Praying has caused some difficulty in many churches because they are treated like absolutes or guarantees; if we do A we will get B. Proverbs are not to be applied in this sense in an imperfect world, with imperfect people. The best phrase that we can put before the prayer is “generally speaking.”
Matthew 7:7-8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 “Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 21:21-22 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And all the things you ask in prayer, having faith, you will receive.”
Do Jesus’ words here absolutely guarantee that whatever we ask for in prayer, we will receive it? No, they do not. Notice the condition. Jesus said, ‘Keep on asking, seeking, and knocking.’ It is not just a one time thing. So, if we keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking, will we receive whatever we ask? It is not necessarily the case. All Scripture is inspired and beneficial. The Bible is sixty-six books by forty authors, making up just one book. (2 Tim. 3:16-17) Thus, we have to consider what other verses say. Jesus elsewhere, said the only ones benefiting from the kingdom are those doing the will of the Father. (Matt 7:21-23) Here it is then, we must keep on praying, to the Father, it must be in harmony with his will and purposes, and he must decide if it is what he wants. Let us look at some proverbs in the Bible that also say we will receive things as well. If we understand how they work, it will help us better understand how prayer works. In other words, if we understand how proverbs work within Scripture, wherein it seems like they are absolutes, but they are not, we can better understand prayer in a Scriptural and balanced manner.
A PROVERB IS a short well-known pithy saying that expresses an obvious truth and often offers advice in a forceful way and is to the point, and frequently with an element of wit. Generally, the proverb will describe somebody or something with a word or phrase that is not meant to be taken literally. By means of a vivid comparison, proverbs express something about a person or thing. While we do have a whole book of proverbs, they are found all throughout the Bible.
Isaiah 5:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
and discerning in their own sight!
Proverbs have caused some difficulty in many churches because they are treated like absolutes or guarantees; if we do A we will get B. Proverbs are not to be applied in this sense in an imperfect world, with imperfect people. The best phrase that we can put before the proverb is “generally speaking.” Let us look at Proverbs 22:6 as our example, it says, “train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (ESV) Let us look at an easy version of this, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” (NLT) Is this an absolute guarantee that, if I raise my children in the best way, when they get older they will not leave it? No. Let us place our phrase in front of it. ‘Generally speaking,’ if you direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.’
Again, we ask, is a proverb to be interpreted as a universal law? Is it as the law of the Medes and the Persians, which could never be overruled (Esther 8:8)? Is it to be interpreted absolutely, as the laws of thermodynamics, which describe what must always take place? It is apparent when reading proverbs that many of them seem to be less than absolute in their applicability. Let us look at a few more examples,
Proverbs 1:33 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
33 “But he who listens to me shall dwell securely
and he will live, without the dread of disaster.”
Is it not true, even some of the most spiritual people we know, have suffered a lack of peace in war-torn countries (i.e., have not dwelled securely), or have had trouble in a bad neighborhood, as they fearfully walk to the store, or get in and out of their car, even walk out on their front porch? Was not Stephen of the first century a very spiritual Christian, and was he not martyred?
Proverbs 3:9-10 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
9 Honor Jehovah with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Have not many good Christians given much to the congregation out of their heart over the years, and suffered financial disaster during an economic downturn?
Proverbs 10:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
3 Jehovah does not let the soul of the righteous go hungry,
but he thrusts away the craving of the wicked.
4 A slack hand causes poverty,
but the hand of the diligent makes rich.
Are there not poor Christians, who work hard at minimum wage jobs; while there are rich people, who have never worked a day in their life?
Proverbs 13:21 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
21 Misfortune pursues sinners,
but the righteous are rewarded with good.
Do we measure the righteous by who is the most blessed? Are all righteous people rich?
Proverbs 17:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully
and will share in the inheritance among brothers.
Are there not wicked rich people?
It is obvious that none of these are absolutes. However, if we follow the rule and place “generally speaking” before the proverb, we will arrive at what the author meant. Generally speaking, all who listen to the principles of God, will have peace, untroubled by harm. Keeping physically clean contributes to good health. (Deuteronomy 23:12-13) God’s servants must always speak the truth. (Ephesians 4:25) Sex before marriage, adultery, bestiality, incest, and homosexuality are all serious sins against God. – Leviticus 18:6; Romans 1:26, 27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
Christians must avoid lying. (Pro. 6:16-19; Col. 3:9-10) They do not take part in any kind of gambling. (Eph. 5:3-5) In addition, Christians do not steal. Additionally, they do not knowingly buy property that they know to be stolen, nor do they take things without the owner’s permission. (Ex. 20:15; Eph. 4:28) Christians have learned to control their anger, as uncontrolled anger can lead to acts of violence. (Gen. 4:5-8) God does not accept a person that is violent or even loves violence as his friend. (Psa. 11:5; Pro. 22:24-25) Christians do not take revenge or to return evil for the bad things that others might do to us. (Pro. 24:29; Rom. 12:17-21) There is nothing in the Bible that prohibits drinking alcoholic beverages. (Psa. 104:15; 1 Tim. 5:23) However, heavy drinking and drunkenness are condemned. (1 Cor. 5:11-13; 1 Tim. 3:8) A person, who consumes too much alcohol will more than likely ruin their health and upset their family. Moreover, it will decrease one’s spiritual thinking ability, causing them to give into temptations. – Proverbs 23:20-21, 29-35.
