BIBLICAL CRITICISM - Beyond the Basics REASONABLE FAITH how-to-study-your-bible1 How to Interpret the Bible-1
Kieran Beville-3
Kieran Beville (D.Litt, Ph.D, BA, PGDE) is Pastor of Lee Valley Bible Church (Baptist), Ballincollig, Co. Cork, Ireland and Visiting Professor of Intercultural Studies and Practical Ministry at Tyndale Theological Seminary, Badhoevedorp, Netherlands. He has written several books and numerous articles and he has taught intensive courses in Theology and Biblical Studies on leadership training programs in Eastern Europe, the Middle-East and India.

Until the Enlightenment, biblical hermeneutics was usually seen as a form of special hermeneutics. It was thought that Scripture required a special form of interpretation. In the nineteenth century, it became increasingly common to read Scripture just like any other writing. Schleiermacher argued against a distinction between “general” and “special” hermeneutics. He proposed a general theory of hermeneutics applicable to all texts, including the Bible.

Jewish Interpretation

There is evidence of interpretation and editing within the Old Testament (see Deut. 34:10). Ezra and his Levitical assistants explained the meaning of the Scriptures (Neh. 8). Did these returning exiles speak Hebrew? It could have been preserved as the language of their religion, but they were seventy years in captivity and must have spoken the language of Babylon.

Early Christianity regarded Jesus as the interpretive key to the Old Testament. They understood the Old Testament in messianic terms. The apostolic fathers engaged in both the instruction of converts and apologetics against Jewish critics. Church councils settled a disagreement between groups that could not otherwise come to an agreement. During the time of the Reformation, there was renewed interest and ability in Greek and Hebrew. There was a decline of interest and a growing criticism of the Vulgate and the doctrines derived from it. There was an increased reading of the Bible in the vernacular, English and German especially. Martin Luther asserted only Scripture has authority for the believer (Sola Scriptura). The Catholic response was to reaffirm tradition. Thus they reaffirmed the authority of the Vulgate.

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Pietism

Pietism arose as a reaction to the focus on intellectual Protestant scholarship. Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism that lasted from the late seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth century, and later. It influenced Protestantism and Anabaptism generally. It inspired Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement and Alexander Mack to begin the Brethren movement. The Pietist movement combined the Lutheranism of the time with the Reformed emphasis on individual piety. Pietism shares an emphasis on personal behavior with the Puritan movement, and the two are sometimes confused. But there are important differences, particularly in the concept of the role of religion in government.

Pietism was a reaction to dogmatism, scholasticism and formalism. Thus, it emphasized the need for a personal commitment to Christ. Within Pietism devotional, practical Bible study was stressed.

The Enlightenment

During the Enlightenment human reason sat in judgment over the authority of the church and ultimately over against the Bible. The dogmatism of Rationalism prevailed. It asserted that the human mind is an independent authority capable of determining truth. Spinoza (a Jewish/Dutch philosopher of the seventeenth-century and a forerunner of Enlightenment thinking) argued that the Bible should be studied as any other book. In this school of thought reason was supreme in studying the Bible.

Liberalism

The nineteenth century saw the rise of liberalism. There was increased confidence in scientific methods. The historical-critical method assumed that the use of human reason was the best tool to understand the Bible. This school of thought promoted the idea of reason free of theological constraints as a sufficient tool. The Bible was studied as any other text.

THE CHURCH CURE THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT MISREPRESENTING JESUS_Third Edition

Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834) was a German theologian, philosopher, and biblical scholar. He is known for his attempt to reconcile the criticisms of the Enlightenment with traditional Protestant Christianity. He also became influential in the evolution of Higher Criticism.

Higher Criticism (also known as Historical Criticism) is a branch of literary criticism that investigates the origins of ancient texts in order to understand “the world behind the text.” The primary goal of historical criticism is to ascertain the text’s original meaning in its original historical context. It aims to find and explicate the text’s literal sense. It seeks to understand the historical situation of the author and recipients of the text. Thus an ancient text may serve as a record or source for reconstructing the ancient past. Schleiermacher’s work forms part of the foundation of the modern field of hermeneutics. Because of his profound impact on subsequent Christian thought, he is often called the “Father of Modern Liberal Theology.”

The Neo-Orthodox movement of the twentieth century (spearheaded by Karl Barth) was in many ways an attempt to challenge his influence. Higher criticism sought to understand the Bible purely as a human, historical document. The concept of hermeneutics acquired at least two different meanings ~ these are related but nevertheless distinct.

