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New Testament Nonsense

When I read my Bible it just does not make any sense. I only read the New Testament because the OT is way too confusing. I know I need to continue reading but it is very discouraging and I'm on sure if I can keep it up. Please help!

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 ---kelli on 6/25/09
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Donna, I agree with you again. God needs nothing from us. The Solitariness of God is demonstrated in that God during the a past eternity, was self-contained, self-sufficient, self-satified, in need of nothing. And really, if He had needed a Universe, angels to sing, or humans to love Him, they also would have been called into existence from all eternity. The creation of them when He did, added nothing to God essentially. He changes not, therefore His essential glory can be neither increased nor diminished. God is no gainer even of our worship. He was in no need of that external glory of His grace which arises from His children. For He is glorius enough in Himself without that. He demands our obedience, but is not in need of it.
---MarkV. on 7/15/09

Steveng --
God NEEDS nothing from us,
( Yes,He DESIRES our love.)

I was responding to Frances' comment that:

>>>Jesus is not some desperate egoist looking for people (anyone will do) who will just believe in him so that they can get a free ride to Heaven<<<<
---Donna66 on 7/14/09

Steveng, if you are talking of what God wants for us, that is a different matter. But God does not need us. He made us for his pleasure not for doing anything - Jesus did all the work to be done. Defeated Satan.
---frances008 on 7/14/09

*The Bible is the simplest book ever written

While the gospel message is rather simple and can be understand by the common people, there have been huge volumes of books written on the various subjects found in the Bible.

Try explaining from the Bible the various concepts of the triune nature of God (Christ), predestination, salvation by grace alone, the function of the law, or anything that involves the end times (there is nothing simple about the book of Revelation).

2 Pet. 3:16 As also in all his (Paul) epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
---Lee1538 on 7/14/09

Donna66: "{Frances008 -- God needs nothing from us..."

On the contrary, he wants our love.
---Steveng on 7/13/09

We need to read and understand both the Old and New Testament. The Bible is the simplest book every written. All we have to do is do what it says. Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, and be Baptized and our sins will be forgiven. But we must also remain faithful until death.
---Jonathan on 7/13/09

Frances - everything in TULIP, is based upon Scripture alone and reflects views held by other church fathers, esp. Augustine.

The problem arises when we stand in judgment of God using our own concept of what is fair or unfair, ignoring that fact God is sovereign.

Ro 8:29-30 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Eph 1:11 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,
---Lee1538 on 7/13/09

Thanks Lee, but I think TULIP is not correct. I believe the saved people are God's people in the sense that they do not go along with the wicked Satanic agenda of this life, but are usually the victims of it. Now it could be that Jesus, wanting to save as many as possible, plans to allow many to suffer as a way of getting to Heaven without faith. I don't believe people are born totally depraved, although I have no problem believing that a percentage are born that way, and they are described as evildoers, wicked, unjust, unrighteous, goats, swines, dogs, vipers, etc. I believe some people are righteous by nature, but do fall for sin at times.
---frances008 on 7/13/09

Lee, the reason I don't accept TULIP, is that it is blatantly unfair, when those gifted with the free faith gift get to be rewarded again in Heaven and those not given the gift get punished for not getting the gift. No. God is not like that. He leaves us to choose our own destination by the way we behave. We show what kind of tree we are by the kind of fruit we have. Love is a fulfilment of the Law. Those who love will find the Light (which John describes Jesus as). This is not New Age. The wicked are punished. Not universal salvation, not salvation for a denomination(s) religion(s) or faith(s) but because of what you do.
---frances008 on 7/13/09

Frances008 -- God needs nothing from us...yet He gave us the best He had to give, His Son Jesus to suffer the penalty for our sins. It was an act of love, even for those (as you mention) who reject Him and forego Heaven.

His gift makes no sense unless we are AWARE of and REPENT of our sins.

