How to Study the Bible and Find Truth
Lorraine Day, M.D.
The Bible is the one and only Book God has given us to reveal: who God is, the essence of His character, His relationship to and with us, His great love for us, His ability to heal us AND the requirements necessary for healing.
The Bible explains how the world came into being and how it keeps going. It is the only Book which tells us how we may understand the world. It tells us where we came from, what our purpose is for being here, where we go when we die (it's not what most people think) and the future resurrection of the dead. It tells us the origin of sin which susbsequently led to disease and death and how Jesus conquered sin, disease and death for us by His death on the Cross. The Bible reveals that by His death, Jesus became the Saviour of ALL mankind (1 Tim 4:10).
The Bible not only explains God, it explains the entire world in which we live, it explains not only things that are right, but things that are wrong.
The Bible discusses, in Psalm 53:1, those who don't believe in God at present: "The fool has said in his heart, There is no God."
The Bible is the ONLY Book that has the solution for EVERY problem in life!
When we pray, we talk to God. When we study the Bible, it is God talking to us. You must come to the Bible with a totally different attitude from the attitude with which you read other books. Spiritual things are spiritually discerned (understood). You cannot "reason out" the Bible. God must open your eyes and your heart so you can SEE (understand) Truth.
So begin reading and ask God to be with you. It doesn't matter whether or not you understand every word. As you read the Bible more and more, it will become clearer and more understandable to you.
1) To begin with, which Bible should I use?
There are many different translations of the Bible, but virtually ALL contain errors in translation.
2) Isn't the King James Version the "purest" translation?
No, not necessarily. The King James Version contains errors just as all the other popular translations contain errors. In fact, some of the specific passages in the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and the New International Version (NIV), which are thought to be translated incorrectly by most Christians, are actually corrections of mistranslated passages in the King James Version. Theologians debate about which original set of Bible manuscripts is the most accurate. But that is rarely the problem because all original manuscripts are the same with the exception of 1% - 2% of their content. The real problems arise with the translators - who translate errors into all the various versions of the Bible. For example, the word hell does not appear in any of the original manuscripts yet ALL the Bible versions contain the word hell. The correct word is grave, or even more accurately the unseen, yet the translators insist on perpetuating the erroneous notion of a burning hellfire, a false doctrine that every denomination embraces..
3) If virtually ALL of the Bible versions contain errors in translation, how can we know what is right? If the Bible is the Word of God, wouldn't God protect His Word?
God certainly would, and God certainly has protected His Word. But the protection is NOT in the various popular translated versions available today. The pure Word of God is found in the original text, the original Scriptures written in Hebrew and Greek. It is those manuscripts that have been magnificently and Divinely protected.
For example, in 1947 the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in a series of caves in Qumran in the area of the Dead Sea in Palestine, the area that is now called Israel. These scrolls comprise, among other things, the oldest copies of the Bible in existence and include a well-preserved copy of the entire book of Isaiah -- the oldest copy of an Old Testament book ever to be discovered. Fragments of every Biblical book except the book of Esther were found among the scrolls, as well as many other non-Biblical texts. These manuscripts, at the time of their discovery, were at least a thousand years older than the then-oldest-known Hebrew manuscripts of the Bible.
Until the discoveries at Qumran, the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Scriptures were copies from the 9th and 10th centuries AD by a group of Jewish scribes called the Massoretes. Now we have manuscripts around a thousand years older than those. The amazing truth is that these very old manuscripts are almost identical to the manuscripts from the 9th and 10th centuries AD, showing God's care in watching over His Word.
It is the original Scriptures to which we must return for a study of God's Word in truth.
4) But I'm not a Greek or Hebrew scholar. How could I possibly make use of the original Greek and Hebrew texts?
You don't have to be a Greek or Hebrew scholar to study the original Scriptures. We live in the golden age of resources for Bible study. Remember, the Bible says that in the last days ". . . knowledge will be increased. . . " (Dan 12:4) and so it is. Interlinear translations are readily available which contain the Bible written in the original Hebrew and Greek, with the English words directly under the Hebrew or Greek words. Furthermore, each word is numbered so its definition can be obtained by looking up that number in a Concordance such as Strong's Concordance or Young's Concordance, books that are available through every Christian book store.
WARNING: Please note that the definitions in the various Concordances, such as Young's or Strong's, are based on the usage of the individual words in the King's James Version of the Bible. Therefore, if the translators of the King James Version of the Bible were incorrect in their usage of a particular word, that error will be continued in the definitions given in the Concordances.
The BEST Bible translation I have found is the Concordant Translation. (This is a literal translation of the Bible, different from the Concordances spoken of in the previous paragraph, which are alphabetical listings of the words used in the Bible, with their definitions.)
The Concordant Translation, in my opinion, is the truest to the Original Scriptures. Rather than the translators "interpreting" the various passages for the readers, which is what has been done in ALL the other Versions, the translators instead translate the Bible "as it reads" in the Original, and allow the Spirit of God to teach the individual reader its meaning.
"The word Concordant means 'agreeing, correspondent, harmonious, consonant' (Webster's Third International Dictionary). It was the purpose of the compiler to make a translation that agreed as closely as possible to the original language of the Scriptures, and yet also one that was presented in readable English. . . Though absolute consistency cannot be achieved in the making of a readable English translation, the Concordant Literal New Testament, by being "harmonious" with the Original, keeps to a minimum the confusion resulting from translating different Greek words with the same English word.
"An example of distinguishing scriptural words in translation is the way in which the word love has been used in English versions. Often the verb love stands for two different Greek verbs, phileo and agapao. Concordantly, however, phileo is rendered be fond (with the idiomatic variants -- kiss and friend), and agapao is rendered love (with the alternate -- beloved).