The Hebrew word for “proverb” is mashal, and is believed to be from a root word, meaning, “to liken” or “compare.” Psalm 49:12 says, “Man in his pomp [i.e., honor, fame, wealth] will not remain; he is like [or comparable to] the beasts that perish.” This is certainly true, as many of the proverbs within Scripture make use of likenesses or comparisons. Milton Terry adds,
The same verb means also to rule or have dominion, and some have sought to trace a logical connection between the two significations; but, more probably, as Gesenius suggests, two distinct and independent radicals have coalesced under this one form. The proverb proper will generally be found, in its ultimate analysis, to be a comparison or similitude. Thus, the saying, which became a proverb (mashal) in Israel, “Is Saul also among the prophets?” arose from his prophesying after the manner of the prophets with whom he came in contact (1 Sam. 10:10-12). The proverb used by Jesus in the synagogue of Nazareth, “Physician, heal thyself,” is a condensed parable, as, indeed, it is there called (Luke 4:23), and it would be no difficult task to enlarge it into a parabolic narrative. Herein, also we may see how proverbs and parables came to be designated by the same word. The word paroimia, adage, byword, expresses more nearly the later idea commonly associated with the Hebrew mashal, and stands as its representative in the Septuagint. In the New Testament it is used in the sense of adage, or common byword, in 2 Peter 2:22, but in John’s Gospel it denotes more especially an enigmatical discourse (John 10:6; John 16:15, 29). (Terry 1883, 329)
If the above were true, it would mean that, at times, we are talking about the sayings of a ruler, which means it would carry authority and power, or at least suggest superior wisdom. We do have a text that is consistent with this view, King Solomon “also uttered three thousand proverbs; and his songs were a thousand and five.” – 1 Kings 4:32.
Amid the Israelites, there were widely held or regularly used expressions, which were packed with meaning on account of the situations that surrounded them. Mostly, these proverbial sayings were succinctly stated. (1 Sam. 10:12) However, not all of the proverbial sayings communicated correct views, and God took issue with them.
|Ezekiel 12:22-23 (ESV)
22 “Son of man, what is this proverb that you have about the land of Israel, saying, ‘The days grow long, and every vision comes to nothing’? 23 Tell them therefore, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will put an end to this proverb, and they shall no more use it as a proverb in Israel.’ But say to them, The days are near, and the fulfillment of every vision.
|Ezekiel 18:2-3 (ESV)
2 “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? 3 As I live, declares the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel.
Some of the proverbs turned into common expressions of mockery or disdain for certain people
Habakkuk 2:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 Will not all these take up a proverb against him,
Even mockery and insinuations against him, saying,
“Woe to him who increases what is not his’?
For how long?
And makes himself rich with loans?”
Here we have, more exactly the object of contempt, be it a person or something inanimate being referred to as “a proverbial.” Hence, the Israelites were warned that if they failed to pay attention God, obeying his commandments,
Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of Jehovah your God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day, that all these curses shall come upon you, and overtake you.
Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
37 And you will become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all the peoples where Jehovah will lead you away.
|1 Kings 9:7
Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
7 then I will cut off Israel from the land that I have given them, and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight, and Israel will become a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
|2 Chronicles 7:20
Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
20 then I will pluck you up from my land that I have given you, and this house that I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples.
Israel eventually did become a proverb and a byword [catch phrase] among the nations, as the following expressions show,
Psalm 44:13-15 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
13 You make us a reproach to our neighbors,
A scoffing and a derision to those around us.
14 You have made us a proverb among the nations,
a laughing stock among the peoples.
15 All day long my dishonor is before me,
and shame has covered my face
Jeremiah 24:9 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
9 And I will make them as a terror, an evil to all the kingdoms of the earth, as a disgrace and a proverb, as a taunt and a curse, in all the places where I will drive them.
There were individuals, who became an object of scorn or a joke among the people, the subject among the drunkards,
Psalm 69:11-12 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a proverb to them.
12 Those who sit in the gate talk about me,
And I am the song of the drunkards.
11 When I made sackcloth my clothing,
I became a byword to them.
12 Those who sit in the gate talk about me,
And I am the song of the drunkards.
Job 17:6 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
6 “But He has made me a proverb of the people,
And I am one at whom men spit.
As we can see from the above texts, to be a made a proverb of the people or of the nations, was to become an object of scorn, taking on a very low state in life.
While most proverbs are short pithy sayings, this is not always the case, as Isaiah chapter 14 contains a lengthier one. It compares the catastrophic result of the arrogance of the king of Babylon. With cutting, bitter mockery and derision, it piles scorn on the one who thought of himself as the “Shining morning star.”
When the comparison or similitude contained in the proverb, was also rather unclear or puzzling, it could also be viewed as a riddle.
Psalm 78:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
2 I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter riddles from of old,
An example of this can be found in the book of Ezekiel, where he made the following comparison,
Ezekiel 17:2-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
2 “Son of man, pose a riddle and speak a parable to the house of Israel. 3 You are to say: This is what the Lord God says:
A great eagle with great wings, long pinions,
and full plumage of many colors
came to Lebanon and took the top of the cedar.
4 He plucked off its topmost shoot,
brought it to the land of merchants,
and set it in a city of traders.
5 Then he took some of the land’s seed
and put it in a fertile field;
he set it like a willow,
a plant by abundant waters.
6 It sprouted and became a spreading vine,
low in height with its branches turned toward him,
yet its roots stayed under it.
So it became a vine,
produced branches, and sent out shoots.
7 But there was another great eagle
with great wings and thick plumage.
And this vine bent its roots toward him!
It stretched out its branches to him
from its planting bed,
so that he might water it.
8 It had been planted
in a good field by abundant waters
in order to produce branches,
bear fruit, and become a splendid vine.
9 You are to say: This is what the Lord God says:
Will it flourish?
Will he not tear out its roots
and strip off its fruit
so that it shrivels?