However, strict obediance to the law
doesn't necessarily win Heaven. Jesus said to the pharisees (Mat 23:28) Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

Mat 7:3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

We are not answerable to other men, but to God who is the only truly righteous judge.
---Donna66 on 7/13/09

Jesus is not some desperate egoist looking for people (anyone will do) who will just believe in him so that they can get a free ride to Heaven. There were some who wanted to follow him, who, when they heard the conditions of discipleship, turned their back on Jesus because they were not prepared to pay the price which is to give up your former life and the sins of it, and to repent, pick up your cross and follow Jesus. In one case money was the reason, in another case he had dead relatives to bury, in another case he had just married, and another had just bought a cow.
---frances008 on 7/12/09

Frances -*Jesus died so that the sins of those who are being perfected, who were chosen before they were born, whose names are in the Book of Life, could go to eternal life with Jesus, without having to pay for their sins.

True, I have no problem with your position.

Those that are being perfected, i.e. being transformed into the image of God's son, are the elect of God.

In my denomination we believe in what is known as TULIP.

---Lee1538 on 7/12/09

Frances - It is YOU who said, and I quote, "Jesus teaches salvation by work throughout his whole ministry." Yet I believe I have made my point that I was NOT saved just because of good works. Jesus did NOT teach salvation by works. I am not arguing whether works are a part of the total salvation picture, but just that ONLY WORKS does not give us salvation. So those who say that Jesus teaches salvation by works are wrong or I could have been saved by works alone.
---Gary on 7/12/09

I've known many atheists and agnostics with good hearts that extend themselves to the needy. They are often admired for their good works. But, as you NOW know, you could never do enough to earn Heaven. You were saved ONLY because Jesus took mercy upon you and shed His blood to pay for your sins..

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Now that you are saved, the rules haven't changed. Only your motives have changed and you now know more about what pleases God. It is His Glory that you desire rather than your own. Just as your good works did not win heaven for you, so they shall not secure it.
---Donna66 on 7/12/09

Lee, Jesus died so that the sins of those who are being perfected, who were chosen before they were born, whose names are in the Book of Life, could go to eternal life with Jesus, without having to pay for their sins. Who those people are is something we may never know if we end up going to Hell. They are those who serve God and not Satan. Who are for the truth and freedom, and human dignity and human rights. That salvation is the theme of the Old and New Testament. People have become hardened and now no longer know right from wrong in most cases. Their consciences are seared.
---frances008 on 7/12/09

When Jesus died, he purchased for us freedom from sin. We received white wedding garments as it were. How evil to go rolling in the mud in those new wedding garments. Do you think it is a small thing to God, who gave His Only Son so that you could be clean? And now suddenly it is a 'work' to not sin. Sinning is evil, and not sinning is what we are supposed to do, plus we are supposed to do good works. If you are unfruitful, if you still sin daily and without a conscience, you are definitely not yet saved. You kid yourself.
---frances008 on 7/12/09

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Since Gary believes he is saved already, by faith, then I guess he won't need to read the Bible, have any relationship with God, abide in Christ, display the fruits of the Holy Spirit. .. ... live a good life. He will be able to say anything to anybody, make accusations against the people who really are saved, and it won't affect his salvation, no, because he is saved by FAITH (not by Jesus).
---frances008 on 7/12/09

kelli, have you not taken a foreign language course in school? In fact, the KJV of the bible (having the thee's, thou's, and ye's) are more accurate in meaning than today's English. If you can learn the few simple rules of old English, you may understand the bible more clearly.

Besides, how can the OT and the NT be any different? They were written/translated at the same time.

But, of course, there is even a more simpler way - ask the Holy Spirit for understanding and listen to his whisper.
---Steveng on 7/10/09

Frances you wrote 'Jesus teaches salvation by work throughout his whole ministry.'

Surely Gary showed the fault of your reasoning as he was into good works, more than many Christians, but He was not saved. If you are correct how come he wasn't saved?

