The Difference Between Reading the Bible and Meditating on God’s Word

The Difference Between Reading the Bible and Meditating on God’s Word

There always has to be a good reason to read the Bible. Even

“simply wanting to know what all the hoopla was about and why people were so hyped up on it”

could already be a good reason to start reading the Bible. From that point of view, it could give some good idea of what others are saying, what would or would not be in Scripture.

Best is to read the Bible to study it and to gain more knowledge of what is written inside it. Then it will give also a good idea of what others, like clergy, are insinuating what would be standing there in those 66 books of the Book of books, the Bible, and coming to see what is really written in it.

When

“in no way shape or form, did reading the Bible had anything to do with God.”

then it would be a very difficult start, already closing some gates to receiving knowledge or to coming into conversation with God. Reading the Bible is namely like being present by someone, listening to what He has to say. Reading the Bible also gives an opportunity to come into conversation with the Divine Creator of heaven and earth, the God of gods. When starting to read what He has to say, there has to be a willingness to listen to Him.

For sure, several people coming to read the Bible,

“some of their reasons aren’t particularly holy.”

Several people want to find reasons and words to attack those lovers of God, who find those words in the Bible sacred.

Sometimes, as the article writer mentions, coming to read the Bible is

“done out of curiosity”

as her friends in school did for religious studies

“and other times it’s for understanding the religion better.”

And that is a very good reason, more people should consider why reading that book is as important as reading other basic scriptures of certain religious groups.

All people should learn about the different religions and have to go through their basic scriptures. When the reason to read the Bible is to debunk the Bible, like some atheists and other (religious) people do they would often be surprised where they end up. More than once, an atheist or even a Christian or other religious person came to see the truth and came to look for a church that is living according to those Words of God.
That

“they use part of the bible to show why other Christian religions are wrong”

is not such a bad idea, when they do it with the right intention and lovingly, to bring people closer to the One and Only Real God, the God of Israel, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, Who is One and not two or three.

Too often, people who call themselves Christian, do not dare to open their ears fully to those words of God, but prefer to be chained to the doctrinal teachings of their church, be it a Catholic or Trinitarian Protestant Church, instead of trying to read and understand the words like they are written black on white.

When there is a willingness to listen carefully to God’s Word as presented in the Bible, the reader shall be surprised how a whole new world might open up before him or her. But then it becomes most important also to accept those Words from God and to act to the received new insight. And that last bit is one of the very difficult parts when one has lived for several years in a certain Christian denomination. Often it is easier for an atheist to become a true Christian than for a Christian to become a real follower and believer in the son of God, Jeshua or Jesus Christ. Most people coming from a certain denomination have difficulties changing their lives and changing church, after they discovered that there are differences in the teachings of their familiar church and the contents of the Bible.

The difficulty for reading the Bible is that it has to be done with an open mind geared toward spiritual growth and with a willingness to change.
The writer of this article still has to go a long way, because she writes

“After all, the time He walked the earth stone was the paper of choice”

giving an indication that she still considers Jesus to be God instead of him being the son of God. God never walked this earth. God is an eternal Spirit Being (meaning having no beginning or birth and no end = no death) no man can see. Clearly, the writer of this article is still confusing and mixing two different Biblical characters. This comes perhaps because she is so clinched or stuck by her Catholic upbringing, where they worship a Trinity and other gods and saints.

We can only hope that those who read the Bible also one moment come to listen more carefully to the Words of God and start meditating on them as well, giving a two-way communication platform to the Author of the Book of books, so that more insight and wisdom will come to them.

The writer of this article (Marita) ends very nicely but also hits the nail when she writes

“Basically, meditating on God’s word is supposed to bring about change. Change in you and the world around you.”

And changing direction and adapting their belief unto what is really written in the Scriptures is one of the most difficult tasks for people who grew up in a Christian church tradition and who have come to read the Bible more thoroughly.
And the Bible deserves a thorough reading and study to be moulded by God and filled with biblical clarity rather than church indoctrination.

 

+

Preceding

People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers

People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations

God of gods

The Almighty Lord God of gods King above all gods

Is reading the Bible necessary?

Being in tune with God

How Social Media is Shrinking the Bible

Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

Followers, protestors and reformers

++

Additional reading

  1. Bible
  2. Unread bestseller
  3. What Is: The Bible as Originally Written
  4. Bible Word from God
  5. Word of God
  6. Bible Inspired Word of God
  7. Today’s thought “Word of the Only One God – To be read and listened at” (November 21)
  8. Bible Word of God inspired and infallible
  9. Moshe Rabbenu and Torat Moshe
  10. Bible in the first place #2/3
  11. Appointed to be read (Our World) = Appointed to be read (Some View on the World)
  12. Best to read and study the Bible
  13. Not studying an abstract and arcane text of the ancient world
  14. Best intimate relation to look for
  15. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  16. Main verses in the Bible telling us Who God is #8 Some more attributes of God
  17. Today’s thought “Jehovah God makes us dwell in safety and confident trust” (January 02)
  18. Fill your hands with the Lord’s work
  19. A living Word giving confidence
  20. Praying and acts of meditation without ceasing
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #6 Words to feed and communicate
  22. Pray that we will make the time to listen: listen to God and listen to each other
  23. Today’s thought “On the eternity of God” (December 17)
  24. Today’s thought “Ability to circumcise your heart” (May 13)
  25. Conversations that Matter
  26. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  27. Necessity of a revelation of creation 12 Words assembled for wisdom and instruction
  28. Fear of God reason to return to Holy Scriptures
  29. From nothingness to a growing group of followers of Jeshua 3 Korban for God or gods
  30. Making time for God is crucial
  31. 500 years of a provision of the Word in the language of the peoples
  32. A special anniversary for the Church where Catholics and Protestants find common ground
  33. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  34. A Bible Falling Apart Belongs to Someone who isn’t

