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pmer
04-29-2013, 12:34 AM
I haven't spent much time reading the Bible but have been raised a Lutheran. I'm not offering any excuses for having a dusty Bible but I'm learning that "dusty Bibles can lead to dirty lives" as a pastor in a new church I have been going to says. I've read Genisis and enjoyed the story of Joseph. And today I learned that Acts brings together the New Testament and the Old Testament and lays out or marks the start of the Church.

The trouble I have had in the past is that I start reading at page one and not get the picture or lose interest.

Are there some books of the Bible I should get to know first that would help keep the big picture in mind? Is one version or style of The Word better than another. I up to chapter 6 in Acts and am having a great time.

jmort
04-29-2013, 12:41 AM
Paul was sent specifically to us gentiles so you will get the most benefit from reading Paul's letters to the churches. He is writing to you as a member of the Body of Christ. I would recommend spending most of your time reading Paul's letters. I like the Amplified translation.
BTW - I take what the Word say literally. To each his own, but there is no Salvation without Christ's resurrection. So if I believe that "impossibility" - it is no problem for me to believe the whole Bible is true and factual.

Bzcraig
04-29-2013, 01:00 AM
I use the NIV but the New Living Translation is very easy reading, stay away from King James, English Standard and the like, they are very hard to read and understand. I agree with jmortimer, read the New Testament first as we are the New Testament Church. Understand that parts of the Bible are written literally, poetically, symbolically, wisdom writings and more. The Bible was written for us, not to us. When you look for a new bible find a good study bible which when used will give you proper context for each of the 66 books. The best advice I can give you is join a small group or bible study to help you learn much more, much faster.

Blessings Brother

Dannmann801
04-29-2013, 01:27 AM
This might sound ridiculous, but hear me out -
When I was a little boy, I was given a book "Bible Stories about Jesus"...stories for children about the life of Jesus and the parables he taught. Simply told so a kid could understand, then one picture and the related scripture was referenced.
That book was the basis for all of my later learning, study, and understanding of scripture. It remains one of my most prized possessions today. I still look at it.

Perhaps it might not be a bad thing to augment your study with a good children's bible story book...read the book, then read the Book, so to speak.

frkelly74
04-29-2013, 01:45 AM
I would suggest a set of the Christ Lite Sunday School lesson books from Northwestern Publishing House. There are lots of them and the way we use them takes you right through the Bible in an orderly fashion. There are bible references on the lessons and all the major Stories are covered and you are not bogged down with the really difficult obscure passages or long lists of Jewish laws. You also don't get into Psalms and proverbs and will have to go back to cover those after you get a good understanding of the narrative contained in the Bible. I tell my kids that the Bible is really only one story, with The Creation at the beginning and themselves at the end. You will be either a goat or a lamb.

I teach grades 5&6 and find that to be easy to understand but not too childish.

cat223
04-29-2013, 03:15 AM
My pastor introduced me to an iPhone app called "YouVersion." It's a Bible app that includes reading plans such as "read through the Bible in a year" or any topic you could think of. Many of the plans include study guides. It has helped me, for the first time in my life, to consistently daily read the Bible.

Ozone24
04-29-2013, 04:27 AM
I also have that app and it is a great way to find what you are looking for in all areas in your life. Plus I like it cause I will generally read the NIV version but allows me to read the same verse from the King James Version (that's just me.) As to where to start IMHO I would with John. Not to disagree with jmortimer because I believe that Paul is another great gospel to study however John really helps you understand Jesus as our savior and I believe that anyone looking to start reading should start there. Again that is just my opinion.

Stephen Cohen
04-29-2013, 04:48 AM
My grandad was a minister and he had the same problem with the 6th commandment I do, Mess with my family and I will break it with ease. while Im guilty of a dusty bible myself, I have always enjoyed reading Luke and Leviticus, one does not have to read fare to see how the world has gone to the dogs.

pmer
04-29-2013, 08:30 AM
I am on to thinking that this is the best question I've asked so far on CB!

Three-Fifty-Seven
04-29-2013, 08:46 AM
I personally enjoy the King James Bible ... and have read through it completely in a year many times, I started reading this version as a child of four ... not really hard to understand ...

I just got done reading I Kings, some interesting recounting of Elijah and Elisha ...

Read Exodus it is about the Hebrews following and trusting in God taking them out of Egypt into the wilderness ...

Judges recounts a lot of the battles of King David ...

I really enjoy reading both the short books of Ruth and Jonah ...

I find a lot of wisdom from Solomon (The wisest man on earth ever!) who wrote Proverbs, if you read one chapter a day from Proverbs, you will finish it in a month ... then start over, lots to glean from there ... and you will find it will help you in your daily life ... besides read some of the other books mentioned ...

The Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) let you see the Lord Jesus Christ in different lights, or perspectives ...

Paul's letters as mentioned above are to help us understand we are not perfect, and how the church should be run.

Revelation's is very graphic picture of what's to come

Wayne Smith
04-29-2013, 12:49 PM
If you are reading and enjoying Acts then read the first half. That is the book of Luke. Then, I agree, read the Gospel of John. Between the two you will get the full story of Christ.

You can't really understand Paul by just reading him, although there are some beautiful passages in his writing. His was a first class legal mind. The book of Romans is structured as a series of arguments that must be studied to be understood. Knowing background and context is essential to understanding Scripture. This requires study to do it right.

Read for the stories, study to understand. I happen to love Judges, but then I love history, too.

nagantguy
04-29-2013, 01:10 PM
A fellow traveler here when I blew the dust off my bible and started reading it a new world was opened to me love justice mercy forgiveness. It's all there you just have to ask.

wlc
04-29-2013, 01:59 PM
I guess I'm a dinosaur as I read, love and enjoy reading the King James version. I've done so all my life. If I remember correctly it is written on what is now a fifth grade reading level where many of the other translations are at a higher reading level. The New American Standard version is also pretty good and I have others that I read from time to time, but I always go back to my KJV.

The four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are good places to start to learn about the life of our Savior, Jesus. John is my personal favorite.

Bzcraig
04-30-2013, 12:25 AM
My apologies to those of you who read the KJV or ESV, I did not mean to make it sound too difficult or wrong to read. My experience was that the Elizabethin English was not common knowledge to me as an adult and discouraged me when trying to learn the discipline of Bible reading and the churches I attended did not teach from it.

My favorite reading is in the Old Testament, I love the stories! I especially see the parallels in my own life with the children of Israel.

pmer
04-30-2013, 12:38 AM
When I got home from work today we had our first pmer family Bible round up! I commanded that we go fourth into the house and find our bibles and bring them to our central gathering place (kitchen) and take account. To our surprise (to my surprise it worked) we accounted for thirteen dusty bibles, including minature new testaments with Psalms, a living bible, Luther's small Catechism, 2 story book style, NKJV, revised standard, New revised standard, New Int'l version and a Incredible bible facts book.

What followed though was a fun night of exploring and rediscovering what we allready had at our fingertips. Reading the bible stories in our kid's books and adding to the stories from the bibles. Somehow the little voice had gotten loud enough for me to hear and I'm glad it's there.

Bzcraig
04-30-2013, 12:45 AM
When I got home from work today we had our first pmer family Bible round up! I commanded that we go fourth into the house and find our bibles and bring them to our central gathering place (kitchen) and take account. To our surprise (to my surprise it worked) we accounted for thirteen dusty bibles, including minature new testaments with Psalms, a living bible, Luther's small Catechism, 2 story book style, NKJV, revised standard, New revised standard, New Int'l version and a Incredible bible facts book.

What followed though was a fun night of exploring and rediscovering what we allready had at our fingertips. Reading the bible stories in our kid's books and adding to the stories from the bibles. Somehow the little voice had gotten loud enough for me to hear and I'm glad it's there.

That is awesome pimer! I'm sure the Lord was grinning from ear to ear and said to Jesus, look what our kids are doing.

wlc
04-30-2013, 12:51 AM
My apologies to those of you who read the KJV or ESV, I did not mean to make it sound too difficult or wrong to read. My experience was that the Elizabethin English was not common knowledge to me as an adult and discouraged me when trying to learn the discipline of Bible reading and the churches I attended did not teach from it.

My favorite reading is in the Old Testament, I love the stories! I especially see the parallels in my own life with the children of Israel.

No apology needed. Read that which is easiest for you to understand. I just grew up with the KJV and still use that. The Word of God that is read is much better than the one that sits collecting dust.

outdoorfan
04-30-2013, 01:10 AM
I haven't spent much time reading the Bible but have been raised a Lutheran. I'm not offering any excuses for having a dusty Bible but I'm learning that "dusty Bibles can lead to dirty lives" as a pastor in a new church I have been going to says. I've read Genisis and enjoyed the story of Joseph. And today I learned that Acts brings together the New Testament and the Old Testament and lays out or marks the start of the Church.

The trouble I have had in the past is that I start reading at page one and not get the picture or lose interest.

Are there some books of the Bible I should get to know first that would help keep the big picture in mind? Is one version or style of The Word better than another. I up to chapter 6 in Acts and am having a great time.


pmer,

I perceive that the Spirit (Holy Spirit) has not yet come into you. If that's the case, then trying to understand what the Church is and how it fits into the course of history won't do you much good until you have a personal encounter with the living Christ. That personal encounter is something that God initiates (never us) and will lead you to a proper biblical response to the gospel.

The reason I don't feel you've had a personal encounter with Christ is that, although you had some level of "religion", it seems that it was only enough to give you a feel for what you should do rather than empower you. The fact is that no religion can empower anyone. Only God living in you will mean anything. Everything else is vain.

Having said that, I strongly recommend that you start in the book of John, as it will bring you face to face with who Jesus is and what He demands of His disciples/children.

I am glad that you have a renewed interest in spiritual things, and I will be praying for you. There is a battle for your soul!

Thanks for sharing what's happening in your life.

