Scribes

Introduction to the Correct Method

It is highly important that we get at what the author meant by his words that he used. It is highly important that we do not impose our 21st mindset into the text (eisegesis, taking out of the text). What we want to do is take the meaning out of the text, which is known as exegesis. We are going to take a look at a passage of Scripture, 1 Corinthians 8:1-3. Then, we will answer the challenges of interpreting such a passage.

1 Corinthians 8:1-13 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it. But if anyone loves God, he is known by him.

Therefore, concerning the eating of food sacrificed to idols, we know that “an idol is nothing in the world” and that “there is no God but one.” For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But food does not bring us close to God. Neither if we do not eat do we lack, nor if we do eat do we have more.”[1] But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone should see you who has knowledge reclining for a meal in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.

Cultural Differences

For the Western world of Christians, the cultural differences are very foreign to us. Culture relates to the ideas, customs, and social behavior of society. This would involve religious practices, language, dress, ideas about relationships, and about gender. What is Paul talking about here? Is he talking about physical food, or is he painting some kind of word picture? It can seem as though Paul is getting extremely complex on us and is difficult to follow. The context of this passage will help us appreciate who is being addressed and what is being said.

We have a rare opportunity to look inside the first-century Corinthian Christian congregation. These Christian had problems that they were struggling with, meaning that they had many questions that needed to be answered. The congregation was divided into different factions, some following different men instead of Christ. There was a shocking case of sexual immorality that was being permitted. Some were dealing with a religiously divided household. The question of whether they had to remain with their unbelieving mated needed to be answered. Were they permitted to eat meat from the market that had been used in a sacrifice to idols? The Corinthians needed direction on how they were to conduct their Christian meetings. What position were women to have within the congregation? Some within the congregation rejected the resurrection. Yes, there were many problems. The apostle mission within this first letter was to address these problems and to restore them spiritually.

The question is how do we apply God’s Word in our lives today? As was said earlier, we do not read our meaning into the text. We are seeking what Paul meant by the words that he used as would have been understood by his readers. Then, we need to see if this information was simply historical content that was to help one’s understanding of the situation. Or, was it principles that are eternal and thus apply to us. Was it cultural specific to their time, or does it carry over to our time? What of idioms, symbolic and figurative language, hyperbole? The technical term for this is prescriptive or descriptive. Was a verse prescribed for all time or was it prescribed for that moment? Was a verse simply describing the historical setting to give readers a better understanding?

Thus, some will take the Bible more serious if they see reasons for doing so. Show them God’s initial purpose for life in the Garden of Eden, why God has permitted wickedness since the rebellion in Eden,[2] where he places us in the stream of Bible history and the hope of an unending life in the Kingdom of God. Some people have practical reasons for their skepticism about the Bible. However, these may not have an impact on the atheist, since an atheist does not believe in God. Therefore, you would have to establish this truth of God’s existence with him first.

1 Timothy 2:3-4 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to an accurate knowledge[3] of truth.

Do not just open the Bible and read Scriptures, but rather help people come to an accurate knowledge of truth. An evangelist wants a listener to feel confident that the believer can do that. In other words, we must speak with authority. If one seems timid, stumbling over words, or unsure of one’s self, the listener will conclude we do not have authority on God’s Word. Would anyone get heart surgery from a heart surgeon who could not explain the procedure or seemed unsure of himself? Hardly! Why then, would an evangelist expect someone to invest in the idea of a God, life eternal, and other doctrines like the resurrection hope, from someone that comes off as unsure?

Bible Reading and Study Program

There has long been a trend for pastors and religious leaders to recommend a one-year Bible reading program, which we would not recommend for the serious student of God’s Word. At best, a one-year reading program will help its reader to know a few Bible stories, and introduce them to a several Bible characters, as well as coming away with many principles to help in their walk with God. Instead, we recommend a five-year Bible Reading / Study Program. With this Bible reading / study program, the reader will know far more of the Bible stories, the background behind those stories, what the author actually meant by what he wrote, and be able to explain hundreds of Bible difficulties[4] that exist from Genesis to Revelation, and far more.

