Can we, or can we not, understand the Bible alike? With of all the different beliefs on any Bible topic, it seems as though man can’t. However, the Bible teaches that we not only can understand it, but that we can understand it alike.
One of its God-inspired writers wrote: “By revelation He made known to me the mystery; (as I wrote before in a few words, by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)” (Eph. 3:3-4). Thus, the writer (the apostle Paul) received God’s Word by inspiration and wrote it so that readers can understand it. Furthermore, if one person reads and understands it, and a second person reads and understands it, then both would be understanding it alike.
We are also told, “These things I write unto you…so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself…” (1 Tim. 3:14-15). Thus, the very purpose of the writing the Bible was so that we can know how God wants us to live. And, in order to know how He wants us to live, we have to, of course, be able to understand it—and understand it in the way God meant it to be understood. Otherwise, if man cannot understand the Bible, why did God give it to us in the first place?
If it is true that God made the Bible too difficult to understand, therefore allowing each person to have his own opinion with His approval, then why was Apollos (as well as numerous others) corrected in his beliefs? (Acts 18:24-26). Why wasn’t it permissible for him to understand it his way, and others understand it their way? Because it’s not what God allows.
Besides, if we could not know the truth as to what the Bible really teaches, then we could not know for sure whether Jesus is the Son of God. Nor could we even know for certain whether we are saved!
While “there are some things hard to be understood”—notice: he did not say “impossible to be understood”—(2 Pet. 3:16), we can “understand what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:17).
Can we understand the Bible alike? The Bible teaches that we can—and must.