MT Gianni
04-30-2013, 09:46 AM
I am a voracious reader. I can understand some of Chaucher but only if it is read aloud. I understand a lot of Shakespeare's writing if not the implications of the 17th centurys culture. My belief is that the KJV is what holds our language together and you would do well to keep some of that version dusted off. When you reat the OT study stories and how they apply to you today.

felix
04-30-2013, 10:06 AM
"Many are called, few are chosen". Basically true what Outdoorfan states, but only a Member of the Trinity can decide Pmer's position! ... felix

EMC45
04-30-2013, 10:40 AM
I like NIV, NAS and NKJV versions. They all have a different tempo and way of getting the Word across. I like John, Proverbs, Psalms, Corinthians (1, 2) HECK I like it all!!!!! First things first though......Communicate with God. Ask for His will for your life. Surrender all to Him and realize what was done at the cross of Christ for you and your family. The Word will come alive! It is a Living Word too! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.......

pmer
05-01-2013, 01:40 AM
Many thanks to all. Outdoorfan really hit close to the mark. There are some things going on in the church I grew up in. I have grown to disagree with their grasp of modern times. It's not realy the church here locally but more so their affiliated organization. I have hoped and prayed and it seems like God's answer is to move on.

I don't think it's a time to be sad but rather look to new horizons, grow in the word of God and be excited about things to come.

I think one of neatest things is how term dusty bible has moved through this thread. I hope it brings others to rediscover their Bibles.

missionary5155
05-01-2013, 06:35 AM
Good morning Pmer
For the first 21 years of my life I considered myself a Lutheran. Not that we went much.. but that is what grampa Schulke was so that is what we was. When I went into the Army a feller gave me a New Testament. That was my first Bible. A year later started reading it. My life was a standard tank trooper mess. I discovered I was a sinner. I had no personal relationship with my creator. I was dirty with sin and could not enter into His Holiness. I was "lost in sin with no hope" and knew it.
That is why the Lord Jesus died for our sins. He is the only hope to be washed clean. He is the only way to be made acceptable to a Holy God. The Lord Jesus said "Come to me, believe in Me and have eternal Life".
My friend no church, religion can save any of us. That is why the Lord Jesus came to die for our sins. He is our blood sacrifice. He is the only way to heaven, to have a complete life with purpose. He is everything we have need of.
That is where we all need to start. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved... That is what the New Testament is all about. The book of Acts.. chapter 4 verse 12.. "for there is salvation in none other for there is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we can be saved". That is the beginning to knowing what this life is all about.
Mike in Peru

WRideout
05-01-2013, 06:55 AM
Interestingly, I have had the mirror image of missionary's life; I was raised Baptist, and am now Lutheran!

Pmer, I have found through the years that passages I have read take on new meaning when in a different life context. I used to really dislike the Old Testament, but have been reading it lately, and find there is a lot of hope in there. The Holy Spirit will reveal to you what God wants you to know.

Wayne

dakota
05-02-2013, 09:01 PM
Please start with the New Testament. If you grow to study the Bible you'll find that both books are great. If you are interested in what the original authors wrote, the best translation is NRSV! I've studied Old Testament Hebrew and Aramaic and also have studied New Testament Greek. I've translated each of these. The four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) and then Paul's letters with emphasis on Romans would be my recommendations. Please keep in mind that many of Paul's letters were in response to issues in the early church. Also there were a few of the letters that were accredited to Paul but were written by one of his students.
The major prophets in the old testament and Psalms would be next - in my opinion. I've done my best to memorize several of the Psalms. Start with the 23rd Psalm and Psalms 46.

Much of the early Bible is an history that is very important, but in my mind could wait until later.
Finally there are many helps available for many of the books of the Bible.
I have on my computer a software program that has over 40 translations and they are all good.
You can also find translations on the WEB. Wish you were near - but if you'd like any help, I'm here for that.


Rev. Lynn S. Hardy (ELCA - Lutheran)

TXGunNut
05-02-2013, 09:38 PM
I've always been partial to the KJV. I was lucky to wind up with my dad's, his name is embossed on it and I've left all his bookmarks in place. In his later years he was part of his church's lay ministry, helping out with Bible study and other tasks. Seems that when something troubles me I can always open his bible and find a passage that is helpful.



Gee, worked again. Had a very trying day, my dad's Bible opened to the first chapter of Job. Certainly puts things in perspective.

Lucky Joe
05-02-2013, 10:12 PM
Much good advice above, I also am Lutheran and we (family) keep Luthers Small Catechism close at hand. My personal advice is to ask the Holy Spirit to aid in your learning, he is the one that will open things up for you. Then it will come to you as you mature in your studies. Nice post glad you took the time to do this, and I appreciate all the encouragement your getting here.

pmer
05-04-2013, 10:00 AM
I put one of the miniature new testaments back in the vehicle I use for my field service job and have been taking some time during lunches for reading. That bible and I have 10s of thousands of miles together but it got little use till lately. I have been reading at home and during work and been getting rushed with emotions. Prior to this I was getting these feelings singing in church too. More so in the new church though.

Now after the new church and before my first post here is was rear ended in my work truck and its gone now. I got knocked pretty good and I slid into the vehicle in front of me. I didn't think this had much to bare with the issue at hand but this does enter back in later.

Now its obvious, I definately have something going on inside me and it's coming to a head because I can't read when my eyes are teared up and my nose is running LOL. It wasn't funny at the moment though so I put my hands together and prayed to God asking why am I crying and how can I read your word when I can't see it? My mouth said something about eyes but it left me like how you forget a dream shortly after you wake up. Then I turned my needs to Jesus and asked him to come into my life and guide me to where the Lord wants me to be.

This was at lunch during my work and I closed the book of John and started on my way. The next big thought that came to my mind was distracted driving and how peoples lifes change in car accidents and a need to tell people to watch the road instead of the distractions that they can have in their cars. I have plenty of experience about distracted driving and think I have something to offer.

I thought this whole experience is so noteable. Not just what I revealed but everyones contribution is a blessing onto itself. We are brothers in faith where ever life takes us.

goodsteel
05-04-2013, 10:24 AM
Hallelujah!
God is good. Remember what I told you about piece hunting for you relentlessly? Jesus will continue to seek you out, but you must continue to be willing to let Him in. Especially when it is uncomfortable.
What you are doing now is a lifelong process. I have been a Christian for many years, but I still come to God and confess my sins, and there is always more room for Jesus and less room for sin. I have a masters degree in hiding my heart from Him and protecting my heart from His grace.

This isn't ever about pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. It's about surrendering to His grace, and doing whatever it takes to be obedient to Him. When we obey, even when it hurts, God shows us things, wonderful things, and He floods our hearts with piece and joy.

In Galatians 5:22-23 The Bible says that the fruit of the spirit is: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
The closer you draw to the Jesus, the more you will see these things start to overflow in your life, more than you ever knew was possible.

outdoorfan
05-04-2013, 10:25 AM
Thanks for sharing your experience. It seems as if God brought you to the point where you experienced or are experiencing Godly sorrow for your sins, as well as the joy of seeing the Light! Every person must experience this if the Holy Spirit is truly at work.

Praise God for what He's doing in you, which the natural man sees as foolishness!!

sparky45
05-04-2013, 10:34 AM
I'm probably one of the worlds worst "backsliders"; sprinkled the first time and dunked the second time; rededicated my life as a teen and have served several years as a Deacon in my local Church. That's all in the past. This thread, nay passage, is an eye opener for me. Tells me it's high time to get back to the Word and focus on the rest of my responsibilities.
Thanks pmer for the kick in the seat of the pants.
Sparky45

DIRT Farmer
05-04-2013, 11:06 PM
I was raised as a farmer and carpenter, one of the lessons I learned early was if one plans to build solid start with a solid foundation. The Old Testament is the foundation. I understand some of it is tough plowing. The hardest book for me to get through was Numbers but Joel is in some ways a mirror of my life.
As for the best version, As a boy I was tought from the King James, and have used several of the other translations to study and speak from. I do love the poetry from the King James.
I have several old "family" or alter sized bibles that were offered to me as the younger generation of familys were desposing of them after the old people were gone. So much family history in them and no longer wanted.

shooter2
05-04-2013, 11:18 PM
I suggest starting with the NT book of John. He tells you what Jesus meant. Then read the books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They tell you what Jesus did. Then read all of Paul's Letters. Then the rest of the NT.

Do not ignore the OT as it lays the ground work, the separation from God. The NT shows us the way, the only way, to redemption.

Take your time and savor the journey. It will save your life!

Wayne Smith
05-06-2013, 07:45 AM
Angels are partying in Heaven! Another soul saved. Spend as much time in prayer and thinking (meditating) on the meaning of the Word as you do reading it. Read it first just for the story, as you would read a novel. Don't try to dig into the meaning of each verse at first. Once you understand the story then start studying. That's a life long journey.

crabo
05-06-2013, 07:56 AM
Pm me an address and I will send you a book.

http://www.christianbook.com/the-abundant-life-a-bible-study/ray-baughman/9780802400475/pd/2400477

My dad wrote it and it has been translated into 10 different languages. It has helped a lot of people understand the Bible and the Christian life. I have some of a version that has a reduced vocabulary so it is really easy to read and understand.

missionary5155
05-06-2013, 09:00 AM
Good morning pmer
You have made the right choice reading His Word. God said "draw close to me and I will draw close to you". The Lord Jesus stated ' Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man will open to me I will come in to him and comune with him and he with me".
Those are daily invites. I take them literally and persue them. I want God's imput. I do not trust myself or my past... I simply trust what God says. His Word brought me to Repentance and Faith in Christ and I figure His Word will get me through life and into eternity. I tell everyone the same thing... Start with God's Word, continue with God's Word and you will finish with God's Word just fine. His Promises, His Truth, His Living Example. There are no substitutes. There are no needed additions. There is no greater joy than knowing that Jesus died for me and in Him is Eternal Life.
In Him I can overcome this world. In Him I am a new creation. In Christ I am acceptable and have personal fellowship with Holy God.
Jump into your spiritual journey with Christ as your King, your Lord, your best Friend and you will have no regrets. Make His Word your first activity daily. Always guard your life so the Lord Jesus will remain your first love. Walk with Him practicing His way of life.
Mike in Peru

EMC45
05-06-2013, 12:51 PM
Jer. 29:11. There is so much in store for you pmer. Prov. 3:5,6. Just trust him and not you. He knows better than we do. Your post got me choked up.

shaper
05-07-2013, 12:10 AM
Wow, I haven't been on the cast boolits site very long and didn't know this part was even here.
I now am more impressed with the management of the site that lets it's members talk about our savior. I grew up in the church and was saves at 16. I am very pleased to know my children and grandchildren are all saved. When I read for pleasure I go to the psalms and proverbs. When I read to study I always have a commentary to help understand the word better, I like Matther Henry and Jamieson Fausset and Brown. My bible is a King James with the chain refference which helps to pull other verses in with what I am studying. I would highly recomend starting your learning of the scriptures in a Sunday School atmosphere as it is difficult to properly teach yourself anything without direction, instruction, dedication, and lots of prayer.

