The Perspicuity of Scripture

The Perspicuity of Scripture
Author: Wayne Grudem
Publisher: Themelios 34:3 (November 2009)

“A useful analogy… might be to picture the clarity of Scripture as a journey to a distant mountain that we see clearly from afar but see in more detail—and understand more of what we see—as we journey toward the mountain over many months and years. We can see it from the beginning of our Christian lives, and we truly see and understand something about it, but a lifetime of seeking deeper understanding will be repaid with a lifetime of growth in knowledge and wisdom.”

In this article, Grudem provides a helpful overview of the doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture – i.e. its clarity and understandability. He considers some of its implications such as inspiring confidence in proclaiming the Bible’s message, encouraging personal Bible reading and small-group studies, Bible translation and teaching.

“I understand the clarity (perspicuity) of Scripture as follows: Scripture affirms that it is able to be understood but (1) not all at once, (2) not without effort, (3) not without ordinary means, (4) not without the reader’s willingness to obey it, (5) not without the help of the Holy Spirit, (6) not without human misunderstanding, and (7) never completely.”

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