+++

Related

  1. Are you making time or making excuses?
  2. Practical Christianity: Give Your Time
  3. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
  4. Seeking God’s manna
  5. The Book
  6. Our Amazing Bible
  7. The Original Biblical Writings
  8. Scriptures
  9. Purpose of Scripture
  10. God breathed
  11. Bible Reading Discovery
  12. Conversation between God and Me
  13. How to Begin Conversations with God
  14. Conversations with God part 2
  15. Talkative God
  16. Confirms the Word
  17. The Word, Faith, and Testing
  18. The Word – Good News and Bad News
  19. Believing God
  20. A way to look for Christ, the Bible, Word of God
  21. Light Unto My Feet
  22. Practical Christianity: Don’t Be A Jerk
  23. When My Mental Health is Suffering
  24. Bad News and Good News
  25. How Do I Read the Bible?
  26. How to Interpret Scripture
  27. Book: How (Not) to Read the Bible
  28. Read the Bible in a Year
  29. The Bible Tells Me SoFall in Love With Reading the Bible: 10 Tips to Keep You Motivated & Passionate
  30. The Not-So-Quiet Time

Seeking Redemption

To those now deep into biblical scripture you are probably aware of the difference between reading the bible and meditating on the world. Naturally, like many young Christians, I had assumed that once you read the bible, and you knew God’s words and it was enough. But I kept hearing about ‘meditating on the word’ and never understood what it meant. Until over a decade later when I began meditating on God’s word.

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and, training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Reading the Bible

I’ve read the bible twice, decades ago and still could quote a single lick of scripture. I read it just like I did with any storybook. Enough to know all the main characters and get a clear…

View original post 1,410 more words

A Word on Bible Versions

A Word on Bible Versions

EttingerWriting.com

By David Ettinger

A Fruitful Discussion
I recently had a nice discussion with a blogging friend regarding the Bible version I use.

This fruitful dialogue led to this post, which won’t analyze the many English versions of the Bible, but serve merely as my commentary on the issue. This is one of those topics many Christians can wrap their brains around, so, by all means, let your voice be heard in the comments section!

Bible Fascination
After I gave my life to Christ in 1986, I went shopping for a Bible. Not having much money, I was limited. I knew nothing about the many Bible versions, so I purchased the least expensive. It turned out to be an original New International Version (NIV), and am I ever glad it was!

I tore through my new Bible in just 4 months, and then started all over again. At the time, I…

View original post 779 more words

A puzzling text from a prescientific age

A puzzling text from a prescientific age

 

“The Bible is indeed the greatest book ever written.
It has shaped the cultures of the world in countless ways, and it contains the words of everlasting life.
But for so many today, it is largely opaque, indecipherable – at best
a puzzling text from a prescientific age.”

Bishop Robert Barron, The Word on Fire Bible

Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages

A book for Christianity

To come to know God or come to know how to live best and how to find a good church, one is best to consult the Bestseller of all time, the Bible. When looking for a church it is not so important to search for Christianity or Christendom. Best is that one starts by reading the books which are the foundation or the cement of what has become the Church.

In Christianity it is all about having a relationship with God by the intermediary Jesus Christ. One first has to get to know the Divine Creator before one can go looking for His houses.

Bible texts, languages and translations

Bible texts are not always easy to follow or understand. Though it is one of the best guides for life, it requires attention from the reader and persistence and will to follow and understand.

When we want to read the Bible we have first of all to choose a translation and should remember that it is only one of the many translations that there exist. Do not worry too much about what translation you would like to buy. Go to a bookshop and read some paragraphs in different bible translations. When you find one which is in a language that suits you best, try that first. Later on, you always can come to read the literal translated and more accurate Bible translations, in case you had not chosen directly for a literal translation. Youngsters and beginners are often better off with a paraphrased Bible, though we would not recommend that. There are Bible Students all over the world who offer very good contemporary literal Bible translations in many easy to read languages. Do not go for those big Bible translations where there is more space given to the notes than to the Bible Words of God. A Bible with just cross-references is the best solution.

One Author is telling as it is

Taking up the Book of books, we should remember that though it is a compilation of several books written by different people, the author or principal to write down everything is only One Person, namely the Divine Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

Keeping that in mind, we should also remember that That Task Giver is a man of truth Who is not telling lies, and as such all what He says should be taken as one opinion which does not contradict.

“God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?” (Nu 23:19 RSV)

“Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David.” (Ps 89:35 RSV)

“in hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago” (Tit 1:2 RSV)

Intended message

When reading the Bible we should always remember the basics of interpretation: looking for the Author’s intended message, reading it in context and with the whole of Scripture in view, even considering how believers throughout history have interpreted it. Hereby not forgetting that many human beings gave their idea about the text, but that those interpretations should be taken as such being ideas of fallible men and not always telling the truth or giving the right interpretation to a certain part of a text.

Construction for all to see and understand

We also should not believe those priests and pastors or other clergies that say it is not up to non-clergy to read and understand the Bible. The Bible is a God-given present for all people, not for a few exceptions or studied people. We always should give the Bible time to give us the necessary spiritual food, when we are ripe for it. We should consider the Bible as the tool of a Masterworker, the Architect, giving Him time to mould us and prepare us for building His righteous creature.  Look at the Bible like a huge building, where you can not see all the rooms at once. You need your time to investigate all the places. The instruction the word of God gives is like a building construction Engineer telling the other people involved in raising a building what should be done at every stage of the building, so the building can be done exactly as it was planned as the Architect wanted it.

When looking at construction plans, they are not always easy to read at first glance. The same with the Plan of God or with the bible. We should give it enough attention to see all the details and to understand why certain things are like they are designed.

We should also not avoid difficult ‘drawings’ or texts when we encounter such in our reading sessions.

When we come across a problematic passage, we might prefer to focus on the verses that are more accessible or understandable. But avoiding these texts doesn’t make them disappear. Eventually you or someone you love will want an explanation.

writes 6 Wrong Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages.

Requesting the Planner for more  information

We should remember also that when a passage is not clear to us, the best Person to ask about it is God Himself. Therefore, do not forget to pray about it and ask God for more insight.

