What is the Bible Part 7, Interpretation

Interpretation
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You can’t quote the Bible indiscriminately. There is a story of two lawyers. One thought he would make a great impression on the jury by quoting from the Bible. So he said concerning his opponent’s client, “We have it on the highest authority that it has been said, ‘All that a man has will he give for his skin.'” But the other lawyer knew the Bible better. He said, “I am very impressed by the fact that my distinguished colleague here regards as the highest authority the one who said, ‘All that a man has will he give for his skin.’ You will find that this saying comes from the Book of Job, and the one who utters it is the devil. And that is whom he regards as the highest authority!” 

Rat Stedman

It is so important to know and understand what the Bible says. We are told in Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” that cannot be said more directly. There have been so many sayings that are supposedly from the Bible and have been repeated so many times that people “know” that the sayings are from God Himself. Let’s take a look at a few:

  1. “A fool and his money are soon parted” Thomas Tusser (1573) “Five Hundreth Pointes of Good Husbandrie”
  2. “Beggars Can’t Be Choose” English Proverb from around the 1500’s
  3. “Charity Begins at Home” Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682)
  4. “Cleanliness is Next to Godliness” Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and then again by John Wesley (1703-1791)
  5. “Everything that Glitters is Gold” Shakespeare
  6. “God Helps those who Help Themselves” Algernon Sidney (1623-1683) and then again Benjiman Franklin (1706-1790)
  7. “Love conquers all” Vigil (70 BC-19 BC)
  8. “The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways” William Cowper (1731-1800)
  9. “To Thineself Be True” Shakespeare
  10. Quoted from “Encouraging Bible Quotes” Kathrine Walden

Over the years and even centuries, these sayings have found their way into sermons and Christian language as being from the bible. They have been so weaved in that they have been quoted as verses from the bible. Like I said before. If it is happening now, it has happened before humans in that instance are very predictable, it’s the always turning Ferris wheel. For you have forgotten the God of your salvation and have not remembered the Rock of your refuge; therefore, though you plant pleasant plants and sow the vine-branch of a stranger, Isaiah 17:10 ESV

Sowing the vine of a stranger is exactly what is happening when we blindly follow what others say, trusting that what is being cited is accurate. If you spend the time learning what the Bible says, it will make so that there will be less of a chance that you’ll be deceived. I know some of this seems redundant but the reason I have focused on this so much is because I fell for some of the deception. God showed me the way I was going was a dead end straight off of a cliff. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God Ephesions 2.8 ESV Remember and never forget: the devil disguises himself as an angel of light 2 Corinthians 11:14 ESV wrapping things into little gems of knowledge that we want to hear. 2 Timothy 4:3-4 AMP For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the direction and gift that You have given us in the pages of the Bible. Help us navigate the correct path that You want us to travel and rebuke the deceitfulness of the devil. Help me understand every word in this book. In Jesus Name Amen

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What is the Bible Part 6, Only the New Testament

Only the New Testement
Why do some say only the New Testament matters?
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Once, when a stubborn disputer seemed unconvinced, Lincoln said, “Well, let’s see how many legs has a cow?” “Four, of course,” came the reply disgustedly. “That’s right,” agreed Lincoln. “Now suppose you call the cow’s tail a leg; how many legs would the cow have?” “Why, five, of course,” was the confident reply. “Now, that’s where you’re wrong,” said Lincoln. “Calling a cow’s tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.” 

Bits & Pieces, July 1991

There seems to be a few different people that say the only thing that we have to pay attention to in the Bible is the New Testament because after Jesus came the New Testament is all that matters. That creates the question that we should always ask ourselves. What Did Jesus Say (WDJS): But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 ESV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 ESV So with these two statements, one from Jesus Himself, we are told that we need His direction and He does not change. So when the statement’s been made that proclaims that we do not have to pay attention to the Old Testament. Understand it is going against the words that came out of the mouth of Jesus.

Another thing to consider; when Jesus was quoting the “Word” it was not the New Testament.  The Old Testament was all that had been written up to that point. So to say that the Old Testament has no validity today is to say that what Jesus quoted was worthless. I know that is a very bold statement, but it is what we are being told and what has been said in the past by some church leaders. I am not knocking any church, but I want you to understand that some well-intentioned people have made statements that do not match the narrative we have been told. Jesus told us: Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. Matthew 24:35 ESV Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” John 7:38 ESV

John told us: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1 ESV And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 ESV Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17 ESV

Paul wrote a letter to Timothy to advise and encourage him. Paul told him: And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 ESV Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 ESV Paul also told the Thesilonians: And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 1Thesilonians 2:13 ESV

Finally, James tells us: Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls .But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:21-22 ESV

The people listed above knew Jesus while He was on earth. Over and over again; they told us that we need to be familiar with the entire Bible. It’s not just the parts that you like or the verse or chapter that fits what someone wants you to know. Read and know the entire Bible so that you are never deceived. Like I mentioned; these are just a few instances from the New Testament, there are more. When you read the Old Testament, you will see the importance that was put on knowing all scripture as well.

