Clearly, the Bible Isn’t Always as Clear as You May Think It Is

January 6, 2015

You probably can’t begin to count the number of times you’ve heard statements like, “The Bible clearly says. . .” or “Look, it’s right there, as plain as the print in your Bible!” Or “I don’t need to hear any other explanation of _____________; it’s right there in Scripture!”  Such statements have come from the mouths, or pens, or keyboards of people who may have been referring to creation, or slavery, or whether women should suffer in childbirth (or preach or vote or attend college), or whether LGBTQ people should be allowed to marry, or whether abortion is ever permissible, or numerous other issues that have come up over history.

Writing for his Slacktivist column on Patheos, Fred Clark explains what it means to talk about the ambiguity of the Bible on many topics.  And, says Clark, there are even different ways of understanding the meaning of ambiguity, an important point to keep in mind.

Read “The Bible is clearly ambiguous, but not that kind of ambiguous.”


Letha Dawson Scanzoni
Letha Dawson Scanzoni (1935-2024) was an independent scholar, writer, and editor, and the author or coauthor of nine books. In 1978, she and Virginia Ramey Mollenkott wrote Is the Homosexual My Neighbor?, one of the earliest books urging evangelical Christians to rethink their views on homosexuality (updated edition, 1994, HarperOne). More recently, Letha coauthored (with social psychologist David G. Myers) What God Has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage (HarperOne, 2005 and 2006). Another of Letha’s most well-known books is All We’re Meant to Be: Biblical Feminism for Today, coauthored with Nancy A. Hardesty (Word Books, 1974; revised edition, Abingdon, 1986; updated and expanded edition, Eerdmans, 1992). Letha served as editor of Christian Feminism Today in both its former print edition (EEWC Update) and its website for 19 years until her retirement in December 2013.


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