THIS IS PART 1 OF THE UNDERSTANDING THE BIBLE WRITTEN BY STEWART TANNER TRAILL,
PUBLISHED IN 1975. THESE ARE PAGES 1 TO 53. PART 2 IS BEING PREPARED.
THIS PART 1 IS COMPLETE WITH NO EDITING OR OMISSIONS. THERE MAY BE MIS-SPELLINGS
DUE TO SCANNING OCR AND THE ORIGINAL TEXT ITSELF. HERE NOW IS UNDERSTANDING
THE COLORED BIBLE PART 1.
by Stewart Traill
To the Glory of God
(Colors of the entire Bible)
Date of first edition: December 29, 1975
AND LEADING UP TO
DIRECT SALVATION MESSAGE
ORANGE OUR NW NATURE AND
PURPLE GOD, JESUS, AND THE
BLACK SIN, DEATH, DISEASE
AND THE DEVIL
TURQUOISE THE SECOND COMING OF
GOD'S TEACHING TOOLS AND
PROPHECY AND FULFILLMENT
BROWN HUMAN NATURE
colored Bible Explanatory in nature -- Fully describing the nature, construction,
and 'use of the Colored Bible as a whole, from both a theoretical and practical
viewpoint; much use of logical reasoning in proceeding
from concept to defense of final arrangement.
About the usages of the Colors.
More technical or mechanical than Part One -- concentrating on fully describing
the basis of the color-subject relationships, color by color and giving much
information on their application and use.
UNDERSTANDING THE COLORED BIBLE
Table of Contents
PART ONE: About the Colored Bible
Ch. I The Nature, Purpose and Plan of this Book
Ch. 2 Bible Teaching
Ch. 3 What is the Colored Bible?
Ch. 4 The Need for the Colored Bible
Ch. 5 Background and Development of the Colored Bible
Ch. 6 The Nature of the Colored Bible
Ch. 7 The Purpose of the Colored Bible
Ch. 8 The Elements of the Colored Bible
Ch. 9 General Usage Color Explanation
Ch. 10 Specific Color Usage Directions
Ch. 11 The Seven Size Scales of Context
Ch. 12 About the Use of the Colored Bible
Ch. 13 How to Use the Colored Bible
Ch. 14 The Value of the Colored Bible
Ch. 15 Limitations and Problems in the Colored Bible
Ch. 16 The Colors of the Whole Bible
The Nature, Purpose and Plan of this Book
As the title suggests, the purpose of
this book is to promote understanding of the Colored Bible, to the end that
its benefits might be more widely appreciated. The Colored Bible can be used
quite effectively with no more than the statement of the Color Code.
But, as in everything else, more is to be gained and appreciated by understanding
one's tools than by only mechanically applying them. For that purpose,
this present work is prepared. The need for and interest in the effective
use of the Colored Bible has evolved to the point where the effort invested
in this book is justified, although the Colored Bible itself will not be
complete for a long time. The Colored Bible is only emerging and so is this
work, which is its explanation. The Colored Bible will come to be of
extreme significance in our fellowship and it is important that it be understood
by all so that it may be effectively used as a teaching tool. As the Colored
Bible develops further, the importance of this present book will increase
and it will be reworked with more material added. This edition of Understanding
the Colored Bible was hastily put together and is both lacking in material
and unpolished. Suggestions for its improvement will be gratefully received
and will be laid up and considered in time for the next edition.
The author is aware of his lack of understanding
of and appreciation for several areas of the Bible (e.g. Ezekial 1& Exodus
40,etc.). Yet he here begins the task of making the Bible understood by explaining
the Colored Bible, which is and will continue to be his basic vehicle for
communicating the intent, meaning, and truths of scripture. He is presently
more concerned with the proper outline of this present work and with pointing
to the meaningful areas of consideration than with being exhaustive in each
one of them. 'With these reservation, the author considers the present work
to be a sufficient guide to the proper introduction and use of the Colored
This book will be found to be apologetic in nature
in that its purpose is to explain the use of and justify the existence of
the Colored Bible. It is designed to help people to understand and
then to use the Colored Bible in such a way as to be able to more effectively
benefit from it and to appreciate its value than would otherwise be possible.
An effort is made to justify its existence by setting down in order the thinking
behind it to aid in its being used by all with common understanding. Part
One is designed to show the nature and workings of the Colored Bible.
It attempts to show a necessary connection between the Colored Bible and
Understanding the Bible. The chapters are written, arranged and titled so
as to give insight concerning the Colored Bible by means of giving many different
angles of sight and thus several "handles" on it. Although the chapters follow
on each other and in many instances directly rely on the material covered
in the previous chapters, there is no danger in beginning to study this work
"In medius res", that is, from the middle out. One should read the
titles and then read and learn several chapters that interest him. But it
is most important to get understanding about the Colored Bible as one learns
to use it. Nevertheless, it is not necessary to digest this present book
before one can begin to handle the Colored Bible. This is especially
true of the young and less learned. Except for "What is the Colored Bible?",
generally, the first half is theoretical while the second half is practical.
A quick reading of the titles should reveal that the book is planned in this
fashion and one should read with this plan in mind.
Part Two is more empirical in nature and more
technical than Part One. It defines in fuller terms the mating of the
colors to areas of Bible teaching. The outline of Part Two is quite
simple and mechanical. Each of the ten colors are to be dealt with
in ten ways so as to give a uniform and controlled means of comparing one
color usage with another. The ten considerations applied to each color
are discussed in the introduction to Part Two. The colors are arranged
and listed in order of their "official importance". It will be seen
that the discussion of the meaning of the color turquoise is particularly
incomplete in that it was changed immediately prior to this writing. The
color gray has also undergone considerable development only recently.
Some other colors are also seen to be appreciably less developed than others
in this first edition. The imperfections of the present work arise
first and foremost from the limitations of its author, both those that are
inherent in him and those of his incomplete view and abilities. We
pray that these will be of less significance at the time of the next edition.
One must appreciate the author's difficulties in explaining an evolving understanding
through an evolving method. Some of the areas under discussion are
improperly developed and imbalanced, both in amount of material and in emphasis.
But hopefully this will also be repaired by the time of the second edition.
The subject of Bible teaching is in need of far
more development than is attempted here. The present purpose is only to show
a place for the Colored Bible in this area with respect to the inherent problems
of teaching in general, which approximate those of a cat chasing its tail,
and those faced by those who would follow in the footsteps of our
Teacher, by instructing others in understanding the Bible.
The fundamental problem of all teachers is that
of having to simultaneously increase the student's knowledge and understanding
of the chosen area of study, while, at the same time, having to motivate
him to begin, continue, and complete those studies. Although the beginner
may desire proficiency in the chosen field, the teacher is unable to "lend"
it to him as both would like; but he must rely on the demonstration of his
own proficiency, the rewards of it, and other extraneous lures to motivate
the student, somewhat unconsciously, to apply himself to study and to "master"
The proper work of every Bible instructor is
that of attractively presenting the truths of the Bible in such a fashion
as to develop understanding and appreciation in the minds and the hearts
of the hearers. More especially, his problem is represented by the
gap between the student's initial development, abilities, understanding,
background, and appreciation for the scriptures -- the increase of which
is itself a powerful motivation for further study -- and his interest in
and need for proper development, and even repair, in these pre-requisite
areas before the Bible can be rightly handled! He must begin with some
simple, central and attractive concepts and methods that can be grasped by
the student, and which lead him to a deeper appreciation of the nature
of scripture, and which furthers his ability to handle it and his interest
in doing so. If the student is to be able to maturely, safely,
and accurately handle the Word himself, he must increasingly see a connection
between his teacher's direction and that of the Bible itself.
Furthermore, he must increasingly see
the same foundation and order in both, which also must appear to him to be
the foundation and order of all creation, and finally of God's will.
