"And they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean." Mark 9:10
The fact is that it meant exactly what Jesus said. But because Jesus' words did not fit with the disciples' preconceived ideas, they considered His plain words to mean something other than exactly what He said.
How often we approach God's word with that same theological method. We take the plain words of Jesus and question one with another what they mean.
"In Christ's teaching there is no long, far-fetched, complicated reasoning. He comes right to the point." Evangelism, p. 171.
"The Bible was not written for the scholar alone; on the contrary, it was designed for the common people. The great truths necessary for salvation are made as clear as noonday; and none will mistake and lose their way except those who follow their own judgment instead of the plainly revealed will of God." Steps to Christ, p. 89.
"The Bible with its precious gems of truth was not written for the scholar alone. On the contrary, it was designed for the common people; and the interpretation given by the common people, when aided by the Holy Spirit, accords best with the truth as it is in Jesus." Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 5, p. 331.
"God has spoken in the plainest language upon every subject that affects the salvation of the soul." Review and Herald, February 5, 1901.
"The great truths of the Word of God are so clearly stated that none need make a mistake in understanding them." Manuscript Releases, vol. 15, p. 150.
"The truths most plainly revealed in the Bible have been involved in doubt and darkness by learned men, who, with a pretense of great wisdom, teach that the Scriptures have a mystical, a secret, spiritual meaning not apparent in the language employed. These men are false teachers. It was to such a class that Jesus declared: 'Ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God.' Mark 12:24. The language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning, unless a symbol or figure is employed. Christ has given the promise: 'If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.' John 7:17. If men would but take the Bible as it reads, if there were no false teachers to mislead and confuse their minds, a work would be accomplished that would make the angels glad and that would bring into the fold of Christ thousands upon thousands who are now wandering in error." The Great Controversy, pp. 598, 599.
"The only safe and proper rule of Biblical interpretation is to take every passage of the Book of God as meaning what it says, word for word, excepting those cases where the text and context clearly show that a figure or parable is introduced for a more clear elucidation of the subject." James White, Review and Herald, May 29, 1879.
"How to know when a word is used figuratively. If it makes good sense as it stands, and does no violence to the simple laws of nature, then it must be understood literally; if not, figuratively." William Miller, Views of the Prophecies and Prophetic Chronology Selected from Manuscripts of William Miller with a Memoir of his Life, 1842 ed., Joshua V. Himes, p. 22.
"Seek to grasp the simple, most obvious meaning of the biblical passage being studied." Bible Study: Presuppositions, Principles, and Methods, Section 4c, General Conference Executive Committee, October 12, 1986.
"All who exalt their own opinions above divine revelation, all who would change the plain meaning of Scripture to suit their own convenience, or for the sake of conforming to the world, are taking upon themselves a fearful responsibility." The Great Controversy, p. 268.
"Those who suppose that they understand philosophy think that their explanations are necessary to unlock the treasures of knowledge and to prevent heresies from coming into the church. But it is these explanations that have brought in false theories and heresies. Men have made desperate efforts to explain what they thought to be intricate scriptures; but too often their efforts have only darkened that which they tried to make clear." Christ's Object Lessons, p. 110.