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There are certain important but still simple and easy keys to deeper understanding of the Scriptures. When one applies those keys in one’s study, one will be able to avoid a number of common “pitfalls”, and many things become easier to comprehend.
All too often, people are caused to read things into the Bible, instead of studying what it actually says.
When one studies the Scriptures, one must do that for the purpose of finding out what the Bible says, instead of trying to find confirmation for some church dogma.
A pitfall: One of the most common ways to not understand the Scriptures, consists of fearing and avoiding bible-passages and translations which are in conflict with some dogma or something similar.
Many churches and preachers try to keep people away from deep, personal bible-study. In that connection, some have quoted Jude 3 and claimed that the teachings (dogmas) of the church or preacher in question are “the faith that was once delivered unto the saints”. But, let us face the facts: The world of religion is full of different kinds of doctrines, dogmas, tenets, creeds and “statements of faith” – and, those things are always formulated by men and consist of teachings of men. If one uses such things as a frame or starting point for one’s study, that will not lead to good results. Instead, one must try to find out what the Bible actually teaches.
A note in that connection: One must keep in mind that even bible-translations are a work of men and contain errors and dogmatic bias and all too often even purposely twisted things. This applies also to “biblical” lexicons of Hebrew and Greek, and bible-commentaries and the like. (If you have been caused to think that some particular bible-version has all things right and has no errors, make sure to read the article rsa032.htm.)
The article rsa082.htm takes a closer look at such words and concepts as “doctrine”, “tenet” and “dogma”. The matter of “spiritual authority” is considered later in this present article.
If one really wants to understand the Bible, it is important to be objective. Among other things, this means that one must not think that all the lofty things that were said and written to and regarding the apostles, or the saints [a] in general, would refer to us who today read about those things. They simply do not. The Bible has much to “say” even to us, and believers certainly should study the Scriptures, but again, one must always consider whom each passage actually refers to.
a In this article, the word “saints” refers to the people who received the Holy Spirit in biblical times, first century CE or earlier.
An example: Jesus gave many promises and instructions to his disciples. A number of those things were specific to those whom he spoke to, and do not apply to anyone else. Certain promises which Jesus gave specifically to the apostles, cannot in any way be “claimed” by someone who reads about those things, today.
More: James, John, Jude, Paul and Peter wrote their letters to and regarding the saints. Much in those letters can certainly be used as guidelines even in our day, but one must keep in mind that the epistle writers were addressing those people, and not us. An example: The saints were called “first-fruits” – and they were that. They, and not people of our day. One does not become a “saint” or a part of God’s “first-fruits harvest”, by reading about those who were that.
A pitfall: Many people have been caused to read the Bible in such a way that they apply all the “nice” things in that book to themselves. That has led to many misunderstandings and much confusion.
In short: When one reads the Bible and sees such words as “you”, “your”, “we”, “our”, “us” or “saint”, one must realise and then always keep in mind that those words do not refer to us who read them in the Bible. They refer to people of biblical times. We, people of our day, are mentioned in the Scriptures only indirectly, in regard to still future things.
This is in regard to understanding prophecy, but even other things. It is important to be analytic, so that one checks which prophecies have been fulfilled, and which refer to still coming things. (Unfortunately, there are preachers who quote fulfilled prophecies and make people believe that they refer to still future events. They do that for misleading and controlling their followers.)
Again: When one reads a bible-passage with prophecy, one must carefully consider whether the prophecy in question has already been fulfilled, or whether it points to a still future time. This applies to both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
A pitfall: If one fails to check what the timing in a given passage actually was or is, that easily leads to misunderstandings even in regard to other things in the Bible.
A common problem in connection with bible-study has to do with verb tenses. (“Tense” = a grammatical category of verbs used for expressing distinctions of time. Examples: “It has been” and “it was” = past tense. “It is” = present tense. “It will be” = future tense.) All too often, bible-translators have used wrong verb tenses. That has led to many misunderstandings. More:
Consider even this: The Bible contains records of many prophecies and similar things that were written using the future tense – but then those things happened and were fulfilled, and so, they became things of the past. Here is an example of this with timings, a prophecy that was fulfilled a long time ago but which certain preachers have caused people to think to be a still future matter.