The experience of our fellowship and the law of diminishing returns, when
applied to this problem, show it most efficient to initially aim the student
at a level of understanding found somewhere between that afforded by sending
him to learn Greek and Hebrew at a seminary on the one hand, and on the other
hand, that provided by sending him to the college of hard knocks, armed only
with several salvation verses. The Colored Bible and the present work
aim at this compromise while stressing the importance of a clear sight of,
and need to build upon the established framework of the Bible as right interpretation
progressively reveals it to the student. In the case of a teacher of the
Bible, the enormities of the problems are matched only by the importance
of the work. Yet when his sight and motivation are sound, he
has help greatly beyond that of other teachers. In our case, our Shepherd
supplies what is lacking in the abilities of those whose hearts are looking
to Him through the kindly ministrations of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of
Truth, who renders the teacher's problems workable and the student's frustrations
What is the Colored
Strictly speaking, there is no such thing
as the Colored Bible in that the text itself is not colored or tinted, nor
does it yet exist as a finished work, but is only emerging verse by verse.
Even Colored John is far from finished. It is no different from any
other Bible except for variously placed rows of colored circles which are
associated with various areas of the text both large and small. Most rows
have about five colors in them, although some may have only one or two and
some have all ten. To some of the colored circles are added other markings
to signify "relative importance". There are rows that apply to phrases,
verses, passages, chapters, books, and even to the entire Bible. Later there
will be several numbers assigned to each color and attached to each circle
in order to show further subdivisions of meaning.
The Colored Bible affords a degree of
immediate understanding and direction in an easy fashion that is an introduction
to the deeper teaching of Understanding the Bible, from which it descends
and to which it is a companion. Ideally the Colored Bible should be
seen as a sort of prism that breaks up the Bible's light of understanding
into various single lights, or colors, that can more easily be handled by
all Christians in order to facilitate their coming to see and be able to
use the light itself. To each color is assigned a particularly important
area of Bible teaching and interest In a remarkably appropriate fashion,
and the presence of a color in the row of circles associated with any given
area indicates that the assigned area of teaching Is being dealt with
in that area of the text. Phrase colors are found in the text itself,.verse
colors in the margins, passage colors at the head of the passage, chapter
colors beside the chapter number, book colors under the title, and
the colors of the entire Bible on the cover page.
The Colored Bible cannot truly be called
a commentary, although in its final form it will be such a safe and simple
guide to the true interpretation of the Bible that it will in effect be a
sort of commentary. It should be used in conjunction with Understanding
the Bible, the Reference Bible, a concordance, word frequency lists, and
other Bible helps. In its final form, the Colored Bible will not be bound
to the passage and verse divisions, nor to any present printing formats,
but will cross over these 'boundaries" to display the meanings of phrases
within the text of each verse and across them when so needed, and will also
display the meanings of the whole verse as well as those of the passage,
chapter, and book. The author hopes to produce a special edition of
the entire Bible in this fashion, and only then will there truly be
a Colored Bible.
The Need for the Colored Bible
In general, the word "need" speaks of
a partial or complete vacuum. When speaking of a need, one's thoughts quickly
turn to the relationship between desired goals, problems, and tools.
Before something can be said to be needed, it should be shown that it succeeds
in overcoming pressing problems more effectively than alternate answers.
Consequently, it must be shown that the Colored Bible is needed by showing
that it overcomes problems faced by the Church today in doing God's will.
The present problem is well seen by considering the condition of five classes
of people today, and then their need is made clear by comparing how these
classes ought to relate together, and instead, what in fact occurs, and why,
as they press on or stumble on, as the case may be, toward the desired goal.
The five classes are:
1. The entire Church
2. Bible teachers
3. Christians in general
4. New Christians
5. The world
The immensity of the task of right Bible
teaching, the difficulties caused by our nature, our poor view and viewpoint,
and our present historical condition are major problems in one's coming to
understand the Bible. These problems are greatly compounded by the sad social
condition of the world today, so long after it was visited by truth and hope.
Far from having been raised in a Christian environment, the average young
person today is mildly hostile toward Jesus, largely because of the Church's
unfaithfulness in its mission to him. He has heard only enough about
Jesus and His salvation to be inoculated against Him. He is as a wounded
tiger and only ready to fight back having been mis-handled, and the cause
of his subsequent rebellion being misunderstood. Even when he is led
to decide to follow Jesus he must begin learning the Bible from the simplest
first principles, and so a simple yet effective and challenging opening is
needed for him. In is growth, he needs much help from his elder brothers,
yet among older Christians today, there is an appalling lack of interest
in and devotion to the Bible. Whole areas of scripture are laid aside
as "Irrelevant" because they cannot be dealt with by present methods and
thus much needed teaching is lost.
We ought to be able to speak of Christians
as one body, but sadly we see that this is impossible. The Church was
long ago fractured into self-serving parties of local interest and the initial
failure of the remedy of repression has only been replaced by the failure
of anarchy as "freedom of religion" has only succeeded in producing chaos
The problem is that there is no standard
of understanding among Christians and their teachers. Indeed the word
understanding is seldom used. There is thus necessarily a certain area
of uncertainty and confusion in the Church in that the framework of the Bible
is neither seen nor taught, and least of all with respect to the clear sight
available through true interpretation. Unlike any flock of physical sheep,
Christians today generally see themselves as free to do as they please, and
ultimately Christians only consciously unite in fellowship in things that
inherently appeal to them. Surely it is God's will that this bleak picture
be improved and that His shattered temple be rebuilt. Thus, in whatever time
is left to us before the close of the age, Christians must seek and pursue
right Bible understanding if they are to unite in anything higher than convenience
or if the authority of truth and understanding is to reign among Christians
in unity, peace, and strength. The author contends that the absence of God's
teaching methods and the ignorance among teachers of the keys of knowledge
is necessarily the cause of the Church's present weakness. This is
further aggravated by the desire on the part of Christians to be "at ease",
and their opportunity to do so, in the absence of forceful teaching, creates
a situation similar to the days of Judges, as each one teaches as he individually
sees best and "teachers" unknowingly fill only the office of preacher.
In the absence of order, each "teacher" answers only to himself, and
seldom tries to show that his teaching or his method is valid and necessarily
descending from God's revealed will and methods.
Although much of God's will and plan can
be understood and appreciated by individuals through present methods, they
are weak enough to be fertile ground for schism, heresy, division, and disunity,
and if one is so foolish as to try to build a house there, the final structure
will reveal confusion and weakness. The basic teaching of salvation and several
other doctrines are rather well presented by many, yet unless these teachers
themselves clearly understand true Bible interpretation and God's teaching
methods, then their teaching value must be short-lived at best to the convert.
When right Bible teaching is ignored or replaced even by other good things,
failure must be the result, and such has been the case in the history
of the Christian Church. Unless teaching is directly, clearly, and
fully descending from the Bible and unless it conforms to God's method of
teaching as shown in Understanding the Bible, it will necessarily be weak
at best and is usually found to be much worse. Unhappily we know of
no teachers who are correctly teaching today, in that we know of none who
understand and rightly handle the only true method of handling the Bible
as shown in the scripture itself. We hasten to add, though, that at
least in the most critical areas, many seem to come to much understanding
of God's will without it, by the mercy of God through the Holy Spirit.
Finally, understanding of the Bible is
the need, and help in this area was sought in a fashion that would be immediate,
simple, and yet lasting. A method was sought that would display the
teachings of scripture to provide true direction for individuals and for
the Church. While it is true that Understanding the Bible does this,
there are three problems in applying it to this problem:
1. It provides little immediate direction
for new Christians;
2. It is itself a method that requires
considerable effort to understand; and
3. It does not yet exist.
So a compromise was needed. Clear sight must be restored
in an immediate way so that its benefits can be enjoyed while understanding
is being developed. But to develop this understanding and to give the
available view is itself a lengthy process; thus it is as an initial guide
to this understanding that the Colored Bible is being developed. The
need is for a process that is easily learned, attractive, and motivating,
and which approximates, at least for beginners, the direction and understanding
to be found in Understanding the Bible. The Colored Bible fits this
description and is that identifiable standard easily opened to the new and
young, and leading to much understanding and appreciation of the scriptures.
It is as an aid in the orderly handling of the duties of teachers and instructors
that the Colored Bible is being developed. Its "teaching" descends immediately
from and is easily traceable to and thus justified by Understanding the Bible.
Background to the Development of the Colored Bible
The initial view of the author is that of great
concern for the pursuit, discovery, and application of the methods that God
intended us to use when handling His Word. The author turns neither
to the right nor left in his determination to accurately teach the Word.
He lays claim to being neither liberal nor fundamental, but only to that
of pursuing, finding and displaying the purposes of God as hidden in the
Bible and of being faithful to His will and intent as discovered therein.
