This is how we read the Bible

When they looking at this drawing some people say:

Hoe lezen we



– an oval, with a piece missing.
– an oval that has been cut in two.
-an egg that is not complete.
-two lines curving towards each other.




The last remark is what this is all about.
It is simply the drawing and there is nothing missing!

It is no different as far as the Bible is concerned.
When we read a Bible verse, we simply read what it says.
Do not look for what might be missing.
In doing so one could quickly read something else in the Bible verse than what the author intended to it convey.

So just read what it says.

In the case of the drawing something like: two curved lines that lie opposite each other, the two ends of which, from a certain distance, point to each other.

It is the case, however, that many Bible verses only shed light on part of the message.
In that situation the Bible needs to be explained by the Bible.
When a verse only contains part of the message, the message can only be fully understood when another Bible verse sheds light on the same ‘oval’, the same subject, in a different way.
The two verses together, or together with yet other verses, then give the full portent of the message.

Do not thereby draw conclusions too quickly…

An example:  The parable of the talents.   (Matthew 25:14-30)
In this parable Jesus tells of a rich man who goes abroad and divides his property among his slaves.
After a while he returns and calls them to account, to see what his slaves have achieved with his property.

Luke also includes a similar parable in his Gospel (Luke 19:11-27), where the same major points are to be found.

In His teaching Jesus apparently told the same parable in several places, with different emphases. Matthew and Luke apparently recorded the same teaching from different sources therefore, as a result of which their stories are not being completely identical.

Matthew talks about ‘a man’ going on a journey.

  • Luke says of ‘A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return’.

Matthew talks about talents.

  • Luke about pounds.

Matthew talks about 3 slaves who received different amounts.

  • Luke speaks about 10 slaves who each received the same amount.

In spite of the differing numbers of slaves, both Matthew and Luke recount how 3 of the slaves are called to account, and that the third slave had hidden his talent, or pound.

When the two parables are studied they appear to complement each other, to make one and the same truth clear.
A complete interpretation of these parables can be found in the explanation of: The parable of the gabs of gold.


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This is how we read the Bible