Equipping the Saints Bible translations, Christian Learning Center
To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.
- Ephesians 4:12
- 2Timothy 2:12
A solid Christian foundation from a Bible school is something that many people would love to have, unfortunately the cost and time required for schooling can be prohibitive to many. With that in mind, and the fact that not all Bible schools are created equal, (some are liberal, some are cultic, etc.) We wanted to create a high calibre resource of online Christian education that is free of cost. Don't be fooled into thinking that free has little to no value.
The gift of God is free to us, but it wasn't free to God. He took the punishment that you deserve, He paid for it, and gave it freely to you.
These resources may be free of cost, but those that put them together gave of their own time and effort in order to put forth these wonderful resources. I hope you will be blessed as I have been with these wonderful gems.
Before you dig into these resources, you must remember that the Bible is your primary source of Truth and every other resource is a distant second. With that in mind, here are some principles to help you as you study your Bible and be sure to always begin with prayer and asking God for wisdom before you study.
Things To Consider When Reading The Bible
-Who is the author and to whom is the message written to?
-What does it say?
-What does it mean?
-What is the authors intent?
-What timeless truths apply in my life?
-What are the historical and cultural considerations?
-Keep in mind the Hebrew context.
-What is the immediate and broader context?
-Old Testament is the New Testament concealed and the New Testament is the Old Testament revealed.
-The Spirit of truth will guide you into all truth as you read and obey what you read.
-Remember that the Bible never contradicts itself - seeming contradictions need further study.
Purchasing A Bible
Inevitably, the question of which Bible translation you should purchase will arise. Any serious student of God's Word needs to take into consideration some key biblical principles.
- When a lawyer writes up laws, they will consider the weight and value of each and every word that is chosen, failure to do so could end up making the law of no
value or worse, can be used to lead people astray. The same principle would be used when translating that law from one language to another.
- The scriptures often refers to itself as the "law" and the word "law" is mentioned over 450 times in the Bible. The LORD has written His law for mankind and as
any legal contract, every word is to be examined and weighed in light of its entirety.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Deuteronomy 4:2 - Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
2 Peter 1:20 - Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
Revelation 22:18-19 - For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book.
Proverbs 30:5-6 - Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
Deuteronomy 12:32 - What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
Anyone who speaks 2 or more languages will tell you that there are a variety of ways in which a text can be translated. A song might be loosely translated because they are trying to bring forth a certain feeling or general thought. A food item found at your local market might be translated into something completely different. A legal document on the other hand, will be a direct translation, because the interpretation is of the utmost importance. The question then would be: If such a thorough translation would be done in a legal environment, why would we not respect the Word of God and translate it with fear and trepidation?
There may be numerous English translations, but your primary Bible should be a formal equivalence. You can also compare two versions using a tool such as Bible Gateway in order to see the differences
Here is a simple way of sorting through the most popular english versions available. Keep in mind, we must also consider why a specific translation was put together in the first place and what are the translators' presuppositions because this will inevitably affect the work.
Formal Equivalence: A literal word for word translation which retains the form, words and structure of the original text as much as possible.
Translations that fall into this category include: ASV, ESV, KJV, NASB, NKJV
Functional Equivalence: A dynamic translation that tries to convey the meaning of what is thought the author intended.
Translations that fall into this category include: HSCB, NIV, TNIV, REB
Paraphrase: A re-wording of the text in the same language in order to make it easier to understand.
Translations that fall into this category include: NEB, NLT, TLB
Unsound: A deviation from the original intent of the author, based on private interpretation.
Translations that fall into this category include: NWT, The Message, The Book of Yeezus
Blue Letter Bible Institute - College level courses teaching doctrines of the faith, Bible exposition, apologetics, cults
Defenders Study Bible - The Institute for Creation Research offers this wonderful online Bible resource with commentaries from a creationist's perspective.
Let us Reason - Christian apologetics ministry, dealing with Bible doctrines, false teachings, cults
The Berean Call - A ministry of Biblical discernment
Christian Jew Foundation - Teaching the local church about its Jewish roots
Islam-Watch - What Islam is really about as documented by ex-Islamists
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - A classic Bible reference compiled from nearly 10,000 entries written by over 200 different Bible scholars.