All its fresh leaves will wither!
Great strength and many people
will not be needed to pull it from its roots.
10 Even though it is planted, will it flourish?
Won’t it completely wither
when the east wind strikes it?
It will wither on the bed where it sprouted.”
11 The word of the Lord came to me:12 “Now say to that rebellious house: Don’t you know what these things mean? Tell them: The king of Babylon came to Jerusalem, took its king and officials, and brought them back with him to Babylon. 13 He took one of the royal family and made a covenant with him, putting him under oath. Then he took away the leading men of the land,14 so the kingdom might be humble and not exalt itself but might keep his covenant in order to endure. 15 However, this king revolted against him by sending his ambassadors to Egypt so they might give him horses and a large army. Will he flourish? Will the one who does such things escape? Can he break a covenant and still escape?
16 “As I live”–this is the declaration of the Lord God–“he will die in Babylon, in the land of the king who put him on the throne, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke. 17 Pharaoh will not help him with his great army and vast horde in battle, when ramps are built and siege walls constructed to destroy many lives.18 He despised the oath by breaking the covenant. He did all these things even though he gave his hand in pledge. He will not escape!”
The Case of Job
What we have covered thus far will help us understand one of the most complex books of the Bible, the book of Job.
Job was a “blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil.” Job was living a happy life; he had seven sons and seven daughters. He was a wealthy landowner. “He possessed 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys, and very many servants so that this man was the greatest of all the people of the east.” (1:3) Even so, he is not a materialistic person; he was only following a proverb like the above, ‘if you work hard, your efforts will be blessed.’
Job 1:13-19; 2:7-8
13Now there was a day when his sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 14and there came a messenger to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys feeding beside them, 15and the Sabeans fell upon them and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 16While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The fire of God fell from heaven and burned up the sheep and the servants and consumed them, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 17While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “The Chaldeans formed three groups and made a raid on the camels and took them and struck down the servants with the edge of the sword, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 18While he was yet speaking, there came another and said, “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, 19and behold, a great wind came across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young people, and they are dead, and I alone have escaped to tell you.” 2:7So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. 8And he took a piece of broken pottery with which to scrape himself while he sat in the ashes.
7“Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off? 8As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same.
Eliphaz in an attempt at dealing with Job’s atrocities assumes Job’s tragedies are a result of his own actions. Eliphaz has reasoned wrong by taking a proverb and making it an absolute. In essence, he asks Job, ‘do those that are innocent die? When have those that live a righteous life been destroyed?’ Eliphaz goes on by saying, ‘my experience suggests that it is those who are doing wrong and entertain bad that will get back what they gave out.’ In other words, Eliphaz is assuming that only the wicked reap bad times.
15But he saves the needy from the sword of their mouth and from the hand of the mighty.
Eliphaz again assumes that Job is at fault. Eliphaz is assuming that it was Job’s great riches, which were ill gotten, and this is why he is suffering. Is Eliphaz’s statement wrong in and of itself? No, God does rescue the poor from the oppressive, by their following his counsel on the right way to live. However, this is no absolute; saying all who live by God’s will and purposes will never be mistreated. Moreover, the whole idea is misplaced, in that maybe Job is the rich oppressor and this is his punishment from God.
3 Does God pervert justice? Or does the Almighty pervert the right? 4 If your children have sinned against him, he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression. 5 If you will seek God and plead with the Almighty for mercy, 6if you are pure and upright, surely then he will rouse himself for you and restore your rightful habitation.
Bildad too is stating true statements, but in absolute terms that are misplaced when it comes to Job or anyone. Certainly, God does not pervert justice. Therefore, Bildad is right on that, but his application and understanding are what is twisted, as he assumes that children died because they had sinned, and justice was being meted out to them. Again, in verse 5-6, we have a true thought, in that if one is in an impure state, and turns to God with pleads, he will restore them. However, in verses 5-6, Bildad is assuming that Job is unrighteous because he sees that proverb as an absolute.
As can be seen from the above, one must be aware that proverbs are not absolutes, but are general truths. True enough, there are likely a couple of exceptions to this rule, but that would not negate this rule, and approach of correct interpretation of proverbs.
Rules for Interpreting Proverbs
A proverb can be a simile, a metaphor, a parable, even an allegory. Therefore, we must first ascertain which of these fits our proverb under consideration. For example, Proverbs 5:15-18 is an allegory, which “depicts a model of chastity for the godly husband and wife through the figure of cool, fresh flowing water, so precious in an arid country. What a beautiful way to portray the never-ending love relationship of a husband for his wife.” (Goldberg 2000, 20)
If we are to interpret correctly the proverbs found all through Scripture, we have to be critical and practical combined with intelligence and good judgment, i.e., wise and shrewd. Some proverbs are only just straightforward facts; “Even a child makes himself known by his acts, by whether his conduct is pure and upright.” (Pro 20:15) Have our children’s “actions” shown them to be “pure and upright” or careless and irresponsible?
