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Correctly Cutting the Word of the Truth

“All scripture is inspired by God and is beneficial for teaching for exposure, for correction, for discipline, and righteousness that the man [or woman] of God may be equipped, fitted out for every good act.”

(2 Timothy 3:16-17)

Fact-Based or Just Interesting Reading?

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Are the Scriptures merely interesting reading, but not real, much less applicable or instructive today? Did the authors record history or write mythology?

A friend once asked how we could know whether the Scriptures were true, since we were not present when the events happened. I asked if he had witnessed the Battle of Gettysburg firsthand. He admitted that he hadn’t, but he accepted the well-known historical account and the physical evidence that was found at the site. “The same is true of the Scriptures,” I offered. “They form a massive history book.”

The Scriptures are the product of 40 authors (shepherds, farmers, tax-collectors, tent-makers, physicians, fishermen, priests, slaves, and kings) who were divinely inspired to write over a period of perhaps 3,500 years. Their accounts agree with, and support one another, even though their writings were separated by hundreds of years. Not only have artifacts been found and continue to be discovered, but many prophecies contained in the Scriptures actually happened exactly as they were written.

first temple weight and two shekel piece

Finding the right Bible …

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We must have the most reliable, accurate versions of the Scriptures to investigate the Father’s inspired word and apply it properly. There are dozens of versions of the Bible in the English language alone. The challenge is to find the “right” Bible – the best possible “God detector.”

In the early twentieth century, A.E. Knoch developed a method of “concordant” translation. A. E. Knoch found the nearest modern equivalents for every Greek or Hebrew word in the ancient manuscripts, and used them consistently throughout the translating process. His method minimized philosophical, religious, or doctrinal bias, since it required consistency and faithfulness to the Greek or Hebrew texts themselves. Therefore, the two Bibles I’ve used for most of the quotations are the Concordant Literal New Testament and the Concordant Version of the Old Testament.

I don’t come trained in theology instead when I started studing the Scriptures in earnest, I simply used a version of the Scriptures as translated from their original languages.

I can read Greek words at a certain level, but Hebrew is a mystery, so I use the most accurate translations I can find and look up words I want to know more about in lexicons to discover the correct meaning. The understanding that results from the effort reveals such clarity and even simplicity that the God I never knew growing up has become as dear and sweet as the kindest dad or the most gentle granddad.

“Endeavor to present yourself to God qualified, an unashamed worker,
correctly cutting the word of truth.”

(2 Timothy 2:15)

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I’ve often wondered why the Bible exists today in so many different versions. When I began to study the Scriptures in earnest, in 1972, glaring differences appeared between Bible versions. These differences often lead to conflicting meanings and therefore, completely different understandings. Watch the video for examples of how the different location of a comma or missing words can lead to confusion, as in Luke 23:43, Romans 7:24, 1 Timothy 6:11 and Matthew 5:3.

I encourage you to study the Scriptures and not simply accept all versions of the “Bible” as if they were the same. The texts we have just examined in the video are typical of more than two dozen English Bibles. You can easily see how important it is to have accurate translations of the Scriptures! God is not hidden behind His inspired word; He reveals Himself in it and sometimes, a comma can make all the difference!

Related Light Up the Scriptures Resources