Knowing your Bible
Synopsis of Bible Study 03/05/10
Delivered by Bishop Walker III
What is the Bible
The bible is a collection of books accepted by Christians as sacred, inspired by God, providing our bases of belief about spiritual matters, and providing guidelines for moral living. Without the bible we are unable to have a moral compass. As a result, the bible becomes a frame of reference by which we develop our ethic to develop our way of existing in the world. We must understand that the bile is a collection of inspired books. Many of us have had debates with people who refuted the bible on the grounds that the bible is mans’ book. They say it was written by man and it is man’s opinion. There argument is since it is man’s opinion, you can’t believe the bible. We must understand that though the bible was written by men, it was not written by men with agendas. The bible was written by men that were moved by the Holy Spirit. When you look at 2 Timothy 3:16 it says 16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:- Scripture comes to us, because it was inspired by God. 2 Peter 1:21-23 says 21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.-No prophesy is for private interpretation. What we have in the scripture is not an intellectual property tainted by the agendas of people who just one day thought that something sounded good and thought they would write it down and call it God’s word. This is not the case at all. We have a collection of books that come to us, because God inspired men to write them. They were inspired by the Holy Ghost. This is important to know, because when you start looking at things like if these were records that were written down, then you wonder how did the people know that God said, “Let there be light.” Who was there interviewing God afterwards saying, “What you going to do next”? Who was there to actually see the snake go up and beguile Eve? It was the Holy Ghost that inspired men to write these records. Because of this, we know these were not fables. These were real events.
1. The Old Testament is the more complicated of the two Testaments to understand. The Old Testament is made up of 39 books. It is part of the 2 sections of the Christian Bible. It contains the sacred writings of the Jews. It was written from the time period of 1000 BC to 100 BC. For 900 yrs the Old Testament is being written. The Old Testament contains stuff that occurred centuries earlier. It was passed downed through the Hebrew people, by the process of oral tradition. This means they kept telling the stories from one generation to the next. One of their greatest stories was how God delivered the children of Israel from Egypt and brought them into the Promised Land. They kept telling these stories over and over until they gained credibility. The more the stories were told, the more they gained credibility and as a result were canonized (means they made the bible). We have no original manuscripts of the Old Testament. We only have copies.
2. Jesus Christ is the central figure of Christianity. Jesus Christ was a Jew, not a Christian. Jesus practiced Judaism in the first part of his ministry. That is why he went to the temple as he did.
3. Christianity began as a sect. It was a small group of Judaism and it became great when many gentiles or non-Jews were converted and began believing in Jesus Christ. This is when Christianity really came to fruition. The only bible (the concept of scriptures) that Jesus and his culture knew were that of the Hebrew bible otherwise called the Old Testament. This is why Jesus kept saying “… you have heard it said … “They quoted the scripture of the law the Pharisees lived by. This was the Old Testament.
4. The Old Testament is made up of 2 languages. It is made up of Hebrew and Aramaic.
1. There are 27 books in the New Testament. It’s just a coincidence, not some kind of system. A good way to remember it is by remembering 3 x 9 is 27. That’s how many books you have in the New Testament. The New Testament contains sacred books that are unique to Christianity.
2. All the New Testament books were written in Greek originally. Remember the backdrop of the New Testament was Rome. Most of the New Testament derived out of the New Testament experience.
3. The New Testament was written from the time period of 50 – 120 A.D.
1. The bible had to be interpreted by generations. The Hebrew Bible, which was the Old Testament, was written in Hebrew and Aramaic and the New Testament was written in Greek and.
2. The very first translation happened because of an historical reality. In the first century, the language of Rome changed from Greek to Latin. The very first translation of the Bible was in 405A.D. It was a Latin translation of the bible called Vulgate. This bible was the bible for centuries.
3. In 1384, we got the first English Translation. The bible was first translated in English by the John Wycliffe Translation. John Wycliffe changed the Latin Vulgate to English.
4. In 1611, King James commissioned that John Wycliffe’s Translation be written in the King’s dialect. This was the England dialect or in other words, the way in which King James talked. This is how we got the King James Version. King James commissioned that it be written and this is why it was called the King James Version (KJV). So in recapping, the first translation was the Vulgate (Latin Translation), then the John Wycliffe Translation, and then the King James Translation.
5. What makes Translations interesting is we must understand that translations embodied the culture of that particular day and time. This is why we have different translations today such as the RSV, NIV, English Translation, and etc … We are trying to translate from the original, the Greek or Hebrew. You don’t have to know Greek or Hebrew. You don’ have to know Aramaic, but it may be helpful to have a Pastor or teacher who does, because you want to make certain that you understand the word usage found in the scripture. In translation, it is important to understand that a word in English may not have the same meaning in the Greek.
