Things you miss reading your Bible too quickly


Reading through Exodus this morning, I ran across a couple of things that I’d never noticed before.

In Exodus 10:3, Moses finally shouts at is step-brother, or at least speaks harshly. It’s been a while building up!

He was deferential to Tutmose at first, and slowly, as Tutmose opposed God, Moses grew more blunt in his approach.

Tutmose might have taken Moses’s intended name – Moses in Hebrew being Moshe, or pronounced Mose by the Egyptians. Hatshepsut, Moses’s adopted mother would have given him the name Tutmose. Quite literally, she had made her decision that this child given to her by the Nile would be Pharaoh. Her nephew would not have shared the same name – it was a declaration of inheritance.

Tutmose’s stubbornness may be born of his sudden conceit, the longed for treasure given into his hands after Moses murdered and then fled. Tutmose would have desired the throne of Egypt, and finally got it, when he’d given up hope. He is a supplanter. And now Moses reappears – not to demand what is his right, but to appear as one of Egypt’s slaves – deferential, eyes down, beseeching. And the humble servant of God.

Now Moses  speaks harshly, if not shouting. Tutmose has ignored every demand of God, given politely at first. then with warnings. Then with the voice of judgment.

You tell me – does this sound like shouting to you?

Exodus 10:3-6 (KJV) And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field: And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians; which neither thy fathers, nor thy fathers’ fathers have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.

You know, you don’t have to be really smart after seeing Egypt devastated to know that if you don’t do as he asks, things are going to go badly.

If I had been Tutmose, I’d have let them go.

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Year of Writing Commentary


Just a reminder, that this is year one of writing commentary on things you’re learning in your Bible study. I started Jan. 1 in Romans 1:1.

So, after your Bible study (or during it), take notes in a special note file inside your Bible software.  Please make sure your Bible study session is a minimum of 15 minutes a day! If you are a Pastor or in ministry, double that. As a matter of fact, if you are a Pastor, you need to make sure that you’re studying your Bible at least an hour a day, or your congregation will have your hide. God requires a Pastor to spend time in prayer and studies of the Bible. Everything else is secondary.

E-Sword instructions: If I remember right, E-Sword comes with Study Notes, Topic Notes and Journal Notes already made. This would all go into your study notes. Remember to uncheck the little chain icon before you start writing, and then check it again once you’re done.

Swordsearcher instructions:  Under “User” click “Create new user Commentary”. Now all you have to do to add notes is click the four diamonds, and a window will open up to add your notes.

King James Pure Bible Search: Click CTRL+M or go to Edit>Add/Edit/Delete User Note. The user note editor will pop open. Save the note when done typing.

theWord: File>New User Module>Commentary. Name it, give it initials (Dean Commentary DCT) and save it. Now you can start typing away. Make sure you go slowly when trying to expand theWord to fill the window, or you’ll close it down every time. This was a major reason (besides its untidy, cluttered appearance) I gave up using it back in Seminary.

Logos: Create a manuscript, and NAME it “Dean Commentary”. No kidding (it’s a hidden thing in Logos) it will prioritize it, especially if you add a link on your taskbar to it. The more you add to it, no kidding, the more Logos will begin to refer to it as you write.

Okay, this should get you started on the “How-to”. Now you just need to start!

Go to Romans 1:1. Read all of Romans 1 and start taking notes in your commentary. You’re going to make notes every third verse (1:1, 1:4, 1:7, etc). Why? Because next year is the second year of commentary, and the year after that is the third year. In three years, you will have written study notes (if not commentary) on every verse in the Bible.

Recommended commentaries: The Bible. The Bible is its own best commentary. In this regard, Pure Bible Search gives you an advantage by FORCING you to use ONLY the Bible and ONLY the Webster’s 1828.

The Bible Knowledge Commentary by John Walvoord is the next best. Flawed, highly Evangelical, and based upon the NIV (UGH!), but still the best commentary you can get.

Look things up. Use Bible Analyzer. Is this the first time that word is used in the Bible? Unless it’s Gen. 1:1, make a note of it! Is this a word used 5 times or Less in the Bible? Make a note of that.

Open the TSK. Follow the rabbit, and see where the references take you. Literally, this is how David Cloud learned all the Bible stuff he learned, using a Strong’s, and eventually adding a TSK. His own notes took the form of a Bible Encyclopedia, instead of a commentary. And yes, you can buy a copy of it.

You’ll add a lot to your commentary as you go along, so don’t worry if you only get a few sentences in at first.

Yesterday’s blog article came out of my commentary.

Studying the word with Swordsearcher


Swordsearcher really is one of those programs I’ve always liked, but you know, $59 goes a long way in this world. Every time I get a new computer, I load in the Swordsearcher demo and play with it, trying to decide whether or not to buy it. Yesterday I finally took the plunge and bought it.

I really can’t describe the emotion I went through buying it. I own how many Bible programs? I’ve paid for several, including several hundred dollars for Logos (and saved quite a bit of money the way I did it!). But for some reason, I felt the most incredible satisfaction buying it.

