I Don’t Understand The Bible

People say, “I know I should read the Bible, but I just don’t understand the Bible”.

understand the bible

Is Our Gospel Veiled?

Have you heard — or said — things such as, “I don’t understand the Bible. I’ve tried reading it, but it makes no sense to me!”

The same would be true of trying to read music and play the piano, if you’d seldom done it.

Both require determination, training, and diligent practice.

But that’s only a small part of the problem. The larger problem is supernatural.

Read the Scripture passage in the photo/Scripture. Do you see what’s happening?

There is an evil enemy at work in the background that you may not be aware of.

Do you see where it says, “…the god of this world (the devil) has blinded the minds…”? That’s the main reason why you’re saying, “I just don’t understand the Bible.”

Demons DO NOT Want You To Understand The Bible!


To keep you “anesthetized” such that, when you read or hear the Word of God, you will not understand the Bible passage and apply the life-transforming principles in it!

Do you think my use of the word “anesthetized” is too strong? Look at this quote from the book of Romans:

Note the underlined text:

7 What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, 8 as it is written, “God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that would not see and ears that would not hear, down to this very day.” (Romans 11:7~8)

In “The Parable Of The Sower” Jesus describes what Satan does:

14 The sower sows the Word. 15 And these are the ones along the path, where the Word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the Word that is sown in them. (Mark 4:14~15)

Somehow, Satan and his demons are able to influence our thoughts in such a way that we don’t understand the Bible passage being spoken. Therefore we remain ignorant of the wisdom God wants us to have.

Another example:

understand the bible

Here is the entire Scripture passage:

For the Word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

There are many more verses that show how the devil is actively working to keep you from being able to understand the Bible.

Are you seeing what I’m seeing? These three passages (and 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 in the Scripture/photo above) all separate people into two groups. One group has taken hold of the Word, and is becoming powerful. The other group is ignorant of biblical principles, and some are perishing.

Here’s What The Demons Know About You:

Satan’s Biggest Asset Is Your Biblical Ignorance!

They know that if you really take hold of the Word of God and begin to apply biblical principles, the demons will lose their power over you!

[tweetthis]#SpiritualWarfare Satan’s Biggest Asset Is Bible Ignorance! When you apply the Word they lose power over you![/tweetthis]

Here’s what I did to overcome Biblical ignorance:
  • I began to understand the Bible by listening to sermons on radio broadcasts and through various digital media such as tapes, CD’s, etc.
  • As I came to understand the Bible, I acquired a thirst for knowing God that led me to begin the discipline of Scripture memory.

Discipleship By Radio!

My article Resources For Learning To Apply Bible Wisdom Into Everyday Life contains links to ministries that I have listened to for years. I have literally spent thousands of hours listening to Bible teaching.

Getting The Word Of God Into You:

Here’s a verse I just “found” recently:

20 My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. 21 Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life (Proverbs 6:20-23)

Verse 22 really speaks to my soul. Those three phrases describe exactly what I’ve been experiencing:

  • When you walk, they will lead you
  • when you lie down, they will watch over you
  • when you awake, they will talk with you

Those things happen for me every day. And the good news is: everyone can have it!

You can’t read very many pages in the Bible without coming to a passage that commands us to “know and understand the Bible”. In fact, someone has said that there are some 3,900 passages commanding us to do Scripture memory. It’s no exaggeration at all to say that, on the average, at least once per page the Bible commands us to know what is on those pages.

Jesus was really big on this. He quoted Scripture so many times, and He wanted all of us to know Him by knowing His Word. Read the Gospels and see for yourself.

It took God many decades to pound at least some of His wisdom into me so I would understand the Bible. But I finally get it, and He has called me to do what He did: urge others to know His Word.

Here is one of many examples:

21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love Me does not keep My words. And the Word that you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. (John 14:21~24)

I’ve written a whole series of articles on Scripture memory so I won’t duplicate them here. But just to make it easier for you to get started, here are three of them that I’m hoping will motivate you to get into the Word of God — so that He can get His Word into You!

Three Articles To Get You Started In Scripture Memory.
  • No Appetite For Scripture Memory? Here’s Why!

    You entered this world with a ravenous natural hunger, but almost no spiritual hunger. If you continually suppress your spiritual hunger, your spirit becomes emaciated.
    But there’s a supernatural phenomenon that takes over: “You will want more of whatever you feed yourself on.” The key is: ignore your feelings and begin by faith to feed yourself on God’s Word. It’s not natural; it’s supernatural!
    Read the Full Article

  • Persevere, And Here’s What Will Happen

    Three Stages Of Scripture Learning: 1) DISCIPLINE – At first it takes a determined effort to do these things. Call it a step of faith. You have to believe, though you can’t see the result yet. Here’s where most people quit. Don’t be one of them. Instead, reorder your priorities. Put God first! Start with just a few minutes each day. Do that for a week, then increase it little by little. As you continue diligently, you’ll arrive at the next stage: 2) DESIRE – now you look forward to it; keep on persevering and you’ll reach the summit: 3) DELIGHT! – Astonishing; you will never look back!
    Read the Full Article

  • How To Memorize Bible Verses

    Seven Steps: 1: MAKE A DECISION! Decide TODAY that you WILL begin doing Scripture memory; 2: CHOOSE A TIME OF DAY! I prefer early morning, but you may not; 3: CHOOSE SCRIPTURES TO MEMORIZE This is very much a personal choice; 4: READ THEM OUT LOUD — if possible. It enhances the learning process; 5: MEMORIZE THE REFERENCE — so you’ll know where in the Bible it is; 6: STUDY THE PASSAGE — 5 questions with which to examine a passage; 7: FIND WAYS TO SHARE IT — This really pushes you to learn.
    Read the Full Article

Earlier I mentioned the need for determination, training, and diligent practice. Jesus applied that principle when He said:

if you remain in My Word, you will truly be My disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31~32)

Hell trembles when another believer begins to understand the Bible.

