With regard to Colin Barr's letter published July 26: I am keeping his name for reference in case he decides to begin practicing medicine, in particular surgery. I assume he would approach it with the same in-depth study and understanding he demonstrated of the Bible.
I envision him, fresh from the street, standing at the operating table, patient in front of him, surgery text book -- the one with a lot of pictures -- in one hand, scalpel in the other, ready to dive right in, ignorant of the thousand other things he needs to know before making that "simple" cut.
The medical field has of course put a rigorous course of study in place to prevent such a ridiculous scenario. Not reading textbooks; studying them. God likewise strongly urges all to study his word, to meditate on it to fully understand it (for instance, Solomon's many wives and concubines were part of the reason he lost God's favor).
Jesus, however, did give us a caveat. When asked why he would only speak to the crowds in parables, he said in essence that it was so that only those who really wanted truth and were willing to pursue it would understand.
Not mockers, of whom he knew there would be many. Which is why he also told his disciples not to cast pearls before swine.