Why Study the Bible With a Method?

While Bible studies are good a Bible study method will help you in all aspects of your understanding of the Bible. So why should you use a method what is the benefit? When you begin to study on your own you begin to gain much more confidence in what you believe. You begin to have the tools to figure things out on your own. You learn how to let Scripture interpret Scripture and you see how everything connects. These are just a few of the benefits.

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The Big Problem With Bible Study Guides

By the title you may think that I don’t like Bible study guides. That is not the case. I think they are great. However, if you just use Bible study guides to study the Bible then you could be missing something very important. The ability to study the Bible for yourself.

Bible Study guides do not teach a person how to study the Bible. Bible study guides show a person what to study, they ask questions, they guide. The only way to learn how to study the Bible is to learn a method. There are a lot of good methods out there so pick one and get stared!

Get a free lesson here THE BASIC BIBLE STUDY METHOD

Get a free Guide to Study Bibles here: FREE BASIC GUIDE TO STUDY BIBLES

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Introducing the Basic Bible Study Method Online Course

bbsm-logoTen years ago I developed a method of studying the Bible for the very beginner. I was the assistant manager of a Family Christian Store after I came back from the mission field in Canada. Since I knew a lot about the Bibles and the Bible study tools I would help people find what they needed. As I did this I noticed that there were not many books on how to study the Bible. I looked at the ones we had and they began by giving a general overview of the entire Bible as an introduction. I thought, “This is really good information, but what if someone just wanted to find out the meaning of a single verse? Would they really spend all of this time trying get a general overview?” The two books we had would pretty much just sit there. When people asked for a book on Bible Study I would show them what we had but rarely would anyone purchase one.

I thought, “Why are there no books for beginners teaching the method of Bible study that I learned in Bible college?” I remember the first time the professor showed us his inductive method for studying the Bible. It really blew me away. I just sat there thinking why haven’t I heard of this before. We should be teaching everyone a method like this! So as I worked the floor at the Christian bookstore I thought “Well, if no one else is going to do it, I will!” So I developed  a seven-step method and I called it the Basic Bible Study Method. I based the method on what I learned as a third year Bible college student, and I included all of the things I would help people with when they were looking for Study Bibles, Bible study tools, and knowledge on how to study the Bible.

I first made a little booklet and a CD-ROM that I printed and mailed out myself. I couldn’t believe it when I started getting orders from all over, even in the UK! I quickly became overwhelmed with filling the orders and maintaining everything else I do so the Basic bible Study Method just sat there for a while. Until just a few months ago when I go the idea to make it into an online course. I expanded and updated the booklet and put more of a focus on online tools. I made the Basic Bible Study Method booklet into a full color downloadable e-Book. I did a series of videos, and I uploaded all of the materials onto the course site. I got to work on it over the holidays and a few months later I now have it up and running. So I am introducing the Basic Bible Study Method to the internet. I made the first lesson available for free so that people can give it a go. To go to the site just click Basic Bible Study Method to check it out.

I love to study the Bible, it has given me so much benefit over the years it is my sincere hope that I can share what I have learned with others so they can benefit as well. One more thing I would like to say is: May God bless your efforts to study His Word.

Grace and Peace to You.

χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη

כן ושלום לך

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Is Bill O’Reilly Killing Jesus?

Bill OReilly

Recently, Bill O’Reilly published his new book “Killing Jesus”. Bill O’Reilly claims that his book is historically accurate and not religious. So in the book he gives no reference to Jesus being the Son of God. He also claims that his book is more historically accurate than the Bible. The following is an excerpt from an interview given to 60 Minutes:

O’Donnell: you include two quotes from Jesus on the cross, but not the most famous one: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Why not?

O’Reilly:  We don’t put things in that we don’t think happened.

O’Donnell:  How do  you know?