Charimon
05-08-2013, 10:34 PM
Acts in a thumb nail Thanks Professer Blue

1 Son- The Son Rises
1 Dew- The spirit decends- like Dew
3 Knee-Peter and John Fix the Crip
4 Door- Shuts the Door on Peter
5 Dive- Anirius and Sapheria take the Dirt Dive
6 Stix- Stix and Stones break Stephens bones
7 Heven- Stephen is taken home
8 Great jumpin disciples- Phillip makes the jump to talk with the eathiopian
9 Shine- The Son shines on Paul
10 Hen- Peter tries a new food
11 Leven- Peter visits Cornealius
12 Shelve- Tries to Shelve the Faith James is killed
13-14 Paul goes a courting- 1st missionary Journey
15 Meeting -the meeting at Jerusalem
16-18 Paul goes a Baking- at Phil a pie - 2nd missionary journey
19-20 Third one is Crummy
21 is not so fun when Paul goes to Jerusalem
22 2x2- Paul goes up the steps to make his defense
23 Paul has to flee
24 25 26 Feelex, Festus, Agrippa. Paul makes his case
27 Paul goes a travelin- to Rome
28 Paul shakes a snake- on the island.

you may want to listen to the Good Book while you work. i get much more out of it that way. If you can listen to the same book for several days and then move on.

srdougm
05-09-2013, 01:22 AM
I think this is the first time I have found a thread like this on a forum and I am delighted to find it and I am impressed that it is allowed. Cast boolits just went up a notch.There is a great tape series from Khouse by Chuck Missler called "through the bible in 24 hours" It goes through the entire bible story fashion so when you start reading the scriptures it's easier to tie everything together.
I've given copies to several people and it helped them make sense of the bible without getting overwhelmed.

E sword is also a great bible study aid and you can download it for free.

Be blessed Micah 6:8

DLCTEX
05-18-2013, 09:00 AM
Jesus said that he stands at our door and knocks. If any person opens the door he will enter and commune with them (fellowship and reveal himself). He said look and ask for him and you will find him. He will put people and information in your path. May God reveal himself to you and your family.

BSalty
05-20-2013, 10:15 PM
Fantastic thread. I prefer the KJV personally. When I read, I pray first and specifically ask for understanding, it helps me to receive what is written and apply it to my own life better.

I will say I had fallen away for a long time. I am still just getting back. I heard it said once from a religious person who also had to go out into life and learn the hard way, he said "God will send you a whisper for a while to come back. Then he will bump you to say, come back. After a while he will beat you over the head with a 2 x 4 to get your attention." I can attest to that as I went all the way to the 2 x 4 when I finally asked in prayer what I was supposed to do, and I know of a couple that have gone to the level of a Mack Truck running over them.

I am happy to hear of someone following the prompting.

I also agree John is a great place to start. As are the rest of the 4 Gospels.

Boyscout
05-22-2013, 07:15 PM
Welcome to the family. I have seen a lot of suggestions as to the best translation. There are a lot of really good ones out there and a couple of really bads ones which I see no one has recommended. I am partial to the New American Standard Version (NASV). It is a more literal translation and can be a little akward to understand at times. The King James Version is good to but you may need assistance on some of more archaic words used. Until recent years, most translating teams drew from a broad spectrum of denominations and review committees and are very solid. Avoid paraphrases (the Bible in one man's view/interpretation) and one-man translations; they reflect the prejudices of the translator. I would agree that the Gospel of John is a very good start. It can't hurt to read Romans as it lays out the basic doctrines of the Faith. It doesn't hurt to read the same passages in different versions either.

missionary5155
05-23-2013, 07:36 AM
Good morning
It Blesses my heart to read these comments from Brothers who are willing to encourage all to read the Bible. That is what we do down here. Try to encourage neighbors and others to "Look to God, trust in the Lord Jesus as their personal Savior and walk in God's Truth".
God's Word sure keeps me going and sane in the midst of all the turmoil and lies.
Mike in Peru

smoked turkey
05-23-2013, 08:25 AM
I totally agree that this site and this particular thread is the best on the net. It is so neat to hear from all the different denominations represented here but still we are all part of the Church with the big C. No denominations in heaven I'm pretty sure. When I study God's Word I let scripture interpret scripture. By that I mean I check cross references to tie it all together. 2Tim 3:16-All scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for instruction in righteousness.

Ickisrulz
05-23-2013, 08:10 PM
I haven't spent much time reading the Bible but have been raised a Lutheran. I'm not offering any excuses for having a dusty Bible but I'm learning that "dusty Bibles can lead to dirty lives" as a pastor in a new church I have been going to says. I've read Genisis and enjoyed the story of Joseph. And today I learned that Acts brings together the New Testament and the Old Testament and lays out or marks the start of the Church.

The trouble I have had in the past is that I start reading at page one and not get the picture or lose interest.

Are there some books of the Bible I should get to know first that would help keep the big picture in mind? Is one version or style of The Word better than another. I up to chapter 6 in Acts and am having a great time.

Start with the Gospels. Mark is a good one to start with since it is fast moving and keeps your attention. Move on to Matthew and Luke knowing they cover much of the same material from another perspective. John is another look and totally different collection of events purposely assembled to aid in belief.

Romans is without a doubt the most important of Paul's letters. This and the Letter to the Hebrews does a lot in explaining what Jesus did and God's big plan of salvation. It will explain Jesus' mission. Most of the other letters are written to address certain problems (even Revelations is a letter). While these letters are important, I recommend starting with the Gospels, Romans and Hebrews.

I would never recommend the King James. It was archaic when released in 1611. Pick a modern translation that you can comfortably read. For some this is the NIV or Living. For others the ESV and NASB. This represents two ends of a spectrum. The first are not word-for-word translations but are easy to read. The second two (along with the KJV) are word-for-word but harder to read. Personally I like the NRSV or the RSV. These flow nice and are faithful to the original languages. The Amplified has a lot to offer since it provides in-text clarification.

There are lots of commentaries out there that can help with understanding the Bible. The most important thing is to understand how the Bible should be approached. I highly recommend "How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth" and "How to Read the Bible Book by Book." These are cheap and relatively short. Digest what these have to say and you will be well ahead of most church goers.

pmer
05-26-2013, 09:56 AM
I thought I try and update everyone on the fun I'm having reading the Bible. I seem to like the New King James version and have read John, Luke and I'm half way through Mathew. And I have done some peeking around Galaitions and 1st Corinthians. We bought a Action Bible for the Kids and our 8 year old son is around page 217 based on Judges 6. It is in a comic book style layout with a lot of pictures. Our 11 year old likes to read together more than alone. It's fun to tell them about Gods love and that he has a plan for everyone if we can find it in our hearts to ask and listen.

I had no idea how much reading Gods Word could help in all parts of my life.

"Lord I wanna thank you, for all you done for me" (Shamelessly borrowed from the Blind Boys of Alabama in the song "Thank You Lord")

outdoorfan
06-01-2013, 08:19 AM
I would never recommend the King James. It was archaic when released in 1611. Pick a modern translation that you can comfortably read. For some this is the NIV or Living. For others the ESV and NASB. This represents two ends of a spectrum. The first are not word-for-word translations but are easy to read. The second two (along with the KJV) are word-for-word but harder to read. Personally I like the NRSV or the RSV. These flow nice and are faithful to the original languages. The Amplified has a lot to offer since it provides in-text clarification.




It took me a few years to get used to the KJV, but it was worth it. The other more "modern" translations have more gross errors in them. The NIV never gets read in my home anymore even though I grew up reading it. It's terrible as far as the "liberties" the translators took. The KJV isn't perfect either, but it' s much closer to the truth (IMO) that some/most/all of the other modern versions.

outdoorfan
06-01-2013, 08:23 AM
I thought I try and update everyone on the fun I'm having reading the Bible. I seem to like the New King James version and have read John, Luke and I'm half way through Mathew. And I have done some peeking around Galaitions and 1st Corinthians. We bought a Action Bible for the Kids and our 8 year old son is around page 217 based on Judges 6. It is in a comic book style layout with a lot of pictures. Our 11 year old likes to read together more than alone. It's fun to tell them about Gods love and that he has a plan for everyone if we can find it in our hearts to ask and listen.

I had no idea how much reading Gods Word could help in all parts of my life.

"Lord I wanna thank you, for all you done for me" (Shamelessly borrowed from the Blind Boys of Alabama in the song "Thank You Lord")


Hey, sounds like God's got a hold of you. Praise God! And a tree will be known by it's fruit.

I send a prayer out for you whenever the Lord brings you to mind.

