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Bible Study


darwinfish

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[7]

When I came to think about it, I wasn’t really sure that I had read through the entire Bible to begin with. So, I started in Genesis and attempted to read the entire Bible from front to back. I picked up a commentary to make sure I knew what the Scripture I was reading was supposed to be saying. I was using a NIV, but even with that, it’s not exactly easy reading.

 

I was pretty sure in my Christian schooling I had gone through the whole New Testament. But, as for the Old Testament, they really only talked about the famous stories and moved on. In my reading, a few things started popping out to me as a little odd. First off, I had never heard anything about the Nephilim. If you don’t know, the Nephilim, are mentioned in Genesis. According to the story, the Nephilim or “sons of God” had sex with the women and caused the giants and evil creatures to be born. Somehow, I had missed this in my schooling. Granted, I heard about David and Goliath. But, that’s really the only story about a giant I’d ever heard of.

 

I also tried to figure out how I would have understood the Bible If I was born in the time that it was being written. I knew that the first five books of the Bible were called the Torah, and were supposed to have been written by Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation. So, somewhere in the Torah, I kind of expected a bit of explanation about the war in Heaven, the fallen angels, and the plan of redemption, something similar to what you’re given in Sunday school.

 

The way it’s explained in Sunday school is that Satan was the leader of a rebel movement in Heaven, him and a third of the angels tried to take over. God kicked them out and then started on the project of making man. So, then, Satan screws that up by convincing Eve to eat from the forbidden fruit. To fix everything, God now has to send His son to repair the broken state of man and God. I know it might seem a little comical to think that I kept waiting for this to be explained in the Old Testament, but I really was thinking there had to be something like that in the Torah. Keep in mind, the Torah, is pretty much the basis for the whole Bible. But, the thing is, I never found anything that resembled the story I was given week after week in Sunday school. It actually just seemed like a collection of myths.

 

The hardest part to get through in the Torah was Exodus and Leviticus. The majority of those books are taken up with the Jewish laws. Some seemed mundane, and some were a little confusing. And, then there were a few, which I didn’t feel too comfortable with. Women were definitely treated as property. Slavery wasn’t just tolerated, but sort of commanded. I didn’t focus too much on them because we all live in the New Testament now and none of that stuff really matters anyway, right?

 

After the Torah, I read through the Judges, then the Kings, and finished the Old Testament with the Prophets, which are highly repetitive, if you aren’t too familiar. By the time I got through the Old Testament, I really didn’t see any of the stuff I was told about in church. I know that if I had never heard of these books and read this, I would have never figured out man’s fall, eternal hell, and then God’s plan of salvation. But, this was the Holy Scriptures for thousands of years. So, how did the people that lived in Old Testament times understand any of it?

 

It isn’t until the New Testament that you really hear anything about Hell and salvation and repenting of your sins. I couldn’t understand why God wouldn’t have told anyone in the Old Testament. But, at least the New Testament felt more like what I had learned in church. The only thing that kind of caught my eye was the parts of the NIV that would say, “This section cannot be found in the earliest manuscripts” And, the stuff that followed that was some pretty important stuff. It was Jesus talking to the disciples and telling Peter he’s in charge and has the “keys to the kingdom of Heaven”.

 

I tried to read the Book of Revelation but that was far too confusing for me. Since then I’ve gone through a better commentary on the book, and I think I understand the imagery a little better, but it still is one of the most confusing books of the Bible.

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