Confused About The Bible?

What’s The Bible about?

How do you know it’s true
 or not true?
Where do you start?
How do you Study It?

A lot of people have questions about The Bible. They’ve heard various comments about it and wonder what to think. For some reason they’re intimidated by it so they don’t read it for themselves. But if you never read it you’ll never be able to understand what it is, or what it’s about.

Some people are afraid to read it because they’re concerned they won’t understand it. That’s not surprising. We tend to avoid things until we get the information we need to feel comfortable enough to begin to investigate an area. If that doesn’t happen we’ll probably never go there. Hopefully the articles on this website will help you discover that it’s easier to understand than you may think.

What’s The Bible About?

Perhaps the best place to start is to give you an idea of what The Bible, which I’ll refer to as Scripture from here on, is all about. The simplest way to explain that is to say that it’s a recorded history of a group of people who some might choose to call “religious”.

Religion is defined in Webster’s New World Dictionary as:
1. belief in a divine or super human power or powers to be obeyed and worshipped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe.”
2. expression of this belief in conduct and ritual.
3. a) any specific system of belief, worship, conduct, etc., often involving a code of ethics and a philosophy.
b) Loosely, any system of beliefs, practices, ethical values, etc. resembling, suggestive of, or likened to such a system.
4. a state of mind or way of life expressing love for and trust in God; and one’s will and effort to act according to the will of God.
5. any object of conscientious regard and pursuit.
6. a practice of religious observances or rites.

The people in Scripture include both religious and non-religious people. Some of them worship “God”, and some worship things that are called “god” but are not gods at all. They are simply images or statues.

However, there's another side to all of this. The real story of Scripture is not about "religion". It's about a relationship. That relationship is a special relationship. It's not about following a set of rules and regulations. It's about discovering that there is a divine being who truly loves you. He wants to know you and He wants you to know Him. His name is YAHWEHHe is the “God” identified in Scripture as the only true God (supreme being – there can only be one supreme being; anything else in not supreme). He is “The Living God”.

The main group of people found in Scripture is often referred to as “The People of The Book”. We know them as The Children of Yisra’el. There’s another group that’s often referred to as the “Gentiles”, which means those who are not Yisra’elites. The term, bible, is from the Greek, biblia, meaning collection of writings; a book. So The Bible, Scripture, is a collection of writings. The writings detail the relationships between these various people and YAHWEH.

There are two basic portions, The Old Covenant (Testament) and The New Covenant (Testament). [Testament is really a misnomer. It refers to a formal will that is only valid when the person dies.] A covenant is a contract - in this case between YAHWEH and those who willingly choose to believe in and trust Him.

The entire focus of Scripture, in the long run, is to help us understand who YAHWEH is, and what He desires of those who choose to follow His ways. It’s also about what He has done to provide loving and compassionate support for those people throughout the course of history.

Most importantly, it reveals His actions to provide for, protect, and redeem His people from their mistakes (called sin). Ultimately, this is accomplished through His Son, Jesus (more correctly, YAHUSHUA). YAHUSHUA is The Messiah, the one most refer to as Jesus, Christ, Redeemer, Savior, etc.

Virtually every part of Scripture deals with The Messiah in some manner. However, this is not always plainly revealed to the casual reader. In order to truly comprehend what Scripture really says, and/or means, one needs to do some homework. You need to study Scripture, carefully, asking YAHWEH to help you understand it.

The other aspect of Scripture that’s vital to understand is that there’s “an adversary” involved. There’s a being who is intent upon confusing and imitating YAHWEH’s Word in such a manner as to corrupt it. He’s referred to as The Devil, Satan, The Deceiver, The Serpent, and several other things. He is intensely committed to deceiving you and everyone else about what YAHWEH says.

YAHUSHUA has already defeated him on the "cross" [Lit. - torture stake]. However, he's been granted a period of time to stay active in the world before his final destruction takes place. This can be a bit confusing, but there is a purpose for his existence. The accounts of his actions to disrupt YAHWEH’s desires and plans for His people pervade Scripture as a means of educating us to his tricks and deceptions.

You need to know of his existence. You need to learn of his ways. You need to discover how to protect yourself from his lies and deceptions. He will do everything in his power to get you to not believe the Word of YAHWEH, Scripture.

He is the most subtle and unscrupulous adversary you will ever encounter. Sadly, he makes himself appear to be “an angel of light”. If you get suckered by him you might end up thinking he’s the most “religious" person there ever was. Be very careful of his ways. He’s actually the one that’s been keeping you from a deep knowledge of Scripture already – and you don’t even recognize that reality.

How Do You Know If It’s True?

YAHWEH proclaims in His Word, The Bible – Scripture – that He speaks the truth and does not lie. Either this is correct or it is not. If it’s true then we're safe in believing (actually, trusting) every word of it (when properly understood in its given contexts, and as the original text stated). If it’s not true then it becomes meaningless drivel. It’s worthless.

Note: I must warn you about some serious Bible errors. The enemy has succeeded in messing with the text. Many of our English translations contain corrupted material that’s based on the traditions of men, and not The Word of YAHWEH. It’s one of the reasons personal study has become more important than ever. Please check out the blue links.

The only way you’ll really know if it’s true or not is to read it, consider what it says carefully, then check the facts with the record of history. There are countless references made to historical events. These are relatively easy to track and confirm or deny. Was there a nation of Israel? Did it experience the events provided in the Scripture? Or are they all fiction.

Remember, YAHWEH says that every word He speaks is true, and it will come to pass if it hasn’t already. He does not lie. Either the facts can be proven or they are false. If you can demonstrate that the majority of them are correct, then you can also believe the rest of them are likely valid.

