Category Archives: Bible

Bible – impact of reading

Sometimes, and more often than not, when I finish reading the Bible, I want to:  find Everest and scale it without ropes, pitons and oxygen tanks; find Patton’s entire Third Army and WHIP it; ride a bicycle from San Diego to Boston in 24 hours and immediately run the marathon in 59 minutes; stand at the foot of the rebuilt Twin Towers and leap them in a single bound!

That’s often the result of reading God’s word, including today, including this morning.  That sensation increases the more I read God’s word, the more I write God’s word, the more I preach God’s word.

BibleI wish that spiritual energy in daily tasks for every believer who reads the Bible.  And that blasting truth demolishing every Satanic lie in which every unbeliever takes refuge from God.  Amen.

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com           

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.) 

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley)

New books:

      The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

     Gift of the GIVER:Gifts for the GIVER, Vol. 2 at www.createspace.com/7551153

     Their Own Best Defense, Vol. 2, Part 2 at www.createspace.com/7446349

Bible – no contradictions in, Part II

Part I suggested that letting scripture interpret scripture eliminates many apparent contradictions.  It also suggested that studying the contexts of the passage eliminates even more.

Contradictions in the Bible will be eliminated if we understand that all the writers agree in essence and differ only in details. This is especially important in studying the Gospels. Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 both record Christ’s healing of the centurion’s servant. A contradiction is removed if we understand that the centurion may well have rushed to Jesus once he saw him arrive outside his house. Luke records that arrival.

An important point here: if the Gospel accounts agreed in every detail, collusion would be rightly charged. However, critics are so anxious to convict the Bible of fraud that they consider as proof of inconsistency personal details that serve the writer’s purpose. Critics fault the Gospels when they agree in essence and when they disagree in detail. God will reveal any fact needed to prove the validity of his word, but nothing to satisfy our curiosity or remove our objections. The Bible assumes God’s existence, but God won’t tolerate critics assuming the Bible’s guilt until it proves its innocence. No less a scholar than Will Durant, himself a skeptic, admitted that if the tests applied to New Testament books were applied to ancient writings, none of them would be considered true.

Contradictions in the Bible are eliminated if we understand that, where the Bible states a truth without explanation, we must believe it without understanding. This is a scientifically demonstrable principle, without which research wouldn’t be possible. Consider Christ’s statement that the loaf was his body and the cup his blood Matthew 26:26-28. Apart from the fact that they couldn’t literally be or become his body and blood, he said what he meant and meant what he said—without explanation. We may say the loaf and cup represent his body and blood, or are symbolic of his body and blood, but Jesus didn’t say that. In addition, believing that he meant what he said has never divided God’s people; trying to explain what he meant has. Therefore, what Jesus stated without explanation, we must accept without understanding or explanation.      – Fini –

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley) 

New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bible – no contradictions exist in the Bible, Part I

Consult Norman Geisler’s book Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, pages 74-80, for further details. 

Contradictions in the Bible will vanish as we continue to study it. Since scripture brilliantly interprets scripture, consulting all the texts on any disputed subject will clarify one’s questions. We must not stop believing all the Bible just because something particular in it puzzles us. Scientists would never continue studying if questions, apparent contradictions or challenges to previously-held views put an end to their research. Indeed, they see such conundrums as logical, necessary steps to further learning. Yet, these same people often reject the Bible because something they read confuses them or contradicts their long-held opinions. 

Contradictions in the Bible will be eliminated when we carefully consider the contexts in which the apparent contradiction exists. Those contexts include New Testament versus Old Testament perspectives. The New Testament offers the full and ultimate meaning of Old Testament accounts. The classic example is the Apostle Paul’s interpretation of Moses putting on the veil after his second visit to Mount Sinai. Compare Exodus 34:29-35 with II Corinthians 3:13-18. Those contexts also include teachings of Jesus. His demand that we mentally eliminate any source of temptation from life has been incorrectly used to mean one must literally and physically sever an offending limb or eye Matthew 5:29-30. His teaching that we must not retaliate in personal relationships, Matthew 5:38-42, has been incorrectly used to oppose wars, to prevent indictment of criminals and to allow any freeloader with the gall to demand we surrender hard-earned money to him. Those contexts also include apostolic teaching. For example, in Galatians 6:2 Paul commands us to carry each other’s burdens, then in 6:5 says each person should carry his own load. No inconsistency exists if we understand that each Christian is accountable for his own life so long as he has it under control; but when sin so burdens us that we are led astray, God expects others to come alongside us and help lift the load. 

Two principles help us here. First, every text must be read in its context. For any verse, containing a single thought, can mean anything, true or false. Second, an invalid interpretation may be made of scripture, but that invalidates only the interpretation, not the scripture.

