The Clarity of Scripture—sometimes known by the older word “perspicuity” (Which, for a word that means clarity, is not all that clear)—is carefully defined in the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF):

All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. (WCF 1.7)

  • It’s worth noticing several important nuances in this definition.
  • Some portions of Scripture are clearer than others. Not every passage has a simple or obvious meaning.
  • The main things we need to know, believe, and do can be clearly seen in the Bible.
  • Though the most essential doctrines are not equally clear in every passage, they are all made clear somewhere in Scripture.
  • That which is necessary for our salvation can be understood even by the uneducated, provided that they make use of the ordinary means of study and learning.
  • The most important points in the Scriptures may not be understood perfectly, but they can be understood sufficiently.

 

The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture is not a wild assertion that the meaning of every verse in the Bible will be patently obvious to everyone.

Rather, the perspicuity of Scripture upholds the notion that ordinary people using ordinary means can accurately understand enough of what must be known, believed, and observed for them to be faithful Christians.

Content taken from Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung, ©2016. Used by permission of Crossway.
Article: 2 Min

What Do You Mean When You Say the Bible Is Clear?

by Kevin DeYoung

Article: 10 Min

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Short Content

What Do You Mean When You Say the Bible Is Clear?

The Clarity of Scripture—sometimes known by the older word “perspicuity” (Which, for a word that means clarity, is not all that clear)—is carefully defined in the Westminster Confession of Faith (WCF):

All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded, and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. (WCF 1.7)

  • It’s worth noticing several important nuances in this definition.
  • Some portions of Scripture are clearer than others. Not every passage has a simple or obvious meaning.
  • The main things we need to know, believe, and do can be clearly seen in the Bible.
  • Though the most essential doctrines are not equally clear in every passage, they are all made clear somewhere in Scripture.
  • That which is necessary for our salvation can be understood even by the uneducated, provided that they make use of the ordinary means of study and learning.
  • The most important points in the Scriptures may not be understood perfectly, but they can be understood sufficiently.

The doctrine of the clarity of Scripture is not a wild assertion that the meaning of every verse in the Bible will be patently obvious to everyone.

Rather, the perspicuity of Scripture upholds the notion that ordinary people using ordinary means can accurately understand enough of what must be known, believed, and observed for them to be faithful Christians.

Content taken from Taking God at His Word by Kevin DeYoung, ©2016. Used by permission of Crossway.

Verse
John 7:16-17 NLT

So Jesus told them, “My message is not my own; it comes from God who sent me. Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own."

Quote

The true meaning
of Scripture is the
natural and obvious
meaning.

Quote

You can use the Word of
God to come to wrong conclusions,
but you cannot find
any wrong conclusions in
the Word of God.

Verse
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NLT

And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up.

Image

For God is not
the author of confusion
but of peace.

1 Corinthians 14:33 NKJV
Article: 10 Min

Why Is It So Hard for Me to Understand the Bible?

by Kevin Halloran at Anchored in Christ

Quote

Scripture is clear enough
to make us responsible
for carrying out
our present responsibilities
to God.

Verse
2 Peter 3:15-16 ESV

And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.

Quote

It’s not hard to understand;
it’s just hard to swallow.

Quote

The Scriptures
are shallow enough
for a babe to come and drink
without fear of drowning
and deep enough for theologians to swim in
without ever touching the bottom.

Video: 5 Min
by Kevin Deyoung at The Gospel Coalition