6. A lot of our doctrinal beliefs have been based on error-ed translations. This is because we have people that are literalist. A literalist is a person who takes the scripture right off the page as it is written in the King James English. They think you really don’t have a bible, unless it is the King James Version. Ex- Jesus never would have said, ”Verily verily I say unto thee.” Jesus didn’t talk like this. He never would have said, “Wheresoever’s though goest…” This is why it seems amazing when people pray like this. Ex- “Father, where forever thou seest me?” We have been indoctrinated to believe this is God’s language. This is not God’s language. This is King James’ language. Literalist will take a scripture off the page without reference, without knowledge of context and culture, and without knowledge of the language and as a result they cause an inadequate translation. This causes people to be able to justify slavery, the oppression of woman, and all kind of stuff. This is all a result of taking a word straight off the page. One might ask shouldn’t we believe the bible as it is? Yes, the truth is the same, but what we are trying to do is get at the truth by going deeper. Many of us grew up thinking women shouldn’t preach. We grew up thinking they shouldn’t wear pants either. This was all a result of someone taking every word literally. Really this should mean that we need to cut off our left hand, because we know it offended us this week. Also we should pluck out our right eye or maybe we should grab up a few snakes and play with them, because anything that bites you will not kill you. Why don’t we take this stuff literally too? The answer is, we take what we want to take literally in order to push our agenda. The point is we have to get to the truth of what the scripture really means. In all fairness, generations of old didn’t have access of academies and seminaries as many of us do today. With our access to computers and Google search engines; there is no excuse why we can’t go get this stuff our self.
7. In our spiritual journey, the most amazing point you can come to is when you can acknowledge that perhaps what we have been taught all our life, was wrong. When you can get to that point, you are teachable. If you can never get to that point, you are a person that simply thinks the position that you have is right. Ex- Bishop explains he was just like that. There were things he was very conservative on, until God had to show him that Bishop’s understanding was not what he meant when the scripture was inspired. When Bishop got an understanding of the language and the words of the bible, Bishop said he realized that this word could be dangerous in the hands of people that really didn’t understand what the scripture really means. He many people reading this are teachable? Translations are important. Words mean different things in different languages. In Hebrew and Greek, words play on things.
The Old Testament Books
1. The Pentateuch was the first 5 books of the bible. They were the law of the Torah (the book of Moses). They include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
2. The first 11 books of Genesis talk about God. This was during a Pagan culture. This meant they served idol gods. The Hebrew people, the Israelites, believed in one God. This brings us to another revelation of what was going on in that culture. There were two converging theologies. One was called, polytheism. Poly means many and theism means god. Put it together and it means many gods. Next there was monotheism. Mono means one, which means worshipping one god. The Hebrew people were monotheistic which meant they only worshipped one God. Remember the 3 Hebrew boys? They were Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Actually these were their Babylonian names. The Babylons gave them these names (found in Daniel 1-2). When the king made a decree that he was going to make an image unto himself and everyone was going to have to bow down, the 3 Hebrew boys said they would go to the fiery furnace, because they were not going to bow down to the idol god. They were monotheistic. They were willing to die for what they believed in. Never turning away from their God was so dear to the Hebrew people.
3. In the book of Genesis, we also have the stores of creations, the great flood, the tower of Babel, and we see God continued to love and sustain his people. We also can trace the patriarchs of the children of Israel (the head of the house, the head of the families). In Israel, we know the main patriarchs were Abraham, who had a son named Isaac, who had a son named Jacob. This is why throughout Israel’s history, they referred to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob when praying
3 religions came out of Abraham.
1. They were Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. Abraham is the father of all of that. All the conflicts that exist now between Israel and the Palestinians can be traced back to the bible. It is traced back to when Abraham went in too early with Hagar the Egyptian hand maid and had a child named Ishmael, because he couldn’t wait on God’s promise. As a result, because God promised his seed would be blessed, even though Ishmael was not the Isaac, God told Hagar that he was going to bless her. This was during the time Sarah had put Hagar and Ishmael out in the dessert. They left, but they left with the blessing that God was going to bless them.
2. Isaac is born and he becomes the blessing, the promised child. As a result, the lineage of the Christian faith is traced through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It does not go through is Ishmael. Now Ishmael is always going to be at odds with Isaac, b because Isaac is with Israel and Ishmael is with the Palestinians. The war that we are fighting in Afghanistan today is made up of a bunch of angry Islam people that got put out of their land. They are saying we can’t get with Israel, because Israel won’t give us our due land. It goes way back to bible days when Hagar and Ishmael got put out of the land. Everything you see today can be traced back to biblical days.
