What if someone asks me a Bible question I cannot answer?


by Shawn Brasseaux

Friend, the best answer to give when confronted with difficult Bible questions is to simply say, “I do not have an answer.” It is okay to admit you cannot answer a question; that does not mean that you are a failure of a Christian or a poor Bible student. Some matters of Bible, religion, and theology are quite difficult—even the so-called “scholars” struggle at times.

As Bible-believing Christians, believers in Jesus Christ, Bible students, we should at least be able to answer basic questions. It is an extremely sad commentary, but the average Christian cannot even present a clear Gospel message to save one poor, lost soul from sins and Hell. Such Christians need not worry about dealing with advanced questions—they have yet to learn the fundamentals of Christianity!

We can save ourselves from such ignorance by stop relying on and mindlessly quoting preachers and commentators, and actually go read the Holy Bible for ourselves. The most basic doctrine for this the Dispensation of Grace is the Book of Romans, the first Book Paul wrote as found in the Bible. In order to prepare for answering the most basic Bible questions, we should start reading and studying Romans. The first five chapters present a clear and concise Gospel of Grace. Chapters 6-8 are about the Christian life. Chapters 9-11 describe the nation Israel’s past, present, and future statuses. Chapters 12-16 outline the doctrines of grace as applied to specific, daily life situations.

When answering questions, we want to avoid the appearance of being “know-it-alls.” Too much can be said about a particular matter, so we need to be careful to use our words in moderation. Yet, we should adequately cover the topic and address the question as fully as possible. Some themes are more in-depth than others and should be answered accordingly. They require great thought, diligent study, and much prayer to answer. Hence, their answers will be lengthy.

Moreover, we should tell that inquiring individual that we will do some studying to look for an answer. Also, we should encourage him or her to study too. The Scriptures rightly divided should be consulted first, although other “holy books” will have to be accessed if the question involves the beliefs of denominations and/or world religions. This is a much better answer than, “I do not know the answer, so do not bother me with it. Ask someone else.”

We should take this opportunity to learn something new from the Bible. Hearing and considering questions from people will help us grow in our understanding. If after much research we cannot answer the question, then we can ask a trusted pastor or Bible teacher friend. If we still cannot find an answer, then we can finally reply in all honesty, “I have looked for an answer but I cannot find one. Maybe one day, I will find something. For now, I will have to keep studying.” This should suffice the inquirer. (By the way, if you are ever confronted by a difficult Bible question, we have over 500 Bible question-and-answer articles on our website: https://www.forwhatsaiththescriptures.org.)

Here is one other thing to bear in mind. While we the saints should show interest in answering questions, we need to careful to avoid questions that are obviously silly or irrelevant. There is no profit in them, and such inquiries are posed in order to generate a worthless religious argument. For example, some people can get really bogged down with questions about obscure Old Testament verses. While trying to grasp the whole Bible is a noble goal, it is impossible for us to learn Israel’s doctrine to the degree we ascertain Pauline doctrine. We will not understand everything outside of Romans through Philemon, so people who persist in “majoring on the minors” should be discouraged from such behavior. Bible Q&A sessions are not for entertainment or attention-getting!

Second Timothy chapter 2: “[23] But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. [24] And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; [26] And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”

Also see:
» Should Bible questions be discouraged?
» Has God’s Word failed?
» How long should I keep witnessing to the same person?