Isaiah 10:5 O Assyrian, the rod of my anger, and the staff in their hand is my indignation. 6 I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets. (AKJV)
In verse 6, we see the future tense, “I will send”. That tense was used when that prophecy was spoken and written down. But then that prophesied thing happened, and so, the written record of that prophecy became merely an interesting historical document. (That particular prophecy in Isaiah 10 was fulfilled circa 734 to 722 BCE, see 2 Kings 15:29 and 17:6 et cetera. Likewise, Isaiah 10 contains a prophecy regarding how Assyria was to be punished for its violence against the Israelites; even that prophecy came to be fulfilled and is now merely a fact of history.)
A pitfall: A casual reader might easily come to wrong conclusions, when he or she sees such phrases as “the last days” or “the last hour”. Here is one such passage.
Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons and said, Gather yourselves together that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. (JB, highlighting added)
A casual reader might think that those words refer to what people today view as “the end time”. But, it is not so. This is a case of translation-related problems, and also a case of different time-perspectives. We who read that passage, must keep in mind that Jacob spoke those words more than 3500 years ago, and that he spoke to his sons, concerning what was to happen to their descendants when they settled in the Promised Land. (Clarification: At the time when Jacob spoke those words, he and his sons lived in Egypt.)
Here is a slightly different translation.
Genesis 49:1 And Jacob called his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, and I will tell you what will befall you at the end of days. (DBY, highlighting added)
That is the meaning of the Hebrew text: “At the end of days”. Which days? Again, one must keep in mind that this was Jacob talking to his sons, more than 3500 years ago. From their time-perspective, the things which Jacob spoke about, were in the future, but from our viewpoint those things are something that happened in the ancient past, in the days when Jacob’s descendants settled in the Promised Land.
Let us consider a New Testament passage which contains the phrase “last days”. It records something that was written to certain Jewish saints (“Hebrews”).
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds (NKJV, highlighting added)
Verse 2, “has in these last days spoken”. Which days? Did the apostle refer to something that had not happened yet but was still in the future? No. As you can see, the speaking (by Jesus) which verse 2 refers to, had been done and was past time, already when the apostle wrote that letter. (And yes, the word “us” in verse 2 refers to the saints, people who lived here on Earth in the first century.)
1 John 2:18 records how the apostle John wrote to certain saints about “the last hour”. The context makes it clear that he referred to things and events of his own day. He wrote that letter to those saints, in regard to things in their day and age. We read:
1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. (ESV01, highlighting added)
As you can see, the apostle John did not write to those saints, “Children, after two thousand years it will be the last hour.” He used the present tense, “it is the last hour”, and he referred to his own day and age, in the first century. (The article rga042.htm explains why John used that wording, “last hour”.)
Regarding the above-quoted 1 John 2:18 – many people have been caused to think that the “antichrists” which the apostle John wrote about are an “end time” thing, from our viewpoint. But, it is not so. Clarification: The word antichristos occurs only in John’s epistles (the Greek text), and the context shows that that word refers to persons who had already come on the scene when John wrote those letters. In the first century. The Bible does not mention any “antichrist” for still coming times. The article roa021.htm has more on the false messiahs, in the Greek text pseudochristoi and antichristoi, whom Jesus and John warned about.
There are many other similar passages. For instance, the book of Revelation contains such wordings as “things which must shortly take place”, “soon”, and so on. Now, it is true that the book of Revelation is a mix, so that it contains even prophecies that have not been fulfilled yet. But, the things regarding which Jesus had John write “must shortly take place”, “soon” or the like, were indeed things and events which then took place shortly after John had written that letter (book), in the first century. The article rga042.htm has some notes on this.
Summarising this key: When one studies the Bible and sees such expressions as “last days”, “last hour”, “the end” and so on, one must realise that one may be reading about something that is past time, something that happened a long, long time ago. Keeping this in mind, helps one to understand the Scriptures in a better way.
Even this is an important key to deeper understanding of the Scriptures. Here, one of the “pitfalls” is that many bible-translators have rendered the old Hebrew word olam as “for ever”, “everlasting” or something similar.