Unless I have misunderstood you you are now saying good works come after salvation by faith in the finished work of Jesus upon the cross? This is what Scripture traches, what most of us here believe. We are saved via the cross but show this by our good works which He has appointed for us to do. However Jesus never said we are saved by these works.
---Warwick on 7/10/09

A question to those who believe salvation comes by works. I was an atheist for well over twenty years during which time I was always helping the poor, attending the sick, feeding the poor, etc. Many people told me it was hard for them to believe I was an atheist because I did what Christians are supposed to do. But I was an atheist. I did good works but hadn't accepted Jesus. If one can be saved by works, then I could be saved without accepting Jesus into my life. Is that what you believe?
---Gary on 7/9/09

Gary, you can't come unless you are drawn. You fit the description of Heb 8:10, Jer 31:33. Your spirit did not deny that which was placed.
Works do not save without works does not either.
---Trav on 7/10/09

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A question to those who believe salvation comes by works. I was an atheist for well over twenty years during which time I was always helping the poor, attending the sick, feeding the poor, etc. Many people told me it was hard for them to believe I was an atheist because I did what Christians are supposed to do. But I was an atheist. I did good works but hadn't accepted Jesus. If one can be saved by works, then I could be saved without accepting Jesus into my life. Is that what you believe?
---Gary on 7/9/09

frances008 - You are very good at judging and condemning others. In fact, you seem to excel in those areas.

I believe that Jesus taught to love one another. Your posts just don't seem to show any love for others at all, unless, of course, they agree with you.

May I suggest, with love, that you pray before blogging? It might help tone down your condemnation of others.

I also would like to tell you, in the spirit of love, that you are wrong. Salvation is by grace through faith. PLEASE pray for the truth before it is too late. We do love you, and we do want you to be saved.
---Gary on 7/9/09

It's a shame so many misunderstand what the Bible is telling us. Jesus did NOT teach salvation by works. We must take the Bible as a whole. If we accept the Bible as the Word of God, then the Bible cannot contradict itself. When Jesus taught no one yet had the Spirit. Once a person is TRULY saved, and has God's Spirit within himself, his nature truly changes to where he will naturally help the poor, feed the hungry, etc. Salvation comes by grace through faith. PERIOD. Faith without works is dead means that if you really are saved and have faith, you will do the right thing. No one is saved by works alone.
---Gary on 7/9/09

MarkV, you too would do well to get out of the cult you are in and to read what Jesus himself, the Judge of the world has to say. Instead you listen to cult leaders who elevate Paul over Jesus and who push the gospel into the background. As for the Old Testament, I don't know why you even have a Bible, you just need a copy of Paul's letters - you have no use for the whole revelation of the Bible - and you think you will be saved.
---frances008 on 7/9/09

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Jesus died to free us from sin. Not to free us to sin. He freed us from the devil so we could do the good works in obedience instead of the rebelling that up until then the people of Israel had been doing. Jesus came not for the righteous (they already are on God's side) but for sinners, to bring them to repentance so that by believing in Jesus we would understand that Heaven and Hell are real and we must bear fruit in keeping with repentance.
---frances008 on 7/8/09

frances - *Jesus teaches salvation by work throughout his whole ministry.

Correct,but his ministry continued beyond the resurrection.

We read later penned from the Spirit of Christ -

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. Gal. 4:4-5
---Lee1538 on 7/7/09

So Frances you are saying Jesus did not need to die and rise again for our salvation?

Then why did He put Himself through such shame and excruciating agony?
---Warwick on 7/7/09

Throughout the OT salvation was based on works...the keeping of the law. However, faith counted for a lot as well. Abraham, though far from perfect, had FAITH and it was accounted unto him as RIGHTOUSNESS.

While Jesus was teaching, the same principles applied for, until His Sacrifice on the cross, there was no way for HIS righteousness to be imputed to sinful mankind.