When I was younger and did not read or for that matter understand what the Bible was or what it said, I will also say I am not an old man either. I would be deceived by only hearing what I wanted to hear. I used to entertain statements like Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah. The Bible is just a bunch of stories that give examples for morality. God was an unloving, cruel God that does not care about anyone or anything. There are some that say Jesus was not God in flesh, that the devil and Jesus are brothers, and when Jesus came to earth He gave up His Diety. I’ve even heard one theory that God screwed up making us the first time, destroyed it all, and Adam and Eve is the second try for creating humanity. The list can go on and on.

This all has been created by the devil to make us doubt the word of God. In Ephisions 6:12 we are told: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. It is important to know who, what, and why we are fighting.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all that You have created. Thank you for the entire Bible and the direction that you give us. It all helps us see life through the eyes You want us to have. Lord; help us understand the message You have for so that we will never be deceived. In Jesus Name Amen

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What is the Bible Part 5, To Control

the bible is just for control?
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Em Griffin in his book The Mindchangers describes an experiment done by Solomon Asch with groups of 12 people. They were brought into a room where four lines of unequal length were displayed. They had to decide which two were the same length and publicly vote for their choice. Person after person after person (11 in all) voted for the wrong line–because they had all been told to ahead of time. The one individual who was in the dark couldn’t imagine how in the world all these seemingly normal people could all choose the wrong line. When it was his turn to vote, he had to decide, “Do I go with what I know my senses are telling me, or do I go with the crowd?” 1/3 of those tested caved in to group pressure and changed their vote to agree with their peers. 

Em Griffin, The Mindchangers, Tyndale House, 1976

There are some that have said that the Bible is used to control people. Honestly, I do not disagree throughout history the bible has actually been used to control people. People are always trying to find ways to manipulate things so they can gain an advantage over others. In the past kingdoms used it to control their people and did some horrendous things that were never acceptable, and it was said to be in the name of Jesus. There are some, even today, that will misinterpret what it says to control whole congregations, some have even rewrote and placed their own tweaks so it kind of looks the same but it is not. When applied through the eyes of man that is exactly what happens. This is a sad reality that so many people have died in the name of God because a human need to control everything. Application is everything.

As you learn the bible more and more you will even see that the devil uses the bible to try and control people. It says he disguises himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14). Satan is so arrogant that he even tried to use the bible against Jesus when Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness (Matthew 4:6). So those who say the bible is used to control people, you are correct it can be used that way if you do not know what the bible says. We have been saved by faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9) not by what someone says or does for you. Jesus is the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Remember we have freewill (Revelation 3:20) to choose if you want to follow Him but it is important to know the bible so that you are not deceived.

In the Bible we are told My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6 ESV For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. Titus 3:3 ESV Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 ESV

If you have this lack of knowledge you will be able to be controled by those with bad intentions. There are some that seem to mean well but are deceived themselves. That is why in Hosea 4:6 we are given this bleak warning that there will be some that will be destroyed because of lack of knowledge. I would never want to b the people Jesus refers to in Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ I will leave you with a few more quotes from people in our past have lived through some major stuff.

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.”

William Shakespeare

“When one with honeyed words but evil mind

Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.”

Euripides, Orestes

“It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.”

Noël Coward

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What is the Bible Part 4, Fairy Tales

Is the bible a fairy tale
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I have been around Christianity since I was born and can say that I have heard many different perspectives on exactly what the bible is. Because of all of these different opinions I walked away from Christianity for about 16 years, there had to be a better way. I wasn’t wrong, I had to stop listening to people’s opinions and listen to the words that we are given from God Himself, the Bible. There’s an interesting perspective that the Bible is a nice little compilation of fairy tales, which can all be clarified with science and logic. Ultimately; the bible is a history lesson that keeps on being attacked:

Altering history by teaching manipulated stories, facts, and data is a means of promoting specific ideologies and agendas. This can be achieved by creating events that did not happen, altering events that did happen, or omitting events altogether. Over time, knowledge of the truth will die with those who lived or witnessed it, and the alternate version will be universally accepted as true. Distorting history is an effective method of erasing events from the minds of the population, of glorifying events and people in support of state ideals, and vilifying events and people in conflict with state ideals. Presenting history in a way that supports the agenda of the state, and reinforcing it through the public education system and the media can be used to control the perceptions of the populace in ways that prevent dissent and promote nationalism.