This Version is also literal in the sense that it follows the word order and sentence structure of the early Greek manuscripts more than do most other translations." (Concordant Literal Testament, Concordant Publishing Concern 1983, Introduction)
The entire New Testament and many books of the Old Testament are available in the Concordant Translation from the Concordant Publishing Concern, 15570 Knochaven, Santa Clarita, CA 91350, Phone: 661-252-2112 or visit www.concordant.org
5) Now I'm thoroughly confused. What version of the Bible should I use?
I use several versions of the Bible. The two I use the most are the King James Version and the Concordant Version. I also keep close at hand, my Interlinear version. This allows me to read first in the commonly accepted version, the King James, then affirm or modify the specific words by checking with the Concordant and the Interlinear versions.
If you are a beginner, you may wish to start with the New International Version (NIV) as it is written in easier-to-read English. However, never lose sight of the fact that there are many errors in this version. Use the Concordant Version along with the NIV to check the translation of the passage you are reading so you will not be misled.
When you pray before you begin to study God's Word, which is ALWAYS necessary as God is the ONLY One who can open your mind so you can understand His Word, He "will guide you into ALL truth" (John 16:13) as He has promised. We all might wander around a little before we find the Truth, but God is just teaching us patience. If we persevere in our study, we will ALWAYS ultimately arrive at Truth!
But whatever you do, DON'T buy a Bible with "Study Helps" in it. Those "Study Helps" are notes written by a human being telling YOU what to believe about what the Bible says! You want GOD to interpret the Bible for you, through His Spirit impressing you as you read, study and pray. You DON'T want the interpretations of another human being.
It's good to get together with others to study the Bible. But your final beliefs should be decided in your study ALONE with God!
Where Should I begin Studying the Bible?
At the beginning in Genesis?
No. My advice is to start in the book of John, the fourth book in the New Testament. The book of John was written by the disciple that was probably the closest to Jesus and understood Him the best of any of His followers. All four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, tell about the life of Christ from four different perspectives. Study them carefully.
As you read, concentrate on the character of Jesus: How did He treat sinners, such as the adulterous woman? How did He treat His enemies when they crucified Him? How did He treat women? How did He treat the outcasts?
Look closely at the healings He performed. What was the main requirement necessary for a person to be healed?
Also note that Jesus was never worried, never hurried, never anxious, and never confused. He was always at peace because He came to reveal the EXACT character of God, the Father. Jesus said, "I and My Father are One." (John 10:30) "If you've seen Me, you've seen the Father."(John 14:9)
Jesus was God in human form. The character Jesus exhibited on earth is EXACTLY the character of God. How many people did Jesus kill when He was on earth? How many people did He hurt? These are VERY important questions to ponder.
Jesus came NOT to do His OWN will, but His Father's will. (John 6:38) It must be the same with us. We must give up our right to ourselves and let God make ALL our decisions. Give Him your troubles, your sorrow and your pain. He has promised to be your Plan-maker, your Problem-solver, your Physician and your Saviour.
An excellent daily devotional book in addition to the Bible, is "My Utmost for His Highest" by Oswald Chambers can be ordered through our online bookstore or through Spencer Publishing, P.O. Box 1396, Palm Desert, CA 9226l.\
How Can I Understand the Bible?
An example of
How to Study the Bible and Find Truth
John, Chapter 20
Most Christians have never really studied the Bible on their own. If they study the Bible at all, they depend on their pastor or their Bible study teacher to help them find the truth. Most read the Bible with little understanding, without “mining” the depths of the riches in each verse.
The only reason we are all here on this earth is to learn to TRUST the Lord with everything in our life. But what does that require?
We are told that we must “Search” the Scriptures that we will only find Jesus when we “search for Him with ALL our heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
This Study is an example of the vast amount of information that can be obtained from studying a single Chapter in the Bible. In the Twentieth Chapter of the gospel of John - in just 31 verses - we will find valuable information on the following issues that are critical for our salvation:
1. Faith: Believing is Seeing. Faith means that one believes without seeing.
2. What is necessary in order to understand God’s Word.
3. Is the Trinity doctrine true or false?
4. Why Jesus referred to Himself as the “Son” of God.
5. When John entered the empty tomb after Jesus’ resurrection, he said he “believed.” Just what did John “believe”?
6. Thomas and the Christians of today.
7. What is eonian life? And why has it been mistranslated as Eternal life?
8. Universal Restoration God will save ALL mankind!
9. If we have “Free Will” then God is dethroned.
10. Jesus was resurrected on the Seventh-day Sabbath Saturday NOT on Sunday the first day of the week.
11. Jesus resurrected Himself.
12. The memorial of Jesus’ death and resurrection is Baptism NOT the keeping of Sunday as a day of worship.
13. No one goes to heaven (or hell) after death.
14. God will make us perfect - on this earth! through reaping what we have sown.
15. How Jesus treated women.
16. Only God can forgive sins.
And this is only the beginning. Every verse and chapter in the Bible is full of information for those who are wiling to spend the time in Bible study and prayer to unearth these treasures.
Some believe that if they are “John 3:16” Christians, that is the only text that they need to know. But God gave us the entire Bible and tells us to
“Study to show thyself approved unto God; a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
The only reason we are all on this earth is to learn to KNOW God and to learn to TRUST Him with everything in our life.
Occasionally, people ask, “Is this information necessary for my salvation?” How narrow-minded that is and an insult to Jesus Christ.
When you fall in love with someone, you want to know everything about that person. If a Christian has truly fallen in love with Jesus, he or she will want to know everything there is to know about Him, His life, and His character.