If you stop with a study of the Gospels you miss the biggest change in history.
Gal 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
---Donna66 on 7/7/09

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Frances, you do so well when you avoid saying things like, "Do you ever read the Bible?" I am very sure that Warwick reads the Bible very much, and maybe his interpretation is different then yours. I am sorry I also think you are wrong in your interpretation of what Jesus taught. You see, Jesus never taught salvation by works, and neither did the Old Testament prophets. There is no salvation by works Frances so it was never taught. The Old Covenant was a Covenant of works, but no one could be save by works of the Law.
People in the Old Testament were saved by Grace through faith, just as in the New Covenant. I am sorry to disagree with you, peace
---MarkV. on 7/7/09

Jesus teaches salvation by work throughout his whole ministry. During his ministry he constantly quoted the Old Testament prophets who also taught salvation by works. Try reading Matthew 25 verses 31 to the end. This is about Judgement Day. Warwick, do you ever read the Bible???
---frances008 on 7/7/09

Thanks Warwick, Leon, it is your turn to say, like he said, you said, I said,_____, right you are that it is your turn. Thanks for conceding the turn but I do not accept it, so go ahead and answer.
---Nana on 7/4/09

Thanks Nana however I am more interested in Eric explaining what he sees as contradiction between the gospel as explained by Jesus and that explained by Paul.

However it seems he does not wish to explain, satisfying himself with generalisms. We can never assume that people mean what they appear to be saying.
---Warwick on 7/4/09

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If you are reading it as a book, you're likely gonna have problems. Try this... open the book, at random, and read a chapter. Close the book and then go about your life. Do this daily and do not worry about what it means. Eventually, you'll get quite a bit of it read.

Remember this:

Mt 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

You will never understand the Word of God through the power of your own mind. Let the Holy Spirit teach you all things. Eat the bread of life, pray, and don't quit: you will come to know what God intends for you to know. Believe it.

Oh, and disregard these vain arguments.
---BruceB on 7/4/09

Alan: I've also heard it put this way:

"Good works won't get you into heaven, but bad works will keep you out!"
---jerry6593 on 7/4/09

Jesus had a great sense of humor, saying your righteousness had to exceed that of the Pharisees'. Jesus didn't see them as very righteous so there wasn't much righteousness to exceed!
---eric1968 on 7/3/09

"Leon, just a hunch."

Eric: A hunch is an unverified supposition -- a guess. A hunch is intuition -- a feeling or idea. You don't have to guess. :) You can know the truth of God if you'll turn to, seek & invite him into your life. Then you can be instructed in Bible truths, by leading of God the Holy Spirit, and it will suddenly make sense to you.

Nana: In your own words would you please tell us what you believe Matthew 5:20 is saying. Thanks.
---Leon on 7/4/09

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The whole Bible is about the works of the righteous and the works of the unrighteous. The righteous always go to Heaven and the unrighteous always go to Hell, and the underage are not punished. Faith is important to bring the sinner back into the sheepfold. God did not send his son to call the righteous but sinners - to repentance. If you throw out two thirds of the Bible, then yes, you would believe that faith saves you. I personally think that Jesus meant us to believe the whole Bible, the everlasting covenant he made in the beginning, and the follow up which was the New Testament fulfillment.
---frances008 on 7/3/09

Warwick and Leon,
Since Jesus and Paul 'parallels, lines up', it would not be difficult for you to reconcile Pauls teachings with Matthew 5:20: "For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." This could be a great example for eric1968.
---Nana on 7/3/09

Again I ask 'Eric where does Jesus teach salvation by works?' Chapter and verse please.