Psalm 1:2 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

but his delight is in the law of Jehovah,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

We should begin every study by thanking God for his Word, i.e., the Bible, and his helping us to understand it. We may read the Bible from cover to cover fifty times in our life, each time taking one year, which will give us a very basic understanding of the Bible stories and accounts within it. However, we not only want to know what is in it, but we also want to be able to (1) understand it, (2) to share it and (3) to defend it. For this, we need to study it from cover to cover three to five times in our life, each time taking about three to five years, depending on the business of our family life.

Imagine that our spouse has spent several hours making us dinner. The sweat and toil of overseeing so many things going on at one time: several on the stovetop, in the oven, and in the microwave, and having it all are done at the same time. Now, imagine the pain of heart, if we sat down, and rushed through the meal, to get away to something that interests us more. God spent 1,600 years, with forty plus authors, throughout atrocious times of six world powers that persecuted his people, to bring us sixty-six books that came together to make but one book. He does not want his servants rushing through that well-prepared spiritual meal. One of God’s authors makes just that point,

Joshua 1:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

Does Joshua expect us literally to meditate in a study of God’s Word day and night from Genesis to Revelation? No, but it does mean that we should give our time to God so that we are studying at a pace that will allow for some serious meditation. When we study the Bible in a meditative way, it will allow us to take notice of what the author truly meant, and how that meaning can influence our lives today. A good commentary, like the Holman Old and New Testament commentary volumes, will enable us to investigate the Bible verse-by-verse, even investigating many important words, the historical setting, hard to understand passages, all for the purpose of applying it in our lives, striking us in a deeply personal way. Getting the sense of God’s guidance gives us resilient incentive to put it into practice.

Bible Hebrew Language Bible scholar, Lee M. Fields writes,  “‘Deep’ Bible study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees that immaturity continues.” – Hebrew for the Rest of Us, (p. xiii)

Before We Begin Our Study Program

We need to study a book on Biblical interpretation. Therefore, the Bible student should study the following books during the program. However, Roy B. Zuck’s Basic Bible Interpretation and Andrews’ INTERPRETING THE BIBLE should be studied first.

  • BASIC BIBLE INTERPRETATION by Roy B. Zuck
  • INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics by Edward D. Andrews
  • HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics by Kieran Beville
  • THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God’s Word in Their Community by Edward D. Andrews
  • CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM [Second Edition] by Edward D. Andrews
  • THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition] By Edward D. Andrews
  • BASICS OF BIBLICAL CRITICISM: Helpful or Harmful? [Second Edition]

Books that one needs in this five-year Bible reading program are New American Standard Bible (NASB) 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.[5] A translation that supersedes even the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New American Standard Bible (NASB) as to literalness and trustworthiness is the upcoming Updated American Standard Version (UASV)[6] One will also need the Holman Old and New Testament Commentary Volumes.[7] If one’s finances are limited, buy these Holman Commentary volumes one at a time. Doing it that way means that we would only have to buy one volume every two to four months. One will also need to buy the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary. In addition, we will need The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation (2008) by Norman L. Geisler and Thomas Howe. One will also need The IVP Bible Background Commentary (Old and New Testament Volumes), which may be expensive. Therefore, if you can buy them one at a time, or get them used on Amazon.com, this would be best for those on a limited income. Lastly, every Christian needs to know how to interpret the Bible correctly. For this Bible study program, the first book should be Basic Bible Interpretation by Roy B. Zuck.