In his approach, he aims at pointing out what is being said and "where it
is coming from" but attempts to avoid doctrinal connections unless they are
clearly and directly intended. He admits the possibility of arbitrary thrusts
coming from the latter statement, but such is the dilemma of all who claim
to see and present the purpose, teaching and meaning of scripture. Because
of the nature of the method and its intended purpose, the author admits to
leaning toward the former and thus points more toward what is said than what
is meant; although the method lends itself well to displaying the area of
meaning also, and the author avails himself of the opportunity to use the
Colored Bible to teach what Understanding the Bible shows more deeply.
The author is convinced that his choice of the ten areas faithfully reflects
this understanding. Nevertheless, even if he is perfectly accurate
and faithful in pointing to and arranging all meanings of all verses in proper
order, he still is acting as an interpreter in the choice of those ten subjects,
and the justification of, or at least the display of the claimed need for
those decisions is meaningful. The author recognizes this. However,
the need for this is greatly reduced when it is considered that the choice
of these ten areas is such that any other subject could easily and appropriately
be included in one of the existing ten as a subcategory, and that no scriptural
subject or interest is is ignored by this method.
The Nature of the Colored Bible
The nature of things is dependent
upon their conception and it is helpful to consider what makes the Colored
Bible the way it is -- what lies behind it -- for its real nature is deeper
than the simple rows of colors might suggest. The heart of the nature
of the Colored Bible lies not so much in the assignment of colors as in the
choice of and definition of the areas of meaning with which they are associated.
These decisions largely fix the nature of the Colored Bible, and the decisions
themselves must be based on deeper insight. This in dealt with at greater
length in Chapter Sixteen.
The Colored Bible is as it were a vehicle
or a channel whereby the author's true sight and understanding of scripture
might be safely delivered and handled. Especially now during its developmental
period, the Colored Bible is more a method than a book. To the mature, the
accumulated understanding of the teachings and methods of scripture form
the background and framework of one's approach to an interpretation of any
passage or verse. The Colored Bible aids in providing this needed but
lacking basis for the immature by visually displaying the areas of meaning
and the thrust of purpose of each verse and passage so clearly that children
can easily obtain a basic appreciation and understanding of the interpretation
of scripture. Nor will this guide become useless to them when in their
maturity they themselves are teaching new Christians, for they will then
both more appreciate the Colored Bible and be better equipped to teach with
it when they themselves more deeply understand the necessary reasons for
the arrangement of the colors. The Colored Bible should be seen as mid-way
between the Bible itself and valid creeds such as the "Apostle's Creed."
It links the two extremes and makes both more meaningful. The truths being
pointed to in the Colored Bible are fixed in scripture and seen by the author,
yet the student is more aware of a sense of discovery than of being led.
The Colored Bible is planned to present the maximum amount of directed information
and explanation from and leading the student toward the much deeper work,
Understanding the Bible. It is planned to do this with the minimum
amount of pre-requisite and effort on the part of the student, and no more
is needed to begin than some understanding of the usage of each of the ten
colors. However, the student can deepen his understanding of the nature
of the Colored Bible and his appreciation for it by applying himself to the
present work, and to the study of Understanding The Bible, and it is hoped
that the reader will deepen his commitment to God's will and intent by carefully
studying these works and following their direction.
The Purpose of the Colored Bible
This chapter has a very simple sound to it purposely.
The last three chapters were theoretical in nature, but from here on, the
chapters will be more practical. They describe some of the ways that
the Colored Bible implements some of the directions set in the previous chapters.
"Purpose" is a word that speaks of direction.
It must be the basis, the thrust of a plan to fill a certain need.
In the case at hand, when speaking of the purpose of the Colored Bible, we
ought to deal with the relationship between its design and the desired results
in order to show what it ought to achieve.
Simply stated, the purpose of the Colored Bible
is to make it easier to see and understand the meaning of each verse and
the patterns running, through the passages. It increases an appreciation
for right interpretation by identifying what is being said and by indirectly
pointing to its purpose in being said as shown by the true interpretation
of the Bible. It is designed to show the common denominators between
passages, to indirectly show their common roots and to develop an appreciation
for their properly fitting together. It is also designed to help people
pick out the more important "focal point" verses of the messages of
the Bible. It does this by defining and displaying relationships of
areas of the Bible, large and small, areas of the meaning and message
of the Word. Thus the Colored Bible will begin to bridge the enormous
gap between the available understanding of the bible and the present condition
of Bible students, especially new ones. While the Colored Bible is aimed
at all new Christians, it is especially helpful for those who are young humanly.
It will also be found useful by those who have been Christians for years
but who have never developed a proper concern for interpretation. It
is also designed as an aid to those who have decided to seriously seek their
Creator, including those who have not yet been born again (Psalm 119:13O).
It will serve as an easy introduction to the basic truths of scripture while
simultaneously simplifying deeper doctrinal study for those who are more
The Elements of the "Colored Bible"
This chapter is related to:
1. What is the Colored Bible'?
2. The Nature of the Colored Bible.
It is also important to the understanding of the subsequent;
As the title suggests, this chapter is concerned
with the identification and description of those things, the sum of which
constitutes the Colored Bible. Some of these elements are tangible,
while others are not, but, taken as a whole, they are the tools of the coding
and decoding process that has much to do with the nature and workings of
the Colored Bible. Some of them are more tangible than others and they
can thus be broadly divided into two categories, those that are tangible
and those that are intangible. 'The intangible elements which are more
difficult to handle have been and are more properly handled at greater length
in other chapters; as the present chapter is more concerned with the tangible
elements, nevertheless both are here discussed. The elements as a group
would be those that are not seen physically, while the tangible ones are
those with visible direction.
The intangible elements are generally listed as follows;
1. the decision fixing the division of Bible teaching into ten areas and
the naming of those ten areas;
2. the assignment of an appropriate color to each of the ten subject areas;
3. the total arrangement of the circles, that is, the teaching;
4. context information and thus direction; and decisions to include or reject
more fringe connection, meaning, and applications.
In general, the tangible elements are
those that are seen and handled and are the easy means of the student's dealing
with the intangible elements. While gratefully acknowledging the help
afforded by Flair Pens, the list of the tangible elements of the Colored
Bible must be restricted to the following:
1. presence of the colored circles;
2. order of the colored circles;
3. relative importance;
4. patterns in surrounding passages;
5. small numbers within the circles; and
6. "nuggie" color.
General Color Usage Explanation
In that such important factors
as the definitions of the basic sub-categories of each of the colors are
unprepared at the time of this edition, this chapter must necessarily be
lacking. However, much understanding of this subject can be gained
from reading the other areas of this book without its all being directly
It is important to realize that,
far from being capricious, the color explanations in Part Two of Understanding
the Colored Bible are purposely aimed at the common denominators which unite
each of their sub-categories. These color explanations are concurrently
aimed at accurately and faithfully applying to and describing the nature
of each of the ten chosen areas of Bible teaching being displayed by the
Colored Bible. Thus the student can take hope in seeing that the Colored
Bible is truly designed as a bridge across the gap between what he reads
and what God is teaching.
It is also helpful to understand
the relative nature of several of the workings of the color usages.
In a sense, all colors apply to all verses and, in the last analysis, only
order is most significant in terms of context and true meaning. Every
verse and every passage has elements of every color in it if one searches
far and wide. But colors are only recorded in the Colored Bible at
a certain point of direct applicability which, in the designed philosophy
of the Colored Bible, tends toward the exhaustive rather than the surface
level. Finally, as dealt with at length in Chapter Fourteen, it is necessary
to have the view of the workings of the colors as being discreet and yet
harmonious, if one is to appreciate the value and derive the maximum benefits
from the Colored Bible,
Specific Color Usage Directions
The nature of the usage of each color
is explained at some length in the rest of the present work, yet each of
the subjects dealt with by these ten areas of Bible teaching must be treated
in separate works and at much greater-length. The present comments
are designed only to point to the value of each area and not to teach concerning
them. A great deal more could be said and taught concerning the usages
of each of these colors, but this will be enough at first; and later, as
there is more experience in using them, more can be added.
Given the Color Code, the Colored Bible
becomes at least partly self-explanatory. Clearly, the various colors are
announcing by their presence that their singular and special areas of study
are to be found in that particular area of the text. Yet several other
things need further explanation, as this was only partly done in Chapter
Eight, and it is necessary that the workings of the "tangible elements" listed
therein now be more fully described.