Some Christians assume that Scripture’s perspicuity implies that its interpretation should be straightforward. But that is not always so. God has given us a brain, a mind, and we should use our brain to come to understand.

the Bible isn’t a pocket dictionary for faith and practice.

In his Word, God has spoken through complex narrative and poetic philosophy. He’s recorded commands complete with rationale, motivation, and explanation. He’s provided principles, then called us to thoughtful application and situational wisdom. That’s why he’s given us minds for thinking, pastors for teaching, a community for learning, and his Spirit for illuminating. These good gifts would be gratuitous if God’s words to us were always clear—which, by its own admission, simply isn’t the case (2 Pet. 3:16). { 6 Wrong Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages.}

When encountering a difficult passage, we, next to our prayer, could also speak about it with others around us and ask some church leaders for more information on that part of scripture.

Comparing

It is up to us to compare the explanation of those people with the sayings in other parts of the Bible. All texts in the Holy Scriptures must be in agreement and do not contradict each other. If there is any contradiction, it is due to a wrong assumption. In that case, one will have to become better informed and read the text according to its correct interpretation.

We should be wary of scientific diagnosis or endless speculation, especially if it’s absent of a warmed heart and any bedside manner that demonstrates genuine love for others — and ultimately for God.

“The aim of our charge,” Paul says, “is love” (1 Tim. 1:5). { 6 Wrong Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages.}

Judging

Some people want to look at the Bible for being able to judge God or to ‘attack’ believers. they want to undermine the faith of lovers of God, by twisting the words of the Bible, or to show others how the clergy is just doing the opposite of what is written in the Bible. They do forget that perhaps those clergy or not the right people for God and do not belong to a church that really is in line with God. We may not forget that the majority of churches in this world do have another God than the God of Jesus Christ and lots of them even use graven images of their god and other gods or saints.

E. Clark warns

We can easily study the Bible in such a way that we preside in judgment over it — as if we’re the ultimate arbiter of what is true and right and good.

Instead, we must allow God to sit in judgment over us through sacred Scripture. His Word is what discerns the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts (Heb. 4:12), exposing our sin alongside his provision of salvation. When we confront difficult texts, therefore, we must be careful not to cross-examine the witness of God. We are ultimately the ones in need of scrutiny, not the other way around. { 6 Wrong Ways to Approach Difficult Bible Passages.}

It is not for us or anyone else to judge the ways of God. Instead of looking at Him with judgment, we should try to understand why God works in any way.

Reaching for quality

It does not matter how fast you go through reading the whole Bible. The best is to give it some time each day. Each day reading a chapter for example. Either by going from the first until the last book, chapter after chapter, or by choosing some book of interest and going from there, not reading the whole Bible in the order of the books.

When reading a book, do not forget to take time to think about what you have read. Ask yourself what it was about, what the message is, and what you can learn from it.

In case you come up against difficult verses, do not worry to read them over and over again. Chew on them. do not mind reading them again the next day. Try it again the next day, reading the whole paragraph now, and wonder about the verse in context. In case there are cross-references, go and have a look at those verses, and see what is written there.

Tuning in

When taking the time for yourself and the Bible, make sure there is nothing to distract you. ‘Tune in’ to that one channel of God, listening in yourself to what you are reading in that Book of books. Do not let social media messages interrupt your reading. Put your phone aside for some time … the reading time … for listening to the Speaker God. It is with Him that you are in conversation when you are reading the Bible. It is Him that you should then give your time … Listening to Him.

When there is enough willingness to listen to the Words of God, they shall come over properly and not like a badly tuned radio, with crackling and distorted sounds.

+

Preceding

Is reading the Bible necessary?

How Social Media is Shrinking the Bible

++

Additional reading

  1. Unread bestseller
  2. Bible
  3. Bible Word from God
  4. Word of God
  5. Bible Inspired Word of God
  6. Today’s thought “Word of the Only One God – To be read and listened at” (November 21)
  7. Bible Word of God inspired and infallible
  8. Appointed to be read (Our World) = Appointed to be read (Some View on the World)
  9. Best to read and study the Bible
  10. The Metaphorical language of the Bible (Our World) = The Metaphorical language of the Bible (Some View on the World)
  11. The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen (Our World) = The truth is very plain to see and God can be clearly seen (Some View on the World)
  12. No other god besides Jehovah who gives all explanation
  13. God’s Blog recorded in a Book
  14. Creator and Blogger God 1 Emptiness and mouvement
  15. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  16. Creator and Blogger God 11 Old and New Blog 1 Aimed at one man
  17. the Bible – God’s guide for life #7 Case example – King Josiah #2 Lessons from Josiah’s experience
  18. Written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope
  19. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  20. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  21. Do Christians need to read the Old Testament
  22. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
  23. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  24. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  25. A question to be posed
  26. Bible Reading: is it worthwhile?
  27. Bible in the first place #1/3
  28. Bible in the first place #2/3
  29. Bible in the first place #3/3
  30. The Word itself should be enough reason to believe
  31. A vital question for believers
  32. Making time for God is crucial
  33. When found the necessary books to read and how to read them
  34. Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures
  35. Necessity of a revelation of creation 10 Instructions for insight and wisdom
  36. How to Read the Bible
  37. How to Read the Bible (sequel 1)
  38. How to Read the Bible (sequel 2)
  39. How to Read the Bible (sequel 3)
  40. How to Read the Bible (sequel 4)
  41. How to Read the Bible (sequel 5)
  42. How to Read the Bible (sequel 6) an after thought
  43. Thinking about the happiness by the Torah reading
  44. When reading your Bible be aware of changing language
  45. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 1 Times of reading
  46. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 3 Light and wisdom in words
  47. Reading to grow and to become wise concerning the most important thing in life 4 Words giving us wisdom and encouragement
  48. Literalist and non-literalist views
  49. Missional hermeneutics 1/5
  50. Missional hermeneutics 2/5
  51. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  52. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  53. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  54. We should use the Bible every day
  55. Feed Your Faith Daily
  56. 2 Easy Ways You Can Fit Daily Bible Time into Your Busy Life
  57. 3 Keys to Reading the Bible with a Fresh Perspective
  58. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  59. The manager and Word of God (Our World)The manager and Word of God (Some View on the World)
  60. If the Bible tells us not to lean upon our own understanding, are preachers, and Bible professors, leaning upon the theirs’?
  61. A special anniversary for the Church where Catholics and Protestants find common ground
  62. 500 years of a provision of the Word in the language of the peoples
  63. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers (Our World) = Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers (Some View on the World)
  64. A living Word giving confidence (Our World)A living Word giving confidence (Some View on the World)
  65. Youth has difficulty Bible Reading
  66. Lenten Season and our minds and hearts the spiritual temple in which God seeks to live
  67. Not able to make contact with God because to busy
  68. Coming to the end of the year
  69. Summer holiday time to knock and ask, and time to share
  70. Christian in Christendom or in Christianity
  71. Today’s thought “… his word abiding in you” (April 13)
  72. Be an Encourager