I do know most Fundamentalists swear by Swordsearcher. If you’re a narrow is the way King James Only Fundamentalist, apparently Swordsearcher is the most commonly used Bible program.

I’ve written a few articles using Swordsearcher, and this current one is no exception. What makes Swordsearcher so special? I’ll tell you. While the Greek  Textus Receptus is available in many programs, the Hebrew Old Testament is not. Quite literally, Swordsearcher is the only one to feature the Ben Chayyim Masoretic Hebrew texts.

I need to explain that just a touch. All the Bible programs offer the Ben Asher Masoretic text. The words “Ben Asher” and “Masoretic” do not go together. It’s like the “Majority text” name – the manuscripts it is connected to is not the majority of the Greek texts used – that’s the Textus Receptus – but they changed the name of the modern texts to confuse Christians. In other words, they lied.

It’s the same with the Ben Asher. They lied to confuse Christians. Only the Ben Chayyim should be used, and only the Ben Chayyim should be called Masoretic. The Ben Asher is invalid under Jewish law.

Now that I’ve explained that, what do you do when you purchase Swordsearcher? They make that clear, just in case there’s problems later. Take the install files you downloaded, and copy it to CD Rom or to a USB to permanently safeguard it. Also, I’d put the download key, download link instructions and the registration number into Evernote immediately. I’ve done that with the registrations for every program I own. Almost losing all my e-mail earlier this year nearly cost me passwords and registration numbers to all my software, so I put all that into Evernote immediately.

The next thing you want to do is go to the User tab on the menu bar, and click “Create New User Commentary.” Call it whatever you like. “My commentary” is good, but it seems like the kind of name you’d call it and think later on, “I wonder what that is?” I’m kidding. I called it My Commentary.

Next, create a user book. Call it “My Topical Studies.” Here’s a list to get you started.

Sanctification
Salvation
Faith
Bible
Jesus Christ
Prophecies of the Messiah
Prophecies of the End Times
The Rapture
Heretics
Sin

That’s just a few of the topical studies you’ll end up with.

You’re ready to get started. You’ll see that there’s four little icons on the very left of each verse. The one with 4 diamonds is your commentary. If it’s grayed out, you have nothing written there. Well, of course – you just created it. The goal is after 3 years, you should have ZERO verses in Swordsearcher with grayed out commentary icons. Every one of them should be black. This will let you know that you’ve written something there.

So, get those two made, and go to your “My Topical Studies” user book. Under Bible, click to edit it, and then add “Luke 8:21”. Click the green arrow, and it saves it. Ta-da! You’ve got your first entry made in what is your own Topical Bible.

Under Luke 8:21 in My Commentary, I added these words…

ἀκούοντες, hear the word of God, λόγον τοῦ Θεοῦ

I did this as a test, because a lot of Bible programs cannot save Greek or Hebrew. I did go to the interlinear page in Swordsearcher and check, but it only shows the Lemma of the form, not the actual manuscript. That’s a fancy way for saying it only had the dictionary form of the Greek word, and not the Greek text itself. When you go to the TR tab (Textus Receptus), you’ll see the Manuscript form. Don’t fall into the trap of only looking at the Strong’s KJV tab – start learning some Greek and learn about tenses and sentence structure. The tenses are important!

Okay, let’s get into how to study the Bible using Swordsearcher.

Set up a reading plan. Understand you’re going to first read your Bible, then go back to the beginning of it and start study. Remember, reading is not study. If Swordsearcher allowed it, I’d say set up two reading plans – one is your reading plan through the year (such as a 120 day schedule for reading your Bible), and the other your study plan. But to my knowledge, Swordsearcher does not allow it.

As you study (the study part, not the reading part), try to put a comment in at least every third verse. Next year will be one of the other ones, and the year after that, the only verses you haven’t put commentary in. Guess what? If you’d started this in 2016, this would be your last year of doing it!

So, write comments in Gen. 1:1, and the next one you’ll comment in is Gen. 1:4.

BTW, if you know your shorthand, the way to quickly get to a book in the Bible is Ge 1.4 for Genesis 1:4. Type that in the reference window.

Start using the Webster’s 1828 to accumulate definitions, and cross check that against the Greek. ANYTHING you learn should go into your “My Commentary” window.

A good way to get started is to also put in every cross reference to your active verse (the () icon) inside your commentary. That’s your road map.

Remember, reading is not study. You have ALL the tools you really need inside Swordsearcher.

Now, if you REALLY want to REALLY learn your Bible, this year do 120 day reading plans. Make the third time through in the year a 125 day reading plan, so you’re finishing up on the 31st instead of on the 26th.

If you want to make HUGE inroads in your study, you can buy the Way Of Life Encyclopedia and Things Hard to Be Understood by David Cloud for Swordsearcher. The WOLE will quickly be your go-to dictionary. I strongly recommend it.

