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Hello all! This is my first post here and I feel I am at the beginning of life-long journey. First of all, I was raised in a southern baptist environment, but I have never really thought the aspect of different demoninations was appropriate. I mean there is only one true God, so there is only one truth - why are we so divided in our beliefs? Different interpretations?

I should stop here and mention that it is not my intention to say what's right or wrong or who is or is not correct. I am only looking for answers for myself and from that standpoint alone, I may question (not put into question) other beliefs or ask questions about areas I don't understand.

Back to the subject... so, I was raised with Christain beliefs and have always believed in God. I've never been openly religious though as I am a quiet person by nature and not really a "people-person". I have my share of faults and I'm not living the life that I know I should, that God wants me to.

Now that I am older and looking back (and ahead) at things differently. I see that even something that should be as simple as living as I should is not easy. For me it stems from not knowing what version of "truth" is the one I should heed. Not being able to understand everything in the Bible, I look to outside sources. That's where I feel lost. How do I know what is the correct interpretation or what has the most accurate translation of God's word?

For example, I am most curious about revelations as I think we are fast approaching the end of times and was just reading earlier today about it through prophecy (Daniel, John, and Revelation being referenced in the article). The article mentions that Rome (Roman Empire and Roman Church) are probably the beast referred to in scripture based off of history and events. It also ties the number 666 to the Rome and several people in it's past. It goes on to talk about things that make sense to me and seem to fit with what I have always "felt" was true. Maybe my interpretation is at fault.

So... if I told you I wanted to hear or read God's word in it's purest form, what would your answer be? We can I go to find my answers when I don't really feel like I know where to start? The Bible is the obvious choice (and maybe the only option for me), but I have always been concerned with the accuracy of translations.

Oh, and before I close out my first post, I also read an article concerning Easter and how it should not really be a Christain holiday as Christ told us to observe the passover. Easter did not come about until later (according to the article). It also states that we (Christains), on top of celebrating the wrong "holiday" don't even celebrate it on the right day. It stated that Christ was crucified on a Wednesday and arose on a Saturday. And lastly, it stated that Sunday (the day) came about from sun worshippers.

The Encyclopжdia Britannica records, "The earliest recognition of the observance of Sunday as a legal duty is a constitution of Constantine in 321ad, enacting that all courts of justice, inhabitants of towns, and workshops were to be at rest on Sunday (venerabili die solis)" ("Sunday," 11th ed.).
By using the Latin term properly translated as "venerable day of the Sun," Constantine identified the first day of the week with that day dedicated from ancient times to Sol, the sun.
You can probably see why I am looking for a little guidance.

Dave
 
Member
Hello Dave

And welcome to the forum. :thumbs_up

The safest source of understanding is God himself, We are told to ask Him for understanding and to ask with faith. Faith that we will be guided into understanding what we need to know. Sometimes we get frustrated because we want to know everything, while we may not get to know everything we want we know we will have all we need to be with Him in Eternity.

James 1
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;



You said:
Now that I am older and looking back (and ahead) at things differently. I see that even something that should be as simple as living as I should is not easy. For me it stems from not knowing what version of "truth" is the one I should heed. Not being able to understand everything in the Bible, I look to outside sources. That's where I feel lost. How do I know what is the correct interpretation or what has the most accurate translation of God's word?
I use the New King James Bible translation. And i also refer to the older King James Bible translation. I came to believe when a friend gave me it to read. So it cannot be all that bad. Of the other translations i do not really like the NIV version. Looking outside the Word is dangerous. Because outside the Word you will be opening yourself up to the possible faulty thoughts of man. The best way for a person to come to understanding is to read the Bible while at the same time having the meaning of the words revealed to one through the Power of the Holy Spirit. (our Helper) this does not exclude possible help from other books or from other people in places like this. Wherever the other source of understanding comes from, we Must test that source against the Bible, using the Word as a template to test the truth of what we have obtained. If something contradicts the Words Of Our Messiah Jesus then it is to be rejected. Do not place your eternal salvation in the hands of a man.