+++

Related

  1. Tips for new Christians
  2. Seeking God’s manna
  3. God’s Shaping Tools
  4. The Book
  5. Our Amazing Bible
  6. A Word on Bible Versions
  7. Our LifelineRead the whole of the Bible.How to Read the Bible
  8. Reading God’s Word (A basic guide to Bible reading)
  9. Video: How To Read the Bible
  10. Making the Bible More Approachable
  11. The Easiest Book in the Bible to Read
  12. Passive vs. Active Reading of Scripture: How to ignite a passion for the Bible
  13. 3 Transformational Ways to Read Scripture
  14. The Difference Between Reading the Bible and Meditating on God’s Word
  15. Reading the Bible in a Year
  16. A Sermon: Reading the Bible Together
  17. Book: Reading While Black
  18. Book: How (Not) to Read the Bible
  19. How Do I Read the Bible?
  20. How to Interpret Scripture
  21. Purpose of Scripture
  22. Reading Scripture as non-Scripture
  23. Reading Scripture as non-Scripture: Sola Scriptura and the Hermeneutics of Historical Artifact
  24. Reading the Bible Properly: John Behr, Stanley Hauerwas, and the Historical-Critical Method
  25. How to Read the Bible from a Universalist Perspective
  26. Simple Bible Study Tips – Old Testament & New
  27. The Importance Of Reading The Bible Daily
  28. Listening to God; March 14, 2022
  29. Digging in Deeper: Psalms 119:27
  30. Don’t Read the Bible Through in One Year
  31. How I Read the Bible Cover to Cover
  32. Hang Onto Every Word
  33. Reading the Bible aloud
  34. Some Things I Learned Reading The Whole Bible in 2020
  35. 3 Reasons to Spend Time With God
  36. Forgetting the Divine Word
  37. Misinterpreting Scripture
  38. The Danger of Error in the Church
  39. We are what we read.
  40. The Book That We Love: Uprooting & Planting
  41. How can we help people to let Christ’s word dwell in them richly?

We are living in a time of “universal deceit”

From Bible in the news

Honest Reporting recently rounded off an examination of instances of YouTube banning content by saying:

“To paraphrase a quote wrongly attributed to Orwell but which resonates strongly today as we seemingly edge towards the dystopian society that he predicted: ‘In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.’”

We are living in a time of “universal deceit”, this is exactly what the Lord Jesus said it would be in Revelation 16. Jesus specifically warned his servants who would be living just before his coming, that it would be a time of deceit and falsehood.

Media Bias and against Israel

The staged protest at NablusThe protest staged for the media near Nablus.

 

An image of the staged protest available on Getty Images.

During the recent war when Israel was attacked by Hamas in Gaza, there were many examples of deceit in the media. The mainstream media as usual, emphasized Israel’s operations in Gaza against the terrorist organization Hamas, over the 4300 + rockets fired by Hamas at Israeli civilian centres. Here are some examples of deceptive media reports during the conflict.

A CNN analysis was entitled

“Hell has been unleashed in Gaza”

and is typical of the type of the reporting on Israel in the mainstream media. Reading the analysis any logical person would think that Israel had unleashed hell on Gaza. However, Hamas had started the war and by the time of the “analysis” had fired well over 1000 missiles targeting Israeli civilian centres. In order to find this out, you have to read to about halfway through. Seeing that on average only 16% of people read a webpage word for word and seeing that readers will on average only read 20% of the text on a page, most CNN readers will never know this. The analysis does state near the beginning that,

“Since Monday evening, Israel’s aerial operation has left more than 60 Gazans dead, militants among them, but more civilians, according to figures from the Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry. More than a dozen of them were children.”

A few crucial pieces of information are missing from this sentence. First the “Gaza-based Palestinian health ministry” is operated by the terrorist group Hamas — their numbers simply cannot be trusted. Secondly at least half of the quoted number of casualties of children were killed by a rocket fired by Hamas that didn’t reach its target. The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza documented a Hamas rocket that fell short of its target and killed 8 civilians including 6 children.

Another one of the images from the staged protest on Getty, notice the ambulance in the background taking away the “wounded”.

Seeing that the terror organizations fire their rockets from civilian areas away from the periphery of the region, the rockets have to travel over civilian areas in Gaza before reaching Israel. During the war in Gaza, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired, as already stated, 4,300+ rockets, targeting Israeli civilian centres. 680 of these misfired and exploded inside Gaza, killing and injuring the civilian population of Gaza.

The analysis also misrepresents the blockade of Gaza, stating,

“Cut off from the rest of the world by an Israeli blockade of Gaza’s land, air and sea dating back to 2007, many of Gaza’s inhabitants are dependent on foreign aid to survive.”

It is true that Israel blockades Gaza to stop them acquiring arms, and the tools and materials to manufacture rockets. However, Gaza borders not only Israel but also Egypt. Egypt imposes the same blockade on Gaza. Israel lets a constant stream of aid material into the strip.

The New York Times is an influential newspaper with a circulation of about 375,000. On May 28 the cover of the New York Times featured pictures of children that were killed in the Gaza conflict. The headline was “They Were Just Children”. The introductory text reads,

“At least 67 people under age 18 in Gaza and two in Israel were killed during this months conflict according to initial reports. They had wanted to be doctors, artists and leaders. Read their stories.”