O’Reilly: Because you couldn’t say something like that, audibly that people would hear. He, you die on a cross from being suffocated. That your lungs can’t take in any more air. You can hardly breathe.   We believe Jesus said that,  but we don’t believe he set it on the cross, ’cause nobody could’ve heard it.

O’Donnell:  But, Bill,you know what people are going to say. ” the Bible says that Jesus said on the cross, ‘Father forgive them,’ but Bill O’Reilly says that’s not true, so I should believe Bill?

O’Reilly:  Well you believe what you want. If you want to take the Bible literally,  then that’s your right to do that.

O’Donnell: capital but you use as your sources for this book the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  But you pick and choose.

O’Reilly:  Right, but that’s not our only source. I mean, we use Muslim sources, we use Roman sources, we use Jewish sources.

O’Donnell: So is this the gospel according to Bill?

O’Reilly: This is the best available evidence according to Bill. We believe that the oral history in the Bible is largely accurate but were not taking it literally.

So Bill O’Reilly is picking and choosing which parts of the Bible are true, and which parts are historical accurate. Now scholars do this all the time and it is no surprise, because scholars do not treat the Bible as God’s divinely inspired Word. However, Bill O’Reilly makes some pretty outrageous claims as to why he wrote the book.  Here is another exchange from the same interview:

O’Reilly: All of the ideas come to me in the middle of the night. And one night, I just woke up and went, “Killing Jesus.” And I believe because I Catholic that comes from the Holy Spirit. My inspiration comes from that. And so I wrote Killing Jesus because I think I was directed to write that.

O’Donnell: You believe the Holy Spirit directed you to write Killing Jesus?

O’Reilly: Yes, I believe that.

So here is where the problem comes in, Bill O’Reilly believes that the Holy Spirit told him to write this book. This is a problem because there is no way that the Holy Spirit would tell anyone to write a book which uses other books to correct the historical accuracy of the Bible. The Holy Spirit already inspired a book to tell the world what happened on the cross when Jesus died there.  Not only did He use historically accurate information  He used eyewitness testimony. What the Bible records is a firsthand  eyewitness account. Bill O’Reilly is suggesting that 2000 years after the fact he can come up with a better historical account then the disciples who were there at the cross and in Jerusalem when these events happened. Not only that, but that the Holy Spirit endorsed a different account of the same story. Bill O’Reilly has to be the most arrogant man on the planet to believe that God would call on him to correct the Bible, and not only that but to leave out the fact that Jesus was and is the divine Son of God.

Here is the complete 60 Minutes interview:

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Christians Are Dying by the Droves in the Middle East

When I went to Washington D.C. for the annual Christians United For Israel (CUFI) conference this issue was brought to the attention of Congress. I was part of a delegation from Washington State that urged our Representatives and Senators to appoint a special envoy to the Middle East to encourage religious freedom. That is on the political front on a practical level we should all be praying for those Christians because they are experiencing great tribulation. They are modern day martyrs and we need to support and honor them. The following article appears on The Daily Beast website. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/27/a-global-slaughter-of-christians-but-america-s-churches-stay-silent.html

A Global Slaughter of Christians, but America’s Churches Stay Silent

by  Sep 27, 2013 5:45 AM EDT

Christians are being singled out and massacred from Pakistan to Syria to the Nairobi shopping mall. Kirsten Powers on the deafening silence from U.S. pews and pulpits.

  • Christians in the Middle East and Africa are being slaughtered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, beheaded, and forced to flee the birthplace of Christianity. One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening.

As Egypt’s Copts have battled the worst attacks on the Christian minority since the 14th century, the bad news for Christians in the region keeps coming. On Sunday,Taliban suicide bombers killed at least 85 worshippers at All Saints’ church, which has stood since 1883 in the city of Peshawar, Pakistan. Christians were also the target of Islamic fanatics in the attack on a shopping center in Nairobi, Kenya, this week that killed more than 70 people. The Associated Press reported that the Somali Islamic militant group al-Shabab “confirmed witness accounts that gunmen separated Muslims from other people and let the Muslims go free.” The captiveswere asked questions about Islam. If they couldn’t answer, they were shot.