And that is the only way we can become like Him.
By beholding (Jesus) we become changed (into His image).
“But we all, with open face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the spirit (breath) of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
John, Chapter 20
The Sanctity of the Seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath the day Jesus was resurrected (NOT Sunday).
1 Now on one of the Sabbaths, Miriam Magdalene is coming to the tomb in the morning, there being still darkness, and is observing the stone taken away from the door of the tomb.
This passage is incorrectly translated in ALL the versions of the Bible in the following way:
“The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulcher, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulcher.
“One of the Sabbaths” is the true rendering of this verse. The usual “first day of the week” is absolutely devoid of scriptural evidence. There were seven Sabbaths between Passover and Pentecost (Penta = 50 days). The phrase one of the Sabbaths, refers to one of those seven Sabbaths
The Greek word sabbaton appears 68 times in the New Testament. Fifty-nine times it is translated “Sabbath.” The other 9 times (including this one) it is arbitrarily and incorrectly translated first day of the week. The translators have deliberately changed the words according to their preconceived theological beliefs to support Sunday-keeping as a memorial of Christ’s death and resurrection.
But this is clearly unbiblical.
The Seventh-day (Saturday) IS the Lord’s day.
Jesus said, “The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:28)
Jesus kept the Sabbath when He was on earth on the Seventh day of the week - Saturday. And Jesus was NOT a Jew. Jesus was God - and God is NOT Jewish.
The words first day of the week NEVER appear in the Bible. Those words have been incorrectly written in by the translators in these NINE places including the SIX times that refer to the day of Jesus’ resurrection.
Jesus was resurrected on the Seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath NOT on Sunday.
The Memorial of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection is - - Baptism (NOT Sunday-keeping)
The Bible tells us that the memorial of Jesus’ death and resurrection is Baptism by immersion. Jesus was baptized by John, the Baptist, by immersion in the Jordan River. The Greek word baptismo means immersion. It does not mean to be “sprinkled.”
“Know ye not, that as many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
“Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death; that just as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (zoe).” Romans 6:3,4
Conclusion: The translators changed the words of the Bible to suit their own theological beliefs the FALSE doctrine of Sunday-keeping in the “Christian” Church.
The Seventh-day (Saturday) Sabbath IS the Lord’s day and the day that Jesus kept when He was on earth. Jesus’ death and resurrection is to be memorialized by the rite of Baptism by Immersion NOT by Sunday-keeping. There is NOWHERE in the Bible that we are told to worship on Sunday the pagan day of Sun-worship!
For more complete information on this subject, see “Was Jesus Really Resurrected on Sunday?” at my website www.goodnewsaboutgod.com! There is also an explanation as to why the passage reads, “On ONE of the Sabbaths. . .”
Why did John believe that Jesus had been resurrected (rather than that His body had been stolen)?
2 Then she (Mary Magdalene) runneth and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved (speaking of John, the author of the gospel of John), and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulcher, and we don’t know where they have laid Him.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple (John) and went to the sepulcher (tomb)
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple (John) did outrun Peter; and came first to the sepulcher.
5 And stooping down, and looking in, he saw the swathings (linen clothes) lying there; But he did not enter.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulcher; and seeth the linen clothes (swathings) lie.
“There is a blessed contrast between the resurrection of Lazarus and the vivification of our Lord. Lazarus saw corruption. Christ saw none. Lazarus was raised bound foot and hand with grave clothes and his face was covered with a handkerchief. These are the signs of mortality and corruption. These are the symbols of weakness. Our Lord was raised in power. His feet were free, His hands untrammeled, His face uncovered. He had the power to take up His life again. He had the power to remove the grave clothes and roll aside the stone. He is not merely the Resurrection, but He IS the Life!” Concordant Commentary, pg 173
7 And the handkerchief (face cloth) that was on His head, not lying with the linen clothes (swathings), but was folded up in a place by itself.
8 Then went in also that other disciple (John) which came first to the sepulcher, and he saw and believed.
The question is: What did John believe?
Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John all believed that Jesus’ body was not in the tomb. Mary Magdalene believed that Jesus’ body had been removed from the tomb and taken somewhere else.
John is telling us in this passage that he believed that Jesus had been resurrected from the dead not that the dead body of Jesus’ had been removed from the tomb.
What was it that caused John to believe that Jesus had been resurrected?
On the previous evening, Friday before sundown, after Jesus had died on the cross, Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus the Pharisee, came for the body of Jesus, to bury Him.
“And after this Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus
“And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight (approximately 75 lbs in present-day measure)
“Then they took the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen strips with the spices as the manner of the Judeans (believers in God) is to bury.” John 19:38-40
The body of Jesus was wound about with linen strips soaked with the 75 lbs of myrrh and aloes. Myrrh is an antiseptic and a deodorant. Aloe, a sticky clear substance, was used for embalming. And when the sticky aloe dried, it created a mummy-like case around the body.
John saw that the mummy case was intact, and Jesus was gone. The only opening was for the area of the face, which had just been covered by a handkerchief. The body of Jesus could not have been stolen out of the mummy case unless it had been cut, which apparently it was not.
Therefore, John realized the dead body of Jesus had NOT been stolen. Instead John believed that Jesus had to have been miraculously resurrected, and his glorified body had come right through the mummy case without it having been opened, just as He later was able to come through walls and closed doors.
“John saw and believed. . .”
John believed in the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
9 “For as yet they did not understand the scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.”