How much information the New York Times had unearthed to report on their stories is doubtful. The third picture on the top row featured a picture of a little 6 year old girl. However, doing a search by image on Google of her returned results back in 2018 when she had apparently been killed also. The anonymous girl has been used countless times to falsely accuse Israel of killing children. Again one of the main sources for the article was the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. One of the “children” was a 17 year old fighter in the Hamas terror organization. Not readily apparent, but once again, a number of the victims were killed by Hamas terror rockets that did not make it. There is only one answer for such shoddy biased reporting and that is that it is not shoddy, but carefully crafted in a way to make Israel into the aggressor.

During the recent Gaza conflict there were demonstrations elsewhere in Israel in support of Gaza. Two Christians who do a podcast called the Joshua and Caleb report came across and documented a staged demonstration near the large Palestinian city of Nablus. There were a couple of Israeli soldiers quite far away casually watching, but otherwise there was no Israeli presence. Only a number of the press and many protesters throwing rocks at no one except an empty road. Yet there were constant “protesters” being taken away in Ambulances. The pictures from this staged protest are now available for sale on Getty Images, one of the largest suppliers of news images in the world. The Getty caption says,

“Palestinian protesters confront Israeli troops at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus city in the occupied West Bank on May 18, 2021, during a demonstration in support of those under bombardment in Gaza.”

This is a total fraud. There were no Israeli troops being confronted. There were no Israel defence forces or riot police to hurt protesters, yet the “wounded” were being taken away in ambulances. The press knew this was the case, but reported a complete fraud.

At the root of this bias is a believe that the Palestinian Arabs have a moral right to the land of Israel. That justice is on their side. It is believed that the Jewish state is a result of “colonialism” and that the Jewish people have no right to the land. Any historical connection of the Jewish Hebrew people to the land is denied. This is in effect calling the God of Israel unjust, unjust for bringing the Jewish people back to their ancient land. This is the spirit will bring the nations to Armageddon.

The trending hashtag on social media during the conflict was #freepalestine. What this means as seen on placards at demonstrations all over the world, is to “free Palestine from the river to the sea”. This is a call for the total destruction of the state of Israel. It is in effect a call for another Holocaust of the Jewish people. It is the hashtag of Armageddon.

This has been David Billington with you for this week’s Bible in the News. Come back again next week God willing to www.bibleinthenews.com

 

+++

Related

  1. Revelation 16
  2. It Is Done – Revelation 16
  3. Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
  4. A Past Future Dystopian Society Is Now Our Reality, Kind of.
  5. Writing Fiction in a Dystopian Reality: How 2020 has Lost the Plot
  6. How to Respond to Cataclysmic Events
  7. The Ministry of Intercession
  8. Priests, Prophets and Kings
  9. Israeli forces kill Palestinian in West Bank: health ministry
  10. Palestinian teen shot dead in clashes with Israel army: medics
  11. ‘Israel’ to expand illegal settlement unit in Nablus
  12. Israeli occupation forces deliver stop-building notices for almost 20 houses in Rujib town, east of Nablus
  13. Settlers, govt strike deal on West Bank outpost
  14. More than 60 Palestinians injured in IOF quelling of night protests in Beita, south of Nablus
  15. Horde of Israeli settlers destroy various type of trees south Nablus
  16. Analysis: Israel/Palestine
  17. Nine out of 10 children in Gaza Strip suffer some form of conflict-related trauma after Israeli attack
  18. A Closer Look at Corruption, Hamas, and Violence in the Gaza Strip
  19. Gaza reconstruction clouded by dispute over Israelis held by Hamas
  20. Hamas sends rockets deeper into Israel after Gaza airstrikes as conflict spirals
  21. Israel strikes Hamas site in Gaza
  22. Israel again strikes Gaza in response to launching arson balloon
  23. Hamas aims to kill as many Israeli civilians as possible, but its rockets place both Israelis and Palestinians in peril; 680 misfired and exploded inside Gaza
  24. Now Over 3,500 Rockets from Gaza
  25. Israel, Palestinian groups, agree Gaza ceasefire
  26. Netanyahu vows ‘whole new level of force’ if Hamas breaks cease-fire
  27. “By supporting the plight of the Palestinians, China is cynically stoking the most emotional issue in Middle Eastern politics in order to distract Muslim nations from its own campaign against Uyghurs”
  28. Israel must stop all settlement activities to prevent more Palestinian conflict: Garneau
  29. After the ceasefire, I struggle to imagine what is a normal life
  30. Jewish and Arab Israelis in Lod live under threat of future violence – BBC News
  31. Gaza’s only Protestant church, damaged in latest Israel/Hamas conflict, carries on
  32. Will You Be Ready?

Pope & Pageantry what Jesus intended??

According to Catholic Catechism, the Catholic Church professes to be the “sole Church of Christ,” and that all duly consecrated bishops have a lineal succession from the twelve Apostles. In particular, the Bishop of Rome (the Pope), is considered the successor to the Apostle Peter, from whom the Pope (so called) derives his supremacy over the Church. There are also other Christian groups that make similar claims, but does God recognize any of these as His representative on earth?

When Christ established the early church through the Apostles, there were no complex ceremonies, no large structures, no soaring columns made of marble, no choir lofts and costly statues. There were only small gatherings in humble homes where his followers met together to study his words and the inspired words of his Apostles. Their example of the “simplicity that is in Christ” was meant to be a template or pattern for future gatherings of the church to follow throughout the Christian Age. 2 Corinthians 11:2, 3

This subject should be approached prayerfully and honestly. If there was but one church in the beginning, established by our Lord, there should be but the one church in the end – the faithful church triumphant in glory. Colossians 3:4

+

Preceding

Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity

Missionary action paradigm for all endeavours of the church

A Church without Faith!