This, however, is where things become a little “sticky”. Some facts are clearly proven. The historical record is very clear. But some of the things stated cannot be ascertained with certainty. The historical record is missing, or the details are somewhat clouded. In many cases the historical record has actually been rewritten with the specific intent of obscuring the truth. At some point you must decide for yourself whether you will accept The Word of YAHWEH as fact or fiction. Belief becomes an act of faith, or trust. The ultimate question is this, “Do you trust YAHWEH or do you not trust Him?” Everything hinges on your choice in this.

Life is filled with things you cannot prove. We do things every day that we cannot comprehend. When you flip a light switch and the light comes on it does so because that’s what it’s always done. Yet few could ever correctly and thoroughly explain how and why it works. We flip the switch, acting on our faith that the lights will come on. Most of the time they do. But sometimes they don’t. But seldom is there any doubt in your mind that when you flip that switch the lights are going to come on. There are many other examples we could use.

In reality, the bottom line is faith. When you can’t prove something you must decide whether to accept it by faith or reject it. There are things in Scripture we will never understand in this life; yet one day, if we have faith in (trust) YAHWEH, they will be revealed to us. One day we will be given the ability to understand everything. That’s a promise of Scripture. But it only applies to those who choose to trust YAHWEH with their whole heart and mind and being. 

Where Do You Start?

There are many differing suggestions. Some will tell you to start with Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in The New Covenant. Of these four I’d suggest John. The first chapters in particular set an interesting perspective on things. You’ll note that it's the first book in Scripture For Seekers, The New Covenant.

However, there’s merit in starting at the beginning, Genesis. If you don’t have an understanding of the first five books (known as The Books of Moses, The Pentateuch, or The Torah) it will be difficult to really understand the rest of Scripture. A brand new version of Genesis has now been posted to this site. Click the link above to go to the PDF file of the text. It contains new in-column notes to help explain the text for you, and it’s put into language that hopefully is a bit easier for your to understand than some of the archaic English texts that have been so common prior to this. Be sure to read The Introduction first!

Scripture is not like a novel. You can’t simply read the last chapter or two to find out what happens in the end. I guarantee you will certainly be confused if you start with the last book, called The Revelation. You will simply have no foundation upon which to comprehend the conclusion.

This same factor enters the picture when you start anywhere but at the beginning. While there’s much you can pick up in those central books, they all depend upon an understanding of how these books came into existence and what preceded them. So, the best thing you can do is read The Book from cover to cover. Do this with a view toward gaining an overview of The Book. Don’t be too concerned about the details at first. After you have a basic perspective, go back and study each book more carefully with a view toward understanding how it fits into the whole framework. then you can get down to specifics. 

How Do You Study It?

There are many ways to study Scripture. You can search for topics, do word searches, study particular books, etc. But whatever you do, it’s important to be serious about your study. Please don’t do this casually. The material is far too important to treat it lightly. It is The Word of YAHWEH. It’s not your average book. It’s not a novel. It’s not science fiction. It’s life-giving God-breathed and inspired writings. Please treat it with the utmost respect. Give it the attention it truly deserves.

As you study it, please remember that the context of what you’re reading is of the utmost importance. Please don’t take things out of their context and try to understand them in isolation. This will cause confusion also. They’re placed where they are for a reason. The surrounding information is crucial to understanding any given idea or concept.

Next, get some tools to help you with your study. Get a good concordance. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is among the best. It will provide information on virtually every word of the text, allowing you to understand the word, it’s meaning in the original language, and how it’s been translated (at least in the King James Version of The Bible), and the other places where it’s used. From this information you can obtain a lot better understanding of the words.

A good Bible dictionary is helpful. A good English dictionary is also essential, because there are words you won’t know the meanings for in English, let alone in their original forms. You need to look them up so you understand what’s being said and what it’s supposed to mean, not what you think it means. 

Lexicons, interlinear translations, word study books, original language texts, etc. are also quite helpful once you get deeply into your studies. You can go just as far as you’d like to go with all of this, and there are many wonderful rewards as you do so. Many of these things are available on-line. Search for them.

There are a number of excellent software programs available now. You can start with the basics and add more as you desire. You can have multiple translations and countless reference books right on your computer, tablet, or cell phone - so they're always with you for instant reference. There's virtually no excuse for not having good resources available today.

I urge you to spend some significant time each week reading and studying The Word of YAHWEH, preferably daily. Only by spending quality time with it will you ever grow in your understanding of it. And I believe the more you grow in that understanding the more you will want to know. In order to help the message permeate your mind more effectively try reading the text out loud. It’s amazing how this little understood dynamic facilitates learning.

The goal is to know YAHWEH, personally. Your relationship with Him is the most important element of all. Scripture is given to us for this specific purpose. If we never read it, if we never study it, we will never know Him.

May your study of The Word of YAHWEH (The Bible, Scripture) fill you with joy 
as you discover His astounding love and compassion.


NOTE These pages are a "work in progress". They're updated fairly often as new information or insights are provided that require a change in what's presented. Please check back regularly to see what may have changed since your last visit. Scripture verses used on the site are from Scripture For Seekers (see the Home Page)They're not always presented on these pages in exactly the same format as they occur in the text due to space considerations but the text is the same. Every book is now available in PDF format. Download or print your own copy today.  Or, go to www.accordancebible.com and obtain your own copy of Accordance. Then follow the instructions on the Home page to download an electronic version of Scripture for Seekers, S4S from The Accordance Exchange.
Personal use is free, but these are not to be used for any commercial purpose. Please contact the site owner if you have an interest in commercial usage.

May YAHWEH speak to your heart and bless you with understanding as you explore His Word.