First, in the older sense, biblical hermeneutics may be understood as the theological principles of exegesis. In fact, it is often virtually synonymous with “principles of biblical interpretation” or “methodology of biblical exegesis.” Second, the more recent development is to understand the term “biblical hermeneutics” as the broader underpinnings of interpretation. This relates to philosophy, linguistics, etc. Thus the question is posed: “How is understanding possible?” The rationale of this approach is that, while Scripture is more than just an ordinary text it is in the first instance a text. It is a text which human beings try to understand. In this sense, the principles of understanding any text apply to the Bible as well. They apply regardless of whatever other specifically theological principles one might want to consider in addition to that. In this second sense, then, all aspects of hermeneutics (philosophical, linguistic, etc.) are considered to be applicable to the biblical texts as well.

There are obvious examples of this in the links between twentieth-century philosophy and Christian theology. For example, Rudolf Bultmann’s hermeneutical approach was strongly influenced by existentialism, in particular by the philosophy of Martin Heidegger. Since the 1960s the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer has had a wide-ranging influence on biblical hermeneutics.[1]

THE EARLY CHRISTIAN COPYISTS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT THE TEXT OF THE NEW TESTAMENT MISREPRESENTING JESUS_Third Edition The Complete Guide to Bible Translation-2

Theological Hermeneutics as Traditional Christian Biblical Exegesis

This particular form of theological hermeneutics deals with various principles that can be applied to the study of Scripture. The canon of Scripture is an organic whole, rather than an accumulation of disparate individual texts.[2] So any interpretation that contradicts any other part of Scripture is not considered to be sound. Thus biblical hermeneutics differs from hermeneutics as generally understood. Within such traditional Protestant theology, there are a variety of interpretive formulae. These are generally not mutually exclusive. Therefore, interpreters may adhere to several of these approaches at once.

The Historical-Grammatical Principle

This is based on historical, socio-political, geographical, cultural and linguistic contexts. This method is a Christian hermeneutics process which strives to discover the biblical author’s original intended meaning in the text.[3] The process for determining the original meaning of the text involves an examination of the grammatical and syntactical aspects, the historical background, the literary genre and theological considerations. The historical-grammatical method identifies the one original meaning of the text and its significance. The significance of the text is essentially the application of the principles from the text.

The Original Meaning of Texts

The aim of the historical-grammatical method is to discover the meaning of the passage as the original author would have intended it. It is to discover the meaning as the original hearers would have understood. The original passage is seen as having only a single meaning or sense. Milton S. Terry has said:

A fundamental principle in grammatico-historical exposition is that the words and sentences can have but one significance in one and the same connection. The moment we neglect this principle we drift out upon a sea of uncertainty and conjecture.[4]

REASONING WITH OTHER RELIGIONS REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES APOLOGETICS

Many practice the historical-grammatical method using the inductive method. This is a general three-fold approach to the text: 1) observation; 2) interpretation; 3) application.5] Each step builds upon the other, and so they follow in order. The first step of observation involves an examination of words, structure, and literary forms. After observations are formed, then there is the second step. This is interpretation which involves asking questions and formulating answers to those questions. After the meaning is derived through interpretation, then there is the third step. This is application. Application involves determining both the theoretical and practical significance of the text and appropriately applying this significance to today’s context. Technically speaking, the grammatical-historical method of interpretation is distinct from the determination of the passage’s significance in light of that interpretation. In other words, meaning and application are separate. Taken together, interpretation of the passage along with determining the meaning defines the term (biblical) hermeneutics.[6] We now need to compare this method briefly with other approaches to biblical interpretation.

Proof-Text Method

Prooftexting is the practice of using isolated quotations from the Bible to establish a proposition. All Bible scholars use isolated texts to share a biblical view. Even the apostle Paul in Romans Chapter 9 quotes eleven times from other parts of the Old Testament.[7] Forty plus authors wrote sixty-six book over a 1,600-year period, all of which make up one book. Therefore, if we are to understand what the Supreme author meant on a given subject, we must extract every verse that covers that subject, as long as it is contextually talking about the same thing, and we are not taking it out of context. None of the Bible authors was exhaustive on any subject. Where interpreters go wrong in their “bad proof-texting” is they take scriptures out of their context and twist them to fit their own personal ideas. Again, in the proof-text approach, verses and short sections of text are used to support a particular topic or position. Interpretations based on the proof-text method are often isolated from the context surrounding the verse. Critics claim it often neglects the historical setting and type of literary genre. The proof-text approach can be utilized in support of unorthodox teachings. In this method, applications tend to be allegorical in nature.[8]