Ickisrulz
06-01-2013, 04:21 PM
It took me a few years to get used to the KJV, but it was worth it. The other more "modern" translations have more gross errors in them. The NIV never gets read in my home anymore even though I grew up reading it. It's terrible as far as the "liberties" the translators took. The KJV isn't perfect either, but it' s much closer to the truth (IMO) that some/most/all of the other modern versions.

I am not looking to start a translation war here. Most people cannot understand the archaic language of the KJV. Words have changed so much in some cases they now mean the exact opposite as they did in 1611 (e.g., "let"). Newer translations (RV/ASV and on) used older original language manuscripts than did the KJV. Older copies, means more true to the original documents.

The KJV is more poetic, easier to memorize...but not the most accurate or easiest to understand English translation. It hasn't been for a very long time.

jmort
06-01-2013, 04:26 PM
Again, I'll suggest the Amplified - it makes the most sense and more Word/Light is better. Not of fan of the "modern" language translations, not literal enough for me.

Wayne Smith
06-02-2013, 01:31 PM
When you read ask the Holy Spirit to open God's word to you. He now resides in you and will always respond, especially to this request.

sniper
12-28-2013, 01:31 AM
It seems to me that all the versions of the Bible have their beauties, but, I prefer the King James ...It's like my wife of 45 years...she is a bit old-fashioned, and sometimes hard to understand, but I don't feel the need to trade her for a plainer version!

The truest words you will ever read in any version of the Bible are in John:3:16-17.

16 ¶For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

And, that's the why of the whole beautiful thing!

Personally, I find Paul sometimes hard to understand, and he was forever fighting false doctrines in his letters, but there is no denying the man's testimony!

The Gospels...Matthew, Mark, Luke, John give the basis, and each testifies that our Savior is the literal Son of God, and how he fulfilled the Atonement and Resurrection for us all! Acts is also good, as is Peter's vision, which sent the Disciples to the Gentiles, and not just the Children of Israel.

Revelations is interesting, it you don't try to make it a crystal ball.

If you would like to read some excellent novels, based closely on the history of Israel at the time of Christ, try the A.D. Chronicles by Brock & Bodie Thoene. Historically accurate and entertaining, I thought.

I find that the Bible is not a novel, and can 't be read as such, although there are surely those who will disagree with me. Whatever we can do in that line of effort, if we attempt to understand and follow the principles, it will have a positive effect.

Be well, and
HE is risen!

AlaskanGuy
12-28-2013, 02:24 AM
I have a pretty simple opinion, if you can read romans, and understand it, you will have better understanding then about 90% of most..... Romans spells it out for you... If you have a hard time with KJV, or ESV, try the amplified version... I am an ESV kinda guy... Most bibles fall into 2 categories, either they are translations, or interpretations... I like the translations, with explanations on the side board.... Those are commonly called study bibles... Once you get through some of the word on your own, and your feel comfortable, start re-reading with a good study bible... I am sure that there is a good bible based support group that would love to have you, as the head of your family, become closer to the living word of God, our Lord (Father) Jesus (Son) Christ (Holy Spirit)... Our 3 in one God head...

Blessings to you and your relationship with Him.

AG

Wayne Smith
12-28-2013, 09:39 AM
When you read Paul, please understand that in training and thinking style he was a lawyer. He writes arguments, rational and logical within the background of his original audience. This is especially true in Romans. If you can follow and understand the argument you will understand Paul. If you study the first Century city he wrote to and their background you will understand it more fully.

pworley1
12-28-2013, 09:24 PM
When you finish Acts read Hebrews. By the time you read all the Old Testament references from Hebrews, you will be aware that the whole Bible is about Jesus.
Happy reading

cpileri
12-28-2013, 11:54 PM
Ways of Reading the Bible
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D
http://catholic-resources.org/Bible/Reading-Bible.htm

Wayne Smith
12-29-2013, 09:48 AM
Good resource, thank you. One thing not mentioned is a Chronological Bible. The Bible is organized by concept, in line with ancient thinking. Today we tend to think historically, one thing following another in time. I read history as a hobby, so this is probably magnified for me. I have read and studied the Bible since I was 10 years old and have half of an MDiv in my Doctoral program. I had, in all that process, never read the Bible through. I got a Chronological Bible several years ago and read it through in a month or so. It made sense to me in new ways doing this.

All a chronological Bible does is re-organize the scripture to historical order. This especially means that you read Kings and Chronicles mixed together with the Prophet and the Psalms that were likely written then. You read a combination of the Gospels, the beginning of Acts, and then James. You read Paul's letters in the context Acts gives them.

cpileri
12-29-2013, 01:56 PM
Here is a good primer on reading the bible in historical fashion:
http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=-306548622

12 Periods: 14 Narrative Books
Early World: Genesis (1–11)
Patriarchs: Genesis (12–50)
Egypt and Exodus: Exodus
Desert Wanderings: Numbers
Conquest and Judges: Joshua, Judges; supplemental ‐‐ Ruth
Royal Kingdom: 1 and 2 Samuel; 1 Kings (1‐11)
Divided Kingdom: 1 Kings (12‐22); 2 Kings; supplemental ‐‐ Jonah
Exile: 2 Kings (17, 23‐25); supplemental ‐‐ Daniel
Return: Ezra; Nehemiah; supplemental ‐‐ Esther
Maccabean Revolt: 1 and 2 Maccabees
Messianic Fulfillment: Luke
The Church: Acts of the Apostles

www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=-306548622
C-

OeldeWolf
12-30-2013, 01:39 AM
Hello. I felt like I should toss in my $0.02 worth.

King James sought to publish the most important of he biblical books, in what was then the modern language. He felt that all men should be able to look after their own souls, not be dependent upon a priest or other religious authority. His scholars did a pretty impressive job. But do not forget there were other books left out.

A number of books overlapped each other. God called who he wanted, when he needed them, and where he needed them. As well, some books were more historical, some more religious. And a lot of books mixed both.

I use the King James. I found the best understanding when I took the courses on the Old and New Testaments offered by BYU. There was even a clear explanation of Zenos and his olive trees. :) The best concordance I have ever seen, was also courtesy of the LDS. It is in their set, the Three-in-one, but you do not need to read the other books if you do not want. But the concordance is fantastic.

AlaskanGuy
12-30-2013, 02:34 AM
We have been doing a wintertime study of the end times. The bible is not just historical, but of our nearing future. The day of judgement is fast approaching, and to those that do not know him, it will seem like a thief in the night, but to those that know him, it is apparent. Either way, every knee will bow and confess that he is the Lord Jesus Christ.

seaboltm
12-30-2013, 03:03 AM
you may also consider some works that supplement the bible; the works of scholars, not cranks. Much of our modern doctrine, practices, and beliefs come from Thomas Aquinas, who wrote Summa Theolocia which is the cornerstone of modern christian practice. A farther step into apologetic studies will lead you to C.S. Lewis. His works including The Problem Of Pain, Mere Christianity, and the Great Divide are a great extension of the childhood books which include the classic Screwtape Letters. Lewis was likely the greatest apologetic mind of the 20th century. Of course Lewis also did the Lion, Witch, Wardrobe series of books. A contemporary of Lewis was Tolkien, who did the ever popular works of the Hobbitt series. Lewis had feet in both traditional apologetic writings and fantasy. Both Lewis and Tolkien strove to bring christian teachings to the masses via stories of fantasy. If you re-read or re-watch the stories of Lewis or Tolkien with that in mind, the message should be obvious. After that you can expand into the Gita, and perhaps (gasp) even the Koran. All of these writings attempt to pave a way to man's understanding of God. Sort of like the Life of Pi. Have a good journey.

AlaskanGuy
12-30-2013, 03:15 AM
Hmmmm i will need to think about that one a bit seabolt... That comment is a bit of a stretch for me... But to each his own. In the tolkien series, the savior of all is man..... And involves so many sub stories of men working in concert with evil. Like the redemption of the ghosts and their souls that had been cursed by the former king. I see no relation of those sort of thoughts to the Word of God. Everything in the bible offers redemption only through our Lord Jesus Christ. But the tolkien series is a good fantasy writing of good vs evil, but in my opinion, that is all. No disrespect intended in any way.

Char-Gar
12-30-2013, 12:46 PM
I have spent 40 years as a student of the Bible and a teacher of the Bible and I can empathize with the OP. I don't know any way around some of the difficulties he is encountering. I think that is a fairly universal experience. I will only offers a couple of observations and hints.

1. Each book of the Bible was written with a specific readership in mind. These readers differ in culture, historical period and current situation at the time it was written. Many of these are alien to us today, so this contributes to the difficulty. Much of the difficulty in understanding goes away once we understand who wrote it, to whom it was written and why it was written.

2. An English translation that reads like we think, is also a big help. So, try and find one that is easy to read for you. That varies from individual to individual.

3. If a person is a Christian and is interested in a closer relationship with Jesus, the New Testament is the place to start. Here is the way I suggest to folks starting out;

A. Start with the Gospel of Mark, this is a short bare bones account of the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus. This will give you a command of the facts pretty quick.

B. Next go to the Gospel of John, this offers the same basic facts as Mark, but adds why Jesus did what he did and said what he said.

C. The Book of Acts records the jump the faith made from a Jewish sect to a Gentile faith. Much of the problems and difficulties the early church encountered are still very much with us in today's American churches.

D. The letters of Paul are interesting and helpful, but he wrote them to specific churches to address specific problem and/or concerns and you need to know that background to understand the letter in any meaningful way.

E. The letters of John and Peter are the "Pastoral Letters" that are written to help folks live the Christian faith. They are more generic and less specific that the letters of Paul.

D. Don't mess with the Book of Revelation until you have a solid understanding of the rest of the New Testament material. It does not contain a blue print for the future as some would think. The purpose of the writing was to encourage a church which was undergoing intense persecution by the Romans. The existing church leadership was virtually wiped out and the church moral was very very low. John was writing from exile on the island of Patmos and wanted to assure the Christians that despite the awful things there were experiencing, they should hold fast because God would win in the end and they would be on the winning side. When folks do not consider this historical context, they can come up some bazar stuff from Revelation.