  – End Part I –

 

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.c

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley) 

New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

 

 

 

 

Bible – in-depth useful information

The Black Holes of the universe are hot items of interest in the scientific community.  Astronomers are excited about “ripples in space” they have again discovered.  They figure they originated from the collisions of massive celestial bodies that created even more massive black holes in the universe, causing the “ripples” in sound waves.  While Einstein suggested they would be detected, the first discovery didn’t come until 2015.  San Diego U-T, 6/2/17

Not qualified to comment on that, this writer will emphasize the Biblical truth from the scientific theories.  And that is…any information gained by studying the universe will be of intense interest to a few, intellectual interest to a few more, but of practical value to hardly anyone.

However, if even the youngest child hears stories from a children’s Bible; if the most mature spiritual mind reads Bible texts, colossal lessons of practical value will be learned.  Things about God as Creator through Jesus Christ.  About Jesus loving people and helping them with everyday problems.  About apostolic labors teaching doctrinal truths useful in everyday life.

The relative value of any teaching or belief is how close it is to God’s eternal truth in Christ; how it offers solutions to everyday-life problems; and how it positively impacts the greatest number of people for life here and hereafter.  On every single issue God’s word scores perfect marks.  It engenders wisdom as it shares information.  It embodies practical answers to everyday problems and eternal questions.  Why would we be so interested in what benefits a few and have so little time for what benefits so many every day and eternally?

Yours for a Christian life that seeks God’s wisdom in his word, God’s Son in his glory and discipleship deepening in FACTS that impact every single person ever to live.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

 

Books at:  www.createspace.com.  (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)   

Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1 

Books also at www.amazon.com  (Virgil Hurley & Virg Hurley) 

New book:  The Parables of Jesus at www.createspace.com/7164741

 

 

Bible – know where to look

A college student on summer break in 1960 found employment with the Good Humor ice-cream company.  While subbing for a driver of a regular route he found kids waiting, change in hand.  He exchanged their coins for his goodies, then returned to the cab.  To find a large dog in the driver’s seat.  After fruitlessly trying to remove him he decided to bribe him with an ice-cream cone.  It worked.

He found the same dog sitting on his driver’s seat the next day.  He used the same bribe to evacuate him.  On the third day an older gentleman stood with the usual complement of kids, the big dog at his side.

The driver had hardly stopped when the gentleman explained the mystery.  The regular driver had forgotten to inform him:  a very big dog would meet his truck.  He would find a quarter taped inside his collar in exchange for an ice-cream cone.  Reminisce Magazine, July 2016, 40-41.

Mystery solved.  The regular driver had failed to inform his substitute.  Maybe he was too anxious for vacation.

The incident does surface a spiritual truth.  If we want to know the truth about God in Christ, we need to know where to look.  First, it’s in God’s Holy Bible, no other writing.  Second, it’s in the Gospels and Epistles, not in books written by Christian authors—where Christians most often look for information.  Nothing mortals write about their experience in Christ tells so clearly and persuasively what Matthew, Mark, Luke and John record about Jesus Christ personally living among them, explaining himself in the days of his flesh.

Vikings admired book covers and saved them.  They cared nothing for the contents and discarded them.  Many people love the family Bible as a receptacle of family history:  births, weddings, funerals.  They don’t value the Living God and his Living Word revealed there.

If we want God’s word for everyday life, or in crises, or in witnessing to others, we need to know where in the Bible to look.  Do we?  Forewarned is forearmed.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486; www.createspace.com/5802530; and www.createspace.com/5700328.

 

 

 

Bible – never an end to its treasures

Archaeologists continue to discover meaning from King Tut’s mummy.  While studies in the 1970’s – 1990’s felt that the iron dagger came from a meteor, recent technology has verified it.  The Egyptians called it “iron from the sky”.  San Diego U-T, 2016.  Scholars discover more about Tutankhamen as technology advances.  Nevertheless, a time will come when the corpse will reveal no further information.

Contrast that with God’s word.  At no time will scholarship, or lay reading and study find themselves at an end in what God’s word means.  Instead, as Christian discipleship deepens, so does one’s insights into the word—with no end in view.

That’s also true with the life in God’s Son all believers possess.  Even now we have a fullness of life denied everyone else.  But is that life to ever become so full now that we need not enter Heaven to receive more?

Never.  When eternity is needed for God to show us all he is and has; when in the new world, delight after endless delight will surprise us with JOY, no blessed experience now will ever exhaust the meaning of discipleship.

If anyone looks to this life, and its information for tutoring, STOP.  It can’t teach us what we need to know.  If anyone isn’t looking to God’s word and God’s Son for tutoring, START.  Whatever this world teaches has an end.  Whatever Jesus teaches continues eternally, world without end.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486; www.createspace.com/5802530; and www.createspace.com/5700328.

 

 

Bible – God’s true Covenants

A 400 year old painting called Judith Beheading Holofernes, found in a Southern France attic, may be the product of Italian artist Caravaggio.  The French art expert involved claims its value at $135 million American.  Previous to its discovery it had been in the property for 150 years.  San Diego U-T, 4/13/16

Is it or is it not a verified Caravaggio?  Time will tell, but it looks likely now.  The art world has convulsions of delight at such discoveries.