Then again, some proverbs are simple principles, teachings, rules, guidelines, instructions and truisms of a good and righteous life, or warnings against sin, which is understandable to anyone, such as Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.” Another example would be Proverbs 4:14, “Do not go where evil people go. Do not follow the example of the wicked.” Then again, there are proverbs, which demand that we slow down and critically examine then, like Proverbs 25:27, “It is not good to eat much honey, Nor is it glory to search out one’s own glory.” Verse 27b literally reads, “The seeking of their glory is glory.” Most take 27b, as saying the proud can never get enough glory. In fact, they will even seek the glory that belongs to others, even the glory that rightfully belongs to God. However, Duane A. Garrett writes,
With minor emending, however, it can be translated, “But seeking out difficult things is glorious.” While this creates a surprising response to line a, it looks back to v. 2 in the same way that line a looks back to v. 16. The chiastic structure of the whole is as follows: glory (v. 2)/ honey (v. 16)/honey (v. 27a)/glory (v. 27b). While an excess of sweets does no one good, the wise never can get enough of unraveling the riddles of the sages. (Garrett 1993, 209)
Of the many proverbs found within Scripture, most need some contemplation, to come away with what the author meant by the words that he used; others were designed to puzzle, but can be investigated and explained with the treasure house of Bible study tools available to us today. Along with these tools is the context that a proverb lies within; therefore, the immediate context is where one should begin.
In addition, we need to consider the poetic parallelisms. The identical and the complete or exact opposite parallelisms, especially, are modified; by way of the similarities and contrasts they provide, which put forward their own meaning from within. For example, Proverbs 11:25, which reads, “The generous man will be fat [prosperous], and he who waters will himself be watered.” If we look at the second half of the parallelism, we will see that it is a metaphorical illustration of the rather hard to understand feeling or opinion of the first half. Looking at another, we see Proverbs 12:24, which reads, “The hand of the diligent will rule, But the slack [hand] will be put to forced labor.” Again, we are dealing with a metaphor, in which the contrast makes transparent.
Milton brings us back to what was spoken of at the outset, but bears repeating yet again; we need “to guard us against construing all proverbs as universal propositions. Proverbs 16:7 expresses a great truth: ‘When Jehovah delights in the ways of a man he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.’ But there have been many exceptions to this statement, and many cases to which it could apply only with considerable modification. Such, to some extent, have been all cases of persecution for righteousness’ sake. So, too, with verse 13 of the same chapter: “Delight of kings are lips of righteousness, and him that speaks right things he will love.” The annals of human history show that this has not always been true, and yet the most impious kings understand the value of upright counselors.” (Terry 1883, 332-3) Here again, it is best to put the phrase, “generally speaking” before these proverbs that are not universal laws.
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There is a genuine happiness, contentment, and joy, which come from reading, studying and applying God’s Word. This is true because the Scriptures offer us guidance and direction that aids us in living a life that coincides with our existence as a creation of Almighty God. For example, we …
THERE IS ONE MAJOR DIFFERENCE between Christian living books by Andrews and those by others. Generally speaking, his books are filled with Scripture and offer its readers what the Bible authors meant by what they penned. In this publication, it is really God’s Word offering the counsel, …
A clean conscience brings us inner peace, calmness, and a profound joy that is seldom found in this world under the imperfection of fallen flesh that is catered to by Satan, the god of the world. Many who were formerly living in sin and have now turned their life over to God, they now know this amazing relief and are able today to hold a good and clean conscience as they carry out the will of the Father. WALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD, has been written to help its readers to find that same joy, to have and maintain a good, clean conscience in their lives. Of course, it is incapable of covering every detail that one would need to consider and apply in their lives …
This book is primarily for WIVES, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. WIVES will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: WIVES BE SUBJECT TO …
This book is primarily for HUSBANDS, but wives will greatly benefit from it as well. HUSBANDS will learn to use God’s Word to construct a solid and happy marriage. The Creator of the family gives the very best advice. Many have been so eager to read this new publication: HUSBANDS LOVE …
Technological and societal change is all around us. What does the future hold? Trying to predict the future is difficult, but we can get a clue from the social and technological trends in our society. The chapters in this book provide a framework as Christians explore the uncharted territory in our world of technology and social change.
Government affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to politics and government. This book provides an overview of the biblical principles relating to what the apostle Paul calls “governing authorities” (i.e., government) with specific chapters dealing with the founding principles of the American government. This includes an examination of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Federalist Papers.
Economics affects our daily lives, and Christians need to think about how to apply biblical principles to money, investment, borrowing, and spending. They also need to understand the free enterprise system and know how to defend capitalism. Chapters in this book not only look at broad economic principles, but a section of the book is devoted to the challenges we face in the 21st century from globalization and tough economic times. A section of the book also provides an in-depth look at other important social and economic issues (gambling, welfare) that we face every day
Do you desire to follow Jesus Christ and transform the culture around you? Are you sure you know what it means to be a disciple and follow a dangerous revolutionary who often comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable? Jesus Christ is not the mild status quo rabbi you may have been taught in your local church. He is dangerous and anyone who follows him is on a dangerous journey. The demands he places upon you and the challenges you will encounter are necessary on the journey. The journey with Jesus Christ is not for the fainthearted. If you are really serious about joining Jesus Christ in the transformation of the culture around you, here is a raw outlook on what to expect on this DANGEROUS JOURNEY.
Christian Apologetics and Evangelism
Was the Gospel of Mark Written First? Were the Gospel Writers Plagiarists? What is the Q Document? What about Document Q? Critical Bible scholars have assumed that Matthew and Luke used the book of Mark to compile their Gospels and that they consulted a supplementary source, a document the scholars call Q from the German Quelle, or source. From the close of the first century A.D. to the 18th century, the reliability of the Gospels was never really brought into question. However, once we enter the so-called period of enlightenment, especially from the 19th century onward, some critical Bible scholars viewed the Gospels not as the inspired, inerrant Word of God but rather as the word of man, and a jumbled word at that. In addition, they determined that the Gospels were not written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, saying the Gospels were written after the apostles, denying that the writers of the Gospels had any firsthand knowledge of Jesus; therefore, for these Bible critics such men were unable to offer a record of reliable history. Moreover, these critical Bible scholars came to the conclusion that the similarities in structure and content in the synoptic (similar view) Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), suggests that the evangelists copied extensively from one other. Further, the critical Bible scholars have rejected that the miracles of Jesus and his resurrection ever occurred as recorded in the Gospels. Lastly, some have even gone so far as to reject the historicity of Jesus himself.