REASONABLE FAITH Why Me_ How to Interpret the Bible-1

Reader-Response Method

This is a postmodern form of literary criticism. It explores the capacity of the biblical texts to shape, revise or confirm the expectations readers bring to their reading of the text. This approach challenges the assumption of much of modern hermeneutics, which understands the main task of exegesis is to approach the text as a disinterested exegete. Reader-response theorists maintain that the reader and the text are interdependent. What is important then is not so much the intent of the original author of the text but the “conversation” between reader and text that emerges in the reading of the text.[9] In the reader-response method, the focus is on how the book is perceived by the reader ~ not on the intention of the author. So reader-response criticism is a school of literary theory that focuses on the reader (or audience) and his or her experience of a literary work. In contrast to other schools and theories that focus attention primarily on the author or the content and form of the work.

BIBLICAL CRITICISMLiterary theory has long paid some attention to the reader’s role in creating the meaning and experience of a literary work. Modern reader-response criticism began in the 1960s and 1970s, particularly in America and Germany, in work by Norman Holland, Stanley Fish, Wolfgang Iser, Hans-Robert Jauss, Roland Barthes, and others. Important predecessors were I. A. Richards, who in 1929 analyzed a group of Cambridge undergraduates’ misreadings. Louise Rosenblatt, who, in Literature as Exploration (1938), argued that it is important for the teacher to avoid imposing any preconceived notions about the proper way to react to any work and C. S. Lewis in An Experiment in Criticism (1961).

Reader-response theory recognizes the reader as an active agent who imparts “real existence” to the work and completes its meaning through interpretation. Reader-response criticism argues that literature should be viewed as a performing art in which each reader creates his or her own, possibly unique, text-related performance. It stands in total opposition to the theories of formalism and the New Criticism, in which the reader’s role in re-creating literary works is ignored. New Criticism had emphasized that only that which is within a text is part of the meaning of a text. No appeal to the authority or intention of the author was allowed in the discussions of orthodox New Critics. No appeal to the psychology of the reader was allowed in the discussions of orthodox New Critics.

Kinds of Reader-Response Criticism

One can sort reader-response theorists into three groups. First, there are individualists who focus on the individual reader’s experience. Second, there are experimenters who conduct psychological experiments on a defined set of readers. Third, there are uniformists who assume a fairly uniform response by all readers. One can, therefore, draw a distinction between reader-response theorists who see the individual reader driving the whole experience and others who think of literary experience as largely text-driven and uniform (with individual variations that can be ignored). The most fundamental difference among reader-response critics is probably between those who regard individual differences among readers’ responses as important and those who try to get around them.

BIBLICAL CRITICISM - Beyond the BasicsIn 1961, C. S. Lewis published An Experiment in Criticism where he analyzed the readers’ role in selecting literature. He analyzed their selections in light of their goals in reading. Stanley Fish explored the reading tactics endorsed by different critical schools, introducing the idea of “interpretive communities” that share particular modes of reading. Richard Gerrig in the U.S. has experimented with the reader’s state of mind during and after a literary experience. He has shown how readers put aside ordinary knowledge and values while they read ~ treating, for example, criminals as heroes. He has also investigated how readers accept, while reading, improbable or fantastic things (Coleridge’s “willing suspension of disbelief”) but discard them after they have finished.

In Canada, David Miall, usually working with Donald Kuiken, has produced a large body of work exploring emotional or “affective” responses to literature. They have used both experiments and new developments in neuropsychology. They have developed a questionnaire for measuring different aspects of a reader’s response. There are many other experimental psychologists around the world exploring readers’ responses, conducting many detailed experiments.[10] Two notable researchers are Dolf Zillmann and Peter Vorderer. Both work in the field of communications and media psychology. Both have theorized and tested ideas about what produces emotions such as suspense, curiosity, surprise etc. in readers.

Wolfgang Iser is a uniformist who asserts this response is controlled by the text. In his model, the text controls so that the reader’s activities are confined within limits set by the literary work. Another important German reader-response critic was Hans-Robert Jauss, who defined literature as a dialectic process of production and reception. For Jauss, readers have a certain mental set, a “horizon” of expectations from which perspective each reader, at any given time in history, reads.