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Pakistanis protest against violence against Christians in Lahore on Sept. 24, 2013. (Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

In Syria, Christians are under attack by Islamist rebels and fear extinction if Bashar al-Assad falls. This month, rebels overran the historic Christian town of Maalula, where many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. The AFP reported that a resident of Maalula called her fiancé’s cell and was told by member of the Free Syrian Army that they gave him a chance to convert to Islam and he refused. So they slit his throat.

Nina Shea, an international human-rights lawyer and expert on religious persecution, testified in 2011 before Congress regarding the fate of Iraqi Christians, two-thirds of whom have vanished from the country. They have either been murdered or fled in fear for their lives. Said Shea: “[I]n August 2004 … five churches were bombed in Baghdad and Mosul. On a single day in July 2009, seven churches were bombed in Baghdad … The archbishop of Mosul, was kidnapped and killed in early 2008. A bus convoy of Christian students were violently assaulted. Christians … have been raped, tortured, kidnapped, beheaded, and evicted from their homes …”

Lela Gilbert is the author of Saturday People, Sunday People, which details the expulsion of 850,000 Jews who fled or were forced to leave Muslim countries in the mid-20th century. The title of her book comes from an Islamist slogan, “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People,” which means “first we kill the Jews, then we kill the Christians.” Gilbert wrote recently that her Jewish friends and neighbors in Israel “are shocked but not entirely surprised” by the attacks on Christians in the Middle East. “They are rather puzzled, however, by what appears to be a lack of anxiety, action, or advocacy on the part of Western Christians.”

As they should be. It is inexplicable. American Christians are quite able to organize around issues that concern them. Yet religious persecution appears not to have grabbed their attention, despite worldwide media coverage of the atrocities against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

It’s no surprise that Jews seem to understand the gravity of the situation the best. In December 2011, Britain’s chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, addressed Parliamentsaying, “I have followed the fate of Christians in the Middle East for years, appalled at what is happening, surprised and distressed … that it is not more widely known.” “It was Martin Luther King who said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’ That is why I felt I could not be silent today.”

Wolf has complained loudly of the State Department’s lack of attention to religious persecution, but is anybody listening?

Yet so many Western Christians are silent. In January, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA)penned a letter to 300 Catholic and Protestant leaders complaining about their lack of engagement. “Can you, as a leader in the church, help?” he wrote. “Are you pained by these accounts of persecution? Will you use your sphere of influence to raise the profile of this issue—be it through a sermon, writing or media interview?”
There have been far too few takers.

Wolf and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) sponsored legislation last year to create a special envoy at the State Department to advocate for religious minorities in the Middle East and South-Central Asia. It passed in the House overwhelmingly, but died in the Senate. Imagine the difference an outcry from constituents might have made. The legislation was reintroduced in January and again passed the House easily. It now sits in the Senate. According to the office of Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), the sponsor of the bill there, there is no date set for it to be taken up.

Wolf has complained loudly of the State Department’s lack of attention to religious persecution, but is anybody listening? When American leaders meet with the Saudi government, where is the public outcry demanding they confront the Saudis for fomenting hatred of Christians, Jews, and even Muslim minorities through their propagandistic tracts and textbooks? In the debate on Syria, why has the fate of Christians and other religious minorities been almost completely ignored?

In his letter challenging U.S. religious leaders, Wolf quoted Lutheran pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who was executed for his efforts in the Nazi resistance:  “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

That pretty well sums it up.

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech to the UN 10/1/13

This is a speech well worth watching. The Jews will not give up Israel or allow their enemies to obtain the means of their destruction without a fight. Whether the world is with them or not. Pay special attention to the end of the speech. The determination in which Netanyahu speaks cannot be taken for granted. They will defend themselves. Here is the speech in full.