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or the church, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” Ours is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the truthfulness of his Word, the Bible. A SUBSTANTIAL PORTION of REASONABLE FAITH is on healing for the elements of emotional doubt. However, much attention is given to more evidenced-based chapters in our pursuit of overcoming any fears or doubts that we may have or that may creep up on us in the future.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Jesus?’ ‘He was the perfect, divine, Son of God.’ Admittedly, you cannot be a perfect teacher. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Jesus taught. THE GREAT TEACHER: Jesus Christ will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.
How can you improve your effectiveness as teachers? Essentially, it is by imitating THE TEACHER the Apostle Paul. You may wonder, ‘But how can we imitate Paul?’ ‘He was an inspired author, who served as an apostle, given miraculous powers.’ Admittedly, Paul likely accomplished more than any other imperfect human. Nevertheless, regardless of your abilities, you can do your best to imitate the way Paul taught. THE TEACHER the Apostle Paul will discuss how you can employ all of his teaching methods.
The King James Bible was originally published in 1611. Some have estimated that the number of copies of the King James Version that have been produced in print worldwide is over one billion! There is little doubt that the King James Version is a literary masterpiece, which this author has and will appreciate and value for its unparalleled beauty of expression. This book is in no way trying to take away from what the King James Version has accomplished. The King James Version is a book to be commended for all that it has accomplished. For four centuries, when English-speaking people spoke of “the Bible,” they meant the King James Version. The question that begs to be asked of those who favor the King James Bible is, Do You Know the King James Version? What do most users of the King James Bible not know about their translation? Whether you are one who favors the King James Version or one who prefers a modern translation, Andrews will answer the questions that have long been asked for centuries about the King James Bible and far more.
How true is the Old Testament? For over two centuries Biblical scholars have held to the so-called documentary hypothesis, namely, that Genesis-Deuteronomy was not authored by Moses, but rather by several writers, some of whom lived centuries after Moses’ time. How have many scholars …
Agabus is a mysterious prophetic figure that appears only twice in the book of Acts. Though his role is minor, he is a significant figure in a great debate between cessationists and continualists. On one side are those who believe that the gift of prophecy is on par with the inspired Scriptures, infallible, and has ceased. On the other side are those who define it as fallible and non-revelatory speech that continues today in the life of the church. Proponents of both camps attempt to claim …
People grow old, get sick, and die. Even some children die. Should you be afraid of death or of anybody who has died? Do you know what happens if we die? Will you ever see your dead loved ones again? “If a man dies, shall he live again?” asked the man Job long ago. (Job 14:14) Did God originally intend for humans to die? Why do you grow old and die? What is the Bible’s viewpoint of death? What is the condition of the dead? Are the dead aware of what is happening around them? What hope is there for the dead?
Islam is making a significant mark in our world. It is perhaps the fastest-growing religion in the world. It has become a major obstacle to Christian missions. And Muslim terrorists threaten the West and modern democracies. What is the history of Islam? What do Muslims believe? Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? Why do we have this clash of civilizations? Is sharia law a threat to modern democratic values? How can we fight terrorists in the 21st century? These are significant questions that deserve thoughtful answers …
…IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD? Is Islam the One True Faith? This book covers the worldview, practices, and history of Islam and the Quran. This book is designed as an apologetic evangelistic tool for Christians, as they come across Muslims in their daily lives, as well as to inform …
If you have the desire to become better equipped to reach others for the lost or to strengthen your faith, Judy Salisbury’s guide—written specifically to meet the needs of Christian women today—offers you a safe, practical, and approachable place to start. In her lively, …
Historical Criticism of the Bible got started in earnest, known then as Higher Criticism, during the 18th and 19th centuries, it is also known as the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation. Are there any weakness to the Historical-Critical Method of biblical interpretation …
Biblical criticism is an umbrella term covering various techniques for applying literary historical-critical methods in analyzing and studying the Bible and its textual content. Biblical criticism is also known as higher criticism, literary criticism, and historical criticism. Biblical criticism has done nothing more than weaken and demoralize people’s assurance in the Bible as being the inspired and fully inerrant Word of God and isdestructive in its very nature . Historical criticism is made up of many forms of biblical criticism that are harmful to the authoritative Word of God: historical criticism, source criticism, form criticism, redaction criticism, social-science criticism, canonical criticism, rhetorical criticism, structural criticism, narrative criticism, reader-response criticism, and feminist criticism. Not just liberal scholarship, but many moderate, even some “conservative” scholars have …
APOLOGETICS: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion by Edward D. Andrews, author of seventy-two books, covers information that proves that the Bible is accurate, trustworthy, fully inerrant, and inspired by God for the benefit of humankind. The reader will be introduced to Christan …
REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is going to challenge your objectivity. Being objective means that personal feelings or opinions do not influence you in considering and representing facts. Being subjective means that your understanding is based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or ideas. If the reader finds these insights offense, it might be a little mind control at work from years of being told the same misinformation repeatedly, so ponder things objectively …
Use of REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES should help you to cultivate the ability to reason from the Scriptures and to use them effectively in assisting others to learn about “the mighty works of God.” – Acts 2:11. If Christians are going to be capable, powerful, efficient teachers of God’s Word, we must not only pay attention to what we tell those who are interested but also how we tell them. Yes, we must focus our attention on…