The first Bible reading would be Genesis 4:1-26. The student would begin by praying that God would provide understanding, and help apply his Word and grow in knowledge. The student then meditatively reads those verses. After that, use the Holman Old Testament Commentary on Genesis by Stephen J. Bramer. The student would read the corresponding chapter to the Bible verses. Then, examine the section in the volume Deeper Discoveries. The Deeper Discoveries section helps the reader to understand the most important words, phrases, backgrounds, and teaching of each chapter. After completing this portion of the study, pick up The Big Book of Bible Difficulties: Clear and Concise Answers from Genesis to Revelation. We want to see if there are any Bible difficulties, which fall within this section of Bible reading, Genesis 4:1-26. The students will have seven Bible difficulties to read the concluding portion of the study. I have added one of the difficulties identified by Andrews so that students can see they are written to be easily understood.

Genesis 4:3 Why was Cain’s offering unacceptable to God?

There are two aspects of Cain’s offering, which found him unapproved before God: (1) his attitude and (2) the type of offering.

Eventually, Cain and Abel came before God with their offerings. “Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering to Jehovah.” (Gen 4:3, ASV) “Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions.” (Gen 4:4, ESV) It is likely that both Cain and Abel were close to 100 years old at the time, as Adam was 130 years old when he fathered his third son, Seth. (Gen 4:25; 5:3)

We can establish that the two sons became aware of their sinful state and sought our God’s favor. How they garnered this knowledge is guesswork, but it is likely by way of the father, Adam. Adam likely informed them about the coming seed and the hope that lie before humankind.[8] Therefore, it seems that they had given some thought to their condition and stand before God, and realized that they needed to try to atone for their sinful condition. The Bible does not inform us just how much time they had given to this need before they started to offer a sacrifice. Rather, God chose to convey the more important aspect, each one’s heart attitude, which gives us an inside look at their thinking.

Some scholars have suggested that Eve felt that Cain was the “seed” of the Genesis 3:15 prophecy that would destroy the serpent, “she conceived and bore Cain, saying, ‘I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.’” (Gen 4:1) It might be that Cain shared in this belief and had begun to think too much of himself, and thus the haughty spirit. If this is the case, he was very mistaken. His brother Abel had a whole other spirit, as he offered his sacrifice in faith, “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts.” (Heb. 11:4)

It seems that Abel was capable of discerning the need for blood to be involved in the atoning sacrifice while Cain was not, or simply did not care. Therefore, it was the heart attitude of Cain as well. Consequently, “but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” (Gen 4:5, NIV) It may well be that Cain had little regard for the atoning sacrifice, giving it little thought, going through the motions of the act only. However, as later biblical history would show, Jehovah God is not one to be satisfied with formal worship. Cain had developed a bad heart attitude, and Jehovah well knew that his motives were not sincere. The way Cain reacted to the evaluation of his sacrifice only evidenced what Jehovah already knew. Instead of seeking to improve the situation, “Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.” (Gen 4:5) As you read the rest of the account, it will become clearer as to the type of temperament Cain had before God.

Genesis 4:6-16 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)

6 Then Jehovah said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will there not be a lifting up?[9] And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain said to Abel his brother. “Let us go out into the field.”[10] And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.

Then Jehovah[11] said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground. 11 Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to Jehovah, “My punishment is greater than I can bear! 14 Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 So Jehovah said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And Jehovah put a mark on Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.

16 Then Cain went out from the presence of Jehovah, and dwelt in the land of Nod,[12] east of Eden.

The last section of the study opens the Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary to read the chapter from this, as well. This may seem overwhelming for one study period. When we first sit, and see how many verses are in the chapter that will be studied that day, open the books and see how long they are as well. If the material seems too long, break it into two or even three study sessions. In study session one, do the Bible reading and the corresponding Holman Commentary Chapter and Deeper Discoveries. In study session two, do the Bible difficulties from the Big Book of Bible Difficulties and the chapter Zondervan Illustrated Bible Background Commentary.

Basics in Biblical Interpretation

Step 1: What is the historical setting and background for the author of the book and his audience? Who wrote the book? When and under what circumstances was the book written? Where was the book written? Who were the recipients of the book? Did you find anything noteworthy about the place of the recipients? What is the theme of the book? What was the purpose for writing the book?

Step 2a: What would this text mean to the original audience? (The meaning of a text is what the author meant by the words that he used, as should have been understood by his readers.)