We have seen that the mere presence of
a colored circle indicates only the presence of the appropriate area of a
scriptural teaching in that passage. Beyond that, when a certain color
appears first in order, it is because that verse or passage is primarily
concerned with the subject covered by the color. If another color appears
second in order, it simply means that that subject is the one aimed at secondly
in that passage and is of secondary importance, and so on through all the
colors. The order of the colors, moving from left to right, indicates
the decreasing order of significance of those areas of teaching in that passage.
It should be observed that the order of the colors becomes less
meaningful as one proceeds from left to right.
Generally, only the first three colors
really accurately show the true order of significance. Many of
the colored circles have markings within them, such as 'x" and "-" The first
one, "x", means that the particular verse is very, very important to the
subject dealt with by that particular color. The second one,"-", means
that the verse contains lesser but still important insight into the
area represented by its color. The "relative importance" that is being
displayed is that of the level of significance of the appropriate teaching
in that particular passage. It does not necessarily show the reverse,
namely, the significance of that passage to the teaching. The patterns in
surrounding passages may give clues as to the context of the passage at hand.
In my given case, context information would be derived from the six scales
of groups of colored circles other than the one being studied, there being
seven in all (Chapter Eleven). Another generality that needs to be
observed and dealt with is the relationship between each of the first two
or three colors of each verse in a particular passage.
One, two or three colors may appear strongly, Indicating that the entire
passage is directly dealing with those special areas. In the completed
Colored Bible, many passages will have colored lines running from color to
color and from verse, to verse in a follow-the-dots fashion, generally within
the first one or two colors. This, when done, will drastically show
the presence of a particular subject and its considerable significance to
the meaning of that passage! As an example, if in any passage of ten
verses, orange appeared in the top three of all the verses, one could conclude
that the passage is largely teaching about Christian life. Or
if in a passage of five verses, green appeared in either of the first two
positions of the colors of each verse, one would look for teaching about
preaching and witnessing. The small black numbers, later to be included
within the colored circles, will indicate at least two things. The
first set of numbers located in the bottom half of the circle will indicate
which sub-category or sub-categories of the meaning of that particular color
are to be found in the area under consideration. As an example, purple
shows many things about God. Some of them are his kingship, his love,
his fatherhood, etc. Each of these sub-categories will receive a number
as a further guide to the true interpretation, as will all the other colored
circles. In order to accomplish this, of course, the lists of the sub-categories
of the meaning of each of the colors will have to be listed, numbered and
published in a latter edition of Understanding the Colored Bible. The
second usage of the small black numbers will be that of a single number,
found in the top half of the inside of the colored circle. When more
than one sub-category of a color is to be found in any area being studied,
this number will indicate it. No number will appear when, as often
happens, there is only one sub-category present.
Finally, passages thus designated
as "nuggies" are appropriately colored yellow, as gold, partly because
this light tint does not affect the reading of the text which will be totally
filled in by this color.
The Seven Size Scales of Context
There are, as it were, seven scales
of length and size divisions in the Bible, as it presently stands with its
1. the entire Bible,
2. the two Testaments,
6. verse, and
The meaning in each of the scales,
especially the most "natural", is generally continuous and interconnected
to the others; and thus an overview of each is desirable and even necessary
in coming to understand the nature of the Bible and the meaning of its messages.
The scale of colors most difficult to define is that
of the first and largest -- that of the entire Bible itself. This is
because one must interpret most areas and be certain of their meanings
before he can attempt this task. Yet, once it is done, it is of great benefit
to others in coming to understand the relationship between the Bible and
the Colored Bible. In this present work, "the die is cast" to the extent
of a presentation and discussion of the colors of the entire Bible as seen
through the eyes of the true interpretation of the Bible (Chapter Sixteen).
Yet the whole is also made up of
the sum of its parts, and to consider the other and of the scale, we must
most often deal with the colors of verse and phrase, which more immediately
enhance and even reflect each other to the end that the meaning of verse
and passage quite readily appear. Happily, the colors of a single thought
or phrase are also the easiest to determine, while verse and passage problems
are on a level of difficulty easily handled by those with minimal experience
in the method of the Colored Bible, which is particularly well designed
to aim at understanding on a passage level. It should be noted that
the seven scales of color guidance find their optimum midrange value in that
especially useful area, just as the midrange of an automobile speedometer
is set to be most accurate in the 50 to 60 mph speed scale.
In later editions of this present work,
more will be said about the other context scales, such as the difference
between the colors of the Old and New Testaments. For it is well-known
that when dealing with a passage, context is of great significance.
With this in mind, the colors of each book and chapter will be given with
the hope that they will be consulted for oversight and in order to find a
home for the meaning of the area most under consideration, which is that
of the passages.
One will thus be well-armed and prepared when using this system
to begin training himself to discover, see, and understand the meanings of
larger areas of the Bible, to appreciate their relationships with each other
and finally, in
his maturity, to lay hold of the available view of the will and nature of
About the Use of the Colored Bible
This chapter is a surface approach to the actual
use of the understanding and techniques described in detail throughout much
of this book -- principally in Chapters Three, Eight, Nine, Ten, Thirteen
and Sixteen. It will be developed more fully later, as will many other
chapters, when the problems in using the Colored Bible become clearer.
The understanding of the use of this book will also be enhanced later by
the publishing of an "Answer Book" of sorts which will list the teachings
pointed to by the various elements in many of the more important verses and
In beginning to seriously handle the Colored
Bible, one should first seek to gain the understanding available from the
present work and to faithfully apply it to his studies. He should be familiar
with the colors of the whole Bible and the reasons for their choice and be
able to descend through book, chapter and passage in this fashion to the
scale and area being considered.
The student should pursue maximum training
benefit by trying to find the "answers" himself by means of working "down
and up" simultaneously -- that is, to use the directions given in the Colored
Bible as a safe guide to his own attempts to understand the scriptures, being
careful to use the usual interpretation methods as the perfect path to the
meaning, since it came by that path and was then coded into the Colored Bible.
Yet there are other less obvious matters
that must be kept in mind as one handles the Colored Bible. In searching
for the right understanding contained in this system, one must remember that
each colored circle often aims at more than one meaning in each usage. So
he should consider the sub-categories carefully, remembering also that sometimes
the use of a mere word is enough to justify the inclusion of another color
or of another sub-category, and that two "similar" colors might appear together
in a single verse or passage, etc., for it is possible for pink and red to
be in the same row of colored circles, as well as blue and turquoise, or
gray and green.
Another general rule to be remembered is that
the larger the area under consideration, the more overview is needed and
more experience then required to safely handle the workings of the Colored
Bible. So beginners should handle the Colored Bible with some caution
and good judgment and adhere closely to these directions and to those of
How to Use the Colored Bible
Finally, here are the practical rules
for handling and using the Colored Bible. Perhaps more than any other
chapter, this one is based on the understanding derived from the entire book
and is itself the pinnacle of its direction.
First of all, in studying the context,
the student must understand, something of the area in the one or two size
scales directly above the one in question.. For example, since this chapter
is based, an the assumption that understanding is first being sought on the
verse level, the student should first familiarize himself somewhat with the
chapter, and especially with the background and nature of the passage.
He should begin this by possibly considering the chapter colors, and then
by reading the text of the passage several times before he examines any passage
or verse color. He should cover up these colors until he is ready to
examine them, or else use another "uncolored" Bible. Throughout the
passage context study, he should make certain that he never sees the colors
of the verse in question. He should then attempt to arrive at the passage
colors himself, in writing, and to set down his reasons for choosing those
colors. He should then weigh the relative significance of the colors
or at least of the first few of them without spending too much time.
He should do all this as training for
himself and to learn his mistakes in using this method. Otherwise he
will be "spoiled" by seeing the colors displayed before him and be "unable"
to exercise himself to think independently, and thus lose the opportunity
to gain the extra benefit of this training in learning the techniques of
handling the Colored Bible. After doing this work faithfully, he is now rewarded
by comparing his own passage colors with those of the Colored Bible, and
probably being pleasantly surprised to see that he was not far from
He will then be well motivated to carefully
study the passage colors and to arrive at a fair understanding of the context
of the passage itself and something of the chapter. He will do this largely
by directly comparing the colors and their order of importance with the text
itself and probably see some errors in his own color choices and even understand
why they were wrong. He should especially be looking for those areas
of meaning in and near the verse in question, and be looking for a common
thread running through the verse and throughout the passage.