While America is presently in a “The Gospels aren’t true records of Jesus” phase—the Jesus Seminar has been Satan’s handiworkers—God’s word stands firm.  The Covenants of Moses and Jesus—Jesus succeeding Moses—are God’s true, only, full and final word to humanity.  Every other religious covenant, by whomever offered, with whomever established, is flawed, incomplete or false to one degree or another.

Human opinion differs as time passes.  God’s fact remains the same.  He never took a vote among the angels to see what he should say to humanity.  Jesus never weighed his claims by what supporters accepted or critics denied.  The apostles never began the bad habit of asking their generation what they wanted to hear.  Only our church-growth generation decided to poll the public before determining our preaching.

God has given freedom of choice to all mortals.  But don’t mistake freedom of choice with the delusion of authority.  Our opinions will never impress God.  If not surrendered, they will damn us to Hell.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486; www.createspace.com/5802530; and www.createspace.com/5700328.

 

Bible – regretting a loss of reading

While hurrying from Gettysburg to apparent safety at the Jacob Weikert farm east of the Round Tops, 15 year old Tillie Pierce witnessed the furor, excitement and danger of war.  As a Union artillery man hurried his caisson to its emplacement, an accidental explosion flung him into the air.  When rescuers found and carried him into a house, she noticed that his eyes were blown from the black mass that had been his face.  Yet, oblivious of his wounds, his first words were regret that he hadn’t read his Bible that morning.  Witness to Gettysburg, 161.

What spiritual longing inspires us to read our Bible at least 5 days a week?  What would it take to cause regret that we hadn’t read our Bible today?  If we establish a pattern of consistent Bible reading, we’ll often discover the Holy Spirit speaking to and resolving personal spiritual issues we face.  Try it.  You’ll find it true.  You’ll find you like it more and more.

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486; www.createspace.com/5802530; and www.createspace.com/5700328.

Bible – substantial knowledge of an essential

In deep-rock mining, unscrupulous profiteers would salt played-out or worthless shafts.  Cutting silver dollars into pieces, they blackened them, pounded them into lumps, then mixed them into dirt in the shaft.  Fooled by the deceit, unwary prospectors paid inflated prices for NOTHING.  The scams continued, prices boomed, profiteers banked their ill-gotten gain and the victimized assuaged their naïveté.

On one occasion, however, at the bottom of a shaft, a rookie investor pried a lump from the dirt and read “ted States of”.  Even he understood:  ore in a shaft shouldn’t have printing on it.  Time-Life.  The Miners, 139-140

A lot of religious nonsense and Satanic lies are believed as Bible truth because ignorant or unconscionable purveyors “salt” their teaching with just enough reason to make it seem rational.  The only way Christians remain undeceived is to have a personal, solid, maturing knowledge of God’s word, particularly the New Testament.  Even better:  have enough knowledge that one instinctively detects falsehood in any contrary teaching.

There’s another perspective to this point.  Christians can enter many professions as careers, with a few exceptions.  But when they do, they need to be very sure of the Almighty Trinity of God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit.  Only that conviction, reinforced with substantial knowledge of God’s word, can grant a living while retaining the spiritual life Jesus Christ provides.  Without that knowledge and commitment, while Christians make money, their witness will be swallowed by career and its culture and vanish into OBLIVION.  Which will be the great catastrophe.  For what career, wealth or goal will ever be worth losing your soul?

Check out my E-books and website at:  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/virgh; www.uglydogpro.com

New paperback books at:  www.createspace.com/5554486 and  www.createspace.com/5802530

 

Bible – education in needed

Colonial Americans had a love affair with the law.  Other than devotional literature, Americans purchased more volumes on law from England than any other subject, even buying nearly as many copies of Blackstone’s commentaries as the English.  This led to a litigious society, for even the most rural people prided themselves on knowing how the law related to their lives.

More importantly, such knowledge led to an awareness of what was right and wrong; what could be reasonably demanded of people by their ruler, and what was impermissible.  Thus the Bostonians refused to allow General Gage to billet his troops there in 1775.  The law protected them from such impressment, they asserted.  In his report to Britain Gage sulkily remarked that the law was studied by everybody.

In writing II Timothy 3:14 to his protégé, Paul encouraged his continued Bible education.  Timothy would need to study the Scriptures, both Old and New, to reach conclusions in his belief.  Once educated, he needed to stand there, whatever opposition he faced.

How frivolously most Christians have disregarded the apostle’s encouragement.  The best-selling is often the least-read volume in the house.  Yet, how much we need the information the Bible gives on every subject.  It provides a touchstone of authority, a bedrock of fact on which we can build our life, value and goals.  Only its truth replaces the meaningless nonsense so evident everywhere in the media, newspapers, magazines. textbooks, and everyday life.

Those who leave themselves uninformed about Bible teaching will find themselves open to all the misinformation available in a world glutted with misinformation.  We need to know Bible teaching, be convinced of this truth and stand on it, whatever challenges, disputes and doubts we experience in doing so.