Step 2b: If there are any words in this section that one does not understand, or that stand out as interesting words that may shed some insight on the meaning, look them up in a word dictionary, such as Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words.

Step 2c: After reading this section from the three Bible translations, do a word study and write down what you think the author meant. Then, pick up a trustworthy commentary, like Holman Old or New Testament commentary volume, and see if you have it correct.

Step 3: Explain the original meaning in one or two sentences, preferably one. Then, take the sentence or two and place it in a short phrase.

Step 4: Now, consider their circumstances, the reason for it being written, what it meant to them, and consider examples from today that would be similar to that time, which would fit the pattern of meaning. What implications can be drawn from the original meaning?

Step 5: Find the pattern of meaning, the “thing like these,” and consider how it could apply in modern life. How should individual Christians today live out the implications and principles?

Biblical Interpretation Explained In Greater Detail

Step 1: What is the historical setting and background for the author of the book and his audience? Who wrote the book? When and under what circumstances was the book written? Where was the book written? Who were the recipients of the book? Did you find anything noteworthy about the place of the recipients? What is the theme of the book? What was the purpose for writing the book? The first step is observation, to get as close to the original text as possible. If you do not read Hebrew or Greek; then, two or three literal translations are preferred (ESV, NASB, and HCSB). The above Bible background information may seem daunting, but it can all be found in the Holman Bible Handbook or the Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary.

Step 2a: What would this text have meant to the original audience? (The meaning of a text is what the author meant by the words that he used, as should have been understood by his readers.) Once someone has an understanding of step 1, read and reread the text in its context. In most Bibles, there are indentations or breaks where the subject matter changes. Look for the indentations that are before and after the text, and read and read that whole section from three literal translations. If there are no indentations, read the whole chapter and identify where the subject matter changes.

Step 2b: If there are any words in the section that one does not understand, or that stands out as interesting words that may shed some insight on the meaning, look them up in a word dictionary, such as Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. For example, if the text was Ephesians 5:14, ask what Paul meant by “sleeper” in verse 14. If it was Ephesians 5:18, what did Paul mean by using the word “debauchery” in relation to “getting drunk with wine.” I would recommend Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words by William D. Mounce (Sep 19, 2006) Do not buy the Amazon Kindle edition until they work out a difficulty. If you have Logos Bible Software, it would be good to add this book if it did not come with the package.

Step 2c: After reading the section from the three Bible translations, do a word study and write down what you think the author meant. Then, pick up a trustworthy commentary, like Holman Old or New Testament commentary volume, checking to see if you have it correct. It can be more affordable to buy one volume each time a project is assigned so that it is spread out over time. If one cannot afford each volume of these commentary sets, Holman has a one-volume commentary on the entire Bible. Also, check with the pastor of your church because he may allow you to take a volume home for the assignment.

Step 3: Explain the original meaning in one or two sentences, preferably one. Then, take the sentence or two and place it in a short phrase. If you look in the Bible for Ephesians chapter five, you will find verses 1-5 or 6 are marked off as a section, and the phrase that captures the sense of the meaning, is “imitators of God.” Then, verses 6-16 of that same chapter can be broken down to “light versus darkness” or “walk like children of light.”

Step 4: Consider their circumstances, the reason for it being written, what it meant to them, and consider examples from our day that would be similar to the time they lived, which would fit the pattern of meaning. What implications can be drawn from the original meaning? Part of this fourth step ensures the Bible student stays within the pattern of the original meaning to determine any implications for the reader.

An example would be the admonition that Paul gave the Ephesian congregation at 5:18, “do not get drunk with wine.” Was Paul talking about beer that existed then, too? Surely, he was not explicitly referring to whiskey, which would be centuries before it was invented. Yes, Paul refers to the others because they provide implications that can be derived from the original meaning.

Step 5: Find the pattern of meaning, the “thing like these,” and consider how it could apply in modern life. How should individual Christians today live out the implications and principles?