Evergreen.edu
  • Semantic Manipulation: Semantic Manipulation is a kind of distortion of words and this is a kind of distortion of history as well. Also when we change the past meaning of words we lose touch with historical meanings of those same words.
  • Denialism: One of the ways to distort history is to deny that certain events happened the way that history tells us they didn’t, or to deny that they happened at all.
  • Cultural imperialism: The famous quote, “History is written by the victors,” may be widely disputed by historians, but history is certainly skewed toward dominant cultures that successfully practice Cultural Imperialism.
  • Ultra-nationalism: At the core of ultra-nationalism is the need to rewrite any history that does not agree with our view of our nation being a just and deserving nation that is a force for good in the world… or something to this effect.
  • Dumbing Down: Sometimes history is complicated and not black and white but mixed with varying shades of gray, blue, and… fuchsia? Whatever the exact mix of colors, this can sometimes make the past a complicated and morally ambiguous mess. This mess can be “fixed” (Dumbed Down) by taking out the questionable bits and repackaging them to fit some agenda; even if that agenda is just to feel like the world is an understandable place where villains are always beaten by unicorns riding rainbows of justice. You get the idea.
  • Xenophobia: History distortion can have a lot to do with distorting different cultures to make them seem less sympathetic and more evil and bad. So you look better; because you aren’t them.

The logic and absolute of science has been tested more and more; it has proven itself as what it is a “Theory” of beliefs, what one might even call a religion of faith all to its own. That is why they have something called a Hypothises. Definition of hypotheses: a proposition made as a basis for reasoning, without any assumption of its truth. Here’s a little science from the bible. It referenced the sphere that is the earth in the Old Testament, Isaiah 40:22. This was when the rest of “science” believed the earth was flat. It says that when there is severe sickness, the sick need to be quarantined, Leviticus 13:1-5. It referenced the Mountain ranges under the ocean, Psalm 104:6. The University of Leicester in 2014 proved that the measurements given for Noahs ark, Genesis 6:13-22, would have floated.

But with all of that said science has done so much for us. It helps humans understand how things work; ex. gravity, electricity, the solar system, and medicine. Science is from God, He wants us to test everything 1 John 4:1 and Romans 12:2. Science provides medical advancements that keep the diseases of old away. I am not a denier of science, in fact in a lot of cases it helps prove the “fairy tales” in the bible. Look into archeology, biblical tips on psychology, the need for companionship. God has given us a brain that is a learn, with this knowledge we have doctors and scientists that have been able to learn to do what they do. In school it is taught that the Bible is superstition that helps leaders control other people. We will talk about this later in an upcoming post.

We need to do our own research and study the Bible and not believe what others are saying. Even if you are not a believer the tips that are in this book will help you live a better life, after all what could that hurt. Some will believe that it is a book of fair tails but if we take the time to research, even though sometimes it will take a bit of effort because so much has been changed and hidden but it’s still out there. You will find how accurate it is, the Romans kept meticulous records, even in the short time I have been alive I have seen things changed and rewritten to fit agendas. I will leave with a few qutoes from history to think about:

“What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done.”

Arthur Conan Doyle

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

George Orwell

“Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.”

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Gods Word

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. Malachi 3:6 ESV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 ESV Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 ESV God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19 ESV

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What is the Bible Part 3 it’s the Past

The bible is just for control?
?

“The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit, as a light to direct us in the choice of our way, and the steps we take in that way.”

Matthew Henry

I was kind of what you would call a nerd in school, I was weird, awkward, and one of my favorite subjects was History. Throughout history humans seem to repeat the same mistakes over and over again, “I can do it better this time”. So lets put that into a modern perspective; today we drive cars, back then they drove chariots, back then they even found ways not to walk.

In the past they dealt with political strife, you can read about the “Judges” in the books of Judges, read about Saul in the book of Samuel, the first Jewish king. Research the Roman, Egyption, and Chinese Empires. You’ll notice a striking resemblance to what is going on today. Back then they were trying to destroy each other at any cost, just like they are doing today. We seem to be set up in a wash rinse repeat cycle.

The diversity, political posturing, and ongoing political venues have not changed. It is still a never ending fight for who has the power. When you say the Bible happened a long time ago you are right! Does it matter today? Yes; as human beings we keep going the same direction time and time again. God gave us this owner’s manual so that we might stop this vicious circle that we cannot seem to get ourselves out of. When you read the Bible, you are taking steps to jump off the never ending rollercoaster we are on. You can exit all of its ups and downs, the going in circles and the neck breaking turns. The bible helps, when followed, so that you stop making the same mistakes over and over again.

