Why is it that christians do not study the bible by themselves?
I have found that most christians don't bother to read and study the bible by themselves. They like to replace the bible by books found in christian book stores and then they believe what those books teach about the bible rather than what the bible teaches itself. Why do you think that christians don't like studying the bible by themselves? Do you think that they struggle to use their own mind when reading scriptures and prefer to have someone else do the thinking for them? Do you think most christians have lost their ability to reason because of this?
I'm beginning to see that you don't like Christians. There are many people who are told lies about Christians. The truth is, most Christians in the area where I live belong to a Bible study group. These are usually once a week. We get together, read passages in turn, then share what the Holy Spirit has revealed to us. We typically have very deep, often philosophical, discussions about what God may have meant. Because God hides many things in just one story, we use philosophy of logic and reason to assess what IS meant, and what is NOT meant.
Christians have NOT lost their ability to reason. However, I challenge you to assess yourself in this regard