Objections

Reader-response critics hold that in order to understand a text, one must look to the processes readers use to create meaning and experience. Traditional text-oriented schools, such as formalism often think of reader-response criticism as anarchic, chaotic or lawless ~ showing no respect for established laws or rules. Traditional text-oriented schools, such as formalism often think of reader-response criticism as subjective ~ that is, allowing readers to interpret a text any way they want. Text-oriented critics claim that one can understand a text objectively and that one can understand a text while remaining immune to one’s own culture, status, and personality. To reader-response based theorists, however, reading is always both subjective and objective. Some reader-response critics (uniformists) assume a bi-active model of reading where the literary work controls part of the response, and the reader controls part. Individualists claim that the reader controls the whole transaction.

Another objection to reader-response criticism is that it fails to account for the text being able to expand the reader’s understanding. Readers can and do put their own ideas and experiences into a work. They are at the same time gaining new understanding through the text. This is something that is generally overlooked in reader-response criticism. Some artworks are now purposely being fabricated which lack meaning. Such artworks are fabricated only to generate a “reader” response. If the reader response is guided and governed by interpretative communities, then the reader response rather than handing a freedom to the reader empowers the leaders of an interpretative community against the reader.

Research has shown that listening to emotionally intense parts of a story; readers respond with changes in heart rate. This indicates activity in the sympathetic nervous system.

Intense parts of a story were also accompanied by increased brain activity in a network of regions known to be involved in the processing of fear. Reader-response critics readily share the concerns of feminist critics and critics writing on behalf of gays, ethnic minorities, or post-colonial peoples. Everything can be processed through these interpretive grids.

Historical-Critical Method[11]

The historical-critical method is an interpretative technique employed by many academic biblical scholars in secular universities. It is also used by some Christian theologians. The method utilizes higher criticism in an attempt to discover the sources and factors that contributed to the making of the text. It seeks to determine what it meant to the original audience. The historical-critical method treats the Bible in the same way as other “human” texts. It embraces a naturalistic methodology and as such, for example, precludes interpretations, which allow prophetic foresight on the part of the authors.[12] Historical-critical scholars are less interested in determining what the text means for people today. For these reasons, conservative Christians tend to reject the method.[13]

Trajectory Hermeneutics

This is also known as Redemptive-Movement hermeneutics. It is an approach within postmodern Christianity which suggests that parts of the Bible can have progressive, different meanings as a culture unfold, advances, and matures. One teaching under this view is that homosexuality was once a sin but has now become acceptable. This is due to cultural changes and advances in understanding of psychology and the social sciences. Advocates of trajectory hermeneutics may point to Romans 1:18-32 to say that Paul is speaking to those who violate their sexual orientation ~ that is those who go against their natural desire. But a homosexual’s natural desire is for the same sex, which is now defended as natural by some.

One proponent of trajectory hermeneutics is William J. Webb, who says that the moral commands of the Bible were a significant improvement over the surrounding cultures. He says they were relevant to the Christians who lived at that time. He suggests that some such directives are possibly not for contemporary Christians.[14]

Biblical Hermeneutics

The Bible today is essentially the same as when it was originally written. We have upheld the historical-grammatical approach to hermeneutics. The essential question we have been examining is “how is meaning determined?” We have explored the importance of identifying what the author intended. We have spoken about the difference between exegesis and eisegesis. We are to draw out what is there, not to manipulate the text by projecting our views/opinions into it.

There is a need to bridge the gap between then and there and here and now. Every reader is an interpreter. Nobody approaches any text free of presuppositions or bias. There are certain assumptions (presuppositions) about the Bible’s inspiration. According to the liberal view, the Bible is a record of human concepts about God. The writers were inspired in the same way as Shakespeare. The conservative view asserts that God used the personalities of the writers in such a way as to provide the message that he wanted. The message is inspired (God-breathed). There is a difference of opinion among those who hold this view as to whether the Bible is inerrant in all its details (without error) or inerrant in all that it claims to teach regarding salvation and God’s dealings with humanity. The latter position would allow for some historical, geographical, scientific, or numerical errors.

What are the implications of each position? If the latter position is taken, how can the Bible be trusted when it comes to matters regarding salvation, Christian living and morality? Most of the groups that have taken the latter position end up questioning teachings regarding salvation as well.

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Christian Apologetics and Evangelism

REASONABLE FAITHREASONABLE FAITH: Saving Those Who Doubt 

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.

THE GREAT TEACHER Jesus ChristTHE GREAT TEACHER JESUS CHRIST: What Made Jesus Christ’s Teaching, Preaching, Evangelism, and Apologetics Outstanding Effective?

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.

