We can be weaned from the milk bottle and start eating our own food

Scripture says, concerning the Bible, we can be weaned from the milk bottle and start eating our own food.

The milk of the scripture is what we are taught by others and solid food is what we learn for ourselves.  Milk (a picture of being taught) is a predigested, pleasant tasting liquid, giving balanced nutrition.  Solid food (a picture of teaching oneself) needs digesting, is not necessarily balanced nutrition, may not be pleasant tasting, is not liquid, and it may need chewing.  When we understand what we read in the Bible, it means we are chewing and digesting our own food and no longer need to be bottle-fed. 

As you read the Bible keep these things in mind.

Take the Bible at face value unless there is a reason to do otherwise.  Things that are not clear will be explained by things that are clear, not the other way around.  For example: The scripture says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.”  “No more” means “no more”.  Any scripture that seems to say otherwise should be viewed in the light of this one.

The Bible explains itself.  The modern definitions of words don’t always agree with the Bible meaning of those words.  For example: When we read that Joseph was sold as a slave into Egypt; we might picture something akin to the African slave trade of the 15th-19th century.  However, the Bible tells us that Joseph (Potiphar’s slave) was the most powerful person in Potiphar’s house, after Potiphar himself.  ‘Slave’ means that, even though he was very powerful,  he had lost his freedom and could be bought and sold like an animal.  For another example: when we read in the Bible about deacons, we might think of a church official.  However, deacons were assigned to serve tables, in order to relieve the preachers so they could preach.  Preaching was a gift given to some and not others; serving tables was a chore that almost anyone could do.

If we have reason to doubt the translation we are reading; we can trust God to take care of it.  Undoubted parts will explain the doubtful parts.  For example: One of Jesus’ sayings is translated as ”If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”  Some people say this is not a useful translation.  Don’t sweat it.  We can look at the scripture that says, “With God all things are possible” and paste it over the other scripture.  Then we see that God is both, the one believing the impossible is possible and the one doing the impossible.

God knows how to explain Himself.  Don’t try to figure out ‘what the writer must have meant’.  The Bible is not an attempt by holy men to tell us about God (to the best of their ability).  It is, rather, God Himself telling us what we need to know.  For example: Ezekiel wrote “And as for their appearances, they four had one likeness, as if a wheel had been in the middle of a wheel.”  Ezekiel is not trying to describe the indescribable.  Rather, he is writing what the Holy Ghost inspired him to write concerning what he saw.  If there is not enough information for us to visualize it, then the meaning does not depend on our being able to.

Relax about reading the Bible.  The scripture is God’s word to us.  We can’t mess it up so much that He can’t straighten it out.

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