Funeral service only belongs in church building according to Catholic Church

++

Additional reading

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. Getting out of the dark corners of this world
  3. Scepticals of the Bible
  4. Signs of the times – As the Day approaches
  5. 25 Orthodox rabbis issued a statement on Christianity
  6. Youngsters, parents and the search to root in life
  7. A new decade, To open the eyes to get a right view

+++

Further related articles

  1. Why I am NOT a catholic! / Waarom ik geen katholiek ben!
  2. The Dislike of Catholicism: Understanding the Holy in the Catholic Tradition – 5 – Psychological reasons
  3. Who belongs to the Catholic Church?
  4. “The Intimate. Polity and the Catholic Church” (Dobbelaere, Pérez-Agote, ed.)
  5. The Proper Response to the Crisis in the Catholic Church: Give the Laity a Role in the Appointment and Removal of Diocesan Bishops
  6. Religion and Young People: The Lost Generation?
  7. What is the urge to follow the Spirituality?
  8. My journey of faith
  9. Public Preaching and a Very British Dilemma
  10. Mary worshipped as a God?
  11. Trinity: The Truth about Matthew 28:19 & 1 John 5:7
  12. The Sabbath Principle in Modern Life

Known and unknown things

For ages, man has been confronted with loads of questions. Millions of people tried to find answers but never got to the point where they could say they were satisfied.

There are things that we think we do know. But often when we grow up we come to see we did not know it really. And there are things that we know that we don’t know. Looking at this world and outer space there are so many things that we don’t know, that we don’t know. Those things that we don’t even know enough to know that we don’t know lay so far outside of our existing frame of reference that we can’t even imagine them. They are too far out of our box to hold in mind.

Most of the time we are already so busy with coping about the things we do seem to think are there in the unknown, that we do not have time to think further about those things which are the very far unknown. Lots of things are also matters we do not understand or do not seem to get a grip on to have a good view of them.

Many philosophers were busy with the unknown and wanted to have a clear view of the known. The American philosopher William James was fascinated by the unknown unknowns and assumed that what we knew about reality (and even what we can imagine to be true about reality) is always a tiny fraction of the totality of what is. Question also should be “what is reality”. These days people are confronted a lot by things which are not at all true. The greatest caller and accuser that others are fake is mostly presenting the world with a lot of fake news and very dangerous ideas. (Even when he, as 45th president of the U.S.A. is proud to tell the world he takes this or that product to avoid having Corona, and brings others in danger when they follow him.)

James was a free thinker who held loosely to what he thought was true and assumed that whatever seemed true now would yield to much bigger and more encompassing truths soon. Rather than defend what we know and expand on it slowly, he wanted to inquire directly into what we don’t already know by focusing on the anomalies and oddities that don’t fit into our current understanding.

James felt that our attention should be on the outer fringes of what we know. The next big idea doesn’t come from the center. It comes from the dim outer edge where the light of what we currently know fades into the blackness of the unknown beyond. James risked his career and his reputation as a scientist to study things that others thought were absurdities. As the president of the American Psychical Society he studied spirits, mediums, and life after death. Most scientists felt this was worthless, but James felt that it was out there on the fringes that we would find our way to new and unexpected vistas of truth.

{, How to Move Beyond Vicious Intellectualism}

For mankind has been created by an invisible Source, which is the Being. Without that Being there is no being at all. And that seems very difficult for lots of people to cope with. They want to have something they can touch and see. That is why so many people took themselves some visible god or gods, be it Jesus, cows or other animals or trees.
The two originators of the philosophy of Pragmatism – Charles Sanders Peirce and William James – were both very concerned with unknown unknowns. Both realized that human beings find it very difficult to even imagine that there could be things that we don’t know that we don’t know. Sure we know that there are things that we don’t know. I don’t know lots of scientific and cultural facts, the distance to the nearest star, the president of Monaco and so on. But I know there are such facts that I don’t know. (The film maker and columnist Errol Morris has written for the New York Times recently on the concept of unknown unknowns.)
We all should know that there is so much that we even do not know, which is a manifold of what we know. Are brain is just too limited to cope with everything there is and exists. Bounded unto this earth there is also space which goes beyond our dreams and far away from our own capacity to understand and know what is all there.
Problem with man is also that he thinks to have enough knowledge to understand or to analyse the things in the known and unknown.
Those things that we don’t even know enough to know that we don’t know lay so far outside of our existing frame of reference that we can’t even imagine them. They are too far out of our box to hold in mind. What endears me to Pragmatism more than anything else is the respect given to the existence of truth beyond our current ability to imagine. James and Peirce both assumed that what we knew about reality (and even what we can imagine to be true about reality) is only a tiny part of the totality of reality. And they envisioned a way of going about philosophy in light of this. They created a form of inquiry and a philosophical attitude that was militantly open ended. “Never block the road to inquiry” was Peirce’s motto. And William James railed against what he called vicious intellectualism.

Every day we are requested to look around us and to recognise the truth and untruth, the known and unknown. Each day we have to examine how we want to look at things, because that is going to decide if we are going to be able to go further to understand the unknown as well as the truth or reality.

We must take steps to dare to go out of our comfort zone to come to new visions and coming to known more unknown things. We have to dare to step outside of our own frame of reference. If we are consciously or unconsciously assuming that what we think is true actually is true and negates all other possibilities, our inquiry proceeds by expanding on what we already know. There is the trap for mankind that we focus on what we know and not many try to push at the borders, “creeping slowly out into the vast oceans of unknown that surrounds our small island of known”.

If we want to come to a better world we should dare to look at the darkness and see the light the divine Creator offers the world. He has also given His Word to look into and to find answers. Though not many people take the effort to read that Book of books and come to see more clearly in so many matters that bother us every day.

Danger also for mankind is that people are often so sure that what they think is the truth. Many dare not to question their own value or their own way of looking at things and their own analysation of matters. We should dare to question how we want to look at things. Certainly for looking at things we do not really understand we should consider which glasses we want to use.

James and Peirce wanted our thinking to be free. They wanted to hold on loosely to what we think is true by assuming that whatever we think is true now will yield tomorrow to a much bigger and more encompassing truth. Rather than defend what we know and expand on it slowly they wanted to inquire directly into what we don’t already know by focusing on the anomalies and oddities that don’t fit into our current understanding.