Preparing for Christian Meetings

Almost every church hands out a weekly flyer of some sort to its flock, which outlines the upcoming week’s meetings, as well as what is to be studied or heard in those meetings. Almost every church has a Bible study or book study meeting once a week, where the groups work their way through a publication. Usually, the publication is a study publication, meaning that it has review questions throughout the chapters or at the end of each chapter.

These books are designed as a Bible study course. How is it to be used? We suggest the following program: The review questions go with specific paragraphs. Read all of the chapter questions first, ponder over them. Then, read however many paragraphs go with the first question.  After that, look up any Scriptures cited in the paragraph. Now, read the first question and highlight the answer in the paragraph(s). Also, write any additional thoughts in the margin of the study book. Then, if any of the verses are standouts, look them up in a commentary, digging a little deeper. If there are any highly important words in that verse, look them up in a word study dictionary. Now, write down any other important points that you learned. You are now done with the first question and its corresponding paragraphs. When you have finished all the chapter questions, in the same manner, go back and review all the questions.

Phrase-By-Phrase Research of a Verse.

It is best to study a Bible verse phrase-by-phrase. Let us use Matthew 24:14 as our example. It reads, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the inhabited earth[13] as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” What did Jesus mean by the gospel of the kingdom? What is the kingdom? What did Jesus mean by it will be proclaimed? What was meant by in all the inhabited earth? What is meant by in all the inhabited earth? What did Jesus mean by a testimony to all the nations? Finally, what was meant by then the end will come? Well, let’s investigate these phrases.

Matthew 24:14

this gospel or good news: The Greek word euangelion is made up from the words eu, meaning “good; well” and aggellos, “one who brings news; one who proclaims or announces good news.” It is rendered “gospel” in some English Bibles. The related term rendered “evangelizer” (Greek, euaggelistes) means “a proclaimer of good news.”—Ac 21:8; Eph. 4:11; 2 Tim. 4:5.

the Kingdom: Namely, God’s Kingdom. Throughout the Greek New Testament the “good news” or “gospel” is closely tied into the kingdom of God. This was the theme of Jesus Christ’s ministry.

The Greek word basileia is a reference to a royal government, as well as to the region and the peoples under the rule of a king. Of the 162 occurrences of this Greek word in the Greek New Testament, 55 of them can be found in the Gospel of Matthew, with most of them referring to God’s heavenly rule. In fact, Matthew uses the term to frequently, his gospel could be called the Kingdom Gospel.

proclaimed: The Greek word (kēryssō) basically means to announce, in an official capacity (Rev 5:2); 2. LN 33.207 tell, announce publicly (Mk 5:20); 3. LN 33.256 preach, proclaim with the goal to persuade, urge, warn to comply (Ro 10:14; 1Pe 3:19; Mk 16:15, 20).”[14] The promise is that the gospel will be proclaimed in all of the inhabited earth, not that every person ever living would hear the gospel. What will happen to the unevangelized. See the CPH Blog article: THE UNEVANGELIZED: What Happens to People Who Have Never Heard the Gospel?[15]

all the inhabited earth . . . all the nations: Both expressions highlight the scope of the evangelism work. In a broad sense, the Greek word for “inhabited earth” (oikoumenē) refers to the earth as the dwelling place of humankind. (Lu 4:5; Ac 17:31; Ro 10:18; Re 12:9; 16:14) In the first century, this term would have referred to the immense Roman Empire where the Jews had been dispersed. (Lu 2:1; Ac 24:5)[16] In its general sense, the Greek word for “nation” (ethnos) refers to “a people, a large group based on various cultural, physical or geographic ties,”[17] who are basically related to one another by blood, who share a common language.

end: The Greek here (telos) is referring to as a point in time, where combination of events take place, and Satan’s rule over the earth comes to an end and he is abyssed.

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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, …

Walking With Your God_Second EditionWALK HUMBLY WITH YOUR GOD: Putting God’s Purpose First in Your Life [Second Edition]

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 …

WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS: How Should Wives Treat Their Husbands?WIVES BE SUBJECT TO YOUR HUSBANDS How Should Wives Treat Their Husbands?