First, an example of a correct translation of the word olam:
Isaiah 42:14 I have for a long time [Hebrew olam] held my peace. I have been still, and refrained myself. Now I will cry out like a travailing woman. I will gasp and pant together. (ACV, comment added)
In that verse, the ACV correctly translates the Hebrew word olam as “for a long time”. That does not mean “for ever”.
Many bible-translators have made it seem that the Old Covenant and its rules were to be “for ever” or “everlasting” or “eternal”. An example:
Leviticus 6:22 And the priest of his sons that is anointed in his stead shall offer it: it is a statute for ever [olam] to the Lord; it shall be wholly burnt. (WBS, comment added)
Even here, the Hebrew text has olam. It is said that that word was related to the verb alam which apparently meant something like “to hide from sight”. The idiomatic meaning of olam may have been “of long duration, so that the end of the matter cannot be seen” (on the relatively short human point of view) – but, it did not mean “for ever” the way that expression is used and understood today. The long time which the word olam here in the case of Leviticus 6:22 refers to, came to its end when the Old Covenant came to its end. (There are some notes on that matter, under the next heading.)
A closer study of the use of the word olam in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament shows that it meant “a long time”, and, when it was used of past events or past time, something like “since ancient days”. For instance the NAS Hebrew dictionary defines the meaning of olam simply as
“long duration, antiquity, futurity”.
In short, that word did not mean “for ever” the way many use and understand that phrase in our day. The article rca132.htm has more on the old Hebrew word olam.
A note: Many or perhaps most of the things which are mentioned in Old Testament passages where the Hebrew text has the word olam, have come to their end, a long time ago. When one keeps this is mind, it is easier to understand the Scriptures in a better way and avoid misunderstandings.
Many churches have confusing and misleading dogmas in regard to the two covenants, old and new. This has made the covenants matter a difficult subject for many people. And yet, it is an important and central key to deeper biblical understanding.
A pitfall: If one does not discern and understand the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, then all of one’s bible-study will be led in a wrong direction.
This is a large subject, and so, the details cannot be included here. But, a few points will be mentioned below, in the hopes that they will incite and encourage the reader to do a deeper study on the matter of the two covenants, old and new.
As the apostle Paul noted, the Old Covenant came into being 430 years after the promises to Abraham. It was “added because of transgressions”, Galatians 3:19, and it was to last “until the Offspring would come to whom the promise had been made”, same verse – that is, until Jesus came. When Jesus the prophesied Offspring of Abraham came and then made his Sacrifice by giving his life in place of others, it became possible to launch the New Covenant. When that happened, the Old Covenant had served its purpose and was set aside. The article rca082.htm has more on this.
One common but misleading dogma talks about “the letter of the law” versus a supposed “spirit of the law”. But, the facts are that the phrases “the letter of the law” and “the spirit of the law” are not found in the Scriptures, except in a few misleading translations. This has to do with such passages as 2 Corinthians 3 and Romans 7 which contain the phrases “the Spirit” and “the letter”. With the phrase “the letter”, the apostle referred to the Old Covenant with its written rules (2 Corinthians 3:6 and 7, “the letter kills” and “the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets”). With the phrase “the Spirit” he referred to the Holy Spirit and the New Covenant (verse 6, “the Spirit gives life”). So, it was not a matter of “applying the Old Covenant in a spiritual way”. Instead, the apostle was talking about the Holy Spirit and a new covenant. The article rca112.htm has more on 2 Corinthians 3:6 and Romans 7:6.
The Decalogue is another part of the covenants matter. Here, it can be good to know that the word “decalogue” comes from the old Greek phrase tous deka logous, “the ten words”, a reference to Exodus 34:28 as it is translated in the ancient LXX, the Septuagint.
Here is how the 1917 JPS version translates the Hebrew text of that verse.
Exodus 34:28 And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten words. (JPS1917, highlighting added)
The actual “ten words” are recorded in Exodus 20, but it is in Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 4:13 and 10:4 that they are given a “name” – “the words of the covenant, the ten words”, Exodus 34:28, and “the ten words”, Deuteronomy 4:13 and 10:4, JPS1917. (The English wording “the ten commandments” which came into use in Catholic times in the Middle Ages, is in fact a mistranslation.)
