Discover God's Word in the Bible!

by: Wayne Schatzle

       History shows an interesting relationship between man and the Bible. Several times it was decreed, by religious and governmental powers, that the common individual was forbidden to read the Bible. God's word was to be disseminated by the powers that be in the church. Ignorance of God's word was encouraged.

       I know of churches even today that forbid Bible study without a minister present. In many countries Bible study is not only forbidden but the word of God, must be hidden and read in secret for fear of severe persecution.

       This country possesses the most freedom of all nations when it comes to religion. Radio and television time is available for purchase to anyone wishing to preach the Bible. The pity is that the great freedom we enjoy is also wasted and not appreciated by most Americans. Sadly, ignorance of God's holy word is common. There are folks who know baseball batting averages for the players in the National League, yet cannot name the four gospels.

       The Bible is an absolute miracle. The very fact that it has survived the ages proves it has God's protection. History records many attempts to stamp it out.  Its detractors have constantly degraded it as folklore, yet it stands alone as the story of how our very Creator made us, what He expects of us and what happens to us when this physical life is over.

       Mainstream theology seems to be contrary to what the Bible actually teaches. That is why it is so very important to study the Bible regularly and with prayer that God will lead you into all truth. As Paul said to Timothy, "from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine..." (2 Timothy 3:15-16).

       A very important point to add is that these scriptures Paul is referring to is what we know as the Old Testament, possibly the Septuagint versions, which was the Greek translation of the "Old Testament." When considering Bible study - God inspired all the Bible for our study.

       The Bible can be difficult and confusing if one is new to the practice of studying, has preconceived ideas -and does not know the background of the history of the Bible. There was a time when a man from Ethiopia was reading the writings of Isaiah. Philip approached him and asked if he knew what he was reading. The man replied, "How can I understand unless a man shows me?" And how very true it is. Of course, God realized it would be like this and men and women would need help. This is why he provided a ministry and gave the spiritual gift of teaching.

       For those who want to get started in Bible study, the Freedom Biblical Information Center has a free eight-lesson study course and audio tapes available by mail. There is never a charge or obligation. No one will call and your name will be kept in strict confidence.

       The first lesson is a brief history of the Bible and a look at several different translations. Send for this study, and get on the path that leads to, life.

       We have a loving father who extends his hand to us. He wants us to make it into his kingdom. We just have to decide what is important to us in this life.

(Written by Wayne Schatzle,
director, Freedom Biblical Information Center
P.O. Box 1806, West Chester OH 45071)