Saturday, March 01, 2008

The Benefit of Bible Difficulties

This past week or so I came across the following quote by B. F. Westcott. It comes from a book of his entitled, The Bible in the Church: A Popular Account of the Collection and Reception of the Holy Scriptures in the Christian Churches, published in 1896.

And if it is, as we devoutly believe, the very source and measure of our religious faith, it seems impossible to insist too earnestly on the supreme importance of patience, candor and truthfulness in investigating every problem which it involves. The first steps towards the solution of a difficulty are the recognition of its existence and the determination of its extent. And, unless all past experience is worthless, the difficulties of the Bible are the most fruitful guides to its divine depths. It was said long since that "God was pleased to leave difficulties upon the surface of Scripture, that men might be forced to look below the surface."
In studying and teaching the Bible, I sometimes get frustrated with interpretational difficulties. Why couldn’t everything just be plain and simple? It would make life so much easier.

Yet, I have to agree with Westcott when he says that the difficulties lead us to the great depths of the Scriptures. They force us to compare Scripture with Scripture. They force to seek the Lord for His help in understanding His Word. As we dig for understanding like the treasure that it is, we begin to understand the fear of the Lord and find the great riches of the knowledge of God (Prov 2:3-5).

The good stuff is rarely on the surface. True treasures are reserved for those who dig and the difficulties of the Bible show us where.


At 2:49 PM, Blogger Tim Ashcraft said...

Excellent thoughts! May the Lord "frustrate" us into digging deeper in His Word rather than just skimming over.

At 4:39 AM, Blogger Jan said...

I have a question and unsure of where to post it.
I have been doing a study on a difficult and painful subject. Do babies and children before accountability age go to heaven?

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Andy Efting said...


Much could be said about this issue, but let me just provide a short quote from Charles Spurgeon. I think he is on the right track:

“We say with regard to infants, Scripture saith but little, and therefore, where Scripture is confessedly scant, it is for no man to determine dogmatically, but I think I speak for the entire body or certainly with exceedingly few exceptions and those unknown to me when I say we hold that all infants who die are elect of God and are therefore saved! We look to this as being the means by which Christ shall see of the travail of his soul to a great degree and we do sometimes hope that thus the multitude of the saved shall be made to exceed the multitude of the lost.”


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