PRAYER: “I praise You and I thank You, Lord Jesus, for the wisdom of that simple phrase: ”˜…if you remain in My Word…’. As I’ve chosen to spend more time with You in Your Word, what began as a discipline became a desire… and is now a delight! Your Word has lifted the veil from before my eyes. I can truly say — like the blind man whose eyes Jesus opened: ”˜ I was blind, but now… I SEE!’ “(John 9:25)

- Jan


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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Geni 12/04/2018, 4:55 PM

    when I read the Bible i feel confused sometimes,I really don’t have anyone i could study with, so sometimes I find myself feeling lazy and unwillingly to pick up the Bible to read it every day. Sometimes i wonder if God is really listening when i do pray i feel better than a couple of days later i get back sick. I just wonder, what happen, did God answer my prayer and allowed me to get back sick. I just don’t understand sometimes.

    Reply Link
    • Jan Smith 12/04/2018, 6:26 PM

      Geni, thanks for writing!
      You mentioned being confused. I can relate to that. But I discovered that when I read the same chapters from the Bible every day, I begin to understand after doing that for a few months.
      As for whether or not God is listening: He is right there beside you, hanging on every word you say!
      Maybe the way in which He is answering your prayers is — at least in part — by send you to this web site so you can read and be refreshed by articles that show how His Word can help you.

      Reply Link
  • Micah 12/27/2015, 10:58 PM

    I can’t understand the Bible because I am not very close to God, and thus praying to Him for guidance yields no benefit. And I’m not very close to God because I don’t understand the Bible – I do not know His character very well and do understand how to communicate with Him. I also have Asperger’s syndrome and OCD, making it difficult for me to perceive the Holy Spirit.

    To be honest, I very rarely read my Bible. It’s probably mostly due to laziness and unwillingness to make the necessary sacrifices to mature spiritually. On the other hand, it doesn’t do me much good. In fact, there were a couple of times when reading made me feel worse and left me more confused than I was beforehand.

    Reply Link
    • Jan Smith 12/29/2015, 4:29 AM

      The thing to realize is that there is power in the Word of God. His power is practical, beneficial, and life-transforming. You can access that power in your life by speaking His Word in faith as a true believer.
      Ask God for understanding. Be patient before Him. He will speak to you through His Word.
      I have started a list of Scriptures that reveal the character of God to us. The title is “The Character of God”. Click Here to read it. Read these passages out loud for a few days, and see if you don’t get a sense of what God is really like.

      Reply Link
  • Catherine 11/14/2015, 7:07 PM

    So far I have been visiting your site for the last week and a half on a regular basis. I have been able to understand and trust everything that you are saying including this. I thank God I found my way to this ! Now I realize I have to read your three articles but I do have a question. I find that the King James Bible is difficult to understand because of the use of Old English to interpret Hebrew and Latin words. These words can at times have more than one meaning. Phrasing and meaning gets jumbled for me at times. Did you have this difficulty with this and if so, please let us know how you overcame that ? Thank you so very much !

    Reply Link
    • Jan Smith 11/14/2015, 7:34 PM

      Years ago, Joanne gave me an RSV (Revised Standard Version) Bible. It’s a study bible, so it has a lot of notes at the bottom to explain what things mean. Lately I’ve been using the ESV (English Standard Bible) because that’s what my pastor uses at Harvest Bible Chapel (Minneapolis MN area). Now I have an iPhone with the Olive Tree Bible app on it. I can link it to a Matthew Henry commentary which allows me to read what a commentary writer says about what these things mean. Also, check out Bible Gateway I use this all the time for keyword searches or to look up a passage and copy/paste it into a post. Eliminates typing errors. There are lots of tools available.

      Reply Link
      • Catherine 11/14/2015, 7:52 PM

        Thank you, thank you for so many options. My goodness ! Somehow I will, By The Very Grace Of God, Understand God’s Word. Bless You !

        Reply Link
        • Jan Smith 11/16/2015, 6:36 PM

          I learned most of what I know by listening to Bible teachers on the radio. Here is a link to a post I wrote a while back, listing some of my personal favorite teachers:
          Read The List Here
          You (and others reading this) may not have noticed the Blog Index link in the menu at the top. The index groups together all articles related to a particular topic.

          Reply Link
  • Jay 09/16/2015, 7:40 PM

    I was feeling so down and alone till I read this web page. I was seriously thinking God had it in my destiny to kill myself. I’m so confused right now. I wish I could understand why the devil works on me so much.

    Reply Link
    • Jan Smith 09/17/2015, 12:15 PM

      Jay, I’m glad God led you to read this article.
      You know, a big part of the Christian life is learning to wait. God’s timing is not the same as our timing. We don’t want to wait for His help, right? But maybe He actually IS helping you, just not in the way you were thinking. We think God should be making things easy for us, so that we can be happy. God’s goal for us is to strengthen us so we can persevere under adversity, so we can be of useful service to Him. I would never have turned to God and spent so much time learning His ways were it not for the adversity that I’ve been in (and still AM in!)
      God has given each of us a free will. Our free will includes the freedom to reject Him or to make very little effort learning His ways.
      Do you understand: God could not create a world in which we are totally free — yet at the same time guarantee that we would always make the right (read: Godly) choices.

      Reply Link
  • suburbia hack 06/01/2014, 5:33 PM

    I always spent my half an hour to read this web site’s content daily along with a cup of

    Reply Link
    • Jan Smith 06/02/2014, 10:11 AM

      How appropriate, Cheryl,
      I usually begin my time when I’m writing these articles with a cup of coffee! 🙂 ~ Jan

      Reply Link