11 But Mary stood outside the sepulcher weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulcher.
12 And she saw two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
“Mary Magdalene, probably from the town of Magdala, had been possessed with seven demons. The Lord healed her and she became part of that elect, devoted, company of women who dispensed to Him of their possessions. (Luke 8:2,3). She seems to have been among the last to leave the tomb, after witnessing where Joseph of Arimathea had laid Him. Along with some of the other women she seems to have been at the tomb very early, in order to complete the preparation of His body for burial.
“Peter and John seemed to have left her. She does not take a look and leave. She lingers, and her faith is regarded by the unspeakable boon of being first to behold the risen Christ. Peter and John, when they looked, saw the grave clothes. Mary Magdalene saw the angels, but is not satisfied with anyone but her Lord.” Ibid.
Peter and John had also been in the tomb, but neither one of them saw the angels. Mary Magdalene was such a devoted follower of Jesus, she could not leave the tome as the disciples had done. She was the only one who seemed to have prior understanding that Jesus was going to die, which she demonstrated by pouring the expensive oil on his feet several days before, at Simon the Leper’s house, “preparing Him” for His burial.
13 And they say unto her, Woman, why are you weeping? She said unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have laid Him.
14 And when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but did not know it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said unto her, Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek? She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said unto Him, Sir, if you have taken Him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take Him away.
16 Jesus said unto her, “Mary.” She turned herself, and said unto Him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master (Teacher).
What a world of pathos lies within the range of the human voice! There was no need to tell her Who He was, once He had caressed her name as He only could intone it. “Mary!” (“Miriam!”) And immediately she recognizes the voice of her beloved Lord and Teacher.” Ibid.
She recognized the voice of Jesus because she had learned to know Him so well, and because He had delivered her from the bondage of seven demons. She had been totally lost and Jesus had saved her!
In order to recognize God’s voice when He speaks to us, we must know Him as Mary Magdalene knew Jesus.
She is the one to whom Jesus showed Himself first, after His resurrection, a woman! A woman who had been possessed by devils! He did not show Himself first to His disciples, because they had not yet understood Christ with the Spiritual intimacy that Mary understood.
For the disciples, that would come later after Pentecost.
17 Jesus said unto her, Do not detain Me; for I am not yet ascended to My Father; but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto My Father, and your Father: and to My God, and Your God.
No one goes to heaven (or hell) after they die. They rest in the tomb dead knowing nothing.
Jesus was resurrected in His body (the tomb was empty) but He had NOT yet ascended to His Father.
This is an important doctrinal point. Jesus did NOT go to heaven immediately when He died. When He was resurrected, He was “wearing” His body now a glorified body and He had NOT yet ascended to heaven.
This shows us that when a person dies, he does NOT go to heaven or hell. The Bible is very clear that “the dead know NOTHING” (Ecclesiastes 9:5). Jesus, Himself, said that death is a sleep “Lazarus is sleeping. Lazarus is dead.” (John 11:11,14).
In fact, there are at least 25 texts that prove that NO ONE goes to heaven or hell when he or she dies. Everyone who dies is asleep in the grave until the resurrection. Please see, “What Happens When We Die?” at www.goodnewsaboutgod.com
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things unto her.
Jesus tells Mary, a woman previously possessed by seven devils, to go tell His disciples all men that Jesus has risen from the dead, and she has seen Him.
Why Jesus called Himself the “Son of God.”
Jesus was and is - God in human form. God is Invisible. Jesus is the Visible form of God the form in which humanity can actually SEE Him. Jesus referred to Himself as the “Son” of God because, as seen in verse 17, He came to earth as a human being, to walk OUR walk, to show us who He is, to show us who God is. Jesus came in OUR human form, as a “Son” of God because WE are sons and daughters of God to show us that if WE remain in constant communication with God, we can also lead a pure Christian life as Jesus did.
God will make us Perfect on this earth!
We eventually will be Perfect, because when Jesus lives in us, and He is making ALL the decisions in our life we WILL be perfect.
“You SHALL be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is Perfect.” (Matthew 5:48 literal translation.)
Of course, it’s not a mystery why the disciples did not believe this woman whom they had, just a week before, criticized for “wasting” her money on the expensive ointment with which she anointed Jesus, the woman who Simon the leper viewed as beneath them all.
“It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
“And their words seemed to them (the disciples) as idle tales, and they did NOT believe them.” (Luke 24:10,11)
How Jesus treated women
But look how Jesus treated her, this woman considered by society as the lowliest of all. After His resurrection from the dead, after accomplishing the greatest feat in the history of the Universe the redemption of ALL mankind (1 Timothy 4:10) - He revealed Himself to her first!
Just look how Jesus treated women! With the greatest love, kindness, and respect.
19 Then the same day at evening, being one of the Sabbaths (again, incorrectly and deliberately - mistranslated “being the first day of the week”), when the doors were locked where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you.
Notice again, the deliberate mistranslation of the word “Sabbath” which has been changed to “first day of the week” to support the worship of God on Sunday the pagan day of Sun worship.
The “Organized Church” was persecuting the true believers in Jesus Christ
Also notice that the disciples were assembled in the upper room and had locked the doors, because they were afraid of the leaders (and the followers) of the Organized Church of the day the Pharisees who ran the synagogue system identified by Jesus as the Synagogue of Satan. ALL the followers of Christ had left the Organized Church of the day. And it was the leaders of the Organized Church the Pharisees and their followers in the synagogues who had murdered Christ, and wanted to murder His followers too.
Jesus, in His glorified body, was able to come through the locked door. Before His death, Jesus referred to Himself as “flesh and blood.” After His resurrection, He used the words “flesh and bone.” Clearly, His resurrected body worked on a different principle than ours does.
