Making Sense of God's Word

From Issue: Discovery 10/1/2005

What would you think if your dad came home from work one day and said to you, “I’m not feeling well. I have a dreadful cephalodynia”? Most likely you wouldn’t understand what he was talking about. You might even think that your dad had some kind of serious disease. To the average person, the word cephalodynia sounds complicated and serious. However, if you could ask a doctor what it means, he would simply tell you that your dad had a headache.

That is what the word cephalodynia means. “Cephal” comes from the Latin word for head, and “odynia” from the Greek word for pain. So to have head (cephalo) pain (odynia) is to have a headache. There are many things that we hear people discuss that are hard to understand. Sometimes it is even difficult to comprehend certain things in the Bible. But we shouldn’t who lived on the other side of the world and wrote in languages unknown to most people on the Earth today. In order to understand the Bible properly, it takes time and effort.

In the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, we read that God’s chosen people once gathered together in Jerusalem to hear the reading of God’s law. But the leaders of this gathering, including Ezra and Nehemiah, not only read from the law, they also “gave the sense, and helped them to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8). Afterwards “all the people went their way to…rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them” (Nehemiah 8:12). Ezra, Nehemiah, and the Levites had helped the Jews understand God’s Word better, and be­ cause of this the people rejoiced greatly.

Reading the Bible is important, but it is even more important to understand what the Bible says. In this issue of Discovery, you will learn the meaning of some Bible phrases that are commonly misunderstood in today’s American culture. We hope that by understanding God’s Word correctly, joy will fill your heart just as it filled the hearts be surprised by this. After all, the Bible was written thousands of years ago by people of those who came to a better understanding of the Bible in Ezra’s and Nehemiah’s day.


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