John 6:
63 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life



So... if I told you I wanted to hear or read God's word in it's purest form, what would your answer be? We can I go to find my answers when I don't really feel like I know where to start? The Bible is the obvious choice (and maybe the only option for me), but I have always been concerned with the accuracy of translations.
Fellowship with other Christians can be a good way to deal with the sections of a translation you are worried about. All you need to do is bring the scripture to the attention of your brothers and Sisters in Jesus and discuss it. Maybe someone will be given the wisdom to reveal the truth about what is worrying you? Its best to deal with one issue at a time. So bring your concerns to light here. (Always remembering to check out any answers you receive against the WORD)



For example, I am most curious about revelations as I think we are fast approaching the end of times and was just reading earlier today about it through prophecy (Daniel, John, and Revelation being referenced in the article). The article mentions that Rome (Roman Empire and Roman Church) are probably the beast referred to in scripture based off of history and events. It also ties the number 666 to the Rome and several people in it's past. It goes on to talk about things that make sense to me and seem to fit with what I have always "felt" was true. Maybe my interpretation is at fault.
You will get a few differing interpretations of many of the verses in The Book of Revelation. Many interpretations have fallen away with time. The compulsion is to try and make the prophesies and symbolism fit a world Power or person, This comes from a desire to see the coming of the Messiah Jesus. I believe we are living in the end times and i hope to see the return of my Messiah in my life time. It is good to share thoughts and wait patiently for the Holy Spirit to reveal all in the right time.



Oh, and before I close out my first post, I also read an article concerning Easter and how it should not really be a Christain holiday as Christ told us to observe the passover. Easter did not come about until later (according to the article). It also states that we (Christains), on top of celebrating the wrong "holiday" don't even celebrate it on the right day. It stated that Christ was crucified on a Wednesday and arose on a Saturday. And lastly, it stated that Sunday (the day) came about from sun worshippers.
I personally do not observe easter as a day of observance. But i do not see those who observe it as being wrong for doing so. If someone observes a day to the Lord with a clear conscience then it is good if others are convicted not to observe a day then their faith should not be questioned because of it.

Romans 14
6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.



You can probably see why I am looking for a little guidance.
Seek guidance from God. Seek fellowship from us.

All Praise The Ancient Of Days
 
Member
:shade: Hi, Dave and welcome to the forum! I am also new here, butthis is a wonderful site and I am sure we will be like a big and united family!
Enjoy your time!


Christina
 
Member
Dave said:
Hello all! This is my first post here and I feel I am at the beginning of life-long journey. First of all, I was raised in a southern baptist environment, but I have never really thought the aspect of different demoninations was appropriate. I mean there is only one true God, so there is only one truth - why are we so divided in our beliefs? Different interpretations?
Yeah, different interpretations are the issue, for the most part. Also, it seems that the division of the church through the establishment of institutional denominations is a big factor. (Hebrews 10:25, sound familiar?)

I should stop here and mention that it is not my intention to say what's right or wrong or who is or is not correct. I am only looking for answers for myself and from that standpoint alone, I may question (not put into question) other beliefs or ask questions about areas I don't understand.
Cool, you're a smart person.


How do I know what is the correct interpretation or what has the most accurate translation of God's word?
You could compare different translations (www.bible.gospelcom.net is very helpful) and look for common ground. Also, the Strong's Concordance is a very helpful tool. You can find it at most bookstores for about $20. It gives the Hebrew and Greek meanings for words found in the bible and has a nice index to help with locating particular references.

For example, I am most curious about revelations as I think we are fast approaching the end of times and was just reading earlier today about it through prophecy (Daniel, John, and Revelation being referenced in the article). The article mentions that Rome (Roman Empire and Roman Church) are probably the beast referred to in scripture based off of history and events. It also ties the number 666 to the Rome and several people in it's past. It goes on to talk about things that make sense to me and seem to fit with what I have always "felt" was true. Maybe my interpretation is at fault.
Got a link to the article?

Well, you should also look to the rest of the NT for information on the Parousia (Greek word which means second coming or return). Almost every book in the New Testament makes reference to the time of the end, especially among Christ's prophecies (such as the Olivet discourse, Matthew 24..."Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?").