Try to find at least two words at random to look up in a dictionary. If of course, you see a word you’re not sure of, then that should be one of the words. But the act of looking things up in the Webster’s and the WOLE will greatly benefit your understanding of the Bible.

Again, the goal is not to complete your commentary in one year. It usually takes ten years to complete a commentary on the Bible. You’re going to get something in every verse after three years, and then you can leisurely refine it over several years after it.

Here’s the exercise – it’s half an hour after the Rapture. Someone finds your laptop sitting open in your house. Swordsearcher is open. And for the unbelieving person who just found your computer, something that explains EVERY VERSE in the Bible is now available.

That’s what you’re writing. And if you’re a pastor, do them a favor and make sure you put copious notes in Timothy and Titus on how to run a church!

Is the love of Jesus all we need to know?


One of the biggest inspirations I sometimes get for blog articles come from comments I get on the blog. A year or so ago, I decided to shut down comments on the blog, because I literally was spending far more time answering comments than writing articles. If I were writing about Beanie Babies, it wouldn’t be a problem. But I’m writing about serious issues facing Christianity, and about the word of God, and that often requires a lot of research.

There are some articles I’ve left open, because the effort to go back through 1500 articles and turn off comments in the WordPress.com system takes a lot of time, and I just wasn’t able to find the time to do it.

So naturally, someone protested my word faith articles, and after mistaking me for a Calvinist simply because I insisted you should at least go to Seminary for 3 years before preaching the word of God, made the comment that the Word Faith preachers said a lot of good things and that they dwelt on the most important issue, the love of Christ.

All right then, let me answer that. What subject in the Bible is far more important than the love of Christ? Here’s the answer. Ready?

There isn’t any.

But is that all we need to know? I’m not online right now, and I don’t remember if that was specifically stated or just strongly implied.

I knew that Jesus loved me before I was saved.  What I didn’t know is that God is angry with the wicked.

Psalm 7:11 (KJV) God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.

So, as an unsaved man, I did not realize that my sins made me offensive in the sight of God.

Hardly your best life ever.

But if you repent and turn to Jesus Christ to be saved, a miracle happens.  You’re saved, and that guilt and punishment is gone.

But is that all we need to know?

No.

Because what if I knew all that but denied the Trinity?

Oh. So there’s more than we need to know.

What if I believe in Jesus Christ but deny His eternal Sonship? It’s tantamount to saying Jesus Christ is not God.

So, we need to know that, too.

What if I don’t know I need to repent to be saved? If you don’t like that statement, your argument is with God and not me. The Bible makes it clear.

Matthew 4:17 (KJV) From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

If I don’t know I need to repent to be saved, if all I do is rely upon raising my hand during a church service, then we believe in essentially salvation through exercise. Worshipping athletics won’t keep you from Hell.

There’s essential doctrines, since the Bible describes doctrines of men as being “damnable”. In other words, if you reject doctrine – a popular stance among Christians today – the Bible makes it clear that the doctrines you believe could be ones that do not save you.

Should you run out right now and buy Hodge’s “Great Doctrines of the Bible?” No, because comprehensive theologies and theological surveys are almost always written by Calvinists – and I am most certainly not a Calvinist. I’d recommend Ryrie’s book instead, but be warned on that – Ryrie obviously read Calvinist materials while preparing for his book, and he falls for the Calvinist trap of calling the Bible’s plan of Salvation “Semi-plagiarism”.

A dedicated STUDY of the Bible, and a habit of writing things down under headings goes a long way. To do this in Logos is actually not as easy as in other programs. For instance, you could start a user book in Quickverse (if you still own it) as a dictionary, and put every verse you see on “justification” under that heading.

That’s a powerful research tool. You can do that in E-Sword, Quickverse, Swordsearcher, and Wordsearch. To do it in Bible Analyzer and Logos requires making a long, long, long user book, and manually sorting out the definitions you want to list, and THEN putting them in there.

Is the love of Christ the only thing you need to know?

You tell me.

There’s a lot of people, such as Karl Barth, who said so – but that was because Barth was a theological liberal who disguised it, using platitudes he knew would distract Evangelicals and get an “Amen” every time. It worked while he was alive, and I certainly hope he changed his beliefs on the deity of Christ and the Virgin Birth, because otherwise right now, he’s urging you to accept that there are a few things you need to know and understand beyond the love of Jesus Christ.

Luke 16:27-31 (KJV) Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

The Effectual Bible Student #12


This is the last one!

If you were too busy and didn’t bother to watch these, go back… These are some of the most important videos you’ll ever watch – how to study the Bible from someone who is an expert in Bible study. I’ve graduated Seminary with a high GPA, and I can honestly tell you I learned some things watching this series!

Effectual Bible Student, Part 12 – Bible Study Software from Way of Life Literature on Vimeo.

The Effectual Bible Student #10


Effectual Bible Student, Part 10 – Rules for Interpretation (cont), Bible Study Tools from Way of Life Literature on Vimeo.