“The words of the covenant, the ten words” – which covenant was that? Why, the one that was made by Mount Sinai. The Old Covenant. Understanding this matter in depth, is a vital key to understanding many other things in the Bible. The article rca052.htm has more on the matter of the Decalogue.
A note: The Old Covenant’s “words of the covenant, the ten words” were written on two tablets of stone. In contrast to that, the New Covenant is written,
“not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3, NKJV).
The article rca063.htm has some notes on the Holy Spirit as the New Covenant’s “writing”.
A pitfall: If one does not know what new-covenantal righteousness is and consists of, then one will have problems with understanding even other things in the Bible.
Various church dogmas and the like have caused many people to misunderstand the matter of righteousness. Some churches have made people believe that there are no moral guidelines, under the New Covenant. At the same time, some other churches have caused people to think that the New Covenant is not really new but merely a “confirmation” or “modification” of the Old Covenant. Neither of those claims is true.
Those who have read all of the Bible with care, may have noticed that much more was expected in the way of righteousness, of the saints who were under the New Covenant, than was ever demanded of the Israelites when they were under the Old Covenant. But: New-covenantal righteousness is not defined by the rules of the Old Covenant.
As such, the matter of righteousness is quite simple and clear, but again, various dogmas have confused people in that regard. The details regarding that subject cannot be included here, but it is good to know that the English word “righteousness”, older form rihtwisnes, simply means “right-wise-ness” = “right-ways-ness”. That is quite well “in line” with the relevant words in the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible. And then, one must know what the right ways really are, when it comes to the New Covenant. Even that is an important key to deeper biblical understanding. The article rga083.htm contains a study on the matter of righteousness, including what new-covenantal righteousness is and consists of.
Another important key to deeper biblical understanding is the matter of the Kingdom of God – knowing what, when and where that Reign or Kingdom actually is.
A pitfall: If one does not understand the nature of the Kingdom of God (Reign of God) – what it is, and when and where – then it is likely that one will misunderstand many important scriptures. This is because many central matters in the Bible are connected to the Reign of God.
That subject is too large to be included here, but in short: The Kingdom or Reign of God is not something that is only going to be established “in the future”. Nor is it something that is merely “in the hearts of men” as some have claimed. God’s Reign or Kingdom exists, and it has existed for a time longer than we humans can even understand, and it is based in Heaven.
Psalms 103:19 The Lord has made the heavens his throne; from there he rules over everything. (NLT04)
However, at this present time, our world (the planet Earth) is not a part of that Reign but is in the hands of wicked powers. It is only in the future when Jesus returns, that even the Earth will become a part of God’s Reign (Kingdom).
The article roa012.htm has more on the Kingdom of God.
A pitfall: If one does not understand who the “saints” and the “144000” of the New Testament are, one is bound to misunderstand many things in the Bible, in regard to prophecies as well as in regard to other things.
In several churches, people are called “saints”, and they are caused to think that they, or some of them, are the first-fruits group of 144000 which is mentioned in Revelation 14. In that way, the true first-fruits group – the saints, those who received the Holy Spirit in biblical times, first century CE or earlier – have been swept aside, as if they had never even existed.
Point: When one studies the New Testament, one must keep in mind that in that book, the word “saints” refers to those who received the Holy Spirit in biblical times, and that the first-fruits group of 144000 of Revelation 14 consists of them. Likewise, as was noted earlier: When one reads the Bible and sees such words as “you”, “your”, “we”, “our”, “us”, one must keep in mind that those words refer to people of biblical times. We, people of our day, are mentioned in the Scriptures only indirectly, in regard to still future things.
The article rga032.htm considers the words and concepts “saint” and “sainthood”. The article rta032.htm has some notes on the 144000.
A note: In some churches, people have been caused to misunderstand what (and when) the great multitude of the book of Revelation is and whom it consists of. The details of that matter cannot be discussed here, but in short: It appears that the great, innumerable multitude will consist of people who turn to God in the days when the two witnesses of the book of Revelation do their work. The article rta032.htm has more on this.
A pitfall: If one thinks that some “scholars” or “clergymen” have “biblical authority” or “spiritual authority”, that is likely to lead to that one lamely accepts their teachings, instead of finding out what the Bible actually teaches.