We will recognize each other in heaven
But Jesus was recognized by all who had known Him BEFORE His death and resurrection, except when He purposely did not allow either the disciples on the Road to Emmaus or Mary Magdalene, to recognize Him at first.
This should be ample proof to those who incorrectly believe that people in heaven and the new earth will not recognize each other. Everyone will be recognizable.
20 And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father has sent Me, even so send I you
22 And when He had said this, He breathed (actual word = exhales) on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Breath of Holiness (deliberately mistranslated as “Holy Spirit”).
The “Trinity” is a FALSE Doctrine. The “Holy Spirit” is NOT a being.
The “Holy Spirit” is NOT a “being.” Therefore there is no such thing as the Trinity.
There is ONE God. God is Invisible. Col 1:15
Jesus is the Visible form (image) of the Invisible God. Col. 1:15
“Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is ONE Lord.” Deuteronomy 6:4
“Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” Isaiah 45:22
God breathed Physical breath into Adam, and “Adam became a living soul.” Adam’s body needed physical breath to become alive.
God breathes physical breath into us so we can have Physical Life (psuche in the Greek). That breath must circulate to every cell in our body for us to stay alive physically.
When we no longer have physical breath we are dead physically.
God breathes spiritual breath (pneuma - as in pneumonia mistranslated “spirit”) into us so we can have Spiritual Life (zoe in the Greek). That Spiritual breath must also circulate throughout our spiritual life for us to say alive spiritually.
When we no longer have God’s breath of Holiness, we are dead Spiritually.
This text says, “God breathed on them, and said “Receive the Breath (of holiness).” He did NOT say, “Receive the Spirit.” The word “spirit” is a deliberate mistranslation to suggest that each person has a ghost-like “spirit” in himself that wafts off to heaven when he dies.
This is not true. When a person dies, he is in the grave, asleep, not knowing anything until either the First resurrection - when Jesus comes, or the Second resurrection - after the millennium.
The doctrine of the “Holy Spirit” and the “Trinity” are both false.
(For more information on the “Holy Spirit” see www.goodnewsaboutgod.com)
23 If you should be forgiving anyone’s sins, they have been forgiven them. If anyone’s you should be holding, they are “held.” (Concordant literal translation)
In virtually ALL the versions of the Bible, this text is mistranslated in the following way:
“Whose soever sins you forgive, they are forgiven unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.”
Human beings (“man”) CANNOT forgive sins
This mistranslation is used by the Catholic church, the Lutheran church, and possibly other denominations, to support the idea of Confession to a priest, pastor, or other human being, rather than Confession to God. This mistranslation implies that MAN can forgive sins and God will go along with whatever “man” does.
This false doctrine makes “man” into God - because God does whatever “man” tells Him to do.
But instead, the text means that when we are one with God we will have “the mind of God” and will pray that God’s will be done NOT our own will. We will understand that God forgives the sins of the truly penitent sinner. We can assure the repenting sinner that God has already forgiven him.
Jesus was crucified by the Jews because He claimed to be able to forgive sins. The Jews knew that “man” could not forgive sins. But because the Jews did NOT accept Jesus as the Messiah, they accused Him of blasphemy Jesus claiming to be God on earth.
At least the Jews knew that “man” cannot forgive sins, something that many of the “Christian” denominations (such as the Catholics and Lutherans) seem to have forgotten.
Thomas had NO faith just like the majority of today’s Christians
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Thomas had no faith. Having Faith means that one Believes without having seen.
“Faith is the assumption of things expected; the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Having Faith means that one Believes that Jesus WILL do ALL that He has promised.
If you do not believe the following, then you do NOT believe in God!
Do you believe that God WILL:
Save EVERYONE? Acts 3:21; 1 Tim 4:10; 1 Tim 2:1-6; Rev 21:4,5; John 3:35 and John 6:37-39; Phil 2:10,11, 1 John 3:8; Romans 8:19-23
Make EVERYONE perfect? Matthew 5:48 (literal translation)
Heal EVERYONE who believes? Acts 16:31 (Check on the meaning of the Greek word “sozo.” It means to heal PHYSICALLY and to heal SPIRITUALLY.)
Heal ALL our diseases? Ps 103:3; Jeremiah 30:17; Exodus 23:25; Exodus 15:26
Keep us FREE from EVERY disease? Deut 7:11-15
Sustain us financially? Phil 4:19; Luke 12:24; Ps 84:11; Matthew 6:32; Luke 12:28-30; Deut 29:9; 2 Chron 26:5
Provide our food and water? Luke 12:24; Phil 4:19; Luke 12:20
Save our children? Isaiah 49:25
Teach us DIRECTLY? 1 John 2:26,27; Isa 54:13; John 6:45;
Lead us into ALL truth? John 16:13
Never forsake us or ANYONE else? Heb 13:5
Direct EVERY moment of our lives and tell us exactly what HE wants us to do? Phil 2:13; Jer 10:23; Prov 3:6; Isa 45:13
Answer ALL our prayers? Ps 34:17; Jer 33:3; Psalm 55:17; Isa 65:24; Psalm 91:15; 2 Chron 7:14; Matthew 21:22; Luke 11:10; 1 John 5:14
Give us peace so we can “be anxious for NOTHING”? Phil 4:7; John 14:27; Prov 3:24;
Give us understanding of His end-time prophecies? 1 Thess 5:1-9; Rev 1:3; John 13:1
Sustain us through terrible torture and possible death? Hebrews 11:32-40; Heb 13:5
Sustain us through terrible torture and possible death of our children? Heb 11:32-40; Heb 13:5
Be able to save the most wicked, wretched individual who has ever lived on this earth? Hebrews 7:25; Romans 5:20; Psalm 103:3
Without FAITH - - - - -
“Without faith (belief) it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God; for he that comes to God MUST BELIEVE that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6
“Anything is possible if you have faith (belief).” Mark 9:23
“Now the just (righteous) shall live by faith (belief). And if ANY man draw back, My soul shall have no pleasure in Him.” Hebrews 10:38
“Faith (belief) comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
26 And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being locked, and stood in the midst and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then said He to Thomas, Reach your finger here and behold my hands; and reach your hand here, and thrust it into My side, and be not faithless (unbelieving), but believe.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto Him, My Lord and My God.