If you are looking for easy to read commentaries that will give you the history and context, the Daily Study Bible series by William Barclay are as good as any and far better than most. Barclay wrote these for the lay person and not for the scholar and that is a big help.

Char-Gar
12-30-2013, 12:59 PM
Both J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were friends and members of the same group of British academic writers (Inklings) and Lewis gives Tolkien much credit for his conversion to Christianity. Tolkein was very much a Christian.

However, I don't see much Christian in Tolkein's Hobbit material. Much of the basic plot is lifted from Germanic/Norse mythology. That is more than a little similarity to Wagner's "Ring trilogy" operas. Tolkein salts his work with lots of Celtic mythology as well.

C.S. Lewis in his Lion, Witch and Wardrobe series is nothing but pure Christian theology wrapped up in a layer of fantasy.

I like Tolkein's writing. When it comes to fantasy he was better than Lewis and he said so. :-) I also think Wagner wrote great music. This is about the only thing on which Adolph Hitler and I agree. I like both German music and food, for they are both heavy stuff. Nothing light and airy about either.

I consider C.S. Lewis to be the premier Christian thinker and writer of the 20th. Century.

Hogtamer
12-30-2013, 01:10 PM
Some believe that the Bible is not relevant today. May I humbly suggest that today you read Romans 1, starting with verse 16. Paul says that he is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, then tells you why: it is the POWER of God toward salvation for ALL who believe, first for the Jews, (most of whom rejected him), then for the rest of us. Then read on about the consequences of rejection....it reads like it was ripped from today's newspaper!!! After the Word convinces you that it is not only relevant but eternal, I would read the gospel of John. You understand who Jesus is (I AM!) and learn the most important lesson I believe. That He (as Father, Son and Spirit) is the God of relationships - Him with us, then all of us with each other. Fear of The Lord is the beginning of wisdom and you have an excellent journey ahead.

AlaskanGuy
12-30-2013, 01:55 PM
Sorry char-gar.... I dont agree with you, but bless you sir for your years of service to the Lord. Revelation is a blue print of the future to the second coming of our lord. If you dont think that, then we will just have to agree to disagree...

AG

Char-Gar
12-30-2013, 02:17 PM
Sorry char-gar.... I dont agree with you, but bless you sir for your years of service to the Lord. Revelation is a blue print of the future to the second coming of our lord. If you dont think that, then we will just have to agree to disagree...

AG

Yep...that is an agree to disagree. I knew it would not be long until somebody disagreed.

felix
12-30-2013, 02:21 PM
Both of you are correct. The Lord will provide these plagues in succession as repetitive incentives for man to convert to Him before His second coming. There is no implication these plagues would be (are) applied as a group effort. So, at the very end of all the tribulations, every individual will have the same "creed" as having chosen via free will as being IN or OUT (not IN BETWEEN). This is in keeping with what the Lord said via Jesus: "Only the Father knows the time (and place)". Those of you who don't ask the Blessed Virgin for Her help and guidance are throwing away ammo; pray the Rosary often as per Her request (via Fatima)! The last Ex Cathedra that I know of: Mary, Queen of Heaven. ... felix

Char-Gar
12-30-2013, 02:50 PM
Prmer old pal...let me tell you a story I heard and then make a point.

There was a fellow who wanted nothing to do with Jesus and spent his nights drinking with his pals. One night, he was walking home skunk drunk and took a short cut across an old abandoned farm and stepped on a rotted board across the old cistern and fell in. As soon as he hit the bottom he was sober. He began to cry out for help but none came. This continued for three days and as a last resort he got down on his knees and pleaded with Jesus to save him and promised he would follow Him ever after. A white light came into the bottom of the cistern and the fellow was lifted up and set on the ground above. He thanked Jesus and told Him, he would help all his drunken pals find Jesus.

Thereafter, he went into town every Saturday night, got one of his old friends drunk, took them for a walk and pushed then into the same cistern.

Now the point: It is very common for people to think their spiritual experience is the only valid one. One has to think like them, and had the same experience to be a true Christian. They consider those who have come by a different path to be inferior, lacking and in general lesser than themselves.

These well meaning people drive folks away from churches by the droves. Folks don't want to go where they will have spiritual judgment heaped on them. The worse kind of pride is spiritual pride and it is a soul killer. Love, grace, understanding and consideration pull people to Jesus. People want to go where they are loved, and Jesus stretched out his arms in love, forgiveness and understanding. People do not want to go where they will be judged and shamed. I fear the judgers will have some "splaining" to done one day.

There are many ways to the Throne of Grace, and each way is lead by Jesus. Lutherans are good Christian folk and so are you. How do I know? Because you want a deeper walk with Jesus and know the way is to learn more about Him through Scripture. You come here asking for help and that is a brave and noble thing to do. You will find what you seek, because you seek it with an open heart and a noble desire.

God bless you in your journey with Jesus.

Char-Gar
12-30-2013, 03:15 PM
Both of you are correct. The Lord will provide these plagues in succession as repetitive incentives for man to convert to Him before His second coming. There is no implication these plagues would be (are) applied as a group effort. So, at the very end of all the tribulations, every individual will have the same "creed" as having chosen via free will as being IN or OUT (not IN BETWEEN). This is in keeping with what the Lord said via Jesus: "Only the Father knows the time (and place)". Those of you who don't ask the Blessed Virgin for Her help and guidance are throwing away ammo; pray the Rosary often as per Her request (via Fatima)! The last Ex Cathedra that I know of: Mary, Queen of Heaven. ... felix

Felix...I take it you are a Roman Catholic. That is a good thing, by the way. I have lots of good Christian friends that are faithful and practicing Roman Catholics. It isn't my cup of tea, but then again I drink Lapsang Souchow which my wife thinks is putrid. :-)

I have been a part and ministered in many churches from Black Pentecostal to Roman Catholic and most groups in between. I have found fine Christians in them all, with a smattering of jerks in them all as well. I tend to hang out at the Episcopal church these days, because it is my wife's cup of tea, and she is growing in her faith by leaps and bound.

The Rector at our church keeps wanting me to take "Holy Orders" in the Episcopal Church...not going to happen! :-)

LAH
12-30-2013, 03:15 PM
This has been an interesting read.

AlaskanGuy
12-30-2013, 03:36 PM
I am never one (hopefully) to judge what is right for somebody in the way of christian walks. I have friends in all belief's, the only thing that i do judge is myself, and what is right for me. That is why i just choose to disagree. We can all agree with this one point i am sure, and that is to love thy neighbor....... So that is what I do my best to pratice... I have only the word and the Lord to lean on, and am totally bible based. I can only believe what is written, and believe it to be true. I do not look at the bible as a historical document, but believe that it is the living word of God.

Bless you all in your understanding...

AG

popper
01-03-2014, 12:40 PM
Char-gar Me thinks star wars was taken from J.R.R. Tolkien stuff, and is THE battle between good and bad, in a scifi way. Actually, much is taken from (IMHO) non-religious material. I found Ben Haden, McGee and others to give a very good audio Biblical overview in greatly different manners. Haden's approach is 'what are you doing in your life' while McGee is 'through the Bible in a year' approach. John McAurthur has many good Bible theology explanations.

jmort
01-03-2014, 12:54 PM
"I fear the judgers will have some "splaining" to done one day."

Paul was a "judger." He was clear that churches are to judge and cleanse their membership. He also judged churches. We are not to judge the world, that is God's job. For how you judge will come back and bite you in the **** according to the Bible.

"I tend to hang out at the Episcopal church these days..."

I hope and pray it is not one of those Rainbow Churches. The left-wing churches are a Pox. Presbyterian, Episcopal etc selling out to sodomites and not only marrying sodomites, but ordaining practicing sodomites has Paul spinning in his grave.

pmer
01-16-2014, 02:18 AM
Well here is your student checking in. I am surprised to see this thread going again. Sometimes I feel like a spiritual child trying to put two and two together and really enjoy everyone's contribution. Lately I've thinking that the bible is like a compass that always points to God. Filled with lessons, advice and guidelines for today and beyond.

I think Paul's judgments of the early churches were done in a way that glorified God. And were used to keep the church God minded. Like someone posted earlier some of our modern churches have turned away from some of the moral issues. What has changed if Gods word remains the same?

I think if Paul would have used his power to glorify himself or to impress others his mission would have been cut short.

Doesn't the Bible have lessons in judgment? In 1 Kings there accounts of kings of Israel that constantly fell short in the eyes of God and did not follow the ways David. People say they can not judge others but it seems like we do it all the time and to good fortune. I'm not sure how to walk this back to biblical judgment but I don't think its a sin to tell an immoral person that what they are doing is wrong IF it can be done in a way that glorifies God. At that point aren't you just a messenger?

LAH
01-16-2014, 10:44 PM
I'm not sure how to walk this back to biblical judgment but I don't think its a sin to tell an immoral person that what they are doing is wrong IF it can be done in a way that glorifies God. At that point aren't you just a messenger?

If someone is about to walk into the path of a freight train would warning them be wrong?

Lloyd Smale
01-18-2014, 08:30 AM
I agree. Over the years to many have had there fingers in it changeing things to fit the way they think.
I am not looking to start a translation war here. Most people cannot understand the archaic language of the KJV. Words have changed so much in some cases they now mean the exact opposite as they did in 1611 (e.g., "let"). Newer translations (RV/ASV and on) used older original language manuscripts than did the KJV. Older copies, means more true to the original documents.