James felt that our attention should be on the outer fringes of what we know. The next big idea doesn’t come from the center. It comes from the dim outer edge where the light of what we currently know fades into the blackness of the unknown beyond. James risked his career and his reputation as a scientist to study things that others thought were absurdities.
{Vicious Intellectualism and the Reality of the Unknown, }

It is not that we have to know how it really is to come to believe. It can very well be that we do not know all the  facts, but may consider that there is some truth or some existence of that what we assume there to be. We have our own sensations and thoughts and can listen to others their thoughts, combining those ideas to form some other ideas, transpiring to come to certain conclusions. Though often we still can’t be sure we would have made the right conclusion.

People should know that even if we cannot point to direct irrefutable evidence of something we should not be afraid to believe in it. As such the belief in God is grounded.

Michael Shermer in his book “How We Believe” describes the mind as a “belief engine” that is constantly creating patterns of belief. From fractured information and sense impressions the mind weaves together plausible pictures of reality that we believe in.
{Belief and Fact, }

Question is also

How do we want to believe?

and

In what do we want to believe?

Most often man only wants to believe in what he can see and feel. For going to believe in certain matters, he wants direct irrefutable evidence. For the matter of God, the divine Creator that is very difficult. To explain God there are also not always common sense definitions. We must be honest, in the God matter, we mostly cannot point to direct irrefutable evidence. To convince others about the existence of God it is also difficult to give really direct evidence.

*

Perhaps the following articles can make you think about the matter

  1. 3rd question: Does there exist a Divine Creator
  2. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #1 Many gods
  3. Is there no ‘proof’ for God? (And why that statement is not as smart as you might think.)
  4. Nature Is A Reflection Of God
  5. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #3 Transcendence or Surpassing other gods and man
  6. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #4
  7. 4th Question: Who or What is God
  8. A 1st reply to the 4th Question Who is God 1 A Creating Being to be worshipped

Between theology and philosophy

Theology is a heavily loaded word, which belongs more to the domain of philosophy and when looking at the many Theology colleges or universities one can wonder if it really is about studying the Logos or Word of the Theos the God, because in the majority of such institutions most time is spent into the writings of human beings, giving more attention to the many false human doctrines than the Biblical doctrines.

*

To remember

  • on ThinkNet age-old debate on relationship between theology & philosophy.
  • reformational school of Christian philosophy > Neo-Calvinist movement inspired by Abraham Kuyper but brought to fruition by the legal philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd and his brother-in-law, D.H.TH. Vollenhoven).
  • James W. Skillen: when we write or speak + we know those reading/listening will think that any reference to a Christian, biblical perspective means “theology,” = simply talking about finding our place in the ongoing biblical drama of life in Christ–finding our place in the history of God’s work in Jesus Christ
  •  N.T. Wright insist that Paul is doing “theology,” > working to explain how God’s covenant drama with Israel is now being fulfilled in the revelation of Jesus Christ
  •  Paul =  following up on (or anticipating) his times of preaching + teaching in their midst, sending pointed summaries, extensions of what he already told them, + opening new vistas > communicating by living letters about life they share in Christ by the ongoing work of the Spirit.
  • Augustine used word “theology” in 2 different ways > represent essentially distinction many of us are trying to make.  = offer a preliminary explanation, “life of faith” <-> “theology”
  • the Christian way of life = Christian discipleship in all of life > not only a way of worship.
  • explain + interpret Christian struggle
  • multiple issues of political philosophy & “science” = to engage in theoretical enterprise including multiple “-ologies”
  • “politics,” > “political life as a whole” “dirty dealing,” “actions of government” (but not citizens), or “actions of citizens +  interest groups outside government.”
  • In political arena = to find ways of explaining + making distinctions
  • DFM Strauss (South African philosopher and author most recently of Philosophy: the Discipline of Disciplines):1) Theology =/= theological question = domain of philosophy => “Encyclopaedia of Theology” does not mention itself as a theological subdiscipline
  •  2) Dooyeweerd > not defend view that theology studies the faith aspect of creatio => Theology merely studies concrete reality as it functions within the faith aspect.= focuses on coherence of actual phenomena which function within that structure”
  • 3)   Calvinism/ Calvinistic = term only be explained historically by fact that this movement originated in the calvinistic revival which toward the end of the previous century, led to renewed reflection on the relation of the Christian religion to science, culture, and society.
  • Abraham Kuyper could not continue to be restricted to the reformation of the church and theology.
  • 4)    Thomas Aquinas “hijacked” Christian intellectual endeavours for theology by assuming that whenever something is considered in respectu Dei (in relation to God) such an activity is theological in nature.
  • Calvin Jongsma: Developing a theology of X = rampant among scholars who desire to advance a Christian perspective of X  >  Many will say = just a matter of terminology
  • Ponti Venter neo-liberal New Scholasticism = expansion of Theology to include all of human life has a number of contemporary sources:
 
  • marginalising of theology + religion in a secular society. => theology using secular natural science-theology debate to annihilate reformational philosophy for sake of their own financial survival.
  • We now have a huge faculty of theology, catering for every possible discipline and church, while the quality of ministers that is produced is weak, and every year fewer Reformed students report to study for the ministry. There are as many vacant pulpits in the Church as professors of theology who do weak research for the University, there and there are less students in the pipeline than professors.
  • 5. Neo-pragmatist scientism – or new old Scholasticism => to enlighten + govern. => Neo-pragmatism = one of worst forms of authoritarian elitisms
  • Rudi Hayward: Calvin Seerveld’s attempt to dissuade people of the “theology of arts” approach.> promotion of a general spiritualization of art, or a liturgical cast to art, or an evangelizing requirement for art, as the most Christian task misses the grounding biblical insight that art as normal creatural service can be a restored and redemptive, holy act, so artistry does not need an “extra,” theologically explicit insignia to be truly full-fledged service by Christ’s body-at-large.
  • Kerry John Hollingsworth: Philosophy of The Cosmonomic Idea = provided way to see that theoretical analysis (including theological analysis) does not give structural form to human experience within the creation > unpacks structural order of + for creation that is part of God’s “Let there be . . ”