Let us keep in mind what Jesus said to his disciples, in regard to things of that nature:
Matthew 23:8 “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 “And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 “And do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. (NASB77)
The article rsa062.htm has more on the matter of biblical, spiritual or religious authority on the human level. That is, the question, who can speak for God?
A note: Many churches have priests or “ordained men”, and sometimes they claim that they have “authority”. Those things are not based on the Bible. The Old Covenant had its mortal priesthood, but in connection with the New Covenant things are different. Consider this: The saints did not have any mortal priests. The resurrected Jesus was their only priest. The concept of “ordaining”, “holy orders”, is of Catholic origin, and it does not have any basis in the Greek text of the New Testament. The article rea022.htm has more on this.
Many preachers have copied the old Catholic “true church” dogma, and applied it to their own churches.
A pitfall: If one believes in dogmas which claim that God has some church as his “representative” or “spokesman” here on Earth, then one is likely to lamely accept the doctrines of the church in question, instead of finding out what the Bible in actual fact teaches. Then one will be following the teachings of men, and not what the Scriptures say. (As was noted earlier, dogmas, doctrines, tenets, creeds, statements of faith and the like, are always formulated by men and consist of teachings of men.)
The various “true church” doctrines are based on an old Catholic dogma regarding the supposed meaning of Matthew 16:18–19. Many non-Catholic churches have copied that Catholic dogma and modified it and used it for their own purposes. But, Matthew 16:18–19 does not refer to a church, neither the Catholic Church nor any other one. That verse records that Jesus said that he would form an assembly, in the Greek text ekklêsia. His statement that “the gates of hades will not prevail against it” obviously means that that assembly was to consist of immortals. In short: When the apostles had become immortals, they were to be joined to that assembly – call it “government” if you please – and assist Jesus in the administration of God’s Reign. (Not only Simon Peter but even the others; see for instance Matthew 19:27–28.)
The article raa012.htm with its appendix has more on Matthew 16:18 and the “true church” dogma; see also the article rba072.htm. The article rga062.htm explains the origin and actual meaning of the word “church”.
There are even dogmas regarding “church eras”. Most of them are copies of an old Baptist (Millerite) doctrine which is based on a twisted interpretation of Revelation 2–3 and certain other scriptures. A number of churches and preachers have copied Miller’s dogma and modified it and used it for their own purposes. But, the facts are that the Bible does not mention any such thing as “eras of the church”. The assemblies or fellowships which are mentioned in Revelation 2–3, were contemporary, and they existed in the apostle John’s day, in the first century. More: A closer study of historical sources shows that the groups which Miller set forth “eras of the true church”, were gnostic and occult sects or similar, and not in any way “pure” or “original” as Miller claimed. The article raa032.htm has more on the “church eras” dogma.
A pitfall: If one fails to realise that all bible-translations are produced by men and contain bias and error, it is likely that one will be misled in one’s study. (If you have been caused to think that some particular bible-version has all things right and has no errors, make sure to read the article rsa032.htm.)
When one reads various bible-versions, one must keep in mind that one is in fact reading biased texts produced by some church, denomination, sect or the like. All bible-translations contain errors and dogmatic bias, and all too often even purposely twisted things. The same goes for “biblical” lexicons, dictionaries, commentaries and so on.
In order to avoid being misled in one’s study, one must have some means for checking whether the wordings that one sees in different bible-versions are correct, or not. For that, one needs proper tools. If one wants to really “get going” with one’s study, one should use a modern computer bible suite. (If one is able.) Rightly used, some of the newer and more extensive computer bible suites can revolutionise one’s study.
Whether you use such tools or not, keep in mind the keys which are mentioned in this present article, including the one that is mentioned under the next heading. See also the following notes:
The different modules that computer bible suites contain – translations, dictionaries, lexicons, commentaries and so on – contain errors and dogmatic bias, just as their printed versions do. But, many of the more extensive computer bible suites make it possible to compare many different translations, and to check things in the Hebrew and Greek texts.
Regarding “interlinear bibles”: It appears that some people have thought that interlinears would somehow be “better” or more “reliable” or “objective” than other translations. But, even in interlinears, the English texts, and comments and so on are a work of men, a work where the translators, through their choice of words and even in other ways, have included their bias. In other words: Interlinear bibles are just as biased and slanted as other translations. One must also keep in mind that the so-called “biblical” lexicons of Hebrew and Greek tend to be limited, dogma-based and in many points misleading.