The KJV is more poetic, easier to memorize...but not the most accurate or easiest to understand English translation. It hasn't been for a very long time.

goodsteel
01-18-2014, 09:58 AM
Judgment is something that each of us should do. If you can't judge right for being right and wrong for being wrong, then you're moral compass has a broken needle.
"Judge not lest ye be judged" but they seem to dismiss the rest of the charge in that scripture, and the last words where Jesus calls us to judge:
“Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
The way I see it is that we are clearly directed to take care of our own temple before we start helping others with theirs. No one is perfect, but there are areas where each of us has been through the fire, gotten it right, and are in a position to judge right or wrong, and we should.

That verse has been used to beat Christians into placid indifference. I guess the thinking is "we're all sinners, so I really can't make a judgment call on anything"
Baloney!!! If that's your stance, you are either not listening to God, or are ignoring everything he is teaching you. If God has cleaned you in some way, you are responsible to live and judge life by that cleanliness. If you try to step over what God has cleaned and function in your own power, God will have to clean the area you are standing in, and it will not be a fun process! (Ie, you will be judged by your own standard).

Look folks, we have to call wrong wrong, and right right, and we can because we live in that righteousness.
What happens when you are elevated to the position of a king? or a governor? or a deacon? or a parent? or a moderator on a website? The bible clearly says that these men have been put in authority over you by God. Does the scripture above mean that you are never to correct your child? after all, you did every screwy thing they do, and you got away with most of it. Who are you to judge a 5 year old?
What about if you are a cop? You have sped before for no good reason. Does that mean that you are unable to write a ticket?
What if you see your neighbor getting robbed? You stole something from the convenience store when you were a kid, so you really aren't in any position to judge are you?

I might also point out, that the stanchest supporter of "don't ever judge another person" makes judgments all the time. They just whip that verse out when it get's tough. It's a little bush for cowards to hide behind.

You see if we don't judge as Christians, then wrong is free to run rampant unchecked. We are the only thing standing in the way of a completely evil society, and when I look at the headlines, it's obvious there are a lot of Christians that gave the country away for fear of being judged. They give their children away for fear of being judged. They give their marriages away for fear of being judged. Their jobs, their neighborhoods, their churches.
Sorry, I don't buy it.
Judgment is something that we live in and with, but there is a wrong way and a right way.

Now, I don't judge the tree, I judge the fruit. I never judge someone on hearsay or prejudice. Every man who stands before me gets an equal shake (pun intended).
I make no judgement based on religion, skin color, accent, country of origin, or anything else that has to do with a person's personality. Sometimes an ugly tree drops lots of good apples, and sometimes a tree that looks so perfect it could be in a birmingham dropps fruit that is always only half good, or even rotten.
I judge the tree by the fruit, and if you want to get real technical, I judge every branch of that tree by it's fruit.

Just as the scripture up top says, I am judged by the same standard. Furthermore, I love judgment. I look for it, and I want it. If there is a person out there who sees me struggling to produce in a certain way, I pray that they would judge my branch to be unhealthy, and teach me how to do better before the keeper of the orchard decides to prunes that branch off!!! He wont do it if there are people who are helping me to save the branch and I am making strides to do better! I would much rather have one of you tell me that I am screwing up than suddenly be set upon by a pruning saw. The problem is, there's another person who God has given the eyes to see my plight in hopes that they might come alongside and help me, but since they themselves are imperfect, they refuse to say anything even though they have the answer I need, and know exactly how to help me.
That's a tragedy!

Is any of this sinkin in, or what?

AlaskanGuy
01-18-2014, 02:10 PM
I have a way looking at things, and it has to do with bearing fruit. I have learned to be a "fruit inspector". The holy spirit lets me know what is wrong and what is right.. The lord sent him on the day of Pentecost as our friend... Use Him to know what is wrong and right. We are all called to do this for ourselves.... Knowing the difference between wrong and right is right there within you.

AG

jmort
01-18-2014, 02:31 PM
The Bible makes it clear that the Body of Christ is to make judgments here on earth as to its Members, but it is for God to judge the World/sinners. This is outside of a society having rules/laws and legal judgments.

felix
01-18-2014, 04:38 PM
Every bit of it is in the Bible, all based upon the Old Testament rules (via the 10 Commandments) and the New Testament rules (via the Sermon on the Mount). If whatever is being contemplated is within these rules, then the contemplation is from the Light & Truth (one of the Three Persons); otherwise, from the Dark Side. In the spirit of this thread, pay attention to what Christ said of the Peacemakers (via the Sermon), keeping in mind His exclamation as when He first entered the "room" on the two occasions after his Resurrection. Deals specifically with being judged as well as being a judge. Pax vobiscum! ... felix

DRNurse1
01-18-2014, 05:00 PM
"One sheep returning to My flock..." this is the start of a great journey, and while not strictly casting related, is a welcome addition to this forum. I apologize for not reading all of the prior posts so if I repeat anything above I am sorry.

My recommendations include locating a parallel Bible, one which has several versions together so that yo can see how each treats a passage and joining a 'small group' to help focus your study and provide support and inspiration (it was a 'life saver' for me).

That weekly, bi weekly, or even daily trek to your church is needed to help keep us on track and focused. There is so much we can do once we turn the reins over to One who can really manage them.

jleapard
01-18-2014, 10:30 PM
Try reading "The Story". It is the bible in novel form and is an excellent read. It is a mix of scripture and commentary. It helped me tremendously for a high level overview.

Preston
01-19-2014, 02:55 PM
Although this has been going on for a while, I'll make my first post and give my opinion on this topic.

To understand the Bible you have to understand who you are in regards to Scripture. Know that the Bible is basically an instruction book for the Hebrew children, coming from Abraham. The Bible from start to finish is written for Gods people chosen to carry on his gospel. Now everybody can benefit from it, but is your ancestry written there. When the House of Israel is seen, that is referring to the direct descendants of Jacob/Israel. Don't confuse that with Israel of today. The messes up a lot of people.
Read with a concordance and pray for understanding before you start. Go slow and pray more. Don't get caught up in modern day church dogma. That will get you so frustrated you'll want to quit. Don't let that happen. Go on your own if necessary.
That's worked for me.

Clay M
02-19-2014, 07:38 PM
I haven't spent much time reading the Bible but have been raised a Lutheran. I'm not offering any excuses for having a dusty Bible but I'm learning that "dusty Bibles can lead to dirty lives" as a pastor in a new church I have been going to says. I've read Genisis and enjoyed the story of Joseph. And today I learned that Acts brings together the New Testament and the Old Testament and lays out or marks the start of the Church.

The trouble I have had in the past is that I start reading at page one and not get the picture or lose interest.

Are there some books of the Bible I should get to know first that would help keep the big picture in mind? Is one version or style of The Word better than another. I up to chapter 6 in Acts and am having a great time.

I would suggest reading the New Testament first. This is important information about how to have a relationship with God through the person of Jesus Christ. Focus on the synoptic gospels as John. Romans and Hebrews are also two of my favorites. If you don't already have a favorite translation then I would suggest the New International Version, or the New American Standard.

DLCTEX
02-20-2014, 12:19 AM
pworley1 shared:When you finish Acts read Hebrews. By the time you read all the Old Testament references from Hebrews, you will be aware that the whole Bible is about Jesus.
Happy reading
I agree!
The key to understanding the old Testament in my humble opinion is to keep in mind that all of it points us to Jesus. Paul, in reaching to the Jews opened the scriptures (old testament) to them and preached to them Jesus. I recently got revelation of Jesus from a scripture that I had prayed over for years trying to discern what was there. It came to mind often and I prayed for insight each time. Then one morning as I awoke I suddenly saw clearly what I had searched for. After seeing it I could not understand how I could have not seen it before. Maybe because the time for my enlightenment was then, as I had impromptu occasions to minister to people's needs using that scripture soon after. You find Jesus in all the elements of the tabernacle and the temple. In all the sacrifices, in Jeremiah and his unfaithful wife, and in every portion if you look for him. Look for him and he will reveal himself. I love preaching Jesus from the Old Testament.

LAH
02-20-2014, 05:05 PM
To understand the Bible you have to understand who you are in regards to Scripture. Know that the Bible is basically an instruction book for the Hebrew children, coming from Abraham. The Bible from start to finish is written for Gods people chosen to carry on his gospel. Now everybody can benefit from it, but is your ancestry written there.

Do you feel none of the Bible was written to the gentiles?

Char-Gar
02-20-2014, 05:27 PM
Although this has been going on for a while, I'll make my first post and give my opinion on this topic.

To understand the Bible you have to understand who you are in regards to Scripture. Know that the Bible is basically an instruction book for the Hebrew children, coming from Abraham. The Bible from start to finish is written for Gods people chosen to carry on his gospel. Now everybody can benefit from it, but is your ancestry written there. When the House of Israel is seen, that is referring to the direct descendants of Jacob/Israel. Don't confuse that with Israel of today. The messes up a lot of people.
Read with a concordance and pray for understanding before you start. Go slow and pray more. Don't get caught up in modern day church dogma. That will get you so frustrated you'll want to quit. Don't let that happen. Go on your own if necessary.
That's worked for me.

Well that is part correct and part incorrect. First the correct part. The Old Testament is indeed Jewish literature, written by, to and for Jewish people. It is more than a little helpful to have a passing knowledge of the history, culture and theology of the old Jews to put it into perspective and have a full understanding.

The New Testament is a different animal altogether. However at least one book (Hebrews) was indeed written to a Jewish readership. Other of the books were written to churches and groups that were part Jewish of Palestinian origin, part Jewish of Greek/Hellenistic origins and part were Gentiles (non-Jews) who were converted to Christianity by the missionary efforts of Paul, Peter and others. The mix of these folks were varied from local group to local group.

A few of these books were written to people with zero knowledge of Jewish history, religion and culture. The Luke/Acts set of documents is a prime example of this.

The Bible is not a monolithic book in it's writers, readers or beneficiaries. To say it is an instruction book for the "Hebrew children" displays a serious lack of knowledge about the Bible, it's origins and purposes.