++

Find additional reading

  1. Protestant denominations of the Low Countries and Abraham Kuyper
  2. Wes Bredenhof on Abraham Kuyper
  3. Fullness of summer and abundance of harvest found in the satisfying plenitude of life in Christ

memory's sacred domain

ImageThere’s been some interesting discussion recently on ThinkNet on the age-old debate on the relationship between theology and philosophy. For the uninitiated, ThinkNet is a mailing list of people from various disciplines interested in the reformational school of Christian philosophy (often identified by the shorthand — for good or ill — as the “NeoCalvinist” movement. But for insiders, it is a philosophical movement inspired by Abraham Kuyper but brought to fruition by the legal philosopher Herman Dooyeweerd and his brother-in-law, D.H.TH. Vollenhoven).

On this point I have found useful Dooyeweerd’s introduction to his philosophy, In the Twilight of Western Thought, which has a chapter on theology and its relation to philosophy. One of his students, Johan P.A. Mekkes, also has a nifty volume on the topic, recently translated into English as Creation, Revelation and Philosophy

I present below snippets of the discussion, with some editing on…

View original post 2,273 more words

How Social Media is Shrinking the Bible

The following short article from a “Christian” source recognizes and addresses a modern day problem associated with Bible engagement and technology.

Though technology has played a major role in the availability of the Word of God in ways unimaginable just a generation back, today an estimated 50% of Americans read their Bible digitally on computers, phones, and Bible apps. In addition, computer programs quickly and efficiently present the Bible in multiple translations, readily available for reading, copying, and saving with the click of a mouse; while essential tools which Bible students depend upon such as concordances, lexicons, commentaries, etc. are equally available on line.
Yet… what impact has technology had on Bible engagement in this digital age?

Studies conducted by the Barna Group and The American Bible Society show that there is a growing Bible literacy problem despite the technological advantages, concluding,

“today’s technology is doing as much, if not more, harm than good to overall Bible literacy.”

Scriptural sound bites and snippets necessarily reduce not only content, but also meaning and impact. There is simply no replacement for Bible study. When one repeatedly reads the Bible with the sincere desire to understand and embrace it, one becomes familiar with its themes, its teachings, and its contexts.
We are admonished to

“study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

– Editor of the Christadelphian Advocate

°°°

Harper-Collins-Bible-best-Bible-apps-for-Android – the Word of Promise telling: The NKJV Study Bible, Second Edition, is the most comprehensive study Bible available!

It turns out that electronic Bible providers are employing “a data-centric model” which regularly regurgitates those verses which are already the most tweeted or shared by their user communities. The result is basically a repeating loop of “verse of the day” Bible balm. This means those who get their Bible online will receive plenty of I can do all things through Christ… (Philippians 4:13), and, For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace…(Jeremiah 29:11), but not so much of the rest of the Bible. Apparently no one is intentionally choosing a wide selection of verses to more adequately convey the wider range of biblical teaching… The prognosis is not good… the less-than-hopeful question:

“Does this mean that we lose out on doctrinal or propositional input into our Bible reading online”?

And if we do put more than therapeutic Bible verses out there, will they all merely land on “deaf ears, blind eyes, and dead screens”?
The concern is appropriate.

Constantly engaging Bible verses that make me feel good is perilously close to turning the Bible into a prophet that tells me only what I want to hear. This is the kind of prophet the real prophets warned us about. But is simply adding more verses – propositional ones – to the playlist really the solution? Isn’t there a deeper problem here?

Exposure to a wider variety of Bible verses might offer me more than therapy, but the entire approach is still based on providing would-be Bible readers little more than a morsel. The bigger issue is that we can’t rely on tweets, Facebook posts or “verse of the day” deliveries to our inbox to fulfill the promise of Bible engagement.
The social media channel as a communication medium has built-in limitations. The Bible itself is so much more than a collection of verses, so much richer than a sourcebook of one-liners… The Holy Scriptures are a gathering of complete literary works, meant to be read as a whole. These books come together to tell a story that can only be taken in, understood, and lived if it is fully encompassed, apprehended at length, and deeply embraced. Sound bites can’t do this. A constant diet of atomized fragments is a disservice to the Scriptures that God gave us.

Let us rather respect and read the Bible holistically.
Let us honor the Word of God by giving it our time and full attention.
We don’t need a shrinking Bible delivered to us with a diminished set of expectations. May we rather welcome back a full-sized Bible – the stories, wisdom, instruction, and visions overflowing with all that God has for us and all He expects of us.
Words to encourage and inspire us, yes: but also to instruct, correct, and welcome us wholly into this long and winding narrative that in the end leads us where we need to go. Only the complete Bible can do this. So read big.

This article originally appeared on Institute For Bible Reading organisation under the title “Verse of the Day‘Therapy’ is Shrinking the Bible,” October 10, 2018.

Is reading the Bible necessary?

Many who call themselves Christian do like to follow Augustine, even more than Christ. they do agree with him that reading the Bible is no longer necessary once God had fully cultivated faith, hope, and love in us (On Christian Doctrine, 1.39). In other words, according to them, once we are mature in Christ, the Bible is no longer necessary.  In this way, the difficulties in this ancient text are not first off problems to be solved, but opportunities to grow.

People may not forget that God has given the world His Word for a very good reason. It should be seen as our best guide and way to the future.

God is like a wise parent who wants us to grow in maturity and gain the skills necessary for life.  God wants us to come to know Him, but also wants us to know ourselevs and to put ourselves in the light to others, and placing ourself in the universe.

God is like a wise parent who gives freedom and responsibility so that we can learn to handle life like “mature, well-functioning adults”. His wise words and the history of mankind, as presented in the Book of books, the Bible, can help us to grow and to mature. > Therefore we have all the more reason to regularly read the Bible and to continually think about the Word of God.