SUNDAY POST: Bible Study

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From the Editor:

I have attended BSF and CBS (Community Bible Study, a very similar Bible study) for many, many years.

The main reason I have for going to a Bible study outside my church is the fact that these two organizations have thoughtfully and carefully formalized the content of certain books of the Bible into 9 months of deep reading, thought, and discipline of study and rich fellowship. I have not found that anywhere else, and I would not have applied myself that extensively if I studied alone.

Keep in mind what I just said – “studied” –  this is not the same as reading your Bible, or looking up certain passages, or reading a book of the Bible for a month, or “reading through the Bible in one year”.

This is very different: it is an intense study of a particular book of the Bible.

When I started BSF about 12 years ago, the “Welcome” class for new members explained their format, policies, and requirements. They recommended that before doing the daily study, first you PRAY, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you through the reading and your answers to the questions.

In answering the questions, they discourage the use of commentaries, pastors’ sermons, books, etc., because they want it to be nothing but the Bible, the Holy Spirit, and you! They don’t want you to just write down somebody else’s comments.

When we read other peoples’ writings, insights, and teachings we are getting their ‘digested’ spiritual food. The goal of BSF and CBS is for it to be YOUR realization, through the Holy Spirit, of the words of God. You can use commentaries after you have done the homework, if you like.

They also guide you through the verses with 4 pages of notes and a lecture every week. You are able to read for yourself verse by verse, whether or not their exegesis and application are aligned with the word of God.

I had never opened a Bible before I started BSF. In my first year, it took me a while before I was able to answer any of the questions! In all these years of study, I have heard only a few things to which I was opposed. The majority of the members are women like myself who want to deeply study God’s Word and who are discerning about false or incorrect teachings.

Yes – many ‘goats’ and wrong beliefs have inundated our churches, Bible studies, the Christian community, as also happened in the early church. But, who is to know if God drew someone to attend your church for His purpose – so that they would hear truth spoken and be turned from their wrong thinking and beliefs?

I remember when I was a ‘baby’ Christian, having recently been born again, and I was in the first huge flush of love for God and Jesus, my Savior. I was very ignorant of what was in the Bible. Kind words of explanation from mature Christians helped me grow whenever I had an incomplete or erroneous understanding of God’s divine Truth. Just imagine if I had not been able to be part of a church because I believed (wrongly) that Mary, Jesus’ mother, was born without sin, or any of the other dogmas I had been brought up with. Who would have spoken kindly to me, if it had not been for the women at BSF or at my non-denominational church?

As I said previously, BSF is not without faults:

I have cringed at answers with no biblical basis given by members in my small group, but have tried, very gently, to correct a false or misleading answer. (How do I know an erroneous point of view? I refer them to the verses we are studying and repeat it to them)

I am not partial to the NIV, yet, that is the version of the very first Bible I ever read. (The NIV does not steer me wrong and I believe when your spirit is born again, and you truly follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit will prompt you regarding false doctrines – after all, 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God… [not just KJV])

The Teaching Leader in my women’s group last year explained about different Bible versions and to stay away from paraphrase versions, spec. The Message bible.

I can only speak about my own experience and I will tell you that I have gained knowledge, truth, faith, and greater love for the divine Trinity by attending BSF/CBS. I have also become very familiar with God’s people from the Old and New Testaments in a way I would not have without these Bible studies.

I don’t go there to find what’s wrong with what they do and how they do it. I go there to familiarize myself with the Word of God and to gain knowledge of the history of humanity from God’s perspective. His handbook for mankind is the most necessary document that exists.

This year, beginning in September, the BSF study is the book of Revelation. As I look forward to the class, I expect that there will be differing points of view regarding timelines, etc., but I also know that some differences are not of a salvific nature. It’s the unredemptive beliefs that we need to stand up against.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. “The NIV does not steer me wrong and I believe when your spirit is born again, and you truly follow Jesus, the Holy Spirit will prompt you regarding false doctrines – after all, 2 Timothy 3:16Open in Logos Bible Software (if available) tells us that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God… [not just KJV])”

    The NIV differs from the King James Bible in more than 64,000 instances! Your statement, that you believe the NIV “does not steer [you] wrong,” shows either that you have never carefully evaluated what those 64,000+ differences are, or, else–if you have seriously examined those, then you must be incapable to discern even the most egregious of the NIV’s perversions of Scripture. Moreover, your claim, that the “Holy Spirit will prompt you concerning false doctrines,” is to accuse the Holy Spirit–who is the Author of Scripture–of INCORPORATING ERROR in the very TEXT which He Authored!