I am not trying to offend anybody and everybody is entitled to their own point of view. But, I didn't want the above quoted post to stand unqualified where folks with little or know knowledge of scripture can read it and think it is valid.

I do agree that folks should avoid church dogma, but the above referenced post would seem to be laden with such dogma. I don't think Preston came to these conclusions sitting by himself under a peach tree.

Char-Gar
02-20-2014, 05:45 PM
Every bit of it is in the Bible, all based upon the Old Testament rules (via the 10 Commandments) and the New Testament rules (via the Sermon on the Mount). If whatever is being contemplated is within these rules, then the contemplation is from the Light & Truth (one of the Three Persons); otherwise, from the Dark Side. In the spirit of this thread, pay attention to what Christ said of the Peacemakers (via the Sermon), keeping in mind His exclamation as when He first entered the "room" on the two occasions after his Resurrection. Deals specifically with being judged as well as being a judge. Pax vobiscum! ... felix

The New Testament word "peace" is a translation of the Greek word "eirene", which is a rough equivalent to the Hebrew word "shalom". It does not mean absence of war, hostility or strife as we tend to think of the English word "peace". It is a word that suggest wholeness or completeness, with particular attention to spiritual values. To have eirene/shalom/peace is to be complete in our relationships to ourselves, our fellow human beings and to our God. Due to the fallen nature of the human race, this cannot be accomplished absence the dynamic presence of God in our lives.

When Jesus pronounced the beatitudes (blessings), he is saying "how blessed are those who bring eirene/shalom/peace for they shall be known as children of God". The idea being, like the child is about the same business as the father. If God the father is about the business of bringing eirene/shalom/peace to the human race, then so should the children. If you look at a person doing what God is about, then those folks can be identified as children of God.

Those of us who do this on a regular and consistent basis are indeed blessed, for we are about our Father's business.

Thus ends the homily for today. No need to take up an offering, just send it to your local church. :-)

Ickisrulz
02-20-2014, 06:36 PM
The New Testament word "peace" is a translation of the Greek word "eirene", which is a rough equivalent to the Hebrew word "shalom". It does not mean absence of war, hostility or strife as we tend to think of the English word "peace". It is a word that suggest wholeness or completeness, with particular attention to spiritual values. To have eirene/shalom/peace is to be complete in our relationships to ourselves, our fellow human beings and to our God. Due to the fallen nature of the human race, this cannot be accomplished absence the dynamic presence of God in our lives.

When Jesus pronounced the beatitudes (blessings), he is saying "how blessed are those who bring eirene/shalom/peace for they shall be known as children of God". The idea being, like the child is about the same business as the father. If God the father is about the business of bringing eirene/shalom/peace to the human race, then so should the children. If you look at a person doing what God is about, then those folks can be identified as children of God.

Those of us who do this on a regular and consistent basis are indeed blessed, for we are about our Father's business.

Thus ends the homily for today. No need to take up an offering, just send it to your local church. :-)

I sure wish I would have attended your church when you were the pastor!

Hickok
02-20-2014, 07:00 PM
I always recommend starting with the Book Of JOHN in the NT. Then ACTS and ROMANS. Jesus is the WAY !

Char-Gar
02-20-2014, 10:26 PM
I always recommend starting with the Book Of JOHN in the NT. Then ACTS and ROMANS. Jesus is the WAY !

Why start them with the hard stuff? I prefer to start folks with the Gospel of Mark. It is short, to the point and gives the bear bones of the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus. This is the basic thrust of Matthew and Luke as well although they fill out a few factual details. John's Gospel is altogether different. It not only gives the facts (the what), but the why as well. It is very much a look at Jesus through the rear view mirror with time for theological reflection.

Acts is very good as it tells of the expansion of the Christian faith from a Jewish cult in Palestine to a Gentile faith in the rest of the world. The central character is Paul of Tarsus, his conversion, his three missionary journeys and finally his capture, imprisonment and his trip to Rome to stand trial before Caesar.

Pauls letter to the church of Rome is an exception to his other letters as he had not yet been to Rome when it was written. It is by far the most difficult to understand because of it's length and digressions. The shorter letters of Paul were written to churches he had founded and now he is offering wisdom from afar, correction and at times trying to put out fires. Paul was a one man show even though he had some attendants and assistants.

John (my favorite guy) on the other hand based himself in Ephesus and sent out men he had trained to start church in other cities. His letters were written sermons of advise, spiritual growth and wisdom to the churches that had been founded under his direction. They are circular in nature and did not deal much with specific issues in specific churches.

I like to start people with Mark, then go to Acts, the letter of John and then to the other letters of Paul (Galatians, Ephesians, Corinthians and Colossians) before having them wade into Romans.

There is wonderful stuff in John and Romans, but for the newbie it is very hard stuff which can be confusing and discouraging. Best start with the simpler stuff to get the basics before jumping in the deep end of the pool.

When the followers of Christ as Messiah were still part of the Jewish religious umbrella, they were known as "Followers of the Way", it wasn't until the expansion of the faith to Antioch where they were first known as Christians.

AlaskanGuy
02-20-2014, 11:08 PM
I just like to start folks.... Holy spirit will let you know where for each individual most of the time....the gentiles have been grafted in and are the children of Israel, just as much as jews or hebrews, romans or other groups that are spoken of in the bible. The word Israel its self means, those who struggle against..........

Rdbronco
02-21-2014, 02:10 PM
I have enjoyed this thread as much as the Boolit forums . When I hear these types of conversations , I always reccommend the audio version of Through the Bible with J Vernon McGee. He makes everything come to life for the common man , or those of us with a short attention span. It really is all about Jesus .

Char-Gar
02-21-2014, 02:39 PM
The Bible is the story/history of a species created by the creator God, to whom he gave high intelligence and free will. This species (Mankind) decided he/she could know as much as God and in fact be their own gods. This cost them the high place in God's favor they had held.

Not content with accepting the bad/sinful choice made by his creation, God went about reclaiming them to himself. First through a covenant with Abraham, then with kings and prophets. Some of this worked to an extent for a time, but it took God himself coming in the flesh and dying for the sins of his creation to accomplish the job of restoration completely. Jesus is the highest and final expression of God's love for a fallen creation. It is through Jesus that the world will ultimately be reconciled to God.

This is what the Bible is all about and anyone who is not familiar with the basics of the Bible, do not know where he comes from, what his condition is before God, nor where he is going in life and thereafter. It is amazing that so many folks seem willing to muddle through life without this basic understand of who am I, where did I come from, and where am I going. These are the basic existential questions of life that some many folks seem to ignore. It is no wonder so many folks make such a mess out of their lives, they are as lost as a goose in a snow storm and are kites without tails.

LAH
02-21-2014, 07:51 PM
Not content with accepting the bad/sinful choice made by his creation, God went about reclaiming them to himself. First through a covenant with Abraham, then with kings and prophets. Some of this worked to an extent for a time, but it took God himself coming in the flesh and dying for the sins of his creation to accomplish the job of restoration completely. Jesus is the highest and final expression of God's love for a fallen creation. It is through Jesus that the world will ultimately be reconciled to God.

I'll AMEN you preacher.

Wayne Smith
02-21-2014, 08:03 PM
Well that is part correct and part incorrect. First the correct part. The Old Testament is indeed Jewish literature, written by, to and for Jewish people. It is more than a little helpful to have a passing knowledge of the history, culture and theology of the old Jews to put it into perspective and have a full understanding.

The New Testament is a different animal altogether. However at least one book (Hebrews) was indeed written to a Jewish readership. Other of the books were written to churches and groups that were part Jewish of Palestinian origin, part Jewish of Greek/Hellenistic origins and part were Gentiles (non-Jews) who were converted to Christianity by the missionary efforts of Paul, Peter and others. The mix of these folks were varied from local group to local group.

A few of these books were written to people with zero knowledge of Jewish history, religion and culture. The Luke/Acts set of documents is a prime example of this.

The Bible is not a monolithic book in it's writers, readers or beneficiaries. To say it is an instruction book for the "Hebrew children" displays a serious lack of knowledge about the Bible, it's origins and purposes.

I am not trying to offend anybody and everybody is entitled to their own point of view. But, I didn't want the above quoted post to stand unqualified where folks with little or know knowledge of scripture can read it and think it is valid.

I do agree that folks should avoid church dogma, but the above referenced post would seem to be laden with such dogma. I don't think Preston came to these conclusions sitting by himself under a peach tree.

I would only add that one does need a good understanding of Old Testament prophesy to understand Revelation. Even then I wonder how much I really understand. This does however, go beyond Bible 101.

Clay M
02-21-2014, 08:24 PM
Keep in mind that both Daniel and Revelation are apocalyptic literature. That means they are to be interpreted symbolically, not literally.

Char-Gar
02-21-2014, 11:11 PM
Keep in mind that both Daniel and Revelation are apocalyptic literature. That means they are to be interpreted symbolically, not literally.

Tru dat! Apocalyptic was a fairly common and well understood literary form in ancient times. It has long since gone by the wayside and the only examples we have left are Daniel and Revelation and modern readers don't know what to do with that stuff. The modern reader tries to treat it like other Biblical literature and come up with some pretty weird and off the wall interpretation.

Neither of the books are particularly hard to understand, if the reader understands the nature and purpose of apocalyptic literature.

