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What Failure, Why?

I know I've made some terrible mistakes in the past trying to understand verses from the Bible. Even Jesus' teachings and His replies to people and crowds seemed hard to fathom a number of times. Whilst I try to correct myself as best I may, any real help comes from God. Many passages have been misunderstood by various churches (in fact misrepresented), topics such as the rapture (or the twisting of scripture to support such crap.) What is worse is that newer translations of the Bible turn these false meanings and teachings into the 'truth' of the particular text since these new Bibles are rewritten to support these misinterpretations. Even the innocuous NIV actually has verses missing altogether! Verse numbers go straight from one to the next leaving out one between them. (4,5,6,7,9,..etc.) And most importantly, in some of these cases there is important doctrine.

This section is based on the need arising from my own failings whilst reading the Bible,.. (Mostly within the NT) and I present those indicators within the scripture for how to interpret the "problem", if there ever was one. I am not going to cover every item in the content of the gospels, just those that had caused problems for myself. - This way I say "look at the beam that was in my eye!" and I have no assumptions that you have anything in yours.

Whilst I was a regular churchgoer I had many problems understanding some passages but I found these almost universally misunderstood or even ignored completely. Even those whom I knew to read their Bible every day had trouble (or in the least, trouble explaining). Whenever these subjects would arise in a sermon, the 'easy to manage' first half of the passage would be explained but the rest ignored or at least glossed over. - Even in cases where that appeared to contradict the message from the lectern.

Because this section "My Failure" deals with sometimes lengthy scripture passages there will be several of those expandable bar gimmicks that looks somewhat like this below: (click with you mouse in the bar to expand the hidden verses, and again to hide them if necessary.)

-- Click to Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Ezekiel ch8:v1-9
Eze 8:1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me.
Eze 8:2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loins even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the color of amber.
Eze 8:3 And he put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.
Eze 8:4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.
Eze 8:5 Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.
Eze 8:6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? but turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.
Eze 8:7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.
Eze 8:8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.
Eze 8:9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.

I have realised after some time that Jesus' teachings within the four gospels are not one or two verse sound bites, but in general there is the rule that until the physical setting changes, Jesus teaches on one main subject that may underscore as much as two whole chapters. A good rule is that when Jesus moves on to another place in Judea so also His doctrine, or rather his subject or lesson changes to something else. It is worthy to point out that the gospels themselves are not what one may consider a complete linear "historical record" of everything Jesus did. Each of the gospels has a slant in a particular direction. Luke goes for the complete historical account; John however chooses predominantly to record the teachings and miracles of Jesus that affirm His identity as the Christ, the Son of God.

Of course, you may have your own choice of Bible version other than the KJV - My experience at church near exclusively used the NIV (and occasionally other versions like "the message") in the belief that simplicity was essential for clarity, quite a dangerous assertion! I will not be including parallel texts, so I would be interested if your (other) Bible agrees with mine after you have read through... I would especially like to know if it also agreed with my study beforehand!


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