THE APOSTLE PAULTHE TEACHER THE APOSTLE PAUL: What Made the Apostle Paul’s Teaching, Preaching, Evangelism, and Apologetics Outstanding Effective?

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.

King James BibleTHE KING JAMES BIBLE: Do You Know the King James Version?

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.

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

DEFENDING 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 …

Agabus CoverDEFENDING AGABUS AS A NEW TESTAMENT PROPHET: A Content-Based Study of His Predictions In Acts by Sung Cho

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 …

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIEWHAT WILL HAPPEN IF YOU DIE?: Should You Be Afraid of Death or of People Who Have Died?

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?

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 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 …

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 …

REVIEWING 2013 New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Examining the History of the Watchtower Translation and the Latest Revision

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 …

REASONING FROM THE SCRIPTURES: Sharing CHRIST as You Help Others to Learn about the Mighty works of God

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…

REASONING WITH THE WORLD’S VARIOUS RELIGIONS: Examining and Evangelizing Other Faiths

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…

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 …

THE CHURCH CURETHE CHURCH CURE: Overcoming Church Problems

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.

FLEECING THE FLOCK_03FLEECING THE FLOCK: Setting the People of God Free From the Lies of Tithing

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 ChurchDECEPTION IN THE CHURCH: Does It Matter How You Worship?

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: 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 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 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.

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

THE NEW TESTAMENT: Its Background, Setting & Content

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 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 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.” …

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 one of the greatest Christians who ever lived. …

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 …

AN ENCOURAGING THOUGHT The Christian Worldview

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.

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 …

Daily Devotionals

DEVOTIONAL FOR YOUTHS: Growing Up In Christ

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.

DEVOTIONAL FOR TRAGEDYDEVOTIONAL FOR THOSE COPING WITH TRAGEDY: A Journey Back to God

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.

DEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERSDEVOTIONAL FOR CAREGIVERS: Finding Strength Through Faith 

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.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL Daily Musings From the Old Testament

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.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL: Daily Musing From the New Testament

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: Daily Meditations on Scripture

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.

Christian Fiction

THE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm's LengthTHE DIARY OF JUDAS ISCARIOT: How to Keep Jesus at Arm’s Length

…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 …

THE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed WrathTHE RAPTURE: God’s Unwelcomed Wrath

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 …

SEEKERS AND DECEIVERS: Which One are You? It Is Time to Join the Fight!

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  …

The Shadow Flames of Uluru: Book ONE in the CHAOS DOWN UNDER 

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: The Pre-Apocalyptic Misadventure of a Freelance Journalist 

“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.

[1] Hans-Georg Gadamer was a German philosopher best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method, on hermeneutics.

[2] See the chapter on canonicity.

[3] Elwell, Walter A., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1984).

[4] Terry, Milton S., Biblical Hermeneutics: a Treatise on the Interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, (Grand Rapids Michigan: Zondervan, 1974), 205.

[5] Hendricks, Howard G., Living by the Book (Chicago: Moody Press, 1991), 349.

[6] Elwell, Walter A., Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker, 1984),  565.

[7] The quotations are found in Romans chapter 9, verses 7 (Genesis 21:12), 9 (Genesis 18:14), 12 (Genesis 25:23), 13 (Malachi 1:2, 3), 15 (Exodus 33:19), 17 (Exodus 9:16), 25 (Hosea 2:23), 26 (Hosea 1:10), 27, 28 (Isaiah 10:22, 23), 29 (Isaiah 1:9), and 33 (Isaiah 28:16).

[8] Kaiser, Walter C., An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1994), 31-32, 298.

[9] Stanley J. Grenz, David Guretzki & Cherith Fee Nordling, Pocket Dictionary of Theological Terms (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 99.

[10] One can consult their work through their professional organizations, the International Society for the Empirical Study of Literature and Media, and International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, and through such psychological indices as PSYCINFO.

[11] Not to be confused with the historical grammatical method.

[12] Coogan, Michael D., The Old Testament, a Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, (Oxford University Press, 2005).

[13] Farnell, F. David, Edward D. Andrews, Thomas Howe, Thomas Marshall, Benjamin Cocar, and Dianna Newman. Basics of Biblical Criticism: Helpful or Harmful? [Second Edition] (Cambridge, OH: Christian Publishing House, 2016).

http://www.christianpublishers.org/apps/webstore/products/show/5346435

[14] Webb, William J. Slaves, Women and Homosexuals: Exploring the Hermeneutics of Cultural Analysis, (Authentic Media, 2002).

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