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 …

HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES: How Should Husbands Treat Their Wives?HUSBANDS LOVE YOUR WIVES: How Should Husbands Treat Their Wives?

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 …

Christian Apologetics

DEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP: The Word of God Is Authentic and TrueDEFENDING OLD TESTAMENT AUTHORSHIP: The Word of God Is Authentic and True

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 …

UNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of ViewUNDERSTANDING ISLAM AND TERRORISM: A Biblical Point of View

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?IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GOD?: Is Islam the One True Faith?

IS THE QURAN THE WORD OF GODIs 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 …

REASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and MindREASONS FOR FAITH: The First Apologetic Guide For Christian Women on Matters of The Heart, Soul, and Mind

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, …

BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism?BIBLICAL CRITICISM: What are Some Outstanding Weaknesses of Modern Historical Criticism

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: Beyond the BasicsBIBLICAL CRITICISM: Beyond the Basics

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 …

CHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of PersuasionCHRISTIAN APOLOGETIC EVANGELISM: Reaching Hearts with the Art of Persuasion

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 …

CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM: Defending the Faith, Reasoning from the Scriptures, Explaining and Proving, Instructing in Sound Doctrine, and Overturning False Reasoning, [Second Edition]CONVERSATIONAL EVANGELISM, [Second Edition]

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 …

THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]THE CHRISTIAN APOLOGIST: Always Being Prepared to Make a Defense [Second Edition]

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: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God's Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]THE EVANGELISM HANDBOOK: How All Christians Can Effectively Share God’s Word in Their Community, [SECOND EDITION]

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; …

YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]YOUR GUIDE FOR DEFENDING THE BIBLE: Self-Education of the Bible Made Easy [Third Edition]

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 & Was Weakened From WithinTHE CULTURE WAR: How the West Lost Its Greatness & Was Weakened From Within 

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 Jesus' Witnesses to the Ends of the EarthEARLY CHRISTIANITY IN THE FIRST CENTURY Jesus’ Witnesses to the Ends of the Earth

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 …

CRISIS OF FAITH: Saving Those Who DoubtCRISIS OF FAITH Saving Those Who Doubt 

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 …

Investigating Jehovah's Witnesses: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s WitnessesINVESTIGATING JEHOVAH?S WITNESSES: Why 1914 Is Important to Jehovah?s Witnesses

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 …

Translation and Textual Criticism

THE COMPLETE GUIDE to BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition]THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO BIBLE TRANSLATION: Bible Translation Choices and Translation Principles [Second Edition] 

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.

CHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation DifferencesCHOOSING YOUR BIBLE: Bible Translation Differences

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 The Science and Art of Textual CriticismTHE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: The Science and Art of Textual Criticism

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 …

MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman's "Misquoting Jesus" [Third Edition]MISREPRESENTING JESUS: Debunking Bart D. Ehrman’s “Misquoting Jesus” [Third Edition]

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 …

Biblical Studies

HOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of GodHOW TO STUDY YOUR BIBLE: Rightly Handling the Word of God

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 …

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & ContentTHE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

…the author’s intended meaning to his original readers and how that meaning can then apply to us. Marshall gives you what you need for deeper and richer Bible study. Dr. Lee M. Fields writes, “‘Deep’ study is no guarantee that mature faith will result, but shallow study guarantees …

THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST: What Do You Know About Jesus? [Updated and Expanded] 

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 …

THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded]THE LIFE OF THE APOSTLE PAUL: The Apostle to the Nations [Updated and Expanded] 

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 …

INTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical HermeneuticsINTERPRETING THE BIBLE: Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics

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 …

HOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to HermeneuticsHOW TO INTERPRET THE BIBLE: An Introduction to Hermeneutics

…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 …

THE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern PeopleTHE CHURCH COMMUNITY IN CONTEMPORARY CULTURE: Evangelism and Engagement with Postmodern People

