understand. There are names in the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, that have more syllables than should be legal. Likewise, Biblical literature has figurative language that would take a lifetime of study to fully understand. Discovering all of the prophecies made and fulfilled in the Bible could take ages. One could study the Bible their whole life and still have things left to learn.
However, everyone is capable of understanding the Bible (save certain obvious reasons, i.e. mental handicap). Though the Bible is complex, and does contain tons of information, it can be understood. During the time that the Catholic Church dominated the religious world, (before the reformation) copies of the Bible were not readily available to the common man. Catholic apologists made the argument that before the printing press Bibles had to be hand written. Thus, they were very expensive, and very rare. This is a very valid point, however, let us notice the words of Pope Innocent III:
“…to be reproved are those who translate into French the Gospels, the letters of Paul, the psalter, etc. They are moved by a certain love of Scripture in order to explain them clandestinely and to preach them to one another. The mysteries of the faith are not to explained rashly to anyone. Usually in fact, they cannot be understood by everyone but only by those who are qualified to understand them with informed intelligence. The depth of the divine Scriptures is such that not only the illiterate and uninitiated have difficulty understanding them, but also the educated and the gifted.” (Denzinger 770-771 emp. added)
A statement like this could not be further from the truth. In fact, in all of the Bible, we find nothing that supports this claim. In actuality, the Bible teaches the exact opposite. The Word of God is for all! Jesus condemned those who did not know the Word of God though they were religious leaders (Mt. 22:29). Likewise, we read in Acts 17:11 that the Bereans searched the scriptures daily, and they were commended for it. God expects His people to know His Word.
Sometimes, one will try to read the Bible on their own (often starting in Genesis) and become discouraged when they come to something that doesn’t make sense to them. Maybe one is willing to continue on despite being a bit confused, but this can only happen so many times before one simply gives up, declaring, “I can’t possibly understand the Bible.” This is a lie with lasting effects. From that moment on, the Bible is no longer interesting. Not only is it not interesting, but it only reminds the individual of frustration and failure. Recovering from this mindset can be difficult.
Of all the lies about the Bible, the biggest is that only some can understand it. God would not expect everyone to understand and respond to a book that is too complicated or too difficult to read. The Bible was written for all, and therefore can be understood by all, despite what some may claim. Our understanding may require some help (Acts 8:30-31), but the effort is worth it. After all, Jesus said, “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day” (Jn. 12:48). We will be judged according to God’s Word, and we will be held accountable because it is understandable.