I am sure Jesus who selected and converted Paul is very pleased with His success in spreading the Good News.
---Warwick on 7/3/09

Leon, just a hunch.
---eric1968 on 7/3/09

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"...salvation in Jesus is real." Thanks MarkV. :)

Eric: There's no need for reconciliation between Jesus & Paul because Paul's teaching is in absolute agreement (parallels, lines up) with Jesus. What makes you so sure/"certain" Jesus would be appalled by Paul's teaching?
---Leon on 7/3/09

Leon, I understand what you are trying to tell me. But Jesus' and Paul's teachings cannot be reconciled without misrepresenting and doing violence to one or the other. I am certain Jesus would have been appalled by Paul's teaching.
---eric1968 on 7/2/09

Leon, thank you for your post. It was very well put. Peace brother
---MarkV. on 7/2/09

Only read by the leading of the Person of the Holy Ghost! You will get excited. And you will learn. So ask Him.
---catherine on 7/2/09

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Alan, that is very correct in your answer. There has to be some fruit. No fruit no salvation is the way Scripture tells it. Now we cannot ever be sure about anyone. For we would have to live the life of that person to know what is in his heart and we don't. We can only see with our eyes which are finite. We cannot judge anyone by looks, for they could sound very holy and be very wrong.
I believe when it is important to judge is when it concerns a Church. If someone is causing others to sin because of their conduct we should excommunicate them to save the rest from doing what they do otherwise we should not judge another brother or sister. If they are sinning we should help them not condemn them in order to bring them back on track.
---MarkV. on 7/2/09

Eric: I'm not trying to put you down, but you misunderstand Matthew 25. :) One's salvation is based on faith in Jesus Christ alone -- not works. A Christian's works are an ourpouring of obedience to the Word of God & evidence that his/her salvation is Jesus is real.

Eph. 2:8-10

God bless...
---Leon on 7/2/09

Mark et al., y'all can call me arrogant if you like for stating my views, but that's like the pot calling the kettle black! Anyway, Jesus taught salvation by works in any number of places, the most blatant being in Matthew 25, where we are judged on how we treat our fellow human beings, very basic good works.
---eric1968 on 7/1/09

Eric - please give scripture as I have not found where Jesus ever taught salvation by works. Many get confused when reading the four gospels. The New Testament begins AFTER Jesus died on the cross, NOT at Matthew 1:1. Jesus was born, lived, and died UNDER THE OLD TESTAMENT LAW. Therefore, when reading what Jesus said, you have to determine whether the message is for us (Christians) or whether it was for the Jews who were under the law. Example: Matthew 23:23 - Jesus is speaking to the law keepers about keeping the law of tithing. That applies to the Old Testament and has nothing to do with New Testament Christians. There are no contradictions in the bible. When you think there are, you are misinterpreting one or more of the scriptures.
---Gary on 7/1/09

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There's plenty in what Jesus said to show that as His followers we are expected to do "works"
Matt 25: 14-30
Matt 25: 31-46
Matt 22: 11-13
Matt 19: 16-22
Matt 18: 23-35

But as MarkV and Warwick say, that does not mean that "works" will gain our salvation.

Whatever we do is not sufficient to "earn" our salvation. But if we don't "work" our "salvation" is perhaps imagined and self-deluding.

As James said: "Faith without works is dead"
---alan8566_of_uk on 7/1/09

Warwick, you are reading bible-hating into my responses, when I have never said any such thing. There is much of value in the Bible. But it is contradictory.
---eric1968 on 6/30/09

Eric you have run into mr contridictater (legend in his own mind:)himself. He cannot tie any two parts of scripture together and jumps you. I've presented many scripture challenges and he slips out the back door with his doctrine. There are several key misinterptretations in scripture that form contradiction he clings too. Two-three witnesses confirm a thing....especially in will come with proof.
---Trav on 7/1/09

Eric, I have to disagree with you concerning Jesus teaching works for salvation and Paul teaching faith. Paul taught what Jesus taught him. He was not putting out a different gospel. I don't know where you get that from or how you mixed those passages up. Can you provide the passages so we can go over them? It would be of great help to you, me and everyone.
I believe the Bible is in question, the very source of our teachings and we should clear it up. If you don't care to do that, then its ok. No one can change your heart but the Truth.
---MarkV. on 7/1/09

Paul did not teach that faith without obedience is a way to Heaven. People stop reading after the chapter on justification by faith, but if they went on reading to the next chapter, Paul makes clear that you have to give up a life in the flesh for a life in Christ. If faith saves, then the devil would be saved because he believes (and trembles). The saving faith that brings us salvation is one in which we are sanctified by the Holy Spirit living in us.
---frances008 on 6/30/09

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Eric where does Jesus teach salvation by works?