Once upon a time, Postmodernism was a buzz word. 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 …

DEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in RevelationDEVELOPING HEALTHY CHURCHES: A Case-Study in Revelation

church. It offers an appointment with the Great Physician that no Christian can afford to ignore. Developing Healthy ChurchesA Case-Study in Revelationbegins with a well-researched outline of the origins and development of the church health movement. With that background in mind the …

DYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted SuicideDYING TO KILL: A Christian Perspective on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide

…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: Experience the Ministry of Jesus in a Spiritually Captivating WayJOURNEY WITH JESUS THROUGH THE MESSAGE OF MARK

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 …

ANGELS & DEMONS: The Bible AnswersANGELS & DEMONS The Bible Answers

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 …

Bible Doctrines

WHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHERE ARE THE DEAD? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

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? …

IDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast RevealedIDENTIFYING THE ANTICHRIST: The Man of Lawlessness and the Mark of the Beast Revealed

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 …

UNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithUNDERSTANDING THE CREATION ACCOUNT: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

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 SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithThe SECOND COMING of CHRIST: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

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 IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithWHAT IS HELL? Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

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? - Do They Still Happen Today?: God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith HealingMIRACLES – DO THEY STILL HAPPEN TODAY? God Miraculously Saving People’s Lives, Apparitions, Speaking In Tongues, Faith Healing 

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 …

HOMOSEXUALITY - The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian FaithHOMOSEXUALITY – The BIBLE and the CHRISTIAN: Basic Bible Doctrines of the Christian Faith

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 …

[1] Meaning “we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat.”―NASB.

[2] Why has God Permitted Wickedness and Suffering?

http://bit.ly/2qHkwYR

Why is Life So Unfair?

http://bit.ly/2p43Ai9

Does God Step in and Solve Our Every Problem Because We are Faithful?

http://bit.ly/2qLdxgN

[3] Epignosis is a strengthened or intensified form of gnosis (epi, meaning “additional”), meaning, “true,” “real,” “full,” “complete” or “accurate,” depending upon the context. Paul and Peter alone use epignosis.

[4] These so-called Bible difficulties are what Bible critics call errors and contradictions. However, they are not errors and contradictions, but rather difficulties because we are far removed from their time and culture, as well as their languages, which was Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

[5] We want to use a good literal translation (UASV, ESV, NASB, CSB, or LEB) because literal translations bring you closer to the original, while the interpretive translations (NIV somewhat, NLT, TEV, CEV), distance you from the originals.

[6] http://uasvbible.org/

[7] If you feel that you are a more advanced student of the Bible, you can replace Holman Commentary volumes with the Old and New Testament volumes of The New American Commentary.

[8] Adam’s family must have received God’s revelation about the necessity of sacrifice to create and maintain fellowship with God. The background to this was probably the sacrifice that God performed to provide the clothing to cover Adam and Eve’s shame (see Gen. 3:21). Anders, Max; Gangel, Kenneth; Bramer, Stephen J. (2003-04-01). Holman Old Testament Commentary – Genesis: 1 (p. 56). Holman Reference. Kindle Edition.

[9] This is a shortening of the Hebrew idiom “to lift up the face,” which means “to accept” favorably

[10] Genesis 4:8: SP LXX It Syr inserts these bracketed words; Vg, “Let us go outdoors”; MT omits; some MSS and editions have an interval here.

[11] The Tetragrammaton, God’s personal name, יהוה (JHVH/YHWH), which is found in the Hebrew Old Testament 6,828 times.

[12] I.e. wandering

[13] Or in the whole world

[14] James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

[15] http://tiny.cc/nfyiny

[16] earth, the world (Lk 4:5; Ro 10:18); 2. LN 1.83 empire, the entire Roman world (Ac 11:28; 17:6; 24:5; Lk 2:1); 3. LN 9.22 people, humankind (Lk 21:26; Ac 17:31; Rev 3:10; 12:9) – James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

[17] James Swanson, Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

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