There are pretty much three different, general end times beliefs in the Christian community.

1. Futurism, most commonly associated with dispensationalism, states that Christ has yet to return. I gather that you are already somewhat familiar with this view. It was highly popularized by the Scofield study bible in the 1800's, but there have been those that held to a futuristic view of eschatology (the study of the end times) since the second century.

There are many places you can go for information on futurism, particularly right here, at this forum.

2. Historicism holds (I may not be totally accurate here) that the scriptures are being fulfilled throughout all time periods, or that the scriptures are general prophecies that have application to all generations. This was the view of many Reformers, who saw the beast as the papacy (they do have a striking resemblance, btw).

I googled it and came up with some links, if you wish to study it further (it would be wise to, even if you disagree).
http://www.historicism.net/
http://www.historicist.com/
http://www.as.ua.edu/ant/Faculty/murphy/histor.htm

3. Preterism is the belief that all biblical prophecy is fulfilled, particularly the prophecies of the end times which were fulfilled with the destruction of Jerusalem. This is the view I've come to hold (though I used to be a futurist). It also has origins in the late first century and second century (after the destruction of Jerusalem; St. Athanasius, for instance).

More of an introductory study on preterism than a definitive argument for it, this is a very thought provoking site:
http://www.eschatology101.com/
common conceptions:
http://planetpreterist.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=5
The Parousia, by J.S. Russell (no relation to the founder of the mormon church), is probably the most definitive argument for preterism. It's a very simple and straightforward read, though I haven’t finished it yet. It was written near the end of the 1800's:
http://www.preteristarchive.com/Books/russell.html

As I've said before and will say again, nothing stimulates study and growth like intellectual conflict with those who don't agree with you.

So... if I told you I wanted to hear or read God's word in it's purest form, what would your answer be? We can I go to find my answers when I don't really feel like I know where to start? The Bible is the obvious choice (and maybe the only option for me), but I have always been concerned with the accuracy of translations.
The only Bible translations I can think of that I don't particularly like are The Message and the NIV. They seem to be more paraphrases than real translations. That's just my opinion. Don't get too caught up in study guides and overly complicated theology, just read the word and see what it says. The Old Testament is very helpful in interpreting the NT. Also, keep in mind the authors original intent. We're basically reading other people's mail, so, even though all scripture is written for us, it's not all necessarily written to us.

Don't worry too much about translations. Comaring differences between them helps a lot, also the Strong's Concordance is great.

Oh, and before I close out my first post, I also read an article concerning Easter and how it should not really be a Christain holiday as Christ told us to observe the passover. Easter did not come about until later (according to the article). It also states that we (Christains), on top of celebrating the wrong "holiday" don't even celebrate it on the right day. It stated that Christ was crucified on a Wednesday and arose on a Saturday. And lastly, it stated that Sunday (the day) came about from sun worshippers.
Some days are holy to some people, others to other people. I don't really hold that any day (including Easter and Christmas) is any more important than any other, though it's nice to have a holiday where one can have a day off school or work and get together with some friends and family to discuss the Word. In fact, I find it somewhat humorous that the "great" pagan gods have been reduced to silly chocolate treats.

In study, I find it very interesting to look for the origins of 'Christian' practices, but don't take just one articles opinion on it. Check some reputable historical sources, too. Does he give a bibliography for the information he presents?

I hope this helps.

God bless,
Bill

edit: Oh yeah, there's one more thing: TIME. Don't be in too much of a hurry to get everything right. Enjoy studying the Bible and debating with other Christians and changing yourself and others to further conform to the scriptures.
Don't stress, enjoy it and have fun with it! Take yourself lightly, man.
 
Last edited:
Member
Everyone - thanks so much for taking the time to reply!! You given me much to think about and some very good information and references.

I am going to print this thread out so I can spend some time going through all of it.

Thanks again!!!

I'll be back with more questions I am sure.

Dave
 
Member
No problemo, Dave. I'm glad to hear that you're doing some honest study. Such a thing can be rare indeed, no matter what particular doctrines are held.

Take care,
Bill
 

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