Yet in pursuing understanding of the context
of the verse, he has further help. In many cases, the general meaning of
a passage can be seen by noting the predominant color seen in the first few
colors of all the verses in a passage. It will then be meaningful to
deal with the first one or two colors of each verse, except the one in question,
especially considering the "important ones" and then lightly considering
some of the "minor meanings" of the nearest verses.
The student should now be ready to directly
consider the verse itself, but still without seeing its colors. He
should do this in the same fashion as the passage context is studied. After
reading the verse several times and comparing it with the context study information,
he should set down in writing his idea of what the verse colors should be,
their order, and
his major reasons for thinking thus. Now the student is ready for
the moment of truth! He is ready to uncover the verse colors and to
compare them with his own! If he has carefully worked at the process
described in this chapter, he will probably be overjoyed to see that his
verse colors are even more accurate than his passage colors! As an
added twist, he can later study the phrase colors before uncovering the verse
colors, and possibly have an even more accurate answer. The student should
now be ready to "wrap it all up" by finally comparing his growing understanding
of the verse with the Colored Bible's guidance-- by considering the sub-category
numbers and their hints -- and he probably saw many of them anyway!"
This whole process is almost too easy
and the added challenge of seeking understanding about whole passages far
beyond that available in any context study will soon be welcomed by eager
students. This too will soon be found
to be "easy". To begin this next step, he should first repeat the process
just described for each verse in the passage, remembering the context information
derived before from the larger areas, for it will now be more meaningful.
While he is forming his own ideas about the message of the whole passage,
he should "step back" from those ideas and attempt to commensurate or relate
them to the message contained in the passage colors and to the previously
gained contextual insight.
At this point, the student should become
aware that the "voice" of these three independent witnesses, pointing to
and focusing on the same understanding, is itself now emerging into his view
to reward him with its light. It is written that "a man's wisdom makes his
face shine and the hardness of his countenance is changed." (Ecc. 8:1) This
is indeed true, especially when the student realizes that although he may
be a novice at Bible interpretation, he can now extend this same process
up and down and all around and quickly achieve a level of understanding with
which he will be ready to enter into, be led by, and finally handle the Colored
Bible's "parent", Understanding the Bible! Then, when he himself sees
and knows God's simple plan for handling His Word, and when he can
rightly handle it himself, he will be equipped to interpret
scripture without any guide other than the Holy Spirit! But the understanding
he then has will not surpass that which he "had" in the beginning, for he
will then appreciate how it was his all along through the Color Bible!
The Value of the Colored Bible
Value is based on needs being met, and
as we saw earlier, our need is for an attractive, motivating, rewarding,
lasting, concise and easy to handle method of conveying the true Bible interpretation
while increasing understanding and appreciation for it. This chapter
is particularly "apologetic" in that it speaks of the value of the Colored
Bible by pointing out how it fills these needs.
There are really three values to the Colored
Bible. The first is the scripture itself, the second is the true teaching
conveyed, and the third is our method. In this chapter we will concentrate
on the last one, which is the intrinsic value of the method. The Colored
Bible is the result of mating an effective method with the right view of
scripture. It is the happy combination of deep and lasting teaching
in an easy-to-handle format. It gets a difficult job done and is an
attractive and simple opening to considerable depths of serious content.
The Colored Bible is simple enough to
be inviting, challenging enough to be motivating, deep enough to be permanently
helpful, and meaningful enough to be rewarding to a new convert as well as
to an older Christian. Its simplicity is that it can be used effectively
at various levels, especially in conjunction with other Bible helps.
Its challenge is that it is only a guide and is far from a spoon- feeding.
In this sense, the Colored Bible can be called rewarding in that it easily
conveys and promises to continue to convey, in a deepening way, the understanding
of the messages of the Bible which is the desired goal of all true Bible
It is of great tutorial value in being
an easy means of training students and "naturally guiding" them into an initial
approach to Bible interpretation. It helps train new Christians in
the methods needed to perceive the meanings and intent of scripture, and
quickly makes rather effective instructors out of relatively now Christians.
To the new Christian, the Colored Bible's format
is that of a guided search for meaning. Rather than directly interpreting
or explaining the various messages in each verse or passage as commentaries
do, the Colored Bible only points to the areas of those messages and, by
various means, gives what amounts to a general outline of that area.
The student then pursues the matter more closely, having an opportunity to
grow in understanding and to test his abilities in Bible interpretation.
The areas of meaning thus become as easy to remember and deal with as the
arrangement of the ten appropriate colors. In that it deals with only
ten rather discreet areas of meaning, the new student is less perplexed in
deciding what is meant than he would be otherwise, and yet later the sub-categories
will give him a new challenge to consider.
In that it is a scriptural shorthand, a lot of
"commentary" is displayed in a small space, and it would obviously be easy
to look up any scripture's "commentary" at any time by this method.
This "commentary" is concise enough to be included in and beside the text
itself, yet it points to a wealth of insight as the student grows in his
abilities to handle further understanding.
One area of Bible teaching that ought to be considered
in more depth and one in which the prismatic Colored Bible is well-suited
to help is that of clearly separating the teachings of the Bible from each
other while simultaneously synthesizing them into one picture or source of
light. While the sum of the Word is indeed truth, one must necessarily
the various parts of the Word in coming to understand the whole. Thus
it is necessary and valuable to give a view of the different general subjects
of scripture and approaches of the Bible as discreet and yet harmonious.
One could say that there are an infinite number of subjects dealt with by
the Bible. He could also say that there is but one --that of God Himself
-- and sound very good saying either one, but both statements are arbitrary
and extreme, and both leave the student with little more than polemics.
If everything is run together and the bugle gives no distinct sound, what
can be learned? For when it is only shown that there are an almost
infinite number of meanings, shades and colorations hidden in the Bible,
one tends to lose hope of being able to see and handle them. This is
especially true of new Christians. On the other hand, over-simplification
is an ever present danger. To reduce the Bible and every passage in
it only to "the will of God" or to some other equally true yet inane expression,
is begging the question while the phrases themselves remain unexplained.
Thus it is seen that the Colored Bible is valuable in yet another way in
looking at it "naturally" makes many easily handled tasks out of the big
problem of understanding the Bible and prepares the student for even deeper
approaches to understanding God's will.
Also, the Colored Bible is a safeguard
for new Christians in that with this method, it is easy to check on teaching.
This is particularly valuable today when there is so little right Bible understanding
among, pastors, preachers and even Bible instructors. The Colored Bible
readily shows the overview of various contexts and settings, and especially
easily and quickly reveals the context of passage and verse. Finally,
the Colored Bible finds two other applications which are of particular in-
terest to our fellowship. It teaches the basis of a "color code language",
which we use among ourselves, while making it much easier for new Christians
to quickly and safely find, communicate, show and prove the basic teachings
of the Bible to an unbelieving world. Yet, when speaking of the Colored Bible,
much deeper things can be said regarding its to our fellowship, both immediately
and value in the future as we rapidly expand already our numbers have grown
far beyond the point where we can all be taught by those who are "from the
beginning", and this will have worse effects on us as we also spread farther
apart. The leaders are now concerned for fear that we might lose the
value of the strength and clarity of our original teaching, then lose
the benefits of what remains as it becomes more questionable and finally
lose sight of it altogether. The author has long seen that the Colored
Bible should prevent this development in that it is particularly well suited
to overcome it through its inherent characteristics. Altogether aside
from the content, part of the value of our original teaching was its novel
and interesting delivery, when compared with other methods seen around us.
There is also a need for teaching tools on the
part of the present leaders, to help them to raise a new generation of youthful
instructors who are capable of somehow showing and proving truths that are
as yet somewhat beyond them. The Colored Bible continues this tradition
by fulfilling the need for an attractive and yet valuable format; one that
can and will expand to include all our teaching and be the Guide to it --
while itself being in the safe context of the Bible itself.
Limitations and Problems in the Colored Bible
"Surely there is a limit to all perfection
and the Colored Bible is no exception."