God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Tim. 2:4) God has assigned all Christians the task of proclaiming the Word of God, teaching, to make disciples. (Matt. 24:15; 28:19-20: Ac 1;8 That includes men and women who profess a non-Christian religion, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam to mention just a few. If there are Hindus, Buddhist or Muslims are in your community, why not initiate a conversation with them? Christians who take the Great Commission seriously cannot afford to ignore these religions…
Evangelism is the work of a Christian evangelist, of which all true Christians are obligated to partake to some extent, which seeks to persuade other people to become Christian, especially by sharing the basics of the Gospel, but also the deeper message of biblical truths. Today the …
MOST Christian apologetic books help the reader know WHAT to say; THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST is HOW to communicate it effectively. The Christian apologist words should always be seasoned with salt as we share the unadulterated truths of Scripture with gentleness and respect. Our example …
…THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK is a practical guide (for real-life application) in aiding all Christians in sharing biblical beliefs, the Good News of the kingdom, how to deal with Bible critics, overturning false beliefs, so as to make disciples, as commanded by Christ. Matthew 24:14; …
The reader will receive eight small introductory books in this one publication. Andrews’ intention is to offer his reader several chapters on eight of the most critical subject areas of understanding and defending the Word of God. This will enable the reader to lay a solid foundation for …
…The Culture War. How the West lost its greatness and was weakened from within outlines how the West lost its values, causing its current decline. It is a forceful attack on the extreme liberal, anti-religious ideology which since the1960’s has permeated the Western culture and …
EARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY will give its readers a thrilling account of first-century Christianity. When and how did they come to be called Christians? Who are all obligated to be Christian evangelists? In what way did Jesus set the example for our evangelism? What is the …
Inside of some Christians unbeknownst to their family, friends or congregation, they are screaming, “I doubt, I doubt, I have very grave doubts!” OURS is an age of doubt. Skepticism has become fashionable. We are urged to question everything: especially the existence of God and the …
The intention of this book is to investigate the biblical chronology behind Jehovah’s Witnesses most controversial doctrinal position that Jesus began to rule invisibly from heaven in October 1914. This biblical chronology of the Witnesses hinges upon their belief that the destruction of …
In order to overcome and church problems, we must first talk about the different problems of the church. Many of the church problems today stem from the isms: liberalism, humanism, modernism, Christian progressivism, theological liberalism, feminism, higher criticism, and biblical criticism. Moreover, many are simply not a biblically grounded church regardless of how much they claim to be so. The marks of a true Christian church would be like the different lines that make up a church’s fingerprint, a print that cannot belong to any other church. The true Christian church contains their own unique grouping of marks, forming a positive “fingerprint” that cannot belong to any other church. William Lange Craig wrote, “Remember that our faith is not based on emotions, but on the truth, and therefore you must hold on to it.” What truth? Jesus said to the Father in prayer, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.” (John 17:17) Are you doing the will of the Father? Is your church doing the will of the Father? – Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:15-17.
Evangelist Norman Robertson claims that “Tithing is God’s way of financing His kingdom on the earth.” He asserts that “It is His system of economics which enables the Gospel to be preached.” Not bashful about telling his followers of their duty to give, he flatly states: ‘Tithing isn’t something you do because you can afford it. It is an act of obedience. Not tithing is a clear violation of God’s commandments. It is embezzlement.’ Most likely you accept that giving should be part of Christian worship. However, …
DECEPTION IN THE CHURCH by Fred DeRuvo asks Does It Matter How You Worship? There are 41,000 different denominations that call themselves “Christian” and all would claim that they are the truth. Can just any Christian denomination please God? Can all be true or genuine Christianity if they all have different views on the same Bible doctrines? DeRuvo will answer. He will focus on the largest part of Christianity that has many different denominations, the charismatic, ecstatic Signs and Wonders Movements. These ecstatic worshipers claim … DeRuvo will answer all these questions and more according to the truth of God’s Word.—John 8:31-32; 17:17.
Translation and Textual Criticism
…THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION (CGBT) is for all individuals interested in how the Bible came down to us, as well as having an insight into the Bible translation process. CGBT is also for those who are interested in which translation(s) would be the most beneficial to use.
There are more than 150 different Bible translations in the English language alone. Some are what we call literal translations, which seeks to give the reader the exact English equivalent of what was written in the original language text, thus allowing the reader access to the actual Word …
…THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT was copied and recopied by hand for 1,500 years. Regardless of those scribes who had worked very hard to be faithful in their copying, errors crept into the text. How can we be confident that what we have today is the Word of God? Wilkins and Andrews …
Edward D. Andrews boldly answers the challenges Bart D. Ehrman alleges against the fully inerrant, Spirit-inspired, authoritative Word of God. By glimpsing into the life of Bart D. Ehrman and following along his course of academic studies, Andrews helps the reader to understand the …
A comprehensive book on HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE by observing, interpreting, and applying, which will focus on the most basic Bible study tools, principles, and processes for moving from an in-depth reading of the Scriptures to application. What, though, if you have long felt that you are not studiously inclined? Realize that the primary difference between a serious Bible student and a less serious Bible student is usually diligence and effort, not being a gifted student. Being a gifted Bible student alone is not enough. Efficient methods of Bible study are worth learning, for those seeking to become serious Bible students. The joy missing from many Bible students is because they do not know how to study their Bible, which means they do not do it well. Perhaps you dislike Bible study because you have not developed your study skills sufficiently to make your Bible study enjoyable. Maybe you have neglected your Bible study simply because you would rather be doing something else you enjoy.
