Biblical Understanding

This entry is part 244 of 376 in the series Inquiring Minds
Image by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay

What does the Bible say understanding is based on?

Many of the terms like understanding are linked in the Bible through wisdom. The most accurate understanding of the Bible comes from the wisdom and fear of the Lord. When people have wisdom they can understand God’s purposes and how he designed the world to work.

In the Old Testament, the word for understanding can refer to different types of understanding. One can simply be perception or consideration. We can understand the situation by perceiving its causes and effects.

Another type of understanding linked to this concept is to have insight, whether through human or supernatural means. This is when God gives understanding through dreams and visions, wisdom, or other supernatural and spiritual gifts. Joseph was able to interpret dreams by understanding given to him by the Lord. A person can be gifted with understanding or perception as well.

Understanding can also be a skill level or certain type of intelligence. A person may be gifted or skilled to be able to do something that others do not excel at doing. This can also be spiritually heightened or naturally given by God as a talent. One example of a spiritually heightened skill or ability are the craftsmen the Spirit came upon to make the utensils and parts of the tabernacle (Exodus 36:2).

New Testament categories of understanding include reason, thought, and perception. This is the ability to comprehend a conception or idea. Paul used it often to include the will and our volition. It often refers to the mind itself.

It can also refer to a religious discernment between false teaching and godly teaching. With our understanding, we make religious decisions, especially giving us the ability to use our will to follow Christ.

Understanding in the Bible can be a very versatile term depending on which part of the Bible you are reading. It has these flavors to it, but as with any word in the Bible, each context determines the type of usage and sense the word carries.

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