    Finally, your statement, “that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God… [not just KJV],” suggests that God not only “inspired” the KJV but that He also “inspired” the NIV–and hundreds of other so-called “versions” besides! Yet, NO TWO OF THOSE “VERSIONS” AGREE!!

    No one owns a copyright for the text of the King James Bible. Anyone can print it and sell it. But that is not the case with any other “version”. It is a HUGE MONEY-MAKING enterprise. The “New King James Version”, ALONE, has made in excess of $30 MILLION for Thomas Nelson. And if that publisher CARED ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT THE TRUTH OF GOD, then, WHY DO THEY PRODUCE A GAGGLE of DIFFERENT VERSIONS?????

    God is not schizophrenic. God is not a liar. God is not double-minded. God’s Word is PERFECT. And, having INTENSELY studied this matter (Bible “versions”) for well more than a DECADE (and ready to publish a book about my findings), I will CONFIDENTLY ASSERT: “The King James Bible IS THE WORD OF GOD, in the English language.” And, yes, it matters very, very much….to God, if not to anyone else.

    • Our posts on BSF appear to have caused much controversy and dissent. Once again, the purpose of this blog is to reach people for Christ through how Bible prophecy is being fulfilled every day in the headlines.
      I have clearly stated that I am a Bible student and not a scholar. I came from a legalistic religion that encouraged its members to let the church hierarchy interpret God’s word.
      There is much criticism of every version of the Bible depending on whom you ask. Even the KJV:
      “One of the means by which KJO proponents seek to discredit other translations is by pointing out that sometimes members of the translation committee are of a different brand of Christianity or are not all Evangelicals or that the company behind the translation has commercial interests. They then create the impression that the KJV was conceived in an immaculate way in the perfect environment. It is vital therefore that we examine the environment in which the translation was born.
      All the translators were Anglicans (known in the USA as Episcopalians). A significant number of churches in England were Puritan and in Scotland the churches were mainly Presbyterian – tracing a direct line to the Reformation through John Knox. But King James only selected Anglican scholars for the work. So what is the Anglican Church and where does it come from?
      It is commonly and erroneously said that Anglicanism is Protestant. The KJO people stress the fact that this is a “Protestant” translation. That is simply not true.
      The Anglican Church was formed in 1534 when the Pope would not give King Henry VIII permission to divorce. Henry signed the Act of Supremacy which served as a unilateral declaration of independence from Rome and placed the King as the head of the church instead of the Pope. In doctrine and practice the newly formed Church of England was 100% Catholic except for the role of the Pope. For the ensuing 70 years the Church of England oscillated between being Catholic under Rome and Catholic under the King/Queen.
      This does not make it a Protestant church. Protestantism generally describes those churches that seceded from Rome for doctrinal reasons as part of the Reformation. Wikipedia’s definition of Protestantism is: “any of several church denominations denying the universal authority of the Pope and affirming the Reformation principles of justification by faith alone, the priesthood of all believers, and the primacy of the Bible as the only source of revealed truth” 13. The Anglican Church does not fit this definition and except for the first quality holds to the exact opposite of this definition. Anglicans speak of the “English Reformation” as though it is an English version of the European Reformation. But there are no similarities between these two “reformations”. The one was a doctrinal reformation while the other was simply a political realignment.
      In later years the Anglican Church moved away from the Roman doctrines of transubstantiation and of purgatory. They also changed the language of the liturgy to English. But other than that they remain an English version of Roman Catholicism in doctrine, practice, and hierarchy to this day. They have never been Reformed or Evangelical and on the contrary, they are the very antithesis of everything we regard as Evangelical.
      The ease with which Roman priests become Anglican priests and visa versa further testifies to the fact that Anglicanism is simply Romanism with a different label. Add to this the fact that the Apocrypha was an integral part of the original (1611) translation and it becomes clear that the translation was not done by Protestants for Protestants but it was Anglican-Catholic at its core.”

      The Word of God teaches that those who earnestly seek Him will find Him Matthew 7:7.

      • Most of everything in that “argument” is spurious at best. The REAL issue has to do with the fact that FROM THE DAYS OF WESTCOTT & HORT (1881-) UNTIL TODAY, two radically different GREEK texts have served as the basis for TWO ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ENGLISH LANGUAGE TRANSLATIONS–that is, the AUTHORIZED (KJB), and virtually everything else. More, later….gotta go for now

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