The World of Scriptures: Knowing vs. Comprehending

It is possible knowing all the Scriptures. It is not possible comprehending all the Scriptures. ~Godwin Delali Adadzie


Scriptures, whether from religious texts or literary masterpieces, hold a special place in human culture and history. They are a source of wisdom, guidance, and inspiration. The quote by Godwin Delali Adadzie, “It is possible knowing all the Scriptures. It is not possible comprehending all the Scriptures,” encapsulates the profound nature of these texts. This article will discuss the distinction between knowing and understanding scriptures, and explore their different interpretations.

The Art of Knowing

What Does it Mean to Know Scriptures?

Knowing scriptures involves familiarity with their content. It’s like having a roadmap of a foreign city; you know the streets, landmarks, and the basic layout, but you might not understand the intricate details or the stories that make each place unique. Many people around the world can recite verses from religious texts or quote famous lines from literary works. They know the words, but do they truly grasp their deeper significance?

The Vastness of Knowledge

The world of scriptures is vast and diverse. From the Bible to the Quran, from the Bhagavad Gita to the works of Shakespeare, each scripture offers its own unique insights and perspectives. Knowing all the scriptures is an ambitious endeavor, akin to traversing the globe to visit every country. It’s a commendable feat, but it doesn’t necessarily mean comprehending their essence.

Why Knowing Matters

Knowing scriptures has its merits. It enables individuals to engage in meaningful discussions, participate in religious rituals, and appreciate the cultural heritage that these texts represent. It provides a foundation upon which comprehension can be built. However, as Adadzie’s quote suggests, knowing is just the first step on the journey towards true understanding.

The Challenge of Comprehending

What Does it Mean to Comprehend Scriptures?

Comprehending scriptures goes beyond surface-level knowledge. It’s akin to immersing oneself in a foreign culture, learning the language, customs, and traditions, and truly understanding the nuances of daily life. To comprehend scriptures is to grasp their deeper meanings, their relevance to one’s life, and the profound wisdom they offer.

The Depths of Comprehension

Comprehending scriptures is a lifelong pursuit. It involves not only understanding the words but also delving into the historical context, the symbolism, and the allegorical interpretations. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion, revealing deeper and richer insights with each layer removed.

The Quest for Meaning

Scriptures are not mere collections of words; they are repositories of profound truths, moral lessons, and timeless wisdom. Comprehending scriptures means connecting with the core messages they convey and applying these lessons to one’s life. It’s about finding meaning and guidance in the words of sages, prophets, and poets.

The Paradox of Scriptures

The Paradoxical Nature of Adadzie’s Quote

Adadzie’s quote, “It is possible knowing all the Scriptures. It is not possible comprehending all the Scriptures,” highlights a paradox within the world of scriptures. On one hand, it suggests that knowing all the scriptures is achievable, while on the other hand, it implies that comprehending them all is an impossible task. How can something be both possible and impossible at the same time?

The Infinite Wisdom

The paradox lies in the infinite depth of scriptures. While it is possible to amass a vast amount of knowledge about them, comprehending them fully is a task that transcends the limitations of human understanding. It’s like trying to fathom the vastness of the universe or the depths of the ocean; no matter how much we learn, there is always more to discover.

The Humbling Journey

Embracing the paradox of scriptures can be a humbling experience. It reminds us of the limits of our knowledge and the boundless nature of wisdom. It encourages us to approach scriptures with a sense of awe and reverence, knowing that there will always be more to learn and understand.

The Value of the Journey

The Journey of Knowing and Comprehending

In the pursuit of scriptures, both knowing and comprehending have their unique value. Knowing scriptures provides a foundation, a starting point from which one can embark on the journey of comprehension. It’s like having a map that shows you the major landmarks before you set out to explore the intricate details of a city.

The Joy of Discovery

Comprehending scriptures, however, is where the true joy lies. It’s the process of discovery, the moments of epiphany when a verse suddenly takes on a deeper meaning, or a story unveils a profound truth. It’s the journey of a lifetime, where each step brings new insights and revelations.

The Power of Application

Ultimately, the purpose of scriptures is not just to accumulate knowledge but to transform our lives. Comprehension leads to application. It’s not enough to know the golden rule; one must comprehend its significance and strive to live by it. The true power of scriptures lies in their ability to guide us in our actions and decisions.

Embracing the Unknowable

The Humility of Not Knowing Everything

Adadzie’s quote reminds us of the importance of humility in our quest for wisdom. It’s a gentle reminder that there are limits to our understanding, and that’s okay. In our pursuit of knowledge and comprehension, we must embrace the fact that some things will remain unknowable, and that’s what makes the journey of exploration so exciting.

The Beauty of Mystery

The mystery surrounding scriptures is part of their allure. Like a treasure hunt, the thrill of discovery lies in not knowing what awaits us around the next corner. It’s the beauty of exploring uncharted territory and finding gems of wisdom along the way.

The Everlasting Quest

In the end, the journey of knowing and comprehending scriptures is a lifelong quest. It’s a journey filled with wonder, insight, and growth. Adadzie’s quote serves as a guiding star, reminding us that while we may know much, there will always be more to comprehend, and that’s what keeps the flame of curiosity burning bright.


In the world of scriptures, knowing and comprehending are two distinct but interconnected paths. Knowing scriptures grants us access to their words, while comprehending them unlocks their profound meanings. Adadzie’s quote beautifully encapsulates this duality, highlighting the endless potential for exploration and growth within the realm of scriptures. Whether you are a scholar, a seeker, or simply someone curious about the world’s wisdom, the journey of knowing and comprehending scriptures is a captivating and enriching endeavor, one that promises a lifetime of discovery and transformation. So, let us embrace the challenge, acknowledge the paradox, and embark on this timeless adventure with an open heart and an insatiable thirst for knowledge and understanding.

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