Exodus and Numbers
1. Here we find the story of Moses who led the people out of captivity in 1300 BC. They wondered in the wilderness for 40yrs before coming to the Promised Land. God gave the 10 commandments to Moses during that time.
Leviticus and Deuteronomy
1. The entire legal system today can be traced back to what you find in Deuteronomy and Leviticus. Every law that regulated Hebrew life came out of what is in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Their purity laws and how they took care of themselves came from here too.
Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther make up the historical books.
1. They tell us about the history of Israel. The history of Israel is told through out the historical books. 40yrs they wondered in the dessert before coming to the Promised Land. After coming to the Promised Land, listen to their future. They were a great people, ruled by Judges. This is how their legal system was set up. All matters were brought before Judges to be settled. One of the most amazing Judges that we can all remember out of the 13 -15 believed Judges was Deborah. For centuries, Israel was ruled by Judges. One day they rose up and said they wanted a king. God is like, I didn’t say you could have kings, but they insisted that was what they wanted. God allowed them to do what they wanted to do, because obviously they didn’t want to wait on him. God allowed them to choose their own king. They ended up with Saul. Saul ended up being a pretty bad person. He had ego problems and everything. Saul had a protégé named David. Saul killed 1000 people and David killed 10000 people. Saul got jealous because they quit singing Saul’s song and started sing David’s song. David became one of the greatest kings of Israel. David had a son named Solomon, who reigned after him. They started out being ruled by judges and then they started being ruled by kings. What is most important is, in the year 586Bc, captivity came. The Babylons came in and put the children of Israel into captivity after they had a streak of losing wars. Eventually, Israel was split as well as being taken captive. It was a dark time they called the exile period. They were taken from their homeland and their children were killed. Their babies were thrown against the wall in order to kill them. Babylon was trying to destroy them and torture them and make a mockery of their god. They made a statement about it
a. The Israelites were at the riverside of Babylon and they were giving lamentations about what had happened and they said … and we hung up our harps… in Psalm 137: 1-2 where it says 1By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.2We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. -They were inspired by David. They understood music, because it was a part of who they were. They hung up their harps on the willow trees as a sign of surrender.
b. …and they that carried us away (verse 3)… Psalm 137:3 says 3For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
c. The Babylonians said why don’t ya’ll sing us a song now and entertain us. The children of Israel wanted to know how they could sing a song in a strange land. They begin to have the personal remembrance of Israel. They said if I forget you Jerusalem, let my right hand loose her cunning and if I forget thee, let the tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth (Verses 5 – 6). Psalm 137:5-6 says 5If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.6If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
d. Eventually they turned their prayers to God. They reminded God that they were his children and he made them a promise, so they were angry. Then they turned to their captors you will be destroyed. What you did to us, somebody going to come and do to you is what they were saying. Psalm 137:8-9: 😯 daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. 9Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.
2. Do you know what modern day Babylon is on your map today geographically? It is Iraq.
Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Songs of Solomon,
1. These books contain practical wisdom on living life successfully and holy. It deals with the weight of the matters of life, the existence of evil, and our relationship with god while helping us understand what God wants for our lives. Read these books and you can make it through whatever you are going through.
Books of Prophesy.
1. They are divided into Major and Minor prophets. Note: Major Prophets have longer books. Minor Prophets have smaller books.
2. There are 5 Major Prophets. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel. Know that Lamentations is written by Jeremiah. So Jeremiah wrote both Jeremiah and Lamentations.
3. The Minor Prophets are: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi
4. Prophets speak for God. They warn us of things to come. They give us instruction. They give us predictions. They give us messages from God.
1. The New Testament Deals with the gospels. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
2. The 4 gospels tell of Jesus’ life, his ministry, his teachings, his death, and his resurrection. The first gospel comes in 870AD. It is the gospel of Mark. Your bible is not in chronological order. For example, Job is much older than many books in the bible. Mark is the first gospel written in 870. Ex-Bishop Walker explains that he and the First Lady and I had an opportunity to go to Italy and see the actual tomb and the casket of Mark. He explained that they stood 4 feet from it. He told how they explained that during the war, people were trying to steal Mark’s body, to try the refute the idea of Christianity and it is recorded that his skeletal hand comes out of the casket as if prophetically trying to let them know who he was. He had a cross in his hand. This how they knew it was mark. Mark is the first gospel. Mark walked with Jesus. The other gospels draw from the Mark’s gospel.