In that the Colored Bible is only emerging
its limitations and problems are not yet fully clear. Hopefully they
will come to light and can be pruned from the work to make it more effective
in subsequent editions. The saddest one yet appearing is that the Colored
Bible is still unfinished and incomplete and apparently will remain so for
some time. While it must be remembered that not all limitations are
necessarily damaging, another important one must be somewhat so -- that of
the imperfect and incomplete view of the Bible on the part of the author.
Yet this has little affect on the limitations of the method, but does indeed
affect the value of the teaching being delivered by it. The users of
the Colored Bible ought to communicate their views on this subject before
the next edition, and effort will accordingly be spent to improve Understanding
the Colored Bible.
In the view of the author, perhaps the
most noteworthy problem in the method is that of some overlapping and thus
potential duplication and confusion between some colors and their subject
areas. For instance, where does red end and purple begin, or vice versa,
since they are intimately connected? These "border problems" are described
in some detail, however in Part Two of this work, in the passages concerned
with each color, and it should present no great difficulty when properly
Some subjects overlap considerably, however, and later
a list must be drawn up to identify the major ones in order of difficulty.
For instance, "miracles" has to do with purple, red, green, pink, blue and
brown. When a subject overlaps colors enough, it is important that
it be defined as belonging to one particular sub-category, in order to end
confusion and to make it possible for it to be easily found, even though
it will necessarily involve an imperfect decision.
As has been noted previously, the order of the
appearance of colored circles denotes the order of importance. Yet
this order almost cannot be determined with total certainty, partly because
God's purposes cannot be fully known and also because a somewhat arbitrary
element was introduced when it was "decided" that the Bible speaks of only
ten major areas of meaning. Indeed the author is aware of and admits
to an unmeasured but small element of error having been introduced through
the method by this "decision", and this certainly represents one of its limitations.
It should be understood that this error is rendered negligible by the sub-category
system, however, and further, that the error is tolerable when it is considered
that the only alternative is no Colored Bible, since there are only a small
fixed number of primary colors.
Other possible limitations have also already
appeared. The author is not certain if it is desirable or not, yet
a limitation to this method certainly is that the meanings of the various
areas are not as directly or as fully explained as they would be in a commentary.
Also, in that this method is necessarily bound to a small fixed number of
colors, and thus subjects, many important teachings must be considered to
be sub-categories, for instance, the Holy Spirit, miracles, etc.
It is also well known that scriptural insights and meanings being expressed
in the text are not always bordered by the verse or even passage delineations,
but they are at least good units with which to presently work. Later,
perhaps, changing the meaning of some colors would help, but this will not
be done unless absolutely necessary, nor will scriptural divisions be likely
to be changed.
Finally, a possible problem to be avoided is
an over-confidence in and an excessive trusting of these colors instead
of using them as a guide to the deeper understanding that is available, yet
this could be true of any method of Bible training.
The Colors of the Whole Bible
(There are eleven paragraphs in this chapter; there are
no titles in front of the paragraphs, but in this introduction, their subjects
will be named.
Although the colors of the whole Bible have
already been displayed, their "derivation" is repeated in this chapter using
the methods described in this book. This is an important chapter in
that it "sets the stage" for all color usages. It is more than an example
in that, in a sense, it sets the pattern for the arrangements of the colors
of each of the areas of the Bible and says much of the nature of the Colored
Bible. It rests on and arises from the understanding resulting from
the study of this book. This chapter -- along with the Old and New Testament
colors, the colors of many of the sixty-six books of the Bible, the numerous
examples of the analysis of various passage and verse colors, as well as
the "answers" to many important verses -- should later be expanded into a
third part of this book. Indeed later, "if the Lord tarries," a verse-by-verse
"Answer Book" for whole books of the Bible or even the entire Bible may be
produced. Because this chapter is long and will later be expanded,
its outline is given here by means of listing the subjects of each of the
2. Value and purpose of the chapter
3. Need for this chapter
4. Nature of the problem
5. Difficulty and problems to be encountered
6. Basis of decision -- The colors must reflect the way
God deals with us through the Bible.
7. Criteria of decision
8. Guidelines in handling criteria and some general arguments
concerning relationships between colors
9. Some limiting arguments involving "single color groups"--
the three categories
10. Objections and how to handle
11. An example of handling an objection
If it is true that the Color Code of
the Colored Bible descends from and reflects the true nature of the Bible,
then it follows that the nature of the Bible must in turn be reflected by
the colors of the entire Bible. Success at the attempt to show and
prove that this right relationship actually exists will go a long way toward
justifying the Colored Bible. This chapter will be found to be engaged in
that pursuit. Because of the design of the Colored Bible, the Bible
itself and the Colored Bible ought to mirror each other! Nowhere ought
this fact to be clearer than in the right display of the colors of the whole
Bible, the order of which ought to display the nature of the Bible itself.
If the concept of the Colored Bible is valid, it ought to find its most "colorful
application" at this point and a helpful guide should arise. If indeed
the method of the Colored Bible is not arbitrary but directed meaningfully,
and if the Bible really is able to be dealt with in this fashion, then this
application of the method of the Colored Bible to the entire Bible should
yield the ultimate contextual insight in the most convenient form to the
user of the Colored Bible! Thus the purpose of this chapter is to show
the necessary reasons for the order of the colors of the whole Bible and
to show why those reasons are sufficient to take such an important step.
There is some room for flexibility
in the method of the Colored Bible, especially in the matter of the order
of the appearance of the colors, since in the last analysis, it becomes difficult
to prove or justify some minor arrangements. Yet some standard is needed;
for, however good this method may be, it will lose much of its value if it
becomes another excuse and opportunity for arbitrary interpretation.
Thus it is necessary that a teacher take a stand and "fix" the colors of
the Bible if the Colored Bible is to be a trustworthy, safe,
and effective tool. It may seem presumptuous to attempt such a task,
yet, quite to the contrary, if it were left undone, real problems would arise.
Therefore, not without showing considerable justification for his work, the
author proceeds to do this in the present chapter.
This chapter attempts to decide the necessary order of the colors of the
whole Bible. Much can and has been said about the connections between colors
and their teachings. It should be seen that the nature of the Colored Bible
is closely associated with the process of relating colors to Bible teachings
or subjects. Indeed, the very decision to relate color to subject should
be seen as crucial to the nature of the Colored Bible, and the ten subject-color
relationships resulting from that decision should be well understood before
this, the greatest example of their application, can even reasonably be followed.
The decisions concerning the nature of the major subjects of the Bible, the
number of colors available, and the matching of those colors to the subjects,
are the limiting decisions which fix much of the nature and use of the Colored
Bible. In that these decisions have already been made, we turn to the
task of deciding in what order to place them in order to most accurately
reflect the nature of the Bible. Obviously the colors of all the Bible
must include all ten colors -- otherwise, why would they be needed anywhere
if they are not needed here? Only the order of those ten colors is
the issue here, yet that decision is bound to be difficult enough.
However, this decision will in turn be found to rest partly on those decisions
made earlier, and the cat is seen chasing its tail again, but in a "right"
This is a hard chapter to follow and harder yet to appreciate. The
difficulties arise mainly from the need for a complete view of the Bible
and its method of interpretation before this task can be attempted.
Keeping the many factors in sight and in their proper relationships is difficult
enough, and it is made more difficult by the author's desire to justify these
explanations. The problem of the cat chasing its tail constantly arises,
since here, one must use the colors and methods derived from the Bible to
"paint the picture" of the Bible itself. A major problem is the tendency
to "read in" arbitrary ideas, and clearly, the first thing that must be done
is to set forth the guidelines, criteria and basis for making these important
On what basis are we to decide how to order the colors of the Bible?
This question must be decided before any valid criteria can be named, for
it must be shown that they themselves follow from the necessary basis.
An initial premise is that the colors and their order must reflect the nature
of the Bible, and thus of the will, purpose, intent and wishes of its author,
who is God our Father. Thus it appears that knowing Him personally is centrally
necessary to solving the present problem, and His very attitudes must be
understood and appreciated before the colors can reflect the nature of His
dealing with us through the Bible. In choosing the order of the colors
of the Bible, it is thus necessary to rightly interpret and understand the
Bible, and then to arrange the colors with respect to the various weights,
emphases and thrusts of the Bible itself, which reflects God's will toward
us. Only then can the colors reveal the nature of the Bible to
us. Those who have interpreted the Bible, and thus know God, realize
that in His mercy.. His "Priorities" are with respect to our needs.
