Better Bible Study Tip #11: Don’t Be Discouraged By Your Lack of Omniscience

“What if someone asks me a question and I don’t know the answer?” This is a very common concern for people when they are asked to teach a Bible class or lead a personal Bible study for the very first time. But it’s not just first time Bible teachers who have a hard time admitting “I don’t know.” Sometimes experienced teachers, preachers, elders, and deacons have unique struggle with this as well. People often presume that we have it all nailed down. We don’t. It’s not always easy to sound uncertain in front of people, but sometimes it’s the truth. Sometimes we’re just not certain. It happens with every one of us non-omniscient beings.

But the truth is, even if we put up a front of confidence, I don’t think we’re fooling anyone. None of us have all the answers all the time, and we all know it. It’s okay to give it your best shot at giving the right answer right now, and then say “but I’m not positive. I’ll keep studying and get back to you.” People tend to respect those who are humble and honest enough to admit that they don’t know it all.

Psalm 1 describes the ideal Bible student as someone who meditates on God’s law day and night. The Bible is not a book that is designed to be perfectly grasped on the first (or even the hundred and first) reading. It is a book that is designed to be meditated on throughout a lifetime. There’s always more we can learn.

Embrace your ignorance. If you remain humble, continue to ask hard questions, continue to absorb information, continue to grow more familiar with scripture, and continue remain submissive to God’s word, you will continue grow. You will change your mind from time to time. You will grow more nuanced in your understandings of certain topics. You will grow more firmly convinced of others. Don’t be discouraged by your lack of omniscience. Just keep studying.