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DO YOU ANALYSE THE BIBLE?

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#1
vengaturreino

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All too often, we analyse our actions, our hearts and minds, but not the traditions handed down to us by the church.  “Who am I to question the church leaders and centuries of theologians and tradition?” we could ask, humbly.  So, we decide to trust them.  We trust them because they have studied more than we have, because they seem to know all the answers whilst we’re still floundering with countless questions.

 

Perhaps we read the Bible to show us how to behave and how to become more holy, but we don’t often read it to learn more of the everlasting truths we profess to believe.  I was like that for many, many years.  Since I became a Christian at age 15 I developed a hunger for the Word and I would read it for many hours, honestly asking God to test my heart, to show me where I was sinning, and help me to become more like Christ.  Every time I would read a passage I would ask God to show me how to apply it practically in my life.

 

I think this kind of Bible reading is beautiful and very important.  However, there is also a place for more analytical Bible study, in which we read it to learn more about God’s character and scriptural doctrine.  Although the kind of Bible reading that I carried out was extremely important for my own personal growth as a Christian, I feel that I sometimes fell into “narcissistic reading”; i.e. I read and I found MYSELF in every passage!  Every blessing that God promised to the Israelites I took for myself.  Every criticism I read of the “fool” in Proverbs I took to be a comment on my own character.  I’m not saying that Christians can’t find encouragement or discipline in the Old Testament, but I think that all too often we read the Bible and our ego blinds us from analysing deeper truths.

 

I still read the Bible and ask God to use it to show me how I need to change and grow, but I also concentrate on learning more about HIM.  Of His character, rather than my own.  When I read of the Israelites and His never-ending patience and forgiveness towards them, I marvel at His mercy.  I now spend longer over the more difficult passages that speak of His divine plan, His nature and what that passage tells me of certain doctrines that I’ve come to believe or doubt.

 

My husband once told me: “Read the Bible without doctrinal prejudice: open your heart and let it teach you”.  I started to do that around eight years ago and I really feel that my analytical eyes have been opened.  I now read, not only to apply behavioural teachings to my life, but also to UNDERSTAND.

 

And, of course, that process leads to a myriad of questions.  “What does this passage really MEAN?” I frequently ask myself.  And not content to let the question pass, I spend time investigating in the Bible, in prayer and in conversation with other Christians to help me to shed light on this issue.  This is an active process and a very personal one.  I do not accept that one human being, leader or religion will be able to answer all my questions.  I am no longer willing to listen to an answer and accept it because it sounds nice or because I trust the person who is speaking to me.  I have to become convinced in my own heart and mind after listening to their opinions and searching for myself in the Bible and after much prayer.  And I try not to become “calcified” in my understanding of doctrine; my desire is to remain open-minded and reasonable.  In fact, that is the definition of the word “disciple”, which means “learner”.  How can I be a disciple if I have closed my mind to questioning and doubts and refuse to accept any other interpretation other than that which I have arrived at?

 

I encourage you to do the same: read, question, investigate.  Rather than leading you away from God this process will bring you to your knees before Him.

 

http://faithandencou....wordpress.com/


Edited by vengaturreino, 12 January 2014 - 09:44 PM.


#2
Guest_DRS81_*

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As christians we have authority to test the spirits and their teachings.

If you question a person's beliefs, always go back to scripture.

The Word of God HAS to be the focal point.

When the Word is your center point, just allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. :)



#3
desi2007

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yes I have to go to several places for analyzing or reading deeper in a scripture and find its meaning.



#4
Butero

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I agree that we should look to scripture for answers, and not just accept the things we hear being taught.  It comes down to how you seek answers about the Bible.  There are many commentaries and books about the Bible that will lead you astray.  Just as there are ministers that will tell you things that are not true, there are also books by so-called historians and books about the Bible that are completely false.  If you want answers, you can get them through direct study of the Bible, and the help of the Holy Spirit, that God sent to be your teacher and guide into all truth.  The only aid I would recommend would be an Abington-Strong's Concordance, so you can find scriptures easily.  It also contains a Greek and Hebrew Dictionary of every Bible word, so you can understand things better.  Other than that, God will open up the truth to you, as you are able to handle it. 



#5
Parker1

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An important aspect of "analyzing" Scripture is understanding it's meaning in relation to prophecy. There are many places, especially in the OT, which have seen partial fullfillment, but have a complete fullfillment yet to come. Also in Christ's teachings, especially in Matthew 24, and in Revelation. It is very difficult to notice or understand these nuances without the help of others - biblical scholars if you will - whomever you choose to consult. There are many who are wrong in their teachings, and many who are correct, but if you rely upon the leadings of the Holy Spirit, scriptural evidence, and heuristic methods of study within the boundries of precedence and near context, you will be able to discern whom is relying on GOD and those relying upon their own undertanding.



#6
Reformed Baptist

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I agree that we should look to scripture for answers, and not just accept the things we hear being taught.  It comes down to how you seek answers about the Bible.  There are many commentaries and books about the Bible that will lead you astray.  Just as there are ministers that will tell you things that are not true, there are also books by so-called historians and books about the Bible that are completely false.  If you want answers, you can get them through direct study of the Bible, and the help of the Holy Spirit, that God sent to be your teacher and guide into all truth.  The only aid I would recommend would be an Abington-Strong's Concordance, so you can find scriptures easily.  It also contains a Greek and Hebrew Dictionary of every Bible word, so you can understand things better.  Other than that, God will open up the truth to you, as you are able to handle it. 

Strong's concordance with it's Greek and Hebrew definitions will not help you understand the text any better in my opinion - indeed it will mislead more then it will help. All strong's does is record how the translators have translated, ie what words they have used in their translation it does not speak to the actual meaning of the original Greek and Hebrew, for example it does not consider tense and voice - with can dramatically altar the emaning of words, also it gives little weight to semantic domains - honestly without a least a year of Greek at seminary level strong's better left alone and one is better of with just their trustworthy English translation, and a local church to learn in. For those with little Greek the best lexicon is Louw-Nida which explores the meaning of words in relation to semantic domain - ie it tells what the word means in that particular context.

 

However, as has been said, no book is entirely trustworthy, not is any preacher/ teacher - that doesn't mean what they have to say is of no value, but it does mean that what they say has to be compared to the word of God. There is balance here, for the Holy Spirit indwells all believers, he has been given to the church and not just the individual, and the church has been blessed with pastors and teachers for the edification of the people - by all means test what others have to say, but at the same time don't through out the baby with the bathwater :D  






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