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An Inkling of Biblical Understanding

A lot of people have never read the bible, which could very well be part of the chaos abounds in our world. Too many people trust in other people rather than in God, and part of that can be that they’ve never read the bible. A number of people don’t believe in God or the Bible and while that is a true pity, that is a personal choice that only they can make. God loves them anyway and He is always ready to accept them when they turn to him. (Don’t believe me? Read the Bible.)

Many people do read the bible and the majority who do claim to be Christians, though they don’t truly understand the Bible. Understanding is an ongoing process. The thing is that it can be fun and interesting to learn about the bible.

Here is a little example:

Do you know what the shortest chapter in the entire Bible is? The shortest chapter is Psalm 117 and consists of only two verses.

Do you know what the longest chapter in the bible is? The longest chapter is Psalm 119, with 176 verses.

Would you care to guess which chapter is at the center of the Bible? If you guessed that it was Psalm 118, you’d be correct. It is immediately after the shortest and immediately before the longest chapters in the Bible.

There are 594 chapters before Psalm 118. There are 594 chapters after Psalm 118. If you add 594 and 594, you’ll come up with 1188.

Before you dismiss the significance of this number, do you know what the center verse in the Bible is? It is Psalm 118:8.

The significance and importance don’t end there, though. What does Psalm 118:8 say?

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”

Wow! Simply wow! Reread the second sentence of this article. For Christians, this should be as plain as it gets. It explains the problems seen in the world today and that cause happens to be the exact opposite of the very center of the Bible.

This should be a wakeup call for Christians, particularly those who are ‘lukewarm’ Christians, who approach God, Christ, and the Bible with a half-hearted belief.

Think about it, seriously. Are you putting your trust in God, or are you relying on people? Note that this includes yourself. It is a rather sobering thought, isn’t it?

Someone who will be reading this will need this message. When a message like this has been laid on my heart, I’ve learned not to doubt it.

What do you think?

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Written by Rex Trulove

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    • You are very right. In some cases, that is because they don’t have access to a bible. In many others, it is because they fear for their lives if they even get caught with a bible. However, in far too many cases, a lot of people profess to be Christians, yet they never read the bible, even if they have one and wouldn’t be persecuted for reading it. That is a mistake.

      As Theodore Spurgeon said, “A Bible that is falling apart is usually owned by someone who isn’t.”

  1. People can say the Bible is boring or those once upon time stories. But, it’s quite intriguing. Why? Two things make the Bible believable thus emphasizing an Supreme Intelligent Being exists. The prophecies which were fulfilled and are still being fulfilled, and historical facts that give credence to archaeological discoveries that baffle scientists including our universe. Truly, a creator exists.

    • There are numerous points in the bible that are firmly supported by science, too. The bible talks about ocean currents, but at the time, the idea of vast rivers of ocean water moving in the sea wasn’t even known by man. Today, we know what those currents are, what they do, where they are, and that they impact everything from shipping to bird migrations to the weather, but we didn’t know any of that when they were originally written about.

      You’re right about the prophecies, too. It goes a step further. I find it personally astounding that there could be around 40 different people, many of whom didn’t know about most of the others, writing in 3 different languages, over the course of at least 1,500 years, most often without reading any of what at least most of the others had written, could all contribute to the bible without contradicting each other and in a form that was coherent and understandable. Especially with some study, the Bible makes total sense, but even without the prophecies, there is virtually no chance that it could be thought up and written by the minds of men.

      I’m a writer. That surprises no one who knows me. However, one of the most interesting things I’ve done is to participate in a number of ‘group-think’ stories. In these, 5-10 people write a story. One person starts the story, then another person writes the next ‘segment’, and so on and on. It is amazing, how difficult this is to do without stumbling over one another. Usually, it doesn’t take long before the storyline starts breaking down. Yet, in each case, there were only 5-10 of us, we spoke the same language and wrote in that same language, we knew each other, and we had the benefit of being able to read what had already been written. I still am awed by 40 people, writing in 3 languages, over the course of 1,500+ years, often without reading what others had written and most often without ever having spoken to any of those other writers, could come up with a book of knowledge and wisdom that fits together flawlessly. It is impossible for people to do it, in and of themselves. But as the bible puts it, for men, it is impossible, but for God, all things are possible.

