Jared Jenkins and I are working through a series on Salty Believer Unscripted called "Tough Texts." Inspired somewhat by the guys at Credo House as well as our desire to diligently keep our exegetical work sharp, we identified some biblical texts that are difficult to interpret, confusing, shocking, or greatly misunderstood without a little labor. On the whole, the Bible is written in simple language and is easy to understand, but that does not mean that we don't at times find its words difficult. Our listeners helped us out by e-mailing us some passages they've struggled with over the years and we selected some of our own to add to the list.
Examples include Paul's words in 1 Timothy 2:13-15 where he talks about women being saved through childbearing. Genesis 6:1-5 has this strange thing with the Nephilim. Can people be baptized on behalf of the dead or does 1 Corinthians 15:29 get at something different? Does Paul suggest that parts of his Epistle are not inspired by the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 7:12? 1 Samuel 28 contains a shocking story of Saul consulting a witch-like medium and raising Samuel to talk with him. Uzzah is struck dead for touching the ark in 2 Samuel 6:5-7. How in the world can the psalmist write about smashing babies on the rocks in Psalms 137:9? Romans 1:26-27 discusses unnatural relations and something about God giving these people up to their own desires. Is total genocide to include even the animals what 1 Samuel 5:13 is getting at? Peter is the rock has many meanings in the Church today based on how people understand Matthew 16:18. 1 Corinthians 11:27-30 seems to suggest that some believers have died for taking the Lord's Supper incorrectly. And 1 Peter 3:21 has at times been taken to mean that baptism is an act that actually brings about salvation; how can this be? We're dealing with all of these and we're still open to add some to the list if we get more tough texts before the end of the series. (You can contact us with a difficult passage you'd like us to address by using this contact form.)
Jared and I believe that if it's in the Bible, we need to be able to deal with it, understand it, and allow it to change us no matter how difficult or shocking. It absolutely cannot be that students of the Bible simply skip over parts of God's Word because it's tough, and it is for this reason that we want to discuss the tough texts and help those who truly seek the whole counsel of God.
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