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Giving Strength to the Enemy

The United States again appears weak to the agents of Al-Qaeda. They recieve a victory without leaving there mosques…

The story from Ynet News follows:

Al-Qaeda’s psychological victory

Analysis: Temporary closure of US embassies in Mideast, North Africa amid terror threat may be overreaction

In light of the September 11 attack on the American Consulate in Libya and the murder of the ambassador, President Obama and his administration are not taking any chances. Washington’s decision to keep several embassies and consulates in the Middle East and North Africa closed on Sunday and the travel warning issued by the State Department are the result of the interception of electronic messages relayed between senior al-Qaeda operatives. The terror group’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, made a call to specifically target US and other Western destinations as revenge for drone strikes, mainly those conducted in Pakistan, Yemen and Afghanistan.

Several officials told CNN the fresh intelligence led the US to conclude that operatives of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were in the final stages of planning an attack against US and Western targets.

The current terror warning is focusing on al-Qaeda’s Yemen-based branch, whose leader died a few months ago as a result of injuries he incurred in a drone strike. The warning has also led Britain to close its embassy in Yemen for at least two days. Intelligence information indicates that a UK mission may also be targeted.

The location of the Western embassies that are expected to remain closed on Sunday indicates that three main al-Qaeda-affiliated groups are involved in the terror plot:

1. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

2. Al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, which also poses a threat to Israel.

3. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

It is safe to assume that the warnings are based on intelligence information received from Internet messages and perhaps even coded phone conversations. This communication between senior al-Qaeda operatives is hard to decipher. Intelligence agencies, even the best and most experienced, misinterpret these missives from time to time. It is known that the Americans are not always able to decipher the messages, and that is precisely why they decided on the far-reaching measures, particularly in light of the fact that the timing of the planned terror attack and the identity of those who are supposed to carry it out remain unclear.

US Embassy in Tel Aviv (Photo: Reuters) US Embassy in Tel Aviv (Photo: Reuters)

The absurdity is that by playing it safe the Obama administration is handing a huge victory to the terrorists, who are achieving their goal without moving from the carpet they are sitting on and without endangering the organization’s operatives. The temporary closure of embassies and the travel warning for Americans and Britons give al-Qaeda a psychological victory.

Al-Qaeda has recently experienced a resurgence after recovering from the devastating blow it was dealt with the killing of Osama bin Laden. The American withdrawal from Iraq, the civil war in Syria and the expected pullout from Afghanistan have not only boosted the terror group’s morale, they have also created new zones in which al-Qaeda has the support of the local population. Therefore, regional terror groups affiliated with al-Qaeda can now regain their operational ability to carry out terror attacks.

Why has al-Qaeda decided to attack now? Because of the month of Ramadan, because of the devastating American drone strikes (15 such targeted killings were conducted over the past month alone – three in Yemen), and because of the upcoming anniversaries of the September 11 attacks on US soil and in Benghazi. It appears that there is no truth to the claim that the purported terror plot is linked to US President Barack Obama’s birthday on Sunday.

This is not the first time Qaeda-linked terror groups have planned to simultaneously attack Western embassies. It happened in 1998, in Kenya and Zambia. In response, President Clinton ordered a missile attack on an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan.

It must be noted that the interception of the messages would not have been possible without the sophisticated systems operated by the National Security Agency. American intelligence leaker Edward Snowden exposed some of these surveillance programs, including PRISM, which intercepts electronic messages relayed between terror groups. The use of the systems was criticized in the US and around the world for their invasion of privacy, but it is clear that these systems, which are used not only by the US and Britain, save lives.

The US is treating the information provided by these systems with the utmost seriousness, and justifiably so, but it may have overreacted this weekend due to the Benghazi effect.

Israel has not issued a travel warning or taken any unusual measures, indicating that security officials in the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence believe the probability of something happening on Israeli soil, or in Israeli embassies abroad is not high.

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