3. Matthew and Luke were written in 80 and 90 AD. And John comes in 95AD. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are called the synoptic gospels. “Syn” means synthesis or together. “Optic” means seeing as in they see together. This means their writings see together. They have commonalties within them. John is not a synoptic gospel. It stands alone. Let’s prove it. Matthew, Mark, and Luke say Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea. John starts out by saying in the beginning was the word, the word was with God, and the word was God. There are stories in John that don’t exist in the synoptic gospels. For example, when it says “Lazarus come forth …” or “… I will leave you a comforter…”
4. The 1st gospel was writing 40 yrs after Jesus’ crucifixion (Mark).
5. The 2nd gospel was Matthew, then Luke, and then john.
Acts or Apostles
1. This is also called the Actions of the apostles. It is a sequel to the gospel of Luke. Luke writes Acts and Luke. Luke is an amazing writer. Luke is a physician. When he talks about Jesus’ birth, he tells about the visit of Elizabeth and he includes the detail about the baby leaping inside the womb. He even tells how far along the mothers were in their pregnancies, because he was a doctor.
2. Luke writes Acts. Acts deals with the first 30yr history of the Christian church. How the church began and started can be found in Acts. It mostly started with Peter and Paul.
3. A couple of things to know:
4. The word Pentecost is found the book of Acts 2. The Pentecost happened 50 days after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus made a promise. He said he would not leave us comfortless. He said the Holy Ghost would come upon us. Jesus is crucified and he gets up from the grave, 50 days later in Acts 2:1, we see the experience of the Pentecost. Pentecost means 50.- Acts 2:1-4: 1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5. Also, they were first called Christians in the book of Acts. They weren’t called Christians anywhere in the gospels. They were first called Christians in Antioch. Acts 11:26 says 26And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
6. You must read this he book of Acts as a historical book, not a theological book. It is a historical book. You don’t extract theological principles from it. This book is so you can learn what happened during the early church. Because people have viewed this as a theological book, people still sit around and wait or tarry for the Holy Ghost. Jesus told them to wait on the Holy Ghost, because the Holy Ghost had not yet come, so they tarried and waited on the Pentecost. After the Holy Ghost came, he dwelt in us at the point of salvation. At the point of salvation, you already have the Holy Ghost. You don’t have to wait for someone you already have. You might not have the fullness of the Holy Spirit, because you got to get “you” out of the way, but you do have the Holy Spirit at the point of salvation.
The letters of Paul
1. Romans, 1&2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon, and Hebrews.
2. In these letters, Paul is basically giving instruction to the churches about codes behavior and what to do. He gives mentorship to Timothy about being a good soldier, desiring office of Bishop, and etc…
1. Catholic here means they are universal. Universal meaning they are circulating among Christian communities. They were read at every meeting. This includes James, 1&2 Peter, 1, 2, & 3 John, Jude, Revelation.
2. These letters deal with love respect and kindness and putting your faith into action.
1. It barely made the bible. Apocalyptic, deals with the end of time. Because of how it is written, people are afraid of it. Ex-Bishop explains that he is working on a series dealing with the apocalyptic or the end of days. There is no way in good faith; we could not deal with this in this season in light of all the stuff that is going on. There are too many earthquakes. Too much is going on for us not to know that something is up. You don’t even have to be spiritual to be a little unnerved about what is going on. They are saying this earthquake in Chile shifted the earth of its axis. The actual days could actually get shorter. Jesus says you are going to know when something is getting ready to happen. He said there would be wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes in certain places. There will be floods and children that rise up against their parents. Men will be lovers of themselves. Something is up and we have to deal with this. We are really the generation that will see the coming of the Lord. Some people don’t want to be here for this, but if you are not raptured, it is very possible that you could be.
1. The most comforting chapter in the bible Psalms 23, John 14
2. Love Chapter-1 Cor 13
3. Faith Chapter-Hebrews 11
4. New Testament Formation-Acts 2
5. Two Scripture identically alike- 2 Kings 19, Isaiah 37
6. Longest verse-Esther 8:9
7. Shortest-John 11:35(Jesus wept)
8. Most precious verse – John 3:16
9. Saddest Verse- Mark 15 :34
10. Grandest verse – Romans 8:11
11. How many authors wrote the bible -40
Words that appear only once in the bible
1. Reverend- It can be found in Psalm 111:9 where it says9He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. There is a lot of controversy over this being used as a title for a Pastor. Throughout scripture, Elder, Bishops, Pastors were used almost interchangeably, but you only see reverend used in this scripture. The scripture says he sent redemption to his people and he hath commanded his covenant forever. If who you call Reverend redeemed his people and has a covenant forever, then you can call him “Reverend”. This title almost borders blasphemy if you think about it, but it is culturally acceptable.
2. Eternity- Isaiah 57:15
3. Grandmother- 2 Timothy 1:5
Some interesting facts
God is used 4370 times.
Jehovah is used 6855 times.
Lord is used is used 7736.
The Longest word in the bible is “Mahershalalhashbaz”. Isaiah 8:1
The Greatest word in the bible-Jesus