How to approach reading the Bible in its entirety?

Discussion in 'Questions for Christians (Q&A)' started by Silmarien, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. smaller

    smaller Member

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    One area where I wasted too much time early in my believing life was reading commentaries. While I enjoyed some radio expositors like J. Vernon McGee when broadcasts were available, I found over time that the majority of other commentaries on the more difficult passages for dissections of allegories/parables/similitdes, etc, in the N.T. were somewhat worthless and generally useless because they take a 'literal/historical' analysis base for the most part, which really isn't what the arena of allegory/parable/similitude is about.

    After being stymied by literal/historical venues which couldn't match up/jive I went another direction for studies of allegories/similitude/association meanings. Studies on those come mostly from Revelation analysis and there is also so much junk to wade through there, but bits and pieces of legitimate information can be picked up, stored in the brain vault, and used for comparative analysis to sort through the large amounts of relevant and irrelevant data to get clearer comparative pictures that are "universally deployed" throughout the scriptures i.e. what was true and applicable at the start of the scriptures is true to the end and applicable in some ways to "all" believers. Matt. 4:4, Luke 4:4.

    I also spent several years following the lives of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob using associations and studying all the somewhat seemingly quirky things they did, the paths they took, how God dealt with them, etc, primarily from the advice of Jesus in the Gospels here:

    John 8:39
    They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

    Since Paul stakes that Abraham is the father of faith, Romans 4:16, and Jesus pointed to do Abraham's works, I thought it was a worthy study area, and it turned out to be delightful for me, personally. I used Paul's basis of Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Hagar, Ishmael and the law as being an allegory in Gal. 4 as the basis of understanding, since obviously doing the works Abraham did in the strictly literal/historical senses of applications is impossible for any of us today. Paul also quite rightfully pointed out that the scripture preached the Gospel to Abraham, Gal. 3:8, and that also intrigued me, to go find out "HOW" that was so. Again, knowing that the information in the O.T. is FIGURATIVE language helped greatly. Heb. 11:19. And having established some good ground work in allegory/parable/similitude from Revelation analysis from a huge body of works from Christian writers across the spectrum of beliefs really helped the most, though I eventually had to put that data input aside having milked it for all it was worth and still had no clear pictures (still don't) that can really handle that particular piece of work (Rev.) that I'm comfortable with (pre/mid/post/amil/premil etc).

    I also had the pleasure of encountering various christian mystics in online chat rooms who, although reluctant to the person to actually fork over their supposedly inside information, will do so if treated respectfully. Having spent a few years in the charismatic arena and being "exposed" to just about every form of spiritual fruitcake actually helped me engage the more fringe elements of mysticism. I did find a few amazing gems in the whole charismatic/mystic arenas. But a LOT of high and extreme weirdness, moreso. And the space is filled with spiritual predators, so be warned.

    When studying the allegory/similitude/parable arena it's mandatory to take in a wide body of evidence in order to sort through the comparative rubble and pick up the occasional gem, just as it was mandatory to not get locked in to one particular slant for Rev.

    None of this approach is for fools or novices. I found my fundamental roots served me well to keep it stable and real. But fundamentalism assuredly does NOT have all the answers.

    One thing is certain. God DOESN'T speak a language that is easy to understand. The Bible actually does require a student to submit to certain milestones or mile markers along the study trails and in life in general, OR the information will remain in secure LOCKDOWN. Prayer and submission to the fact of spiritual blindness is mandatory. One can not PRESUME to speak for Gods Word. Gods Word speaks for Himself and we, as students either personally submit or we're not going to "get it."

    Not saying a simple understanding isn't sufficient for salvation. But there is a lot more information therein that is free for the taking, with submissions to The Author's Dictates. A person doesn't study scriptures for a lifetime unless it's deeply engaging at every level possible.
     
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  2. Jim Parker

    Jim Parker Member

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    I suggest that you start by reading the New Testament. (Don't get too hung up with Revelation. It's the record of ecstatic visions rendered into human language as best as a human could.)
    Once you have a good grasp on the NT, then read the old. It would also be good to understand the time line and a bit of the history of what was going on in that part of the world between the time of the bronze age patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) and the time of Jesus 2000 years later. There were empires rising and falling: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and the Jews were right in the middle of everything.

    jim
     
  3. nmwings

    nmwings Member

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    In Jesus' own words in John 5:46-47: "Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you, Moses, in whom you trust. For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed Me, for he wrote of Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My Words?"

    A foundation based on anything other than the 5 books of Moses (Gen-Deut) is set upon sand.
     
