What Does the Bible Say About Arguing Over Scripture
What Does the Bible Say About Arguing Over Scripture

Have you ever found yourself engaged in a passionate debate over the meaning of a particular Bible passage? It’s not uncommon for discussions about scripture to escalate into heated arguments. But what does the Bible actually say about arguing over scripture?

In this article, we will explore the biblical perspective on this topic and provide practical advice on how to approach disagreements with humility and love. Discover how the Bible’s wisdom can help us navigate these discussions with grace and understanding.

So, let’s delve into what the Bible truly says about arguing over scripture and find actionable solutions for a more harmonious faith journey.

Why Do People Argue Over Scripture?

Before diving into the biblical perspective, let’s explore why people often find themselves in heated debates over scripture. Understanding the underlying factors can help us address and navigate these disagreements more effectively.

#1. Biblical interpretation

The Bible is a complex and multifaceted text that can be interpreted in various ways. Different theological traditions, cultural backgrounds, and personal experiences shape our interpretations. These variations in understanding can lead to conflicting opinions and debates.

#2. Erroneous information

Sometimes, individuals may hold incorrect beliefs or misinformation about certain biblical passages. When others attempt to correct them, it can result in arguments and defensiveness. It is crucial to approach such situations with compassion and provide accurate information based on sound biblical scholarship.

#3. Desire to speak the truth

Many believers have a genuine desire to speak the truth and defend their understanding of scripture. They may feel a responsibility to uphold what they perceive as God’s teachings.

However, it is essential to remember that the manner in which this is done can often become argumentative and hostile. We should seek to embody the fruits of the Spirit, such as love, kindness, and gentleness, even in the midst of disagreements.

#4. Defending the faith

Arguing over scripture can also stem from a sincere desire to defend the faith and uphold biblical truths in the face of opposition or false teachings. While it is essential to defend the core tenets of Christianity, we should do so with humility and respect, ensuring that our actions and words align with the teachings of Christ.

#5. Disciples arguing

Even among the disciples of Jesus, there were disagreements and debates. We see examples of this in the New Testament, where different perspectives and understandings clashed. For instance, the disciples debated about who was the greatest (Mark 9:33-34) and had differing views on Jesus’ divinity (Matthew 16:13-16). These examples remind us that even in the early Christian community, disagreements existed and required resolution.

The Need for Humility When Interpreting Scripture

As followers of Christ, it is crucial to approach disagreements about scripture with humility. The Bible emphasizes the importance of humility in our interactions with others. Proverbs 15:1 reminds us, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” When engaging in discussions about scripture, we should strive to maintain a gentle and humble attitude.

#1. Listening attentively

Truly listening to others’ perspectives and seeking to understand their reasoning is essential. Instead of preparing a response while someone is speaking, we should give them our full attention. Active listening helps build a foundation for a constructive conversation and demonstrates respect for the other person’s viewpoint.

#2. Considering alternative viewpoints

To cultivate humility, we must be open to the possibility that our interpretation may not be the only valid one. Exploring different perspectives and evaluating them against the broader context of the Bible can broaden our understanding and foster empathy. It is an opportunity for growth and learning.

#3. Admitting limitations

Recognizing that none of us possess perfect understanding or complete knowledge of the Bible is vital. Humility involves acknowledging our limitations and being willing to learn from others. It is okay to say, “I don’t know” or “I need to study this further.” Embracing a posture of humility opens the door to deeper insights and greater unity.

#4. Seeking wisdom and guidance

Praying for wisdom and guidance from God when studying and interpreting scripture is crucial. The Holy Spirit can provide insights and lead us into a deeper understanding of God’s Word. As we rely on divine guidance, we approach disagreements with a spirit of dependence on God rather than solely relying on our own understanding.

#5. Valuing relationships over being “right”

Remembering that preserving relationships and showing love to others is more important than winning an argument or proving someone wrong is essential. Our ultimate goal should be unity in the body of Christ. Strive to maintain healthy relationships, even if disagreements persist. We should demonstrate love and respect for one another, regardless of differing interpretations.

How Should Christians Approach Disagreements About Scripture?

When disagreements arise concerning scripture, Christians should approach these situations with grace, love, and a desire for unity. Here are practical steps to navigate disagreements in a constructive and Christ-centered manner:

#1. Engaging in respectful dialogue

Approach discussions with a respectful tone and language. Avoid personal attacks or derogatory remarks. Focus on the issues at hand rather than attacking the character of the person expressing a different view. Respectful dialogue helps create an environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

#2. Asking clarifying questions

Seek to understand the other person’s perspective by asking clarifying questions. This demonstrates genuine interest and helps to foster a more meaningful conversation. It allows both parties to express their viewpoints fully and can unveil shared areas of agreement.