29 Jesus said unto him, Thomas, because you have SEEN Me, you have believed; Blessed are they that have NOT seen, and yet have believed.
Thomas did NOT have faith. He believed ONLY after He had seen. Faith means one believes WITHOUT having seen.
Jesus, realizing that Thomas did not accept Jesus’ resurrection by faith, gave him the opportunity to see for himself so Thomas could accept Jesus “by sight.”
Both Thomas and Paul accepted Jesus by sight not faith. Thomas had to put his finger in the nail prints in Jesus’ hand and the scar in His side, before he would believe.
Paul did not accept Jesus by Faith. Paul SAW Jesus on the Road to Damascus, when the glorified, risen Jesus stood right in front of Paul, then blinded Paul and spoke to him.
Paul and Thomas represent those who will accept Christ only after they have seen Him, after the Second resurrection, at the Great White Throne Judgment after the millennium.
Those who will be resurrected in the First resurrection at the time of Jesus’ Second Coming, will have accepted Him by Faith without having seen Jesus in person.
“. . . God is the Saviour of ALL mankind, especially of those who believe (especially of those who have faith who believe without having seen).” 1 Timothy 4:10
Universal Restoration: God will save ALL mankind
God will save ALL mankind, everyone who has ever lived on this earth, but only after each person has reaped what he has sown.
“God will not be mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)
God will save those who believe (those who have faith who believe now, without seeing) and also those who at the present time do NOT believe, (those who will accept Jesus only after they have seen Him at the Great White Throne Judgment after the Second Resurrection).
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book
31 But these are written that you should be believing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that, believing, you may have life (zoe) in His name.
There are two Greek words translated life: psuche and zoe. The Greek word psuche (# 5590 in Strong’s Concordance) refers to the physical life we live on this earth. The Greek word zoe (# 2222 in Strong’s Concordance) does NOT refer to a physical life that is permanent what Christian theology refers to as eternal life.
What is Eonian Life
The Greek word zoe refers to Spiritual life the life of Christ in us eonian life. This is the life that Paul writes about in many passages, including the following:
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I, but Christ lives in Me.” Galatians 2:20
The Greek word for life used in John 20:31 is zoe (#2222 in Strong’s Concordance) means eonian life, but it is constantly mistranslated as eternal life, meaning a physical life that lasts forever. That is an incorrect translation and interpretation of that word.
The Greek word for lives in Galatians 2:20 is zao (#2198 in Strong’s Concordance meaning to live) a word derived from #2222 (zoe).
The words eternal, forever, and eternity are NEVER found in the Bible. The Greek word is eonian, which is the Greek word used with the Greek word zoe.
For more information on this subject, please see “Does “Forever” Mean Forever” at www.goodnewsaboutgod.com)
As can be seen by this Study, Christians read the Bible. Very few study the Bible an exercise that is absolutely necessary in order to understand the great truths of God’s Word.
Study to show thyself approved unto God; a workman that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
You will seek Me and you will find Me (but ONLY) when you search for Me with ALL your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
He that cometh to God must believe that HE IS (that He exists) and that He is a REWARDER of them that diligently seek Him. (Heb 11:6)
Call to Me and I WILL answer you and show you great and mighty things that you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
To KNOW God (and everything that is possible to know about Him) is Life Eternal (Eonian meaning that we become LIKE Him. We will exhibit the character of God.) John 17:3
We are only safe to save when we exhibit the character of God. And the ONLY way we can exhibit the character of God is to get to KNOW Him by daily fervent prayer and the diligent study of His Word.
Hermeneutics and Exegesis:Biblical Hermeneutics is the study of principles of interpretation of the books of the Bible.
What do these terms mean? Are they important?
Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text.
Biblical exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of the Bible. The goal of Biblical exegesis is to find the meaning of the text that then leads to discovering its significance or relevance.
Traditionally the term exegesis was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible. However in contemporary usage exegesis has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text. The term is most often used for religious texts although it can be used for non-religious texts as well.
The critical aspects of exegesis cover a wide range of disciplines.
Textual criticism is the investigation into the history and origins of the text. In addition there is an examination of the historical and cultural backgrounds for the author, the text, and the original audience. Then there is a classification of the types of literary genre present in the text, and an analysis of grammatical and syntactical features in the text itself.
Sometimes the terms exegesis and hermeneutics have been used interchangeably. However, hermeneutics is a more widely defined discipline of interpretation theory. Hermeneutics includes the entire framework of the interpretative process, encompassing all forms of communication: written, verbal and nonverbal. Exegesis consists of interpretation principles that focus primarily on the written text.
How to Interpret the Bible
1. All Scripture is inspired by God. (All Scripture is God-breathed) 2 Timothy 3:16
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed) and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. . .” 3 Timothy 3:16
To inspire means “to take in a breath.” All Scripture is God-breathed, meaning it was given to the authors of the Bible by God’s Breath of Holiness (routinely mistranslated in the Bible as “Holy Spirit” or even worse “Holy Ghost!”)