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  4. Jim Parker

    Jim Parker Member

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    It is best to start with the New Testament since it is the fulfillment of the Old.
    Once you have a grasp of the NT teachings, the OT will be much more understandable.

    Oh, and I wouldn't spend too much time trying to figure out Revelation. What is described will become clear to you when it happens.

    iakov the fool
     
  5. Pegasus

    Pegasus Member

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    To be a good evangelist I agree.
    You gotta drag them up Mt Sinai in order to explain the deliverance of Mt Zion.
     
  6. th1b.taylor

    th1b.taylor Member

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    This is solid advise. The last 34 books of the Old Testament can only stand on the base the first five lays down. And as I said earlier, reading the Bible Jesus, Paul, James and the others taught from as they compiled the finale 27 Commentaries is essential to understanding what is going on. Beginning with the Commentaries can only be done with success if you have a chain referenced Bible of extraordinary attention to detail as the Chain was compiled coupled with an inordinate drive from yourself to read a single verse and the run the chain links, some of then as much as seven verses in other books that will, each of them ad at least two more verses to help understand that individual verse. It would take you years to ever complete a thorough study in that manor and at the end you would be so confused as to appear as a blithering idiot to others.

    Read the Bible from front to back, just as God had men put it together, He had His reasons and we are to trust Him.
     
  7. reba

    reba Staff Member Administrator

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    Read the Bible from front to back, just as God had men put it together, He had His reasons and we are to trust Him.

    :thumbsup
     
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  8. Brock

    Brock Member

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    Get a good grasp and understanding of the New Testament before you read the old
     
  9. wondering

    wondering Member

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    Hi Silmarien,
    How are you doing with your reading of the bible?
     
  10. Edward

    Edward Member

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    Actually, I've found that reading the OT first makes the NT easier to understand. Especially after one is born again and sets out on a path to study. Like Chuck Missler says, "The OT is the NT concealed, and the NT is the OT revealed". Makes sense. With all the types and shadows in the OT, it shines light on what we can expect in our future.

    Nevertheless, I did start in the NT, and when I got around to reading the OT...I started seeing shadows of Jesus on every page! So in the long run, it probably doesn't really matter as long as we do continue to read read read. :study:study:study :yes
     
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  11. Silmarien

    Silmarien Member

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    Pretty well! Been working long hours the last couple weeks so I'm a bit behind where I wanted to be--I've still got a couple of the shorter letters attributed to Paul and then Hebrews to go. And then the whole Old Testament, though I think I'm going to reread the NT again before tackling that. May start looking into Patristics first too.
     
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  12. Brock

    Brock Member

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    I agree
     
  13. wondering

    wondering Member

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    Hi Silmarien

    You did good!
    I just am hoping that you read the introduction to each book. I never used to do this when I was a new Christian, but now I do this all the time. Each time I read it, I learn something new and remember something new. It helps very much to be able to understand the book better.

    Hebrews shows how Jesus is better: A better priest, a better sacrifice, a better covenant, a better example, etc.
    I think it'll tie everything in for you.
     
  14. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    Silmarien,

    Even though we are well into the year, this is the plan I'm using for this year. It covers 5 days a week. You can have the whole plan emailed to you. See: https://66books.wordpress.com/2016/01/01/genesis-1-2-psalm-19-mark-1-2/. It starts with Genesis, Mark's Gospel and a Psalm.

    Oz
     
  15. misbehaved11

    misbehaved11 Member

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    You will benefit alot more out of reading The Holy Bible if you place the attitudes and practices which Church Pastors prescribe with The Holy Bible. And 1 reason why this is true is because they have had their own families which they had to learn how to discipline and correct with having their faith with God alot longer than many of the younger male pastors. Raising a child in the ways of The Lord in a Pagan world takes alot of dedication, patience, discernment and such.. That is why they have wise words to share, not only about The Holy Bible, but with life in general as a Godly man. It is much wiser to gain 'wisdom' from the 'aged' more than from the youths. And you can rest more assured that the 'aged' men of God would more definitely have been baptized into The Lord by water and by The Spirit which Jesus has said... There are many pastors today who have not even been immersed/baptized into The Lord by water and by the Spirit. Otherwise they would be emphasizing the importance of being baptized. The true 'complete' Christian walk begins after one is baptized. Look to the ones whom Christ chose. They were at the river Jordan being baptized. There was one, Matthew the tax collector, but even he might have been baptized... But one thing can be certain... All of them were sons of Israel and not gentiles... And Christ did not begin His Ministry until after He fulfilled all Righteousness when He was baptized by John.. God is not that difficult if you just listen to what He says and do what He says instead of wanting to do things 'my' way... There are many, even Pastors, who replace what Christ and The Holy Bible said, and add their own way of following God through Christ or following Christ through some other people, including themselves, instead of the Prophets and The Apostles. This may be a bit stinging to the ears, but they are as 'self appointed' prophets and apostles leading the flock.. But most importantly, 'beware'.