Thus the order of His dealing with us is with respect to His leading us in
entering life and growing, entering bible understanding and the process whereby
we come to know God as Creator and Father, to love Him and to desire to make
Him known. The order of the colors thus reflects God's will and plan
that He first save us and then equip us to responsibly "stay saved" by more
consciously choosing to remain faithful to Him, then
to fellowship with Him in working with Him; and they thus also reflect His
plan to deal with us according to our faithfulness.
The order in which we become aware of the importance of each area would
reflect God's dealing with us and would, of course, say alot about the way
in which we were made and are led as sheep and children. It would reflect
our needs and serve them perfectly as arranged by our Creator and Father.
While it is true that not all Christians will "follow" this path of development
in this order, it is certain that God has planned for us to grow in a definite
way as lambs and children do, and the wise will seek His leading in this
respect. Thus, in the order of the colors of the Bible, each succeeding
color helps to explain the previous ones and is the one that "naturally"
is most needed at that point of understanding and development. Much
can be said about this process.
What criteria could be established as the proper vehicle for
implementing the basis described in the last paragraph? Some rule or
criteria must now be stated as reflecting that basis in order to directly
apply it or "put it into effect." As we have seen, the nature of the leading
of the Colored Bible must reflect the leading of the Bible itself, and it
finally appears that the following three considerations should form the necessary
direct criteria for deciding the order of the colors of the Bible:
1. flat statements in scripture directly concerning God's will, intent,
and plan for dealing with us through the Bible -- and His
example in doing so;
2. the guidance and sight available from right interpretation and Understanding
3. the physical amount of the appearance of that particular subject area
and thus color-- that is, the amount that it appears in the area of the text
under consideration. Arguments for establishing the order of the colors
would thus have to be limited to those that descend from the right basis
and that reflect the relationship of these three criteria to the nature of
the Bible. It was by applying these criteria to the problem at hand
that the author arrived at his view of the order of the colors of the Bible.
Now that the colors of the whole Bible are fixed, let's see how they got
that way. When it comes down to it, how does one actually go about
deciding such a question? To see how it all happened, let us find out
about the kind of thinking and arguments that led up to the final decision,
and how they necessarily follow from the basis and the criteria mentioned
earlier. All helpful arguments that aid in settling the order of the
colors will be found to be attached to that basis, tested by means of the
three criteria, and sensibly weighed and balanced by other considerations.
The location of each color must be decided by faithfully adhering to this
process. As a further aid to understanding, many other arguments leading
up to this decision can and should be presented later. The value of
studying this process is that it can be applied to any text, and similar
problems are faced in smaller areas. There is a direct relationship
between the method used in this application and that used in any other.
Thus it is meaningful for the student to try to understand all of this book,
and finally, this difficult process. A larger number of factors need
to be taken into consideration in making this decision, and it is meaningful
for us to consider some of them. Overlapping should be taken into account
when attempting to determine the order of the colors, as it both solves and
creates problems. When one color is partly overlapped by another color
which is higher in the order, then there is not as much need to raise it,
also. A common problem experienced by many users of the Colored
Bible that of the desire to put all colors higher in the order. But there
are only so many places for the colors, and to move one up is to move at
least one other further down, and this must not be done without sufficient
and proven reason. Arbitrary and unfounded arguments are to be avoided
if we are to please Him who said, "I did not say..., 'seek me in chaos'."
All such arguments need to be weighed, considered and held in flux as long
as possible; and one should allow the order to "gel" only when necessary
and sufficient limiting arguments arise and are themselves seen to be rigidly
fixed to and supported by the established basis and criteria.
Many other considerations enter into the "equation", and they certainly cannot
all be included here. But our present point in history ought to receive some
consideration, as indeed it does in prophecy. It is certain that God's
attitudes must be a balance between God's perfect and permissive will, between
God's original intent and his work in the present age. God Himself
does not change, but He has "changed the times" over and over again for our
sakes, and we would be naive to ignore this when
speaking of His attitude as this age rapidly draws to a close. It is
easy to speculate and to over-emphasize the end of the age, but to introduce
an arbitrary element to the order of the colors is to seriously reduce its
effectiveness. As a possible extreme example of the latter, we note
the temptation to enslave the design of the Colored Bible to the present
needs of our fellowship-but this would be to emasculate it. Yet it
is true that our present point in history affects the position of at least
blue, turquoise and green. Bible prophecy has only begun to be understood
relatively recently, and the soon coming of the Lord raises the need for
preaching and witnessing to an urgent level. While the top four colors
have always been the "top four", two others have "moved up" in significance.
Turquoise is possibly higher now on the scale of colors than it would have
been long ago, while brown might not have "made it" at all. Last, but
not least, when considering the relationships between the colors of the Bible
and their order of significance, and remembering that it was given for our
benefit, we realize that the order of significance of the colors of the Bible
would at least reflect our needs as we grow from helpless infancy to mature
manhood in Christ. He who instructed Peter to consider the lambs first,
who Himself carries them gently, who reveals Himself to babes, and who gave
Himself as a sacrifice for those yet to come to life this same one who creates
and arranges our lives has also arranged that His Word should first save
us and keep us safe, should give us understanding about all things, and should
empower us to fellowship with Him by sharing His Word. When thus considering
the relationship between Jesus' care for us, the nature of the Bible, the
need of our lives, and the proper order of the colors of the Bible,
we find peace between all of them when we remember how He dealt with us,
and how He will deal with others. Our first serious contact with Jesus
must necessarily be some kind of explanation of red, which means pink.
Then, upon getting saved, we enter into orange and begin to realize what
has happened to us! We begin to understand our salvation and to settle into
it to learn more about purple-who He is and how to please Him through our
orange. But the babyhood is soon over and, although we had heard of
him before, there comes a frightening day when black comes close enough to
be seen. He frightens us, and we learn that we need to stay closer
to our Shepherd. Turquoise then becomes more meaningful as we realize
that we were saved for a purpose, and that to endure to the end, we must
set our hope more fully on Jesus and on His soon coming. This pleases
Jesus and He begins to teach us more about ourselves through gray and, our
eyes are opened more as we determined to stay faithful to purple, and to
green with Him, besides to live our orange.
The more faithful we are to Him, the more blue He shows us and reveals to
us the things that are to come- more than "just" turquoise. And He
teaches us more about brown in order to help us in our orange and green,
both of which continue to get better every day!
We must now consider at least the outline and
framework of the majority of the more important arguments for the order of
the colors of the Bible. In determining the order of the colors of
a passage, large or small, it is often helpful to divide the colored circles
into two or three groups of approximate importance as a guide. In the
case of the colors of the whole Bible, with its ten colors, three groups
would be right. The first group of four colors reflect our needs most
directly and immediately. The second group of three colors are those
that are necessary for a full and right growth, but without whose direct
benefits Christians can and have "survived". The third group
of three are helpful and even necessary to effective Christian work.
Many arguments are then presented for moving colors up and down in the order.
But one must be diligent in searching for evidence both for and against these
suggestions before acting (Prov.11-14, Prov.18-17).
This approach method of dividing the colors into several groups must be seen
only as a general guideline, however, and only a first approximation of order,
and must not be relied upon alone without further proof, although it is helpful
in that at least two "end groups" would be roughly defined. One must
also remember that the location of a color in the order does not necessarily
mean that it is not needed or considered until the previous colors
are "digested". (If this were the case, what would we do at pink?) Many books
could be written on the subject of the "fight" for first place among the
colors- which should be first and why. The top four must be those that
are at once most fundamental, far- reaching, and all inclusive. Those that
are most important would have to be those that deal most with our safety
as Christians, and such is the case with the four chosen. The explanation
of salvation necessarily involves some surface sort of dealing with all the
colors. In a sense we have "dealt with" them, or at least we have been
prepared to deal with them all our "natural" lives. Concerning the
first color, although one might say that purple or red are more "important",
in His mercy God speaks pink more than He speaks of the other two.