  2. I have read the Bible twice but with interest about what it contained. Now I am re-reading with the faith I have gained and using the same Bible I used back in a private Lutheran school where we learned to understand the Bible and went to church service every Wednesday and I learned to love hymns. The Bible has a section in the back which tells me what I have to read each day from the New Testament in the morning and the Old Testament at night in this way after the year goes by I will once again have read it all. So far I am trying to look at it as if it was the first time to see what I have gained as my faith has become stronger. In all, I guess I have to say my favorites are The Song of Solomon, The Psalms, and the Book of Luke. It is much harder getting through the Old Testament.

    • There are sections of the Old Testament that are dry and frankly boring. That is one reason I recommend studying the Bible, as it sounds like you are doing, as opposed to reading it. Reading it is better than not reading it and studying it is much better than just reading it. It is also helpful to look up the meanings of some of the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew words.

      I’ve found, though, that I don’t need to try to read and study as if it was brand new. Each time I read part of the bible, new things automatically stand out and I think, “Wow, I didn’t realize that it said that!” I suspect that I’ll feel the same way the 50th or 60th times I read it.

      I can understand the fascination with Luke. Since he was a physician, his writing tends to be much more precise and detailed. I’m rather taken with Acts and for that matter, almost everything that Paul wrote. That isn’t just because he was so prolific, but also because I’m still amazed that someone who was so rich in faith and who ended up as such a strong believer, after a start of being such a wicked non-believer, never actually met Jesus in person. He sets an excellent example for so many people.

      • Yes, Rex I had forgotten the Acts are also interesting to me. Right now in my readings, I am up to Mark and the Numbers in the Old Testament. I am taking it nice and slow and seeing what I might have missed and it is good to read the passages again just not all at once.

    • That is quite true. Also, reading the Bible like a person would read a novel will usually do nothing at all. One needs to study it, not just read it. Grasping the Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew meanings of certain keywords brings astounding enlightenment.

      • I find it also useful to have a knowledge of the basic history, geography and culture of the Holy Land.

        A great example is the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. The word for tares (weeds) actually refers to a plant called Darnel which is almost identical to wheat and takes an expert to tell them apart.

        • That is quite true and it can lead to stunning conclusions, with just a little thought. For example, in the story of the widow and the oil in 2 Kings, there are those who believe that the oil that is referred to was olive oil. It is quite true that olive oil was extremely common at the time. Some translations of the Bible even say that it was olive oil.

          That is a problem, though. Olive oil was so common that it was cheap. Even with all the containers filled with olive oil, even if there were hundreds of them, it wouldn’t have represented enough money for the widow to pay off all the debts with enough left over for her and her sons to live on. The story would have lacked impact.

          However, there are indications that the widow’s dead husband had been a priest or other holy man. The small amount of oil that he had (and that God multiplied) wouldn’t have been olive oil. it would have been anointing oil.

          There were two kinds of anointing oil. One was scented olive oil. Again, that would have been worth more than regular olive oil, but not much more. If it was this kind of anointing oil, it still would have been hard to pay off the debts with enough left over to live on.

          The other kind of anointing oil was an import and it was quite expensive (it still is); spikenard oil. True spikenard oil only comes from Nepal and it isn’t easy to get to the spikenard. True spikenard oil was not only expensive, but it was also highly aromatic. It was sometimes used in small quantities for marriages and funerals.

          God doesn’t do things in simple ways so I believe that the widow’s oil was spikenard. Multiplied, as in the parable, that would have easily represented enough to pay the debts and for the widow and her sons to live well off of what was left over. The impact of the multiplying by God would have been enormous. In fact, the whole neighborhood would have smelled of Spikenard and there would have been any doubt where the smell was coming from. It would have been easy to sell the oil without effort…the oil would advertise itself.

          Whether it was or was not Spikenard oil isn’t important to the story, and it probably doesn’t make much difference. However, it makes far more sense if it was and it would also show the tremendous power of God. Olive oil was ‘ordinary’. God is not ordinary, He’s extraordinary and everything He does is extraordinary.

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