Question: Would you say that studying the Scripture is simple, but not easy, or easy but not simple?
Actually, the study of God’s Word is something that can be done on many levels. It is true that anyone who can read can read God’s Word, Scripture, and the Holy Spirit will teach and guide them. In that sense one could say that it is easy or simple. You see the purpose of Scripture is to bring us to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Anyone who reads the Scripture will find that truth, it is clear and simply stated and easily understood.
However, the in depth study of Scripture requires some guidance and understanding of the original languages (Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament). In the Lutheran Church, this is why we require a Master Degree in Divinity for a man to become a Pastor. There are principles or “rules” we us in interpreting Scripture which help us to get a clear and true understanding of God’s Word. The most important of these is “Scripture interprets Scripture.” That is, where God’s Word tells us the meaning of a passage that is the true meaning. An example is where Matthew 1:23 quotes Isaiah 7:14. In Isaiah it can be translated “young woman” instead of virgin; but in Matthew 1:23 we are told Mary’s virginal conception is the fulfillment of the Isaiah passage, therefore the Isaiah passages ultimate meaning must mean “virgin.”