What if the Bible was easy to understand, and was full of instructions that made positive improvements to your everyday life when followed? What if the bits that are clear to you are only the tip of the iceberg? If you admit that there are large portions of the Bible that you do not undertstand, doesn't it follow that you are missing a similar percentage of the insights it has to offer?
The computer you are reading this on was designed by an Engineer. That incredibly complex piece of gadgetry works because that's what we Engineers do. We learn the rules, we follow them, and we make stuff that works.
For years I sat in church believing that the Bible, being a book, was of a nature that it could never be understood. The people who tried to explain it to me were pastors, theologians, and the like. They were not Engineers. Far from it. They were students of the word, of language and literature, of a domain which we Engineers are all led to believe is airy-fairy and follows no comprehensible rules whatsoever.
But one day someone told me a rule that I understood, and then another. And soon I was looking for rules by which the Bible could be understood, just like any other aspect of life. Before long, I was approaching the Bible as an Engineer, always looking for the common patterns, for the simple and sensible explanation, and for the rules that would consistently yield up understandings that fit together into a cohesive whole.
As with anything else in life, I was only satisfied with answers that were provable, and that were repeatable,because I had to be able to put these answers to practical use. No half-baked answer filled with big theological words would satisfy me. I would leave an issue flagged as "unanswered" rather than accept the fancy sounding but trite answer in general acceptance. And useful answers did emerge, and mesh, and repeat, and combine into a cohesive whole that made sense of the entire book, from cover to cover.
God's Instruction ManualEdit
This life is a test. It is only a test. Had this been a real life, you would have been given instructions on where to go and what to do.
Remember when computers always came with an Instruction Manual? Wouldn't it be nice if there was an Instruction Manual for Life.
The Bible is one, unified story. It is also a guide. It is God's Instruction Manual for Life. What use is it to us if we don't understand huge portions of it? The understandings contained herein will revolutionized your faith and your everyday life in ways that will surprise you. You have never had the Bible explained to you like this.
Intent of the AuthorEdit
Rule #1: Ignore the numbers. Read each book as it was written.
Most people approach the Bible as a collection of proof-texts. They cite a single verse, as if it is the complete answer to the question just asked. But other than the book of Proverbs, no book in the Bible is meant to be approached in this manner. Every verse must be read in context. You need to be able to follow the flow of thoughts of the author. What previous thought led him to make the statement in the verse you are now reading? The author wrote with an objective in mind. His thoughts followed a progression. You need to get inside his head, and identify this flow of thoughts. Then you will know why he wrote that verse, and your understanding of it will be far more complete.
This flow spans chapters as well, so ignore the chapter breaks as well. Only in Psalms are the chapters separate to one another. Genesis is a history book covering events over a certain span of time. Even when people and places change, they all fit together into a single story that the author believed was worth telling. The author very purposefully gives the links from generation to generation, so that the reader can know the connections from Adam all the way down to Joseph and Judah. Paul wrote letters, and each one had a main purpose and a series of points he felt he needed to make, and often they were all interconnected. At no time did he say, "Let me give you three bits of random advice that you may find helpful." There is nothing random about any of his writings.
Yet people will read a single verse, and then proceed to argue for hours over what it means. And then, to back up their particular view of it, they will grab another isolated verse from another book in the Bible often written by an entirely different author. They are not seeking a deeper understanding of the Bible. They are just looking for backing for their own personal beliefs. They want to prove that God backs them up. This does not lead to deeper understanding. It keeps you stuck in a rut, and unable to move in any direction.
- Ignore the numbers
Words you thought you understoodEdit