Gods Word

“For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. Malachi 3:6 ESV Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8 ESV Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 ESV God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19 ESV

Getting to Know Him

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What is the Bible Part 2 History

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If someone asked you where to find the Bible verse that begins, “For God so loved the world…you’d probably know he was asking about John 3:16. If you had a Bible, you could find it for him in no time. But there was a time when no one could find a single verse in the whole Bible. There was no John 3:16, Genesis l:l or any other verse because the Bible wasn’t divided into verses or even chapters. Worse yet, there were hundreds of years when there weren’t even any word divisions. Punctuation marks, capital letters and even vowels were omitted. In those days, if Genesis had been written in English, it would have started: NTHBGNNNGGDCRTDTHHVNSNDTHRTH.” You would have had to spend hours or days just to find your favorite verse. Words were divided by Jesus’ time, but vowels weren’t used in Hebrew Old Testaments until the sixth century A. D. Gradually, capitalization, punctuation and paragraphing worked their way into the Old and New Testaments. But Bible chapters such as we have today didn’t come into being until the 13th century. They were the work of Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury. For the next 200 years, the Bible, now divided into chapters, continued to be copied by hand. Then in 1448, Rabbi Nathan startled the world by breaking the Old Testament into verses. The New Testament wasn’t divided into numbered verses until 1551 when a French printer, Robert Estienne did the job. He was planning a study Bible that would have side-by-side columns in three translations when he got the idea. He was so rushed for time he decided to do the dividing on a trip from Paris to Lyons. Some people have suggested he did the work on horseback and his sometimes awkward divisions resulted when his “jogging horse bumped his pen in the wrong places.” Yet, with a few exceptions, Estienne’s divisions provide us with the verses we have today. So just as number of people were used in writing of the Bible over a period of centuries, it was the contribution of countless scribes, hundreds of years, and three men in particular—a Catholic archbishop, a Jewish rabbi and a Protestant printer—who turned “NTHBGNNNGGDCRTDTHHVNSNDTHRTH” into Genesis l:l.

Miller Clarke, Campus Life, March, 198l

The modern bible has 2 Testaments 66 separate books 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament with a total of 783,137 words in the King James Version. The longest book in the bible is Psalms. The shortest book is John 3. The Bible is one of the most popular, purchased, and sought after pieces of literature in the history of the world. It was originally written in three different languages, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. The entire bible has been translated into 693 different languages while the New Testament has been translated into 1548 diverse languages. In 1455 Johann Gutenberg successfully printed the first bible. This is a relatively quick overview of what the Bible is. There is so much more after all, its believed to have been written over a 3000 year period.

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What is the Bible Part 1

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Never let good books take the place of the Bible. Drink from the Well, not from the streams that flow from the Well. 

Amy Carmichael

Today I am going to start with prayer I want direction from God not input from outside sources, even myself. Dear Heavenly Father, as I begin this series into what the Bible is please guide us. Lord show us what you intended us to learn and give us the lessons and understanding so we know exactly what You want us to know. In Jesus Name Amen

Time and time again so many, even myself, have asked the question. What is the Bible? The secular definition of the Bible is: “the sacred scriptures of Christians comprising the Old Testament and the New Testament” The Bible is the direct word from God. It is direction for our lives and it is the one and true testament revealing to us the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Bible helps us understand what’s to come, what we can expect and ultimately eternity. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV 

When we are told that it was “breathed out by God” this is in referring to the Holy SpiritBut the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. John 14:26 ESV And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2 ESV This is how with a little bit of history and faith we know we can trust the bible. As we read and learn we will see and understand how factual the bible really is: The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they then gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.  Psalm 19:7-11 ESV  

It is so awesome to know that we have been given a book that is like a Service Manual used by professionals to diagnose problems for every little item around us. Example of service manuals are automotive repair, vacuums repair, dishwasher repair, how to grow a garden, encyclopedias, the list is huge. This manual that we have been given helps us understand the situations that we face every day. Fear (Psalm 23:1-6), anger (Proverbs 14:29), dismay (1 John 5:19), Love(1 Corinthians 13:4-8), Depression (Psalm 34:17-18), Politics (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12), Laws (Romans 13:1-7), Relationships (Ephesians 4:29). The list really could never end, if you are going through something in your life it is discussed in the bible. We are told that, and shown,  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 ESV

Getting to Know Him

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