The article rsa012.htm has some notes on study-tools in general, and the article rsa023.htm on computer bible suites.
A very important key to better understanding of the Bible – let us say, the most important one – is prayer. That is, asking God to help and lead one to understand things in the right way. This includes humbly asking for correction and guidance, and for courage so that one can free one’s mind from misleading dogmas and old misunderstandings.
One must also ask God to help and lead one to understand what things in the Bible apply to our day and age, and ask him to help and lead one to in a wise manner use those things as a basis for making decisions in regard to one’s daily life.
A word of warning, regarding prayer. Some preachers tell people who notice that some church dogma lacks biblical support, to “pray about it”. Some people then perhaps do that – they pray about that dogma, and keep on praying, each time mentioning the dogma and thinking about it. This works as self-suggestion, a kind of hypnosis, so that after some time, the dogma in question becomes more and more familiar to them, until they finally “understand” it and see it as “truth” – even when the dogma in question does not have any biblical support at all.
Point: One must keep asking God to help one to understand the Bible, instead of praying about some church dogmas or the like.
There are even other keys to better biblical understanding. The purpose of this article was not to make a complete list of them, but to give a number basic keys which can serve as a starting point for deeper study and understanding of the Scriptures.
See also the “recommended reading” section, below.
Please tell others about this site. Please also link to it. The address to the table of contents page is biblepages.net/contents.htm
An explanation of the short names for the bible-translations that are quoted or mentioned at this site. → rsa092.htm
On the King James version. The story behind king James’ bible, including the men who were involved in producing it. → rsa032.htm
How to study the Bible in a deeper way. → rsa012.htm
Some notes on computer bibles, bible study software. → rsa023.htm
What does the word “doctrine” really mean and refer to? Likewise, what is the meaning of the terms “dogma”, “creed” and “tenet”? → rsa082.htm
What happened to the saints of the New Testament? Why is there no record of their doings, after the middle of the first century? → rga042.htm
What does the Bible say about the antichrist or antichrists? On the meaning of the words antichristos and pseudochristos in the Greek text of the New Testament. → roa021.htm
Some notes on how bible-translations mislead, by making it seem that the Old Covenant was to be “everlasting”. On the word olam in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. → rca132.htm
On Galatians 3:17–19 and what the apostle Paul meant by “added law”. → rca082.htm
Many talk about “the spirit of the law” versus “the letter of the law”, but those expressions are not found in the Bible. On the meaning of the phrases “the Spirit” and “the letter” in 2 Corinthians 3:6–8 and Romans 7:6. → rca112.htm
On the Decalogue, “the words of the covenant, the ten words”. → rca052.htm
Where can one find the rules of the New Covenant, in written form? → rca063.htm
What does the word “righteous” really mean? What does the Bible say about righteousness? → rga083.htm
What is the Kingdom of God? Where is it located? Does it exist already, or is it only going to be established in the future? Or, is it merely something “in the hearts of men”? → roa012.htm
Who are the 144000 and the great multitude of Revelation 7? Also, who are the first-fruits or virgins of Revelation 14:1–4? → rta032.htm
On the word “saint” and what it means and refers to, in the Bible. → rga032.htm
What does the Bible say about authority? Who has biblical, spiritual or religious authority? Who can speak for God? → rsa062.htm
How did the saints of the New Testament choose their elders? Also, were those elders “ordained”, and did they function as “priests” of some kind? → rea022.htm
Matthew 16:18, “I will build my assembly, and the gates of hades shall not prevail against it”. What and where is the ekklêsia or assembly which Jesus said he would form? Is it an earthly religious organisation as some claim, or something else? → raa012.htm
Matthew 16:19, the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and “bind” and “loose”. What kind of “keys” and “binding and loosing” was Jesus talking about? → rba072.htm
The origin and meaning of the word “church”. → rga062.htm
“Church eras” – do they exist? Are there seven “eras of the church”, as some say – “Sardis era”, “Philadelphian era”, “Laodicean era” and so on? → raa032.htm
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