Red is indeed first in importance, in a sense. The importance of Calvary
to us and in scripture cannot be over-estimated. Yet it does not appear
very much numerically, and it is also to be remembered that Jesus spoke pink
much more than red. When considering orange, it is well to note that
much of the New Testament is spent indirectly teaching us how to live as
Christians in order to please God. So does the Old Testament, although
much of it is hidden in figures. Orange as the continuing sense of
salvation is central to God's will and is critical and vitally necessary
to our continuing in real life. If orange were first in significance,
then the Bible is mainly for the already saved- and Calvary denies that!
Again, in a real sense and for obvious reasons, purple could be called the
most important matter in scripture. But God has written the Bible partly
to make Himself .:known to us, but even more to seek our good
as our Father. In His love, He laid aside His right and acts more out
of pity for us (Job 23-6, Ps. 103-13). Concerning the "second
three" colors, blacK is first to be considered.
Black and red are in the same relationship to each other as plus and
minus charges, or night and day. They are opposites and "oppose" each
other continually. Black is the source of all our troubles and is first
explained in Genesis three, and is Jesus' spiritual enemy and the reason
for the need for Calvary. Jesus spoke of black more than He spoke of
might argue that we should put black nearer salvation, which is red, but
at what expense would that movement be? Is it really true that God
wants us to know about the devil more than or before we know Him? Or
must we be familiar with the wolf before we can follow our Shepherd?
Rather, part of the good news is that black is less emphasized in the
New Testament than the Old Testament, because Jesus has largely "taken care
of" the problem for us!
Next, we see that turquoise is our lasting source of serious hope, yet it
is only "needed" after the previous colors are somewhat grasped. Indeed,
some background is necessary before we can realize why this is so.
It is somewhat considered in and aimed at by purple, and enough of it is
irreducibly Included in the background of orange to render other studies
more immediately imperative. For instance, the depths of conscious
turquoise is not required until after one is mature enough spiritually to
more responsibly and seriously set his mind on things above; although again,
it must be understood that "after" does not necessarily refer to time.
Finally, of the three second colors, it is to be noted that turquoise is
directly mentioned much less than the other two throughout scripture, yet
its weight, given by Jesus in the Gospels, outweighs this consideration.
One might also argue that gray ought to be put higher than its present position.
Gray is important, yet we must remember that its direct need is not as great
at first when our Shepherd gently carries us Himself, and our mother, the
Church, feeds us as lambs without our knowing it. An element of gray
is needed as "early" as pink, yet gray is at best a tool in the hand of others
in our coming to red and orange. We need gray more directly only as
we become more responsible and need a means of checking our faithfulness
as growing sons. It is to be seen that turquoise and gray are closely
united in purpose, just as they are closely united in the significant parable
about the ten virgins.
Indeed, many of the turquoise teachings require considerable gray before
they can be properly handled! The third three colors are those
that would especially be needed and studied by more mature Christians, and
meaningful mainly in fellowshipping more closely with Jesus. Being
the "bottom three", it should be relatively easy to see that these studies
are not at all necessary to lambs, yet, the middle three clearly show their
need to those who are able to see. Green, among other things, would
reflect Jesus' approaches, techniques, attitudes, etc., in presenting the
Word; and, in following His example, we have much to learn from this study.
It could again be argued, especially in our fellowship, that green should
be higher in order-(that wouldn't be hard, considering its present position).
But once again- is it Jesus' will, and is it needful that we consciously
study the greens "early" in our growth? Our understanding is so poor
at first that, were green studies pursued, we would have little to offer
to justify its need. New wine is connected with the witnessing attempts
of new Christians as we are suddenly strongly motivated to witness and preach,
but it is necessarily poor, harsh, rough and ineffective. This author
(and many others) vigorously pursued "green" the day following the new birth,
when he had never heard of such a thing as green and perhaps know of
only one or two green verses; and, for a long time, the results reflected
his lack of wise preparation. Blue and brown have at least one thing
in common- they are too attractive for wrong reasons! The desire to
know the future is all "too great" in us and often needs to be curbed.
Indeed, it has often been the "cause" for such deadly pursuits as astrology
and wizardry, etc. Yet it is expressedly mentioned throughout scripture
(Jn 16-13) as part of God's plan. And blue, along with the "natural
hunger" for it, is being used by God in these last days as the nature of
scripture is unfolded more fully, and areas such as Daniel and Revelation
become more understood through blue. However as we have a real need to know
the future, it will be revealed to us by God, through the Holy Spirit and
in fulfillment of scripture.
Much of blue has already "happened", in that Jesus has come, and of the blue
yet remaining , turquoise covers the most important and relevant part.
This serves to lessen our need for it, although it is still useful as proof
for the Word- when the prophecies that have already taken place are matched
with the verses in which their fulfillment is shown. Blue has much
to do with the nature of the Bible, and the mature Christian finds many benefits
from this common theme. Brown is one of the most interesting of studies,
but only because we have a vested interest! As "tongues" is the least
of gifts and yet considered fascinating, so the pursuit of brown, to the
exclusion of much more important needs, is to be discouraged among new
Christians. However, the combination of gray and brown understanding
enables a mature Christian to plant pink and red deeply while doing his green
work. It also helps him to understand his own weaknesses. Matthew
11-16 is a good example of brown, and one that is meaningful to our fellowship
as we, and apparently only we, understand and appreciate its description
of part of human nature. Nevertheless, in general, brown is not a subject
that is stressed in scripture.
Because of the crucial nature of fixing the order of the colors
of the entire Bible, the Colored Bible itself might be "attacked" at this
point. Without wasting time with polemics such as, "You can't paint
the Bible," serious objections to this method or to specific usages
and examples of the Colored Bible must be dealt with, and some thoughts about
this area are here presented. One could claim that any one of the colors
is most important of all, and state a plausible case, and yet only chaos
would finally result! We must not allow this to happen. One might
argue that one color is more meaningful than another in some particular application-
this is possible but one should be prepared either to demonstrate it from
the stated criteria, or to show something wrong with the criteria, and thus
substitute better criteria, or else be honest enough to reject the Colored
Bible in its entirety and start all over again. It is important to
understand the usages of the colors and the plan of the Colored Bible before
trying to change the present color order or charging that it is unfaithful
to scripture. As an example, only to say that "there is more red than
pink" in the order of the colors of the entire Bible, is to misunderstand
the nature of the usage of both colors, and would not be worthy of rebuttal.
As an example of an objection to the order of the colors of the Bible, let
us lightly consider someone's objection, "you should have put purple first".
He (or she, as the case may be) might say, "God is mentioned in Genesis 1:1
and John 1:1. He is the author of the Bible, and the Bible is written
about Him, and the words God, Father, Lord add up to one of the most
often repeated concepts in the entire Bible." Forceful arguments indeed,
and they show a place of considerable importance for purple, but in order
for any color positions to be decided or changed, arguments must be presented
relative to another color's claims, and all such arguments must be judged
with respect to some common a basis and accepted criteria. It is not
to speak of absolute importance in this matter, but relative importance is
here more significant. Otherwise, decisions are made on emotional,
aesthetic, or, worse yet, "religious" grounds. How should such an argument
be answered? Here's how. The order of the colors of the Bible
are not meant to reflect God's importance, but that of the nature of the
Bible, which centers in God's will, not in His person. "Whom I have I formed
for my praise" might seem to make purple first, but this verse speaks of
the reason for our creation not His reason for giving the Bible! The Bible
was written for and to all men, through His special people and so the salvation
of men must be the initial theme in scripture, as we do indeed see it to
While we come to know God deeply through the Bible while this is part of
His plan, it is not His initial or primary concern. God paid the highest
price imaginable (Jn 3-16) for unsaved men. It is thus unkind to Him
to say that He cares more for Himself than for us. In choosing importance,
pink, red, and orange are considered more important than purple because this
represents God's attitude and will. In His love, He wants it to be
so, although it is certainly beyond dispute that He Himself is more important
than anything. Also, coming to know God deeply and to understand Him is a
process and requires some preparation, although once again, we know about
Him before we are saved, begin to know Him at that point, yet can know Him
much more intimately later. It was necessary for us to begin
to grow out of infancy before we could respond to our human parents, or even
be aware of their existence. Yet they understood this and in their
love were concerned only for our good and patiently waited for us to be able
to come to know them and love them.
From this we learn of our heavenly Father who invented this human fatherhood
as a means of teaching us about His perfect Fatherhood. After all this,
perhaps the reader will act more knowledgeably and with more understanding
the next time someone says "the Bible was written about God"!