Before you misunderstand what this principle is really saying, please understand what is not being said. This principle does not mean the Bible should not be taught. The Bible should be taught and studied. The point of this principle is to recognize that teaching the content of the Bible is not necessary. The content of the Bible, what is in it, can be learned by merely reading it. Those who cannot read, or who don’t care to, can acquire a knowledge of the content of the Bible in a variety of other ways such as audio tapes and CD’s and videos. Hence, teaching the content of the Bible, merely for the purpose of transferring information is not a necessity. Of course, that is a generalization. There are many places in the world where there are no Bibles, let alone other teaching aids. It is not the point here that the Bible should not be taught, but that teaching the content of the Bible is not the end of a teacher’s task, only the beginning.
Everyone can benefit from the instruction of an experienced teacher. A teacher’s goal must be to create an atmosphere in which students can come to a place of desiring to acquire understanding by means of self-discovery. When a teacher accepts the idea that it is not necessary for the content of the Bible to be taught, the way is cleared for them to strive for these grander goals. They can seek to instill in others a desire to understand the meaning (as opposed to knowing the content) of the Bible, and most important to create in students a passion for self-discovery. These are the things upon which a lasting foundation may be laid. So let’s bring in the heavy equipment, and clear away the idea that someone else is responsible for another’s understanding of the Bible. It is every believer’s responsibility to understand the Bible for themselves.
The desire for understanding, and a passion for self-discovery, is key to the creation of a unified body of Christ. It is only when understanding of the Bible is sought, and self-discovery rather than teaching is the means to understanding, that the whole body can come together with one mind. This idea is more fully developed by reviewing of the next principle: The Meaning of the Bible is Discovered, Not Taught or Learned.