|Well? What colors do YOU see?|
This was such a mystery that even experts began to weigh in, from researchers to science magazines, opinions began to flow like water over not only the true color of the clothing in question but as to how everyone was seeing something different. However, unless the manufacturer of the dress actually comes forward with the truth, we may never honestly be sure.
What fascinates me here is the simple fact that so many people can't seem to agree over something so simple. My wife and I literally looked at the same image on the same computer screen, yet saw two completely different things. Even when she conceded that she could see how it may appear tinted blue in the shadows, I was taken aback, because to me it was as blue as the Summer sky. Likewise, when I said I thought perhaps the light was making the black fringe look like gold, she incredulously exclaimed she couldn't see any black at all. Still others had other varieties of interpretation. So, whatever the cause -- whatever the experts have to say about it -- the one thing we know for sure is this: two people can look at the exact same thing and see something completely different from one another.
Scripture is sometimes like this, too -- particularly when we get to some of those grayer areas of interpretation. I'm often shocked, when discussing Scripture, to find disagreement in the interpretation of a passage I'd previously believed to be black and white. That someone could possibly disagree on a matter I'd thought to be more than obvious. We'd be looking at the same passage -- comparing from the same translations, even, yet seeing completely different things.
Now, this isn't an apologetic for relativism. There is a single Truth. Just as that dress is either actually blue or actually white, Scripture actually says what it actually says. But, like the dress, we sometimes need to hear from the manufacturer to be sure what, exactly, we're looking at.
Paul points out this reality in his letters to the Corinthians:
And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Cor 2:1-5)
And the Ephesians:
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[a] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. (Eph 1:17)
So what can we learn from this? Well, when it comes to Scripture, we can see how vital it is to be in tune with God when examine His word -- how important to seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit to "rightly divide the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15)." Only, don't wait until you find someone who disagrees with you before you do.
Study the Word of God, but do so prayerfully, seeking guidance from the One who inspired it. And in so doing, you can know that, no matter what anyone else sees, the Maker knows for sure.