#3. Supporting arguments with evidence

When presenting your viewpoint, provide biblical evidence to support your claims. This helps to establish a solid foundation for discussion and encourages others to consider your perspective. Citing specific scriptures, historical context, and scholarly resources can strengthen your argument and invite others to engage in a thoughtful exchange of ideas.

#4. Acknowledging honest disagreements

Recognize that sincere believers may hold differing interpretations of scripture. It is not always necessary to convince others to adopt your perspective. Instead, focus on mutual respect and understanding. Acknowledge that honest disagreements can coexist within the body of Christ without compromising the central truths of the faith.

#5. Being willing to learn and change

Remain open to the possibility that your understanding may need refinement or adjustment. If presented with compelling evidence from the Bible, be willing to reconsider your position. Humility requires a willingness to grow and change when confronted with new insights and perspectives. Let the pursuit of truth and genuine faithfulness guide your approach.

#6. Seeking guidance from wise mentors

If a disagreement persists or becomes challenging to navigate, seek counsel from trusted and knowledgeable mentors or pastors who can provide insights and guidance. Their wisdom can help navigate complex theological issues and offer valuable perspectives. Engaging in fruitful conversations with wise mentors can broaden our understanding and help resolve conflicts in a healthy manner.

What Does The Bible Say About Arguing Over Scripture?

The Bible provides guidance on how believers should handle disputes and arguments over scripture. Let’s explore some key passages that shed light on this topic:

Galatians 5:22-23

The fruit of the Spirit includes qualities like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These virtues should guide our interactions and discussions about scripture. When we demonstrate these qualities, our conversations become more constructive, and we reflect Christ’s character to the world.

Matthew 7:3-5

Jesus teaches us to first examine our own faults and biases before pointing out others’ shortcomings. It reminds us to approach disagreements with humility and self-reflection. Before engaging in arguments, we should examine our motives, biases, and preconceived notions to ensure that we are seeking truth rather than seeking to prove ourselves right.

2 Timothy 2:24

The Apostle Paul advises Timothy, “And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil.” This verse encourages believers to avoid unnecessary quarrels and instead demonstrate kindness and patience. Kindness and patience pave the way for productive conversations, even when disagreements arise.

Titus 3:9

Paul reminds Titus, “But avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.” This verse highlights the importance of avoiding pointless arguments that do not contribute to spiritual growth. We should focus on meaningful discussions that edify and strengthen our faith, rather than wasting time on unfruitful debates.

What Are the Potential Dangers of Arguing Over Scripture?

While healthy discussions about scripture can be beneficial, there are potential dangers in excessive arguing and debates. These dangers include:

#1. Divisiveness

Prolonged and heated arguments can create divisions within the body of Christ, hindering unity and cooperation. Disagreements can escalate into bitterness and hostility, causing a rupture in relationships and the overall unity of the Church.

#2. Distraction from the Gospel

Focusing too much on arguing over scripture can divert our attention from spreading the good news and fulfilling the Great Commission. Engaging in endless debates may lead us to neglect the primary mission of sharing the love and message of Jesus with others.

#3. Damage to relationships

Continuous arguing and hostility can damage relationships and hinder effective communication with others, both within and outside the faith community. When disagreements are handled poorly, they can create emotional wounds, erode trust, and weaken the overall witness of the Church.

#4. Loss of focus on essentials

Engaging in arguments about secondary matters can cause us to lose sight of the essential teachings of the Bible. While it is important to study and discuss scripture, we must prioritize the core principles of the Christian faith. Focusing excessively on non-essential issues can lead to a distortion of priorities and a neglect of the foundational truths of salvation and discipleship.


In conclusion, the Bible encourages believers to approach disagreements about scripture with humility, love, and respect. By listening attentively, considering alternative viewpoints, and valuing relationships over being “right,” we can engage in constructive dialogue that promotes unity within the body of Christ.

We should remember the guidance provided in Galatians 5:22-23 and Matthew 7:3-5, cultivating the fruit of the Spirit and examining our own hearts before entering into arguments.

Ultimately, the goal should be to seek truth, foster understanding, and glorify God in all our discussions about scripture. By following these principles, we can navigate disagreements with grace and compassion, ultimately strengthening our faith and the faith of others.

Remember, honest disagreements about scripture can lead to growth and deeper understanding if approached with humility and a sincere desire to seek God’s truth. Let us strive to build bridges instead of walls, always reflecting the love of Christ in our interactions with others.