Avoid Misunderstandings about Scripture

This short Bible study talks about the importance of being prepared so we aren't taken in by false presentations of Scripture.

Before doing this Bible study, please read the 1-minute introduction: Fake News about Caffeine and Scripture. It shares a true example of fake news, a story about someone being arrested for driving under the influence of caffeine. And it compares this error to the way some people handle God's Word.

We need to prepare ourselves so we won't be taken in by fake presentations of Scripture:

2 Timothy 2:15: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. NIV

2 Timothy 2:15, understanding God's Word, studying the Bible
This passage was written to Timothy, a preacher of the Gospel, but the principles apply to every Christian. So let's examine the verse more closely: 

1. Do your best.
We should be diligent, deliberate, and disciplined studying God's Word. 

One method for gaining understanding of a passage is to look at it in several translations. How do these 3 additional translations (plus the NIV above) increase your understanding of the verse?

Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval. Be a good worker, one who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth. 

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

2. Don't be content with your Bible knowledge.
Modern Christian culture often promotes a type of self-contentment that isn't found in Scripture. When we realize the awesome price paid for our sins, nothing should stop us from fully giving ourselves to Christ and renewing our minds in His Word. 

Romans 12:1-2: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

Please note that we present ourselves to God for approval, not to man. If the approval of men is our goal, we won't present the Gospel accurately.

1 Thessalonians 2:4: On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts.

3. Correctly handle.
We must never forget the importance of what we're called to handle correctly: 

Hebrews 4:11: For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 

Take a moment and pray that God gives you the motivation to study His Word carefully and consistently so you can handle it correctly. 

There are many popular Bible teachers who do not correctly handle God's Word. Instead, they use the Word for profit or because they are genuinely misguided themselves. So ask God to give you discernment about teachers as well.

copyright 2017, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com, edited and updated in 2024

This short Bible study talks about the importance of being prepared so we aren't taken in by false presentations of Scripture.

This short Bible study talks about the importance of being prepared so we aren't taken in by false presentations of Scripture.


  1. Dear Gail, First of all, I want to apologise for asking you to delete my last message to you. I have subscribed to your 'Bible Love Notes' and after reading 'Jesus isn't looking for Silent Partners', I realise how wrong I have been. I don't want to be a 'rocky ground' believer. If I don't have the courage to defend my faith, whatever the circumstances, I can't call myself a Christian at all - it's as simple as that. Peter denied Jesus, but He forgave him and gave him a second chance. I humbly ask you to do the same for me.
    Our enemy, Satan, would like nothing better than to silence believers and stop them from defending the truth by making them believe they are being judgemental and condemning others. However, I realise that to defend God's word is a godly and a right thing to do when done in love as Paul says in 2 Timothy 2:24-25.
    As I said before, sadly I have come across false teaching in the church. The doctrine of hell is denied, also the deity of Christ and Paul's calling as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. Once, at a bible study, I quoted a verse from Hebrews 4:15, that 'Jesus was tempted in every way just as we are, yet was without sin'. I was told that by saying that, I was pushing Christ further away from me. I didn't understand what was meant by that at all. Since Jesus WAS tempted in every way (probably much more than us), then I know for certain He really understands what we go through here on earth. Therefore, He is very close to me - not far away.
    False teaching can and does cause confusion and doubt, but our defence is found in reading the Bible. Psalm 118 says 'It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man'. So we must always pray and read God's word and find out what the truth really is. Most importantly, stand by it.
    I do not judge anyone, but I do pray for those who are being deceived and also for the ones who speak falsely.
    If I am able to see the truth, it is only because of God's incredible Grace to me.
    I am still very much a work in progress!
    I will end with a prayer from a little book my Mother gave me when I was small -

    Make me brave. Always to stand up and show I love you, Jesus. Amen.

    1. Dear Unknown,
      I appreciate that you are "struggling well" to know what Christ would have you do in each situation.

      I didn't think your previous messages were wrong, but I didn't think you were wrong to ask me to delete them. Sometimes we have second thoughts about the way we expressed ourselves.

      The biblical way to judge things is greatly misunderstood, and I encourage you to check out some of the devotions in the collection "Misunderstandings About Judgement"

      The comments won't allow links, but you can cut and past this link and it should work:


      God bless you!

  2. Thank you so much Gail. I greatly appreciate your reply.
    Thank you for all your help, God bless, Christine.

    1. I'm praying God will continue to do a good work in your heart, Christine.
      And I'm confident that He will!