How can we find more enjoyment in studying the Bible? How can we make our study periods more productive? What circumstances contribute to effective personal study? How can we derive real benefit and pleasure from our Bible reading? From what activities can time be bought out for reading and studying the Bible? Why should we watch our spiritual feeding habits? What benefits come from reading and studying the Scriptures? There is a great and constantly growing interest in the study of the English Bible in these days. However, very much of the so-called study of the English Bible is unintelligent and not fitted to produce the most satisfactory results. The authors of this book already have a book entitled “HOW TO STUDY: Study the Bible for the Greatest Profit,” but that book is intended for those who are willing to buy out the time to put into thorough Bible study.
Why is personal and family Bible study so important in our life now? How can we apply the Word of God in our lives? How can we use the Bible to help others? How can we effectively use the Scriptures when teaching others? How can we make decisions God’s way? How can Bible principles help us to decide wisely? Why should we have faith in God and his word? The Psalmist tells us, God’s Word “is a lamp to my foot, and a light for my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Since the Bible is a gift from God, the time and effort that we put into our personal Bible Study is a reflection of how much we appreciate that gift. What do our personal Bible study habits reveal about the depth of our appreciation of God’s Word? Certainly, the Bible is a deep and complex book, and reading and studying are not easy at times. However, with time and effort, we can develop a spiritual appetite for personal Bible study. (1 Peter 2:2)
Correctly interpreting the Bible is paramount to understanding the Word of God. As Christians, we do not want to read our 21st-century worldview INTO the Scriptures, but rather to takeOUT OF the Scriptures what the author meant by the words that he used. The guaranteed way of arriving a correct understanding of God’s Words is to have an accurate knowledge of the historical setting, cultural background, and of the people, governments, and religious leaders, as well as the place and time of the New Testament writings. Only with the background, setting, and context can you grasp the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and …
The life of Christ is an exhaustless theme. It reveals a character of greater massiveness than the hills, of a more serene beauty than the stars, of sweeter fragrance than the flowers, higher than the heavens in sublimity and deeper than the seas in mystery. As good Jean Paul has eloquently said, “It concerns Him who, being the holiest among the mighty, and the mightiest among the holy, lifted with His pierced hands empires off their hinges, turned the stream of centuries out of its channels, and still governs the ages.” …
Stalker’s Life of St. Paul became one of the most widely read and respected biographies of the Apostle to the Gentiles. As an insightful compendium on the life of Paul, this work is of particular interest to pastors and teachers who desire to add realism and vividness to their account of one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. …
With solid scholarship and exceptional clarity, beginning in Gethsemane, Stalker and Andrews examine Jesus’ trial and crucifixion. Their work is relevant, beneficial and enjoyable because they cover this historical period of Jesus’ life in an easy to understand format. Stalker’s expressive and persuasive style provides a great resource to any Bible study of the events leading to the death of Jesus Christ. THE TRIAL AND DEATH OF JESUS CHRIST is an academicish book written with a novelish style.
Delving into the basics of biblical interpretation, Edward D. Andrews has provided a complete hands-on guide to understanding what the author meant by the words that he used from the conservative grammatical-historical perspective. He teaches how to study the Bible on a deep, scholarly …
…Linguistic and literary factors are analyzed so that the various genres of Scripture are examined for their true meaning. The importance of having sound principles of interpretation cannot be overstated as to ignore them will result in all manner of erroneous assumptions. Beville presents …
Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzzword. It pronounced Modernism dead or at least in the throes of death. It was a wave that swept over Christendom, promising to wash away sterile, dogmatic and outmoded forms of church. But whatever happened to postmodernism? It was regarded …
…church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy Churches: A Case-Study in Revelation begins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …
…liberties in a multi-cultural society that is becoming increasingly secular. This work provides an ethical framework in which euthanasia and assisted suicide can be evaluated. These issues are on the radar indicating a collision course with Christian values. It is time for Christians to be …
…Journey with Jesus through the Message of Mark is an insightful and engaging survey of Mark‘s Gospel, exploring each major section of the text along with key themes. It is a work that can be enjoyed by laypersons as well as pastors and teachers. Pastors will find the abundant use …
What are angels & demons? Can angels help us? What does the Bible say about angels? What is the truth about angels? Can Angels affect your life? Who were the “sons of God” in Genesis 6:2? Who were the Nephilim in Genesis 6:2? Who is Michael the archangel? Can Satan the Devil control …
An Encouraging Thought elucidates the ways in which Tolkien’s The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are informed by and communicate a biblical worldview. This book will help readers appreciate the ways in which a biblical worldview informs Tolkien’s work, to the end that their own faith may be confirmed in strength, focused in understanding, deepened in joy, and honed in its ability to communicate the Gospel.
