12 Common Bible Misinterpretations That Will Surprise You

🌺  Written by Jessica Clark

The Bible, a very old and respected book, has provided guidance and inspiration to people for a long time. But understanding it can be tricky. Many people make common mistakes in how they read and interpret it without even realizing it.

In this article, we’ll talk about 12 surprising ways people often misunderstand the Bible. Get ready to be amazed as we uncover the truths behind these misinterpretations that have stuck around for a long time.

1. Taking Verses Out of Context

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One common mistake people make is taking verses out of the Bible without looking at the sentences and paragraphs around them. This can make the verses mean something different from what they were meant to convey.

To understand the Bible better, you should read verses along with the whole chapter, the whole book, and the bigger story that the Bible tells.

2. Ignoring Historical and Cultural Context

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The Bible was written a long time ago, in times very different from today. If you don’t understand how things were back then, you might misunderstand what the Bible is saying. To really get what it means, you should learn about the history, traditions, and way of life from that time.

3. Interpreting Too Literally

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The Bible has different writing styles, like poems, stories with hidden meanings (parables), and symbolic stories (allegories). If you treat every word as a fact, you might not understand the message correctly. So, when a part of the Bible seems to be a story with a deeper meaning or a symbol, try to understand it that way.

4. Ignoring Writing Types

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The Bible has different types of writing, like stories about what happened in the past, predictions about the future, and letters. Mixing them up can make things unclear. So, figure out what kind of writing you’re looking at before trying to understand it.

5. Applying Personal Biases

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Our own thoughts and opinions can make us see the Bible in a certain way. To avoid this, try to be fair and open-minded when you read it. It’s also a good idea to talk to experts and think about different ways to understand it.

6. Cherry-Picking Verses

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Many people pick Bible verses that match what they already think and ignore the parts that don’t fit. This is a common mistake. To understand the Bible better, look at everything it says, even if some parts seem to disagree. Try to find ways to make sense of all of it together.

7. Relying Solely on One Translation

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The Bible has been translated in many different ways, and each translation has its own unique ideas and ways of saying things. You might miss out on some important stuff if you only use one translation. To really get it, look at different translations and read what experts have to say about it. That way, you’ll have a better overall view.

8. Only Relying on Tradition

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Many religious traditions and denominations have developed unique interpretations and doctrines based on the Bible. While tradition can provide valuable insights, it is essential to critically evaluate these interpretations in light of the text itself.

9. Not Consulting Experts

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To understand the Bible really well, it’s helpful to know about old languages, history, and religious studies. If you don’t, you might get things wrong. It’s a good idea to listen to people who are experts in the Bible and religion when you’re trying to figure out the tricky parts.

10. Disregarding the Overall Message of Love and Compassion

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At its core, the Bible is all about love, kindness, and fairness. If you pay too much attention to strict rules and forget these important ideas, you might not understand the main point of the Bible’s overall message.

11. Missing the Big Picture

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One common mistake is not realizing that the Bible tells a story that develops over time. It was written by different people over many years, and their understanding of God and life evolved. If you don’t consider how ideas changed from the beginning to the end, you might misinterpret the Bible by applying early beliefs to later parts.

12. Forgetting Who It Was Written For

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It’s crucial to remember that each part of the Bible was written for specific people in a particular time and place. If you don’t think about the original audience, you might misinterpret the message. Applying teachings meant for one group to a different situation can lead to confusion and misunderstandings.

Oops! These 10 Popular Bible Verses Don’t Mean What You Think

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The Bible is full of inspirational verses that can encourage us, lift us up, and remind us of God’s goodness.

Yet, just because a verse sounds encouraging doesn’t mean that’s the way the original author meant his or her words to be understood.

Here are 10 popular Bible verses people love to take out of context, completely distorting their original meaning in the process.

Oops! These 10 Popular Bible Verses Don’t Mean What You Think

How to Read the Bible (Easy Instructions for Beginners!)

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Want to learn how to read the Bible for yourself, but you’re not sure where to start or how to understand it?

Reading the Bible is a lot easier (and way more enjoyable) than you might think. You just need a step-by-step guide to help you get started.

How to Read the Bible (Easy Instructions for Beginners!)

How to Study the Bible (for Beginners)

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Are you confident you can read, study, and understand the Bible for yourself? 

The Bible is a huge book full of so much wisdom, encouragement, and direction, but it’s easy to misunderstand what its words mean or how we should apply them to our lives today.

In this comprehensive, step-by-step guide, you’ll learn how to study God’s Word for yourself, even if you’re brand new to Bible study.

How to Study the Bible for Beginners

How to Memorize Scripture (Quickly and Easily!)

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The Bible is FULL of so much wisdom, understanding, and encouragement we want to have with us wherever we go, but most of us don’t have endless hours to sit in prayer, study, and memorize verses as much as we would like.

Instead, we need to learn how to memorize Scriptures quickly, easily, and effectively. Here’s how you can.

How to Memorize Scripture (Quickly and Easily!)

Commonly Accepted “Biblical” Truths You Won’t Find Anywhere in the Bible

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Did you know there are tons of bible misconceptions?

From Eve and the apple to Jonah and the whale, you might just be surprised to find out the Bible doesn’t include the details you think it does!

Commonly Accepted “Biblical” Truths You Won’t Find Anywhere in the Bible

Jessica Clark

About the author

Jessica Clark is a mother and wife residing in Nebraska. She has passionately pursued her love for blogging since 2011. You can find Jessica's articles for Equipping Godly Women here.

  1. Isaiah 45:7 (NIV) – I form the light and CREATE DARKNESS, I bring prosperity and CREATE DISASTER; I, THE LORD, DO ALL THESE THINGS. (God, not Satan but God takes credit for all he does; he certainly would not stand preachers crediting the Devil. Faith and the dedicated clergy can make any kind of believers out of people in need of a spiritual crutch to function in our world)

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