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Why study the Bible?Bible Page

The Bible is unique, a one of a kind collection of 66 books written by 40 authors over a thousand year span, yet with a theme that connects all of the books together. That theme is the "reconciliation of mankind to their Creator." Although God's presence is as close as your very breath, it may be helpful for a moment to think about relationships made during WWII, where the couple briefly met and over the next 4 years, their relationship only existed through written correspondence. What happened? Love blossomed despite the separations, and, by the end of the war, thousands of these couples knew each other so well that they married soon after being reunited.

Our relationship with God is similar, that in our current realm, we are separated from the actual physical presence of our Creator, but, He has left us "love letters" strung throughout the books of the Bible, and when we study them, we learn more and more about God's personality and His character, and more importantly, His great love for us and the extremes He has went through to redeem us. It is my conviction that when someone really understands where God is coming from and what He has done to save us, you can't help but love Him back.

Another good reason to study God's Word yourself is that ifthe message of the Bible is the "meaning of life" (and I believe it is) then it would seem to be dangerous to live your life according to hearsay, about what others say the bible says.

In the following, I have listed some of the things that have really helped me in my pursuit to learn more about my Creator, His expectations for me and what the future holds.

Finding a Bible  (it can be kind of a minefield out there)

Bible pile

When it comes to English Bible Versions, there are literally hundreds. With names such as: The King James, New International Version, Word Made Flesh, Today's English Bible, Restored English Bible and many many more, it gets confusing. When choosing God's Word for study, CAUTION is called for because some of the version translators, took liberties (some more than others) in how the text was translated and scriptures that supported particular objectionable doctrines (in their view) were modified or simply omitted.

Cults and near cults, (religions that present doctrines that differ from the Gospel of Christ so much that when it comes to salvation, they miss the mark. And/or, they lay heavy guilt or law burdens on their members that were never intended in the authentic Gospel). Their books have names such as: The Book of Mormon (Mormons), The Clear Word, (Seventh Day Adventists), The New World Translation (Jehovah Witness).

Bible tree

1. First Consideration - Accurate Translation

Some Examples of how some versions render the same scripture:

Why did Jesus come to earth? Matthew 18:1 and Matthew 18:11

King James Version

For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

New Kings Version

For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.    

For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

New International Version

Then he and his disciples went to another village.

- Missing -

Was Joseph really the father of Jesus? Luke 2:33

And Joseph and his mother marveled at those things which were spoken of him.

And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.

The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.

If it's too hard to do, should we just remove it? Mark 11:26

But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.

- Missing -

Where did Jesus go? John 16:16

A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father.

- Missing -

As you can see, all versions are not equal, be careful in selecting which version you study. Note: The King James is always a good resource to verify any principal scriptures of doctrine.

Greel NT

2. Find an Easy to Read Translation

There are more than 100 versions of the Holy Bible available. Some follow the original text more closely than others and some, take such liberties they border on heresy. It is critical to select a version that is easy to read, yet closely follows the original version of the Bible.

The King James Bible was established in 1611 A.D. and so it uses the style of English used during that time. Therefore, some of the "King's English" combined is oftentimes distracting from what is actually being said.

The version I recommend is the New King James Version (NKJV). The NKJV follows the King James but, changes the old English style into more modern English. This version of the Bible reads differently, but, there is little or no change in what the scriptures are conveying.

3. Find an "on-line" audio or video teaching to study along with

When looking for help with studying the scriptures, it is critically important for those unfamiliar with Bible doctrine, to select a mainstream organization. This is because there are a lot of deceptive, man-made religions out there. For example: The Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) or, Seventh Day Adventist and Church of Christ and others.

Their ear-marks are a special prophet, special books, special, (usually legalistic) rules or bizarre rituals and special requirements for salvation which all usually cloud the true way of salvation. Their means is blending unrelated scriptures and taking scripture out of context to justify their non-Biblical doctrines. They consider themselves to be the only "True Church" and all of them obscure and demote who Jesus is and how to access the salvation that Jesus accomplished by His suffering on the cross.

If you are looking for a church home, with over 1,600 locations, there is probably a Calvary Chapel near you. They are great place to learn about God's Word.

Calvary Chapel

Calvary Chapel places great importance in the practice of expository teaching, a "verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book" approach to teaching the Bible. Expository preaching is a form of preaching that details the meaning of a particular text or passage of Scripture. It explains what the Bible means by what it says.

For those interested in furthering their study of the Bible, I highly recommend getting the Android or Iphone App from CCPhilly. Once opening the free application, select "verse by verse" and you will find that every book of the Bible has a study available with many of them including video. For those that just have computers, this study resource is also available through the CCPhilly website. It is easy to study for 20 minutes or so, and then, get back to the same place the next time.

I have studied through many Bible books with Pastor Joe Focht and I highly recommend him as a study partner.

4. Start your Bible study in the right book of the Bible

Some who have started reading the Bible have no doubt started at the end, the book of Revelation. Unfortunately, this book is about the Apostle John being shown what was going to happen in the future (of which many feel is our current time). John was shown things that he was not able to completely understand, so, when describing some unfamiliar things, he used the word "like" a lot. Other times, he simply stated what he saw or heard. These factors, and the use of many symbols, make Revelation a particularly tough book.

For the new believer, one of the gospel accounts in the new testament would be a good place to start. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were disciples of Jesus, and these books documented the things that they knew about, or were eyewitnesses to. Out of these, the book most recommended as a place to start would be the Gospel of John.

Jesus Christ is the central figure in the entire Bible, and the One that that our personal salvation depends upon so. It would be good to read about the things He said and did so you can determine just who Jesus is.

Calvary Chapel places great importance in the practice of expository teaching, a "verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book" approach to teaching the Bible. Expository preaching is a form of preaching that details the meaning of a particular text or passage of Scripture. It explains what the Bible means by what it says.

5. The Bible Project Videos can be really helpful

The Bible Project developers, feeling that study of the Bible can be overly daunting because of it's size, are creating free videos and study resources that explore the narratives of the Bible, book by book. They are also developing "Theme Videos" which explore various themes like the Messiah, Heaven and Earth, etc.The videos use clever, easy to follow graphics to explain many major Bible themes.This non-profit work is a "work in process" being developed as funds come in. I encourage you to view this short video.

Bible Project Website

Bible Project YouTube Channel

6. Extra Credit

- Seeing our Current World Through the Lens of Bible Prophecy -

Pastor JD Farag is of Arab descent who has a church on the Hawaii Island of Oahu. For years now, Pastor Farag, sensing that we are living in the "end times" has posted a weekly "Mid-East Prophecy Update. These updates are posted on Sunday evenings and I have found them to be very informative as to the changes in our world. Pastor Farag scours various new sources and presents them in an easy to understand manner.

Viewers will be amazed at to all that is going on that you don't hear about through "mainstream media" and how these events line up with Bible Prophecy.

Pastor Farag's YouTube Channel

Pastor's webpage

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