This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Bible Study

John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

Luke 11:28 “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”

Not all Bible versions are the same and the version we choose is critical for sound doctrine. When studying the Scriptures is always good to compare the version we are reading with other good translation, that will give us more understanding on some words, or you can also use a bible dictionary.

The King James Bible is one of the best translations in the English language. Other Bibles translated from the Textus Receptus or Received Text (Majority Text) are also good but there are just a few bibles left today. Example: ‘The Interlinear Bible’ by Jay P. Green Sr. ; George Ricker Berry, Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, World Publishing, 1997, 1999 ; the ‘New King James’ Bible & the ‘Modern English Translation’.

What it’s important to look for is that the bible version we use is translated from the Received Text (Textus Receptus or Majority Text). Most modern translations like New International Version, The Living Bible, New Revised Standard, etc. have many parts translated from a corrupted manuscript or minority text, that comes from Alexandria Egypt and are not reliable translations, you will see some examples below. Also the Greek Interlinear by Wescott & Hort is corrupted, they used the minority text manuscripts and most new modern translation used this Wescott & Hort interlinear to translate their versions (this corrupted interlinear is used also by the Jehova’s Witnesses because attacks the Divinity of Jesus Christ).  A quick test we can do : Any version of the Bible which omits Acts 8:37, and/or the word “through his blood” in Col. 1:14 evidently has for its foundation a corrupted manuscript. Check this chart for more information: Bible Version Comparison.

Some bible verses that talk about the importance of keeping the Word of God pure:

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.” Deut. 4:2 –  Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32, Proverbs 30:6, Galatians 1:8-9 ;Revelation 22:19; Acts 17:11.

To study the Bible we can follow this 4 steps:

1/ Setting the context:

There are 2 broad categories for context. One is called the historical-cultural context: Author & background. The other is the literary context. = Context, context, context.

A) –Author — Who wrote the passage? (historical-cultural context)
B) –Background — When did the author live? In what culture? (historical-cultural context)
C) –Context — How does the passage fit in with what comes before and after it? -Reading the text involves looking at the near context (the verse immediately before and after) as well as the far context (the paragraph or the chapter that precedes and/or follows the passage you’re studying). The smaller the passage being studied, the greater the chance of error. (literary context). Examples:

Amos 5:23 “Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.”

But when we read more verses of this chapter we understand the context, this is not about God prohibiting musical instruments as some may believe. Israel thought that they were really honoring God and pleasing Him by their observance of the feasts and sacred assemblies, but God was offended by their religious ceremonialism, disconnected from the heart and justice towards one another.

See: Psalm 81:1-3,144:9, Hebrews 13:15, etc.

Another example:
Romans 8:1 (& 4) “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, -many like the Calvinist stop there, but it also says: who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

When this last portion of the statement is not included (like NIV & new translations) it creates a possible doctrinal error. To say there is no condemnation of any kind to all who are in Christ Jesus is to overlook the whole of Scripture.  By reading the near context we’ll understand better the meaning: Romans 8:6,8, also Acts 5:1-10, Gal. 2:20.I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; Gal. 5:16-25, 1 Cor.6:8-11, John 15:6, etc.

To be in Christ, means to be so under his influence, as not to walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit; that is, to receive constant divine influence from Him, as the branches receive nourishment from the vine in order to live & give fruit. This close relationship with Christ, and subjection to His guide, are taught throughout the Scriptures. We need to persevere in this close relationship, living according to His Word, if we don’t want to fall from grace.
Mat.10:22, Ezekiel 3:20,18:18 & 26; Exodus 32:31-33, Mat.7:21-23; Luke 21:36; 1 Cor. 10:12; Rom.11:20-22; Rev. 5:3, Rev 3:14-16, etc.

2/ What does the passage say ? (Observation)

-Pray for the Holy Spirit’s guidance. Read prayerfully (Ps.119:18, 27, 33-36). Re-read the passage.

-Gather all sorts of facts like an investigative reporter. Ask questions to help you observe the facts: Who? What happened? What was taught? When? Where? How? Why? This is where you see and discover what the author is saying.

-Locate and mark any key words, repeated words or phrases, and commands.

3/ What does it mean? (Meaning)

-Carefully examine the text and let it speak for itself. What is the main idea or lesson that God was trying to communicate? You can also make an outline and or write down the general idea.
-Look at other scriptures that relate to the passage. These are usually found in the margins of Bibles or in footnotes. What do other verses say about this thought?

-Use Bible study helps to get a clearer meaning of the passage as needed: Bible dictionaries, concordances, Cross-references to define any unfamiliar terms or ideas. Let Scripture interpret Scripture.

4/ Can the principle be applied to one specific area of my life? (Application)

-What is one way I can apply the heart of this passage to my life?
-How does the truth revealed here affect my relationship with God & others?

The application step is not completed by simply answering these questions; the key is putting into practice what God has taught you in your study. 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

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-Here you can see some examples of 2 different bible versions & how they change the Word of God:

KING JAMES  – Luke 9:56
For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Matt. 18:11 – For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

and they went to another village.
Matt. 18:11 – (missing)

KJV Matt. 9:13 …I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
NIV Matt. 9:13 …I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.

KJV I Cor. 5:7 …Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
NIV I Cor. 5:7…Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed.

KJV John 6:47  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
NIV John 6:47  I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.

KJV  Mark 11:26 – But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
NIV  Mark 11:26 – (missing)

KJV  Matthew 17:21 – Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

NIV Matthew 17:21 – (Missing)


King James Bible Vs. The Message version:

KJV Romans 10:13 “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

The Message Rom.10:13, “Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.”

KJV Matthew 6:9-13
“Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts,As we forgive our debtors
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.”

The Message
“Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best -As above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes.”

KJV  Psalm 51:10 – Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

The Message Psalm 51:10: “Create a Genesis Moment out of the Chaos of my Life”

The bible version The Message isn’t really a translation but an interpretation (created by Eugene H. Peterson), however is being used in many churches and by well know authors of Christian books, like Max Lucado & Rick Warren among them. If you are serious follower of Christ who loves the truth of God, then you will do good staying away from churches, books, teachers, etc. that use The Message.

Related Articles:

Studying Psalms 23 using the basic steps

What kind of message is The Message?

Mystic Mess

New NAR  “Passion Bible” a dangerous Heresy

Series NavigationStudying the Bible – pt. 1 >>