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New Member
Without anybody's commentary, testimony or list of sources they should not consult, is there any obvious message which you believe an intelligent, literate person would conclude that the Bible teaches if they read it from cover to cover?

Would it make a difference if they (a) read the sixty-six-book Protestant Bible (using the Tanakh as the Old Testament) or if they (b) read the seventy-three-book Catholic Bible (using the Septuagint as the Old Testament)?

What would your impression be of someone who had read the whole thing and thought there was no over-arching message to it?
 
Loyal Member
Illiteracy. That's a widespread problem, with way to many high school graduates incapable of reading and comprehending a local newspaper article. I am back to letting job applicants take the application home to let someone fill it out for them. I don't have time to define then explain terms over and over. I teach adult Sunday School. I've learned not to call on new attendees to read aloud from the Bible or any other resource. They embarrass themselves. Few can pronounce most of the words even in plain English texts, and fewer have any idea what a passage is about until explained. When I do the reading aloud there are always too many looks of confusion until I put those words in simplest terms. Parents. Middle aged couples. Progress is so slow, it taking months to get through the gospel of John, for instance. But, when they get the message, they keep that.

It isn't a major problem of the Word being hidden from sinners. As a Gideon I heard many testimonies, and read many written in the Bibles we placed, of lost people who could read and comprehend being born again alone in their motel room. The only class God hid the truth from was the Jews who did not accept the good news of Jesus.
 
Loyal Member
Without anybody's commentary, testimony or list of sources they should not consult, is there any obvious message which you believe an intelligent, literate person would conclude that the Bible teaches if they read it from cover to cover?

Would it make a difference if they (a) read the sixty-six-book Protestant Bible (using the Tanakh as the Old Testament) or if they (b) read the seventy-three-book Catholic Bible (using the Septuagint as the Old Testament)?
I would strongly advise using the King James Version relying on the Lord Jesus Christ for wisdom in understanding His words as I believe the KJV is keeping the actual message and the truths in His words as found at this link below.

Bible Gateway King James Version

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

Matthew 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. 26 Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

What would your impression be of someone who had read the whole thing and thought there was no over-arching message to it?
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

God made a promise that those who seek, shall find. If one looks for reasons not to believe in the Bible, they will look for excuses not to believe. If they look for answers as well as for the truth in the Bible, they will find it & Him.

Those not looking when they read the Bible, can very well wind up not finding anything relevant when reading the Bible, because they were not looking for it nor Him.

If a seeker is really set on finding the truth about God, they can pray to God saying, please reveal Yourself to me in the reading of Your words.

God will keep His promise; and so if a reader finds no over arching message to the Bible, he wasn't really looking for that message.

James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
 
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Loyal Member
Now why am I not remotely surprised that the first response to my question does not answer it in any shape or form whatsoever?
I attempted to reply to your third question first.

As for the first, if the reader is literate there should be expectation of that reader to recognize thousands of messages, though not necessarily agree or disagree with any. For instance, a literate scientist might well comprehend an obvious message in scriptures, but judges its veracity according to science facts as he understands those. The evolutionist might read with laughter over the claims of Genesis 1.

Question two is a matter of finding information in the Catholic Bible omitted in the Protestant. Some of that can be compared to what's written in the latter, the outcome of that exercise giving rise to the reasons for not including certain books. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas contains claims of miracles by the boy Jesus, adopted in the Quran later. None were written of in the Protestant Bible until adulthood in John 2. That sort of thing raises more questions than helping build faith.
 
Loyal Member
Now why am I not remotely surprised that the first response to my question does not answer it in any shape or form whatsoever?
I believe he did.

I am shocked that anyone who read it cover to cover can make this statement ''there was no over-arching message to it?''

The whole bible points to Jesus. Mankind's Savior. Mankind's only Savior. The message is, 'we are all en-route to death because of our sin. Only Jesus can save us from death'. That is not an over-arching message?

Genesis to Malachi = God choosing a bloodline for Jesus. Protecting them. Giving them His law.
Matthew - John = Teachings of Jesus and the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
Acts - Jude = Teachings of chosen men on how to live by faith in Jesus.