God breathes physical breath into us to keep us alive physically, and He breathes Spiritual breath into us through our diligent Bible study and prayer to keep us alive Spiritually.
2. The authors who wrote the Scriptures were inspired by God by His “Breath of Holiness” (mistranslated “Holy Spirit) 2 Peter 1:21
“For the prophecy came not in any time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were move by God’s Breath of Holiness (incorrectly translated “Holy Ghost”) 2 Peter 1:21
3. Inspired Scriptures are spiritually understood. Discernment is given to the reader by the same Breath of Holiness (God’s Breath of Holiness) that inspired the authors of the Bible. 1 Cor 2:14 A person cannot approach the Scriptures as he approaches a textbook of physics or literature. Without God opening the mind and heart, a person cannot understand the Scriptures.
“But the natural (soulish the person who only understands by his five senses) man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they (spiritual things) are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor 2:14
In order to understand the Scriptures, we must be filled with the same “Breath of holiness” (the character and disposition of Jesus Christ) that filled the authors of the books of the Bible when God inspired them to write them.
4.Sense knowledge vs. Revelation knowledge. Sense knowledge is understood through the five senses: sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell. This results in only a literal interpretation of the Bible. Revelation knowledge comes only from God opening our mind and heart so we can understand His Word. We will have Spiritual understanding.
The whole process of Sanctification involves God taking us from the physical (literal) to the Spiritual, so we can see what is happening in the world and in our own life from God’s point of view.
5. Scripture unlocks Scripture and must be understood by cross reference Bible study. Isa 28:9-12
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are just weaned from the milk and just draw from the breasts.
“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little;
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak in this people.
To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest: and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” Isa 28:9-12
The Scriptures must be studied by topic. We must study ALL the texts in the Bible that pertain to a particular subject in order to find the Truth of the Bible on that topic.
6. All Scripture forms the “Web of Truth,” having One Source, not contradicting itself. 2 Timothy 3:16
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed) and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”
All the doctrinal precepts one believes in must “fit.” For example: The Organized Church teaches that God is a loving God, but also teaches that He this same God will burn forever (or as long as they deserve) the majority of ALL who He has created.
That doesn’t “fit.” So, more in-depth study is obviously needed for those who believe that to be true.
7. “Hermeneutic Principles” must be derived from the Bible itself. 1 Cor. 3:11
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Cor 3:11
Precept No. 23 (below) is an example of this statement.
8. Scripture and natural science, rightly understood, are God’s two books of Revelation. Ps. 19:1-4
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth His handiwork.
“Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.
“There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
“Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.
Scripture and science must agree. If they don’t, science is Wrong because God is the Author of both Scripture and science.
9. All Scripture is Christ-centered and points to the Savior. Luke 24:27
“And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them I all the scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
The Old Testament is centered on Christ NOT Israel. Jesus said,
You search the Scriptures thinking that in them you have eternal (eonian) life, but they are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39
The only Scriptures that had been written when Jesus was on earth were the Old Testament Scriptures.
And the New Testament is obviously centered on Christ.
10. Scripture was written in ancient languages. An analytical concordance, such as Strong’s Concordance is helpful.
11. The Old Testament was given to the followers of God who were at that time called Israelites. They were not Jews. They were looking forward to Jesus Christ, the Messiah, so technically they were Christians.
The word “Jew” does not appear in the Bible. It was “written in” by the Bible translators. The Hebrew word is Yehewdiy and is a derivative of the word Yehovah, showing that Yehewdiy referred to a person who worshiped Yehovah.
It was a religious distinction NOT a genetic, ethnic nor race distinction.
In the New Testament, the same principle applies. The worshipers of God were called Israelites (because Jacob’s name was changed to Israel when he gave up his life of deceit and chose to follow God) or Judahites or Judeans referring to those who worshiped the God in the temple in Jerusalem in the land of Judea as well as those who worshiped Jesus Christ who was born into the tribe of Judah.
When Jacob’s name was changed to Israel, his genes didn’t change only his “heart” changed. He became a true worshiper of Jehovah rather than having his life controlled by the one who Jesus proclaimed was “a liar from the beginning” the Adversary.
Again, the word Israelite refers to the worshipers of the true God, as opposed to the nations (mistranslated “Gentiles”) who worshiped many pagan gods.
It was a distinction based on who the person worshiped and had no relationship to genetics, ethnicity, nor race.
12. Again, the focus of the Old Testament is Jesus Christ NOT Israel.
“You search the Scriptures, thinking that in them ye have eternal (eonian the life of Christ in you) life; but they are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39
13. The word Israelite came from the Spiritual name Israel given to Jacob when he finally gave up his life of deception (Jacob means supplanter) and became “a Prince of God” at one with God and man.
14. The word Israelite means a worshiper of the true God, as opposed to the word nations (mistranslated Gentiles), meaning the ones who worshiped pagan gods.
15. The word Israelite has nothing to do with the Jews. The Jews are a “Talmudic culture” - not a race. The present day Jews are a culture NOT a race. They are the “spiritual” progeny of the Pharisees, the ones Jesus strongly rebuked calling them “vipers, synagogue of Satan, liars, and “of your father the Devil.”
16. The religion of Judaism began after the Pharisees and their followers instigated the murder of Christ by crucifixion, when the oral traditions of the Pharisees that Jesus so strongly rebuked, were finally written down and became the Talmud. The Talmud is the antithesis of the Scriptures and destroys the moral law of God and every precept that Jesus Christ taught.
17. The word church does not appear in the Bible. It has been written in by the translators. The proper word is ecclesia, a word that means the true followers of Christ. It has nothing to do with a building, officers or a hierarchy.