Clay M
02-22-2014, 01:17 AM
I am currently reading this bible. It is a very good version with scholarly notations:

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Revised Standard Version, Expanded Edition (Hardcover 8910A) Hardcover

Wayne Smith
02-22-2014, 05:24 PM
I am currently reading this bible. It is a very good version with scholarly notations:

The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha, Revised Standard Version, Expanded Edition (Hardcover 8910A) Hardcover

Yup, it is one of many that I use.

goofyoldfart
03-01-2014, 10:31 PM
I guess that I'll have to quey in on this discussion also. 4 tours in the University of SouthEast Asia--and severly damaged (physically as well as emotionally). On returning home I was a serious drunk---averaging a gallon of whiskey or more a day for 13 yrs. for both pains. one day I reached my "bottom" and on the side of the bed I Begged God to help me. If He would I promised that I would never willingly take another drink for as long as i lived. He Did---I won't nor have I for 34 years. Can't see starting for now. all these years I was using phylosophy (sp?) to try to hold it together. I was raised in the church (Presbyterian and Episcopal) and saw so much two faced behavior. Won't lie---- it turned me off on church. I read the Bible but honestly I didn't really understand what it was saying. about 5 years ago I met a preacher at the shooting range and we talked a little and he invited me to his church. It's a small church, but good people. Preacher packs a pistol while in the pulpit and isn't offended if the whole church packs discretely. About half do (mostly women-- just 2 men). He teaches strickly by and from the Book. I'm still a Noobie when it comes to the Bible, But I'm learning.

what really impresses me here is that of all the threads on this site---this one is seriouly the only one that I have read that there is NO "sniping". yeh, some disagrement but with courtesy and respect. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, just flabbergasted that there is tolerance. see what I mean and go to the religion threads and see the heat and name calling. I only counted 2 disagreements in all six pages and they agreed to disagree---and politely. I have gained alot of understanding from listening to the different (but similar) opinions on these pages. May God Bless all of you and all of yours. Goofyoldfart aka Godfrey:grin:

Wayne Smith
03-03-2014, 08:39 AM
Godfrey, I learned long ago that God is infinite. Meditating on that truth it came to me that if that is true then everything I 'know' about God is one small part of His infinity. Just because you have a different small part than do I makes neither of us wrong. As long as we pay attention to His Righteousness - that boundary between what He is and what He isn't (sin) we can agree to disagree all day long and still love each other.

Char-Gar
03-03-2014, 11:02 AM
Godfrey...There are very few folks in this world who are not interested in learning about Jesus. There are however many people who are not interested in what Christians have to say because of the judgmental, conflicting and argumentative positions they hold. Christians not the devil are the worse enemies of the Gospel.

I am so glad you have found a place to explore and grow your faith. My pastor packs a pistol and encourages others to do so. He is an Episcopalian. My wife once remarked, that if somebody came into church service intent on harming someone, it would be a race to see who shot him first, me or Father Rees.

shdwlkr
03-03-2014, 11:21 AM
I will jump in here and say that we are all God's children, he is a loving and very very patient parent. But if you do chose to get his anger up he will let you know in very real ways.
I find some of missing books/chapters of the bible interesting.

In my time on this earth I have learned that God is real, he will connect with us if we are willing to connect with him. He will do/allow us to sink to the bottom of life if that is what it takes for us to realize he is there.

I can tell you that he has stepped into my life a few times just to let me know he is there and cares.

Too many in this life are trying to prove he doesn't exist, the bible is fake, events are recorded wrong, written hundreds of years after the event or that the authors are not who they are attached too. Does it really matter in the whole scheme of our existence here? NO

This was once a God fearing nation, we won many wars with the mantel of Christ as our anchor. Since we have begun our walk away from him we have won no wars, have watched our nation sink into debauchery, greed, lies and liars a plenty appear. We wonder why we are sinking as a nation, look no further than our relationship to God.

popper
03-03-2014, 11:45 AM
Genesis, then the Gospels, Acts & Romans. Then go back and re-read Genesis from the KJ version. The Genesis again, paying attention to the details. Then to Danial & Revelation.

Char-Gar
03-03-2014, 01:20 PM
I will jump in here and say that we are all God's children, he is a loving and very very patient parent.

It may seem academic and just a matter of word choice, but it is not. We are all God's creation but we are not all God's children. A child enjoys a status and privileges not enjoyed by a mere created being. Being a child of God requires affirmative action on our behalf. We must do something to become a child of God. It is not accorded by just being born.

I refer you to John 1:12:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"

This is not just a matter of word choice or order, but a real substantive difference. People should understand that if they want to be a child of God, the must do something to gain that status. I would not want folks to think otherwise.

jmort
03-03-2014, 01:26 PM
Prior to Salvation, the Bible/Jesus states that people are sons/daughters of satan spiritually and we know our physical bodies are condemned to death.

shdwlkr
03-03-2014, 03:40 PM
I refer you to John 1:12:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:"


So if we take your bible reference a literal then women can not become anything to God and are only the servants of Satan.
But we see in John 3:16 something a little different
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV)
Seems all we need to do is believe in him no reference to sex or even anything beyond that point.

Last I checked even small children are able to believe in God to the level of their understanding of him taught to them by parents, friends or even extended family members.

Joel 2:28 “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.
Seems here all are included as being God's

Char-Gar
03-03-2014, 04:18 PM
So if we take your bible reference a literal then women can not become anything to God and are only the servants of Satan.
But we see in John 3:16 something a little different
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 (NIV)
Seems all we need to do is believe in him no reference to sex or even anything beyond that point.

There is no difference between John 1:12 and John 3:16. Both require an affirmative act which is receiving Christ through belief. That was the thrust of my post. We are not born children of God, we must appropriate that status for ourselves through faith/belief in Jesus as the Christ. That is the principal message of John in those verses.

As to children, there are lots of different church traditions on that subject and there is quite a difference on the spiritual condition of children. I happen to agree with you, but it should be noted that others do not. It is hard to make an argument for any position because scripture is largely silent. Most of our thinking comes from connecting the dots, theology and assumptions. I have a full set of those, but I have no issue with folks who connect the dots another way.

As to the prophet Joel, that needs to be understand in the light of his time and circumstances, something outside the scope of this type of thread.

shdwlkr
03-03-2014, 04:36 PM
Char-gar
to really open a can a beans
IF we are not born children of God then were did we come from before we gained our mortal bodies? Are we just the product of a man and woman having a sexual encounter and we are the product of this encounter.

So did we exist before being born here on this earth that God created in 6 days I believe? If not what is our purpose to being here on this earth if it is not the next step in our spiritual development?

Char-Gar
03-03-2014, 06:10 PM
Char-gar
to really open a can a beans
IF we are not born children of God then were did we come from before we gained our mortal bodies? Are we just the product of a man and woman having a sexual encounter and we are the product of this encounter.

So did we exist before being born here on this earth that God created in 6 days I believe? If not what is our purpose to being here on this earth if it is not the next step in our spiritual development?

I have spend many years in the study of theology and banding about such questions with other who felt like probing cosmic mysteries. I am weary to the bone of such useless discussion, so I won't play. There are to many good things to do and people to help to spend much time pondering these questions without answers. At the end of the day, all you have left is somebody's opinion and everybody has one as the saying goes.

I know what scripture has to say about the subject at hand and that is where I will leave it.

AlaskanGuy
03-03-2014, 06:57 PM
We have been doing a heavy study on end times.... Very very good stuff... Wish I could share so all would understand... I have been recording the teachings for many weeks now, from the beginning of the teachings, and I have learned a LOT about end times.... There are about 28 recordings so far in the series... Maybe when we are all done, i will condense to a dvd or 2...

AG

jmort
03-03-2014, 07:07 PM
There Bible makes it clear that we reach an age of accountability. A point where we become accountable for knowing right from wrong. I have seen people with Down's Syndrome that I do not believe will ever be held accountable even if they live to be 100. They have no guile and are child like. There is no date/age certain, but children get to a point of accountability, each at his/her own point in time.

"We have been doing a heavy study on end times

Eschatology seems so arcane to me. I'm a mid-tribulation guy, but whether "pre" or "mid" or "post" tribulation, it has nothing to do with Salvation but is interesting.

Multigunner
03-04-2014, 02:01 AM
The Schofield Reference Bible comes in handy, plenty of footnotes that give a good picture of what life was like back then.

Main lesson about humanity is that we are deeply flawed, thats not going to change.
What I figure is that the reason we are flawed is that we are both organic and intelligent.
We have an immaterial soul that is not organic and is not ours to keep, it belongs to God one way or another. When you die the soul goes back to God. You are responsible for that soul and its health and well being.
Besmirch that soul and you'll pay the piper in this world and the next.

If not for the possibility that all sins may be forgiven we'd all be out of luck. Theres a balance and on judgement day you best hope you are not found wanting, but no matter how bad you've been theres still a possibility that God will forgive.

AlaskanGuy
03-04-2014, 02:37 AM
Well, i hope to be a bride kinda guy myself, part of the 144k.... But I would rather be cleaning toilets in Heaven, then burning in the lake of fire... And if I am part of the unwise Virgin's, i will hop on the first guillotine that you know who wants to put me on for not taking the mark.

pmer
04-25-2014, 08:17 AM
I'm just finishing up my second bible study group. It is on the new testament. Two things that suprised me are that the 4 Gospels are wrote to reflect Jesus in different ways.

Servant
Man
King
Deity

And the other is the word catholic means "universal". That helps explain the word catholic in the Nicene Creed.

Oh, I wanted to lift up goofyoldfart, Godfrey, and thank him for telling his story. Bless you for telling a demon like that to get behind you.

pmer
10-05-2014, 11:41 AM
There is none better than the love of Jesus. His understanding and forgiveness. His ultimate scarfice creating a new covenant for us all.

If there is something missing or if you're thinking is this all there is to life, there is help here. You can find help locally too, dust off that bible and let His word come alive.

Boaz
10-05-2014, 12:16 PM
I have enjoyed keeping up with this thread , the civility exhibited here is a testimonial to how all Christians should join and share their thoughts . Our GOD has provided a different path for each of us to follow , the different denominations are a blessing to those who truly believe the great commandments of Christ . Our faith is the same , beware of the devil who only try's to confuse us with the details but he can not alter the truth we all know . May the Lord bless and keep you all and I personally thank you .

johnson1942
10-13-2014, 02:27 PM
seek and you will find, the living God will not let you down, ever.