Don't you think it just a little arrogant that you the creature come before the word of the Creator and tell Him which parts you deign to believe?
---Warwick on 6/30/09

Tommy, great answer. I should have thought of that first before I gave my advice. You are so right. You come out with the perfect advice first. I missed that. Sorry. A person needs to make sure they are in Christ to begin the journey. After all this new experience is a transformation. Striving to reach the goal set before us. Thank you brother
---MarkV. on 6/30/09

Kelli - *I only read the New Testament because the OT is way too confusing. I know I need to continue reading but it is very discouraging and I'm on sure if I can keep it up.

I was in the same situation when I first became a Christian. One remedy is to read a study Bible that has lots of footnotes & illustrations that explain many of the customs, traditions and practices found within the Old Testament.

It is a good idea to read the New Testament as much as possible since therein is revealed the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. I can think of no doctrine that is found within the OT alone.
---Lee1538 on 6/30/09

Warwick, you are reading bible-hating into my responses, when I have never said any such thing. There is much of value in the Bible. But it is contradictory. Jesus teaches salvation by works, and Paul, salvation by faith. It's either one or the other. I prefer the former. All the best!
---eric1968 on 6/30/09

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Kelli, I would suggest that you get together all of the passages that speak about the nature and attributes of God first. Read them and keep them in mind before you attempt to read the whole Bible. This way you know who God is and what He does, and what His nature is. Knowing this first will help you when you begin to read the Bible completely. His nature and Attributes never change, so when you run into a passage you have problems with, compare it with who God is, if it does conflict with who God is, you have interpreted it wrong. Scripture interpret's Scripture. Most every passage is connected to other passages that speak about the same subject. They cannot conflict with one another.
---MarkV. on 6/30/09

Kelli 2: What I have seen is that many run into passages that conflict with who God is, and they agnore them. They pretend they are not there at all. For instance when God say's He is Omniscience, that He knows all things, and a passage says, that God is testing someone, it does not mean He does not know and that is why He is testing them, it has another meaning, and you will find that meaning in the context of the message if you read at least two or three previous sentences or the next two or three sentences. God does not change so His attributes and nature always remain the same no matter how a passage might seem to speak different.
---MarkV. on 6/30/09

AlwaysOn is correct, as I see it. Our walk with God is a continuing revelation. As we prayerfully study His word, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten us, we will understand more and more. It is a process of time and committment. Nonetheless I do not think we will understand the 'whole deal', or anywhere near the whole deal, this side of heaven. I believe Isaiah 55:8,9 is a clue.
---Warwick on 6/29/09

Eric my brother, no one on any day in any way will make sense if you start your day without prayer, truly seeking what God has for you this day. Find another brother in Christ and join a small group bible study.
Your life is too important to so easily give up and wander aimlessly.

The christian journey is not made to travel alone.

I suggest you grab John Maxwell's book "Today Matters".
---larry on 6/29/09

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Kelli, I don't mean to sound judgmental, but, the first thing to understanding the Scriptures is whether or not you have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ. If not, you can read and ask questions until you are "blue in the face" and will not be able to understand what you read. If you have a relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, then refer to mima's answer in regards to James 1:5, and ask God for the wisdom you need to understand. If you don't have that realtionship with Jesus Christ, you definitely need to take care of that as soon as possible.
---tommy3007 on 6/29/09

It helps to pray before you read and to ask the Most High Father for understanding. You may also want to try reading from a more contemporary version alongside the KJV and use a concordance to cross-reference certain words and phrases. All of these are available online. Don't sweat trying to understand it all at once. Studying the Bible should be a lifelong process, therefore, try taking it in small portions and let the Spirit lead you and reveal the Truth to you from there. I hope this information helps you.
---AlwaysOn on 6/29/09

Eric you truly are a Bible hater aren't you!

