Understanding Bible Visions

Author: Abby Ciona — Host: Natty AndersonPosted on: March 16, 2024

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Understanding Bible Visions


When you start reading the Bible, it doesn’t take long to realize there is some strange stuff in prophetic books like Revelation and Ezekiel, especially the visions about crazy creatures and symbols that seem bizarre in our contemporary context. Why are those things in the Bible if they’re hard to understand and interpret?

Well, since everything in the Bible is there for a reason and inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), I’ve begun to realize the value of having confusing things in the Bible. These passages aren’t always written literally; they use a lot of figurative language. Often, visions use the word “like,” meaning this is the writer’s way of describing something unfamiliar to us by comparing it to something familiar. For example, in Revelation 1:16, John writes that his vision of Christ was “like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” These visions are so beyond our imaginations that we as humans can only begin to describe them by comparing them to something simpler.

I’m still often confused after reading passages in the Bible that are full of wild imagery and symbolism, but they remind me of something important: God is beyond our understanding. His thoughts and plans are way beyond what we can fully grasp (Isaiah 55:8-9). Reading passages in the Bible that confuse me fills me with a sense of awe and wonder at God’s hugeness and power. And it’s amazing to think that this huge, powerful God became human and lived among us. In fact, the whole Bible points toward Jesus Christ, the fulfillment of His ministry and His coming kingdom (Luke 24:27; John 5:39; 20:31; Acts 8:26-40). He lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and was resurrected from the dead on our behalf. The Bible reveals that God loves us so much, and He made the way for us to know Him and be with Him forever in Christ.

It’s humbling to remember how little I know and understand, but comforting to know that in the vastness of the universe, the King and Creator of it all knows me, loves me, and cares about the little details of my life. • Abby Ciona

• What are some of the Bible passages that confuse you? Who could you talk to about these passages, such as pastors, teachers, parents, or church elders? One helpful way to move forward is to use a study Bible (either a physical Bible, an app, or a website with notes from reputable Bible scholars). What resources can you find to help you understand the Bible in a deeper way?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)