What is the Bible’s viewpoint? Without delving into an endless stream of what man has said, Andrews looks at what the Bible says about death and the like. Why do we grow old and die? What happens at death? Is there life after death, or is this all there is? Do we have an immortal soul? …
Herein Andrews will give the reader exactly what the Bible offers on exposing who the Antichrist and the Man of Lawlessness are. If we look at the texts that refer to the antichrist and the man of lawlessness, we will have lines of evidence that will enable us to identify them. Why is it …
Throughout the Scriptures, God is identified as the Creator. He is the One “who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it.” [Isa 45:18] He is the One “who forms mountains and creates the wind” (Am 4:13) and is the One “who made the heaven and …
The information herein is based on the disciples coming to Jesus privately, saying, “Tell us, (1) when will these things be, and (2) what will be the sign of your coming, and (3) of the end of the age?” (Matthew 24:3) What will end? When will the end come? What comes after the end? Who …
What Really Is Hell? What Kind of Place is Hell? What Really Happens at Death? What Did Jesus Teach About Hell? How Does Learning the Truth About Hell Affect You? Who Goes to Hell? What Is Hell? Is It a Place of Eternal Torment? Does God Punish People in Hellfire? Do the Wicked Suffer in …
Miracles were certainly a part of certain periods in Bible times. What about today? Are miracles still taking place. There are some very important subjects that surround this area of discussion that are often misunderstood. Andrews will answer such questions as does God step in and solve …
Today there are many questions about homosexuality as it relates to the Bible and Christians. What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Does genetics, environment, or traumatic life experiences justify homosexuality? What is God’s will for people with same-sex attractions? Does the …
If you’ve struggled in the world of difficulties that surround you, you’re not alone. Maybe you have looked for help, and you have been given conflicting answers. 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Coming-of-Age In Christ, can help you. Its advice is based on answers that actually work, which are found in the Bible. God’s Word has helped billions over thousands of years to face life’s challenges successfully. Find out how it can help you! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS includes seven sections, with several chapters in each. It includes the following sections: Sexual Desires and Love, your friends, your family, school, recreation, your health. You need advice you can trust! 40 DAYS DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS will give you that. This author has worked with thousands of youths from around the world. The Bible-based sound advice helped them. Now you can discover how it can help you.
Young ones and teens, you are exposed to complex problems that your parents may not understand. Young Christians, you are bombarded with multiple options for solving everyday problems through social media. Where do you turn to find answers? Where can you look to find guidance from Scripture? In order to provide a Christian perspective to problem-solving, the author of this devotional book decided to take a different approach.
This devotional book follows the author’s own faith journey back to God. Significant life events can shake our world and distort our faith. Following life’s tragedies, a common reaction is to become angry with God or to reject Him altogether. Examples of tragedies or traumas include life-changing events such as physical or sexual assault, destruction of one’s home, the tragic death of a loved one, diagnoses of terminal diseases, divorce, miscarriages, or being a victim of a crime. Tragedies or traumas can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, shame, and guilt.
Throughout the book, common themes emerge to support caregivers. The reader will find interesting Bible Scriptures, offering a Christian perspective, for handling issues that may arise. These inspiring passages will assist the caregiver in finding peace and faith as they travel their journey as a caregiver. Although caregivers may not know how long they will play this role, they take on the responsibility without any question. Taking care of others is often mentioned in the Bible and, as noted in this devotional, this self-sacrificing, highly valued, and often challenging service will ultimately be rewarded.
Humans must breathe in the air of our atmosphere to survive. Many cities because of pollution face a dangerous level of contamination in their air. However, an even more deadly air affects both Christians and nonChristians. Ordinary methods or devices cannot detect this poisonous air.
Paul counseled, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” (Col. 3:2) It is, for this reason, Marshall has penned the DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musings From the New Testament, which can help us be protected against Satan’s efforts at controlling our mind and heart. For each day of the year, DAILY DEVOTIONAL provides a Daily Bible Reading and comments for consideration.
BREAD OF HEAVEN helps the reader to have a greater understanding of the timeless truths of Scripture and a deeper appreciation of the grandeur of God. It offers meditations on selected Scriptures which will draw the reader’s attention upwards to the Savior.
A routine classified telepathic interrogation of a potential terrorist, followed by an assignment that doesn’t go as planned thrusts Tabatha – the world’s only telepathic human – into the public eye. The exposure leads an evil neuro-scientist requesting a meeting with her in hopes of luring her to his cause as well as unveiling a deadly creative work that has spanned three decades of research and development.
…desert but none of such significance as a handful of scrolls retrieved from a buried Roman satchel (presumed stolen) at this site. The discovery has since come to be known as ‘The Diary of Judas Iscariot.’ In The Diary of JudasIscariot Owen Batstone relates the observations and feelings …
Kevin Trill struggles with the notion that he may have missed the Rapture. With nothing but the clothes on his back and a solid gold pocket watch, he sets off towards Garbor, a safe haven for those who haven’t yet taken the mark of thebeast. While on his way to Garbor, he meets up …
There grew an element in the valley that did not want to be ruled by the Light of the Word. Over time, they convinced the people to reject it. As they started to reject this Light, the valley grew dim and the fog rolled in. The people craved the darkness rather than the Light because they were evil. They did not want to …
When an ancestor saddles them with the responsibility to purge Australia of a demon threatening to wipe our humanity with black flames, fraternal siblings Amber and Michael Hauksby lay their lives on the line. As the world crumbles around them into chaos, and ancient marsupials wreak havoc in their hometown, they must journey into …
“Write Place, Right Time” follows the pre-apocalyptic misadventures of freelance journalist Don Lamplighter. While on what he expects to be a routine Monday night trip to a village board meeting, Lamplighter’s good nature compels him to help a stranded vehicle. Little does he know that by saving one of the car’s occupants, he sets forth a chain of what to him seem to be unrelated events where he must use his physical and social skills to save himself and others from precarious situations.
 Or prosperity
 Or object of scorn or a joke among the nations
 Or object of scorn
 Or object of scorn
 Reading וְחֵקֶר כְּבֵדִים כָּבוֹד. See G. E. Bryce, “Another Wisdom ‘Book’ in Proverbs,” JBL 91 (1972): 145–57. The word כְּבֵדִיםis here short for דְּבָרִים כְּבֵדִים (“difficult things”).
 Ibid., 153. More precisely the Hebrew chiasmus shows the following word pairs:
חקר ´´ כבד (v. 2) and כבד ´´ חקר (v. 27b)
אכל ´´ דבשׁ (v. 16a) and דבשׁ ´´ אכל (v. 27a).