Eph 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
 
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Staff member
Without anybody's commentary, testimony or list of sources they should not consult, is there any obvious message which you believe an intelligent, literate person would conclude that the Bible teaches if they read it from cover to cover?

Would it make a difference if they (a) read the sixty-six-book Protestant Bible (using the Tanakh as the Old Testament) or if they (b) read the seventy-three-book Catholic Bible (using the Septuagint as the Old Testament)?

What would your impression be of someone who had read the whole thing and thought there was no over-arching message to it?
First welcome to Talk Jesus David Young!
Interesting first question :smile:

A lot of how it's answered would depend on the individual and even quite possibly the state of mind, or even the profession they happen to be involved in!

If they were into the cinema as a profession they'd probably want to see if they could make it into a movie!!!
Into boat building they very well might attempt to recreate the Noah's Ark.
Mathematician and they'd want to see if the numbers add up!
Science and they'd focus on that area, politician, farmer, rancher, gardener, theologian and on and on it goes......

It's the person who feels lost or disconnected who would truly be the one to find the message that is there to be found!

Reason and Purpose.

With the Love of Christ Jesus David. Be Welcomed to Talk Jesus!!
Nick
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New Member
I am only interested in the posts that are relevant to the question I started the thread with.

Tell me, what am I obviously supposed to see between Genesis and Malachi, before I look at any part of the New Testament?
 
Loyal Member
Tell me, what am I obviously supposed to see between Genesis and Malachi, before I look at any part of the New Testament?
The bible is not alive to you. You must be reading it like a story book. You are not actually searching for anything.

For me the OT speaks to God making His law's crystal clear to mankind. What pleases and displeases Him is known by all.

Since I am in a love relationship with God, I take every word in the OT to heart. I try and grasp His reasoning for every single law. It all reveals more detail on who He is. Like a map pointing us to Him / His heart. The whole bible can be used for this.

You ask for a / the over arching message. It is the secret to eternal salvation verse a much deserved eternal damnation. It is a book that reveals the nature of God almighty to a mere human.
 
New Member
In reply to post 15, apart from Sheol, which seems to mean no more than the grave, I do not see eternal damnation in the Tanakh, but it could possibly be suggested in the Septuagint, although that would be stretching meanings a bit.
 
Loyal Member
In reply to post 15, apart from Sheol, which seems to mean no more than the grave, I do not see eternal damnation in the Tanakh, but it could possibly be suggested in the Septuagint, although that would be stretching meanings a bit.
If you look at scripture like Isaiah 66:24 You can take one of two views. 1. The grave / death is literal death / annihilation or 2. eternal separation with 'death' being metaphorical.

Either are valid as there is no redemption plan for those in sheol / the grave / hell.

Isaiah 66:24 And they shall go out and look on the dead bodies of the men who have rebelled against me. For their worm shall not die, their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.

But if you look at Dan 12:2 and draw a 'fuller' picture of a combination of all OT scripture. It points toward eternal suffering. The fuller picture would encompass a better understanding of God and the concept of free will. Or, we could just read the NT.

Dan 12:2 And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
 
Loyal Member
As one rabbi observed, reading the Tanakh without Jesus-tinted glasses is worth trying.
Not sure how you can do that. The Jews were chosen...why?

What are your thoughts on Isaiah 9:6? Do you agree that Jews are expecting a Messiah?

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

I am also wondering to myself. What would change? How would reading the OT without thinking of Jesus change anything? Can you give me an example? I have always read the OT (outside of why the Jews were chosen) without thoughts of Jesus.
 
New Member
There was, in the later writings of the Tanakh, the expectation of a world to come. As for a messiah, not from what I can see.

As for eternal punishment, it looks as if you are using the proof-text approach of using minor excerpts devoid of their original context, as well as changing the meaning of words which mean one thing into words which Christians would prefer them to be.

Now of course if I use the kind of midrash which the gospel writers use to claim that Jesus fulfils 'prophecy', I can do the same thing with quite a lot of people to say that they are the second-coming of Jesus. I can, in fact, apply the same commentary to myself and find I fulfil requirements in at least five ways. That does not, however, mean that I am him.
 
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