18. The words “first day of the week” or “Sunday” never appear in the Bible. They have been “written in” by the translators. The words are mia sabbaton and mean “one of the Sabbaths.” The words for “first day” in Greek are protos hemara which NEVER appear in the Bible.
The word usually used for week was sevens. It was NOT sabbaton which means the Sabbath NOT week.
Please see the study “Was Jesus Really Resurrected on Sunday?” at this link:
19. Historical and circumstantial settings of Bible content assist in understanding meaning.
20. Identifying the literary style or genre of a specific book of Scripture can help give correct perspective.
21. The Scriptures are written in both literal and figurative language. Matt 12:10
22. One of the most important hermeneutical principles given by the Bible itself is that the “First is always physical (literal) and the Second is always Spiritual (figurative or symbolic).” 1 Cor 15:44-49 and John, Chapter 3.
“It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power;
“It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a live-giving spirit (literal “breat”).
Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
“The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.” 1 Cor 15:44-49
Jesus said to the Pharisee, Nicodemus:
“Except a man be born again (from above) (first = physical birth and second = a spiritual birth), he cannot see (understand) the kingdom of God. . . That which is born of the flesh is flesh (physical); and that which is born (born again or born from above) of the Spirit is spirit (spiritual).
“Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again (second birth). . .
“Are you a Master of Israel, and you don’t know these things?
“If I have told you earthly (physical) things, and you don’t believe, how shall you believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? John 3 3-12
This is the biblically correct way to decide what is to be interpreted literally and what is to be interpreted Spiritually (figuratively):
The First (birth, death, temple, lamb) is ALWAYS physical and can be detected with the five senses. The Second (being born again, dying the “second” death to sin, “Your body is the temple”, the “lamb” is Christ) is ALWAYS Spiritual.
Spiritual things cannot be detected or interpreted with the five senses. They can only be understood Spiritually.
23. To find the most precise meaning of a word, one must investigate all the times a specific Greek or Hebrew word is used in the Bible to make sure that the meaning is consistent with all the times it is used.
For instance, in almost all Bible versions the Greek word hades is sometimes translated the grave and other times it is translated hell. The correct translation is the grave or more precisely the unseen. The word has nothing to do with fire. And the word hell never appears in the Bible. It has been “written in” by the translators.
24. A very useful tool: In order to look up a word or a phrase rapidly to find a text, go to the website www.blueletterbible.org and type in the word in the “search” box. But remember, you must type in the word or phrase exactly as it is used in the King James Version of the Bible, on which the search engine on that website is based,
Higher criticism treats the Bible as a text created by human beings at a particular historical time and for various human motives, in contrast with the treatment of the Bible as the inerrant word of God. Those who participate in higher criticism don’t understand the principles listed above, particularly the need to be led by God’s Breath of Holiness, the same inspiration of God that led the authors to write the books of the Bible.
The Jesus Seminar
“The Jesus Seminar is a group of about 150 individuals, including scholars with advanced degrees in biblical studies, religious studies or related fields as well as published authors who are notable in the field of religion, founded in 1985 by the late Robert Funk and John Dominic Crossan under the auspices of the Westar Institute. One of the most active groups in biblical criticism, the seminar uses votes with colored beads to decide their collective view of the historicity of Jesus, specifically what he may or may not have said and done as a historical figure. In addition, the seminar popularizes the quest for the historical Jesus. The public is welcome to attend the twice-yearly meetings. They produced new translations of the New Testament and apocrypha to use as textual sources. They published their results in three reports The Five Gospels (1993), The Acts of Jesus (1998), and The Gospel of Jesus (1999). They also run a series of lectures and workshops in various U.S. cities.
The seminar's reconstruction of the historical Jesus portrays him as an itinerant Hellenistic Jewish sage who did not die as a substitute for sinners nor rise from the dead, but preached a "social gospel" in startling parables and aphorisms. An iconoclast, Jesus broke with established Jewish theological dogmas and social conventions both in his teachings and behaviors, often by turning common-sense ideas upside down, confounding the expectations of his audience: He preached of "Heaven's imperial rule" (traditionally translated as "Kingdom of God") as being already present but unseen; he depicts God as a loving father; he fraternizes with outsiders and criticizes insiders.
The seminar treats the gospels as historical artifacts, representing not only some of Jesus' actual words and deeds but also the inventions and elaborations of the early Christian community and of the gospel authors. The fellows placed the burden of proof on those who advocate any passage's historicity. Unconcerned with canonical boundaries, they asserted that the Gospel of Thomas may have more authentic material than the Gospel of John.
While analyzing the gospels as fallible human creations is a standard historical-critical method, the seminar's premise that Jesus did not hold an apocalyptic world view is controversial. Rather than revealing an apocalyptic eschatology, which instructs his disciples to prepare for the end of the world, the fellows argue that the authentic words of Jesus indicate that he preached a sapiential eschatology, which encourages all of God's children to repair the world.”
Source: Wikipedia online Encylopedia
Both Higher Criticism and the Jesus Seminar are focused on undermining both the inerrancy of Scripture and the fact that Jesus Christ was the Messiah. The goal of both is to remove from Scripture everything that cannot be understood with sense knowledge, since none of those involved with these two groups have any Spiritual understanding of Jesus or His Word.
An important way to study the Bible is by subject finding ALL the texts or passages on a specific subject such as “What happens when we die?” so we can understand everything the Bible says on that certain subject.
But the most important step in studying the Bible is to pray that the Lord will guide you in searching His Word, because ALL wisdom comes from God. There is NO understanding of God’s Word unless He opens our mind.