I have one whole page for a discussion on Bibles and my Faith in Jesus Christ. This is linked with both the Books and Welcome pages. It's not on any of the main pages because it's such a part of my life (even though I have a lot of sin of which God is working to rid me) I think it would take away what a lot of people came to this website to see (unless you're seeking God, which means, I hope you found the right place!) E-mail me so I can send you my testimony!
One thing I believe young Christians should stay away from, and I get a lot of flak about this, is one of the so-called "Study" Bibles (the Ryrie Study Bible and the Life Application Bible for example). The problem is that younger believers have the idea that if it's on the same page as the biblical text that it must be Divinely Inspired. Those two Study Bibles I listed include study notes which are the opinion of the one who wrote the notes, which could be wrong. Eschatologically, that means, "with regards to the Last Days," I am a panmillennialist. I can see there could be a thousand year reign of Jesus before the destruction of the world, then a rapture, or it could be the other way. I can even see how there could possibly be NO RAPTURE. I do believe the world will be destroyed. It could be tomorrow but it could also be 1,000,000 years from now. That doesn't matter.
What does matter is what YOU believe Jesus Christ is to YOU! We are each accountable to God for our own salvation. We cannot save ourselves. As human beings, we are bound to sin. Sin is a cancer that feeds upon our souls. The only cure is Jesus Christ. Now, the funny thing about this is, if you are drawn to this discussion, you are drawn not by your own ambition and curiosity but by the Holy Spirit.
Those of you who come from either a Jewish or Islamic background consider those of us who are Christians to be polytheists (people who believe in more than one God) in that we believe in God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Spirit (the Holy Spirit). In our human minds, that seems logical, but I believe these are all one God with three distinctive personalities.
Think of it this way: God created Adam and Eve in a sinless (and I should also say meatless) paradise. God would take walks with them there. Both Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan, one of God's fallen angels, and Adam and Eve were so ashamed of what they did, they hid their nakedness from each other, as well as God. The two were banished from their paradise and the punishment of their sin was great. Men would have to go to work. Women would have pain in childbirth. People began eating meat and animals were now killed both for food and for sacrifices to God. Life was hard. A great flood covered the entire earth and killed everyone except one family. Human beings would now start over from scratch (it was nothing like the awful NBC made for television movie that aired a few years ago, believe me!) Men and women continued in sin. Finally God, who had already had it planned, offered Himself in the form of Jesus Christ, a human being without sin. For over 30 years God lived in the form of this man, who did no wrong. But it was not His life which was so remarkable: It was His death. Declaring Himself to be the King of the Jews (which was done in a roundabout way), Jesus was arrested and summarily tried in a Roman court, being executed by Crucifixion shortly thereafter. Some folks feel that Jesus, living His sinless life, failed. But that what was exactly what God intended. Jesus is the Sacrifice to atone for our sins. Three days after Jesus died of a broken heart (it wasn't the crucifixion that killed Him) Jesus came back to life. A few weeks after that, He returned to heaven. When He left, God left the Holy Spirit, not a thing but the third Person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit is more powerful than Jesus was when He was on earth because the Holy Spirit can be everywhere. Even Satan can't make that claim!
Satan, being a fallen angel, can only be in a few places at one time. He is not divine and really has no supernatural power, other than making things appear and deceiving people. He really craves worship but is happy so long as God is not honored as He should be. Most of the time, Satan really needs no help at all. Humans are naturally sinful and act on their own. Satan gets a lot of credit for things he would have liked but had no part. Eventually, Satan will wind up in hell. He's not there yet.
What does this mean?
God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. He will not force it upon you. To discover His plan, acknowledge that you are a sinner and pray that Jesus Christ will become the Lord of your life. At this moment you become a believer in Jesus Christ and no longer a "seeker." It doesn't mean you've arrived anywhere yet (unless you walk in the path of a fast moving Amtrak train and are killed, at which time you will be whisked up to heaven to be with God forever). You have begun a long trek that will never finish until you die and go to heaven (or you might be raptured, if it happens). When you start, you are a baby in Christ. You should soon begin growing in the faith, but some people remain in the infant stage for a long time. Anyway, after you live your life, you die to live with God forever. If God promised you something like that, it's true. Satan will try to convince you that you don't deserve heaven (he wants people to suffer with him in hell). He will tempt you with sin. And you might live addicted to that sin from which God saved you. It won't take your salvation away from you but it could be a bad reflection upon you, your family, and God. Some people might begin saying, "If that's what a Christian is, then I want no part." But if you honestly and sincerely asked Jesus into your heart, the Holy Spirit will let you know that what you are doing is wrong and conviction will eventually overtake you (even if it takes years or your own death!)
Well, to answer the Bible question, for translations I like the New American Standard Bible. My favorite paraphrase is The Message, published by NavPress, which is presently only available in segments (the whole Bible isn't out yet). A translation uses the original Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic texts and translates them into a language everyone can use. A paraphrase may either use the original texts or a translation and explains them in the way the writer (or group of writers) understands them. A paraphrase is not a literal translation and a few people do not consider it Scripture.
Thanks for your time. I hope I helped you.
Last updated July 22, 2001