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Is there anything wrong with questioning the Bible?

There are healthy and unhealthy ways to question anything. Questioning the Bible can be a natural part of our spiritual growth or a means by which we begin to wander from God. How it plays out relates to the condition of our hearts and our view of God and His ultimate authority.

Jesus welcomed questions from His disciples when they had trouble understanding the Parable of the Sower, and He shared an explanation with them (Luke 8:9–15). In a similar way, when we read something in the Bible that seems contradictory or confusing, it should prompt us to ask questions and seek God for answers. When we trust that God is the ultimate authority and believe that the Bible is indeed His Word, given to us through His trusted servants' voices (2 Peter 1:21), we are able to approach our questioning from a posture of humility and genuineness. It is our desire to understand God's Word and to know God better that compels us to seek Him for the answers to our Bible questions.

The Bible reveals God to us and shows us how He communicates with humanity, but our ability to comprehend Him is limited by our humanity. All of His attributes cannot be fit into one book. As we continue on in our quest for understanding, we will either end up at an answer, or we may not—at which point we relinquish control and trust the fact that God knows what it is and that all He does and says is right: "Every word of God proves true" (Proverbs 30:5). In this regard, questioning the Bible is a healthy practice that causes us to turn to God in order to grow in our understanding of the Scriptures. Sometimes, it is not until we release our desperate need for an answer and choose to fully trust God, even in the questioning, that He reveals the answer to us.

Frequently, "questioning the Bible" means that we have found a contradiction that has yet to be explained. This can lead us to doubt the Bible's validity and place ourselves as judges of the Bible, rather than humbly submitting to God's authority. Since the beginning of time, Satan has attempted to get us to doubt God's Word. Starting in the garden of Eden, he approached Eve with the pitch "Did God actually say . . . ?" (Genesis 3:1). He still uses the same strategy today.

There is an attack on the integrity and relevance of the Word of God in our day and age. People say things such as, "Times have changed," or "the Bible is outdated." Many times, they do this because there are moral standards outlined within the Bible that do not mesh well with current cultural standards. People attempt to rationalize immoral behaviors by omitting Scripture verses they consider to be "outdated" from their studies. This may be a way to please people, but it is not pleasing to God. While the Bible includes some special stipulations and instructions for specific people (namely the nation of Israel) within a certain time period, God has never changed—and therefore, neither has His moral law (Hebrews 13:8; Ecclesiastes 3:14).

Questioning the Bible for the purpose of growing in our knowledge and understanding of it is a healthy approach, but questioning it for the purpose of discrediting it is rooted in pride and rebellion that lead to an unfortunate end (Revelation 21:8). When we respect the Bible and the fact that it is the authority and Word of God, we place our trust in God, and we have access to His wisdom that will help us interpret it (James 1:5). His Word sanctifies us and it is the truth we need (John 17:17). John 8:31–32 relays this message from Jesus: "So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'"


Related Truth:

Why is the Bible hard to understand?

Why does understanding the Bible matter?

Why should we study the Bible?

Is the Bible really the Word of God?

Is the Bible still relevant today?


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