    Matthew 7:15 King James Version (KJV)
    15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

    Jude 1:4
    For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Acts 20:29
    For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

    Top Ten Reasons to Ordain Women… http://www.womensordination.org/resources/top-ten-reasons-to-ordain-women/

    The ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (LGBT) clergy who are open about their sexuality (or gender identity if transgender), are sexually active if lesbian, gay, or bisexual, or are in committed same-sex relationships is a debated practice within some contemporary Christian Church communities. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_clergy_in_Christianity

    First Baptist Church to Ordain Gay, Transgender Ministers

    http://www.charismanews.com/us/51020-first-baptist-church-to-ordain-gay-transgender-ministers


    If you are serious about God and with God, then you will listen and obey His voice and His Holy Word, as written, without additions nor subtractions...


    Man's interpretations are only the doctrines of men which Christ spoke about.. Matthew 15:9 "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

    And also Christ has said, John 14:15 "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

    Keeping the commandments of Christ or keeping the commandments of men. It's up to all but God desires that none should be lost or perish for keeping, as commandments, men's commandments over God's commandments.

    it might be better to not enter into a church which teaches such 'men's' commandments than to for the sake of 'reverence'.

    1 Peter 4:17 "For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it firstbegin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?"

    But more importantly is this.... To do good and just... To have righteous judgement and to show mercy through righteousness... To love and honor your parents... To keep to the good, keeping yourself away from the fraudulent.... To speak truth with your lips.... To seek the welfare of others as well as for yourself.... With these things there is no Law really, seeing that these are part of the Fruit of The Holy Spirit.

    But and And... Take heed to not give in to false speech...
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  16. Silmarien

    Silmarien Member

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    Two months later, but I'm finally grabbing a version with annotations! I just happened across the Jewish Annotated New Testament, which is precisely what I needed. I wanted that solid backing in the original context, and having some reference points should make the Old Testament a lot less daunting.

    Still haven't finished Hebrews, unfortunately. I kept putting it off until I finally had to drop it entirely and go back and reread the Gospels. Definitely getting a different impression the second time through the Synoptics than I did the first, though! (I was in the camp that thought claims to divinity only showed up in John and that John was not a terribly reliable source, but those claims are absolutely everywhere else too. Just much less direct.)

    Hoping to go to Divine Liturgy next Sunday! I say "hoping" because the last time I tried to go to an Orthodox service, I got as far as the door and then ran away. I've even been putting off having a proper conversation with my current Episcopal priest--I definitely need some real guidance now, but man, am I commitment shy! I think I've gotten far enough in my seeking game to be the one hiding now.
     
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  17. Lee2000

    Lee2000 Member

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    hi

    its not the reading of the entire bible that gives us guidance revelation and wisdom

    but that each day we take up our cross and when we read the word of God

    the holy Spirit reveals to us what food is relevant for us that day

    and what he wants us to know understand and grow in the transformation process

    these are all foundation lessons to help disciple us

    the Holy Spirit leads us and we follow

    there are millions of revelations and mysteries in the word of God

    but only one message and lesson is given to us each time

    it is a process and more of the word of God will be revealed in Gods timing

    Peace
     
  18. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    Lee,

    Are you saying that what the Holy Spirit reveals to us is more important than what he has revealed in the written Scriptures?

    Oz
     
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  19. Lee2000

    Lee2000 Member

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    Hi

    no brother

    peace
     
  20. OzSpen

    OzSpen Member

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    Lee,

    Well what do you mean?

    It was you who stated in #37, "its not the reading of the entire bible that gives us guidance revelation and wisdom but that each day we take up our cross and when we read the word of God the holy Spirit reveals to us what food is relevant for us that day".

    So in your theology the entire Bible does not provide guidance, revelation and wisdom in obtaining the content of salvation, knowing the nature and attributes of God, demonstrating that God is Trinitarian and not Unitarian, that when sin entered the world it has led to chaos in individuals and in our world, etc.

    How is it that the entire Bible does not provide revelation and wisdom in these core theological doctrines?

    Or, am I missing something about your beliefs?

    Oz
     

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