Biblical Perspicuity

What do we mean when we speak of the Perspicuity of Scripture?

 

            While there are certainly many areas of scripture that are difficult to interpret and to understand, given that the Bible was given to all people throughout history, not to just a select few, and given that the Bible was given for the edification of people of every age and level of intelligence and education, not just those trained as theologians, in matters of salvation, the scriptures are clear enough that all can understand what God has communicated, particularly with respect to the question of salvation.  The church fell into grave error in the medieval period when it argued that the scriptures were too difficult for any but the clergy to understand and thus restricted the Bible into the hands of the educated elite of the church.  This is contrary to the Biblical testimony of the early church, where the gospel was proclaimed and the command to study scripture was given to all believers.  The Bible is clear on the question of what sin is, the fallen state of man, the reality that man needs a redeemer, the fact that Jesus came and paid the penalty for sin for those who come to him in faith, and that if we yearn for redemption, we must flee to Christ.  The Bible is also clear in terms of the explanation of what the life of the believer should look like in terms of moral behavior and good works.  These things, even a young child or one with the least amount of education can understand and thus the scriptures should be read and studied by all who call themselves believers in Jesus Christ.  This does not ignore that there are difficult passages of scripture; such passages should be labored over and assistance sought from reliable theologians and commentaries should be sought, but the last thing one should do is to flee from them.

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