You wrote 'The New Testament is self-contradictory in many areas.' Please explain the contradictions.

In a way I appreciate your open anti-Bible stance, in comparison to those who feign to love the Lord while attempting to undermine Him.
---Warwick on 6/29/09

Kelli: The Bible says that "ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable .... (2Tim 3:16)" So don't leave any out. Four principles should guide your study:

(1) Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

(2) The Bible interprets itself. Symbols are identified in scripture (e.g., woman=church, waters=people, winds=strife, etc.)

(3) Pick a subject and study every verse in the Bible relating to it before determining the meaning.

Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, and there a little:

(4) The Bible - and not ANY man's opinion - is your final authority.
---jerry6593 on 6/29/09

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"...Either you follow Jesus, or you follow Paul..."

Eric: Your logic is illogical (contradictory). The Apostle Paul was a follower of Jesus.
---Leon on 6/28/09

No surprise. The New Testament is self-contradictory in many areas. Either you follow Jesus, or you follow Paul. You can't do both.
---eric1968 on 6/27/09

Pray to God before you read the Bible. Ask Him to help you understand what you read. Ask for the Holy Spirit of God to lead you and guide you. He will help you understand perfectly.
---Betty on 6/26/09

I use to have the same problem until I began reding the words in red,and concentrated on reading them only for years
---tom2 on 6/25/09

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Kelli,Do not give up.The Gospels are truly fine gems for reading.
---earl on 6/25/09

//The solution is simple--don't read the parts that you find confusing.//

Read as little at a time as yo u need it takes time to understand and adjust your old way of thinking to accept and understand that of the Bible.

Please be patient just coming to understand the word of God your not going to understand it in a few readings it takes years.

I was in Church from the age of 5 I'm still not completely sure of every historical fact or even thoroughly studying the bible although I have nearly completely read the entire bible and read some of the books several times over

---Carla3939 on 6/25/09

I would start with one of the gospels.. usually John first..Each Gospel shows an attribute of Christ... Matthew, as King...Mark, as Servant...Luke, as Man... John, as God..
Acts tells what happens after the resurrection.
Once you are comfortable with those, read as the Spirit guides...
---MIchael on 6/25/09

The Bible speaks to people at many levels, including levels of spiritual development.

The solution is simple--don't read the parts that you find confusing.
---Cluny on 6/25/09

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Kelli, Go deeper, take one verse at a time get some study software (I use e-sword) and go verse by verse exploring all that each verse has to offer using dictionaries, commentaries and cross reference tools. When you come across a place look it up on a map, (you might need ancient maps for that) when you read about a feast research it and what it means. If you were alive at Jesus' time and read the gospels you'd be shocked by what it contained, to us in this society it's no big deal what Jesus did.

Don't just read your Bible, understand it, and when you get into the Old Testament it won't be so tricky because you've already explored a snapshot in that time's history in the gospels.
---Pharisee on 6/25/09

To help you understand the Bible, first look at it through Hebrew eyes, NOT Greek. Even in the N.T. Jesus, and all the early church followers were Jews - therefore, it becomes clear when we look at it through Hebrew eyes. Second, let the Holy Spirit open up the scriptures to you and teach you - without Holy Spirit you will NEVER fully understand or have TRUE wisdom (Luke 24:32, 1 Corinthians 2:6-16, 1 John 2:27).
---Leslie on 6/25/09

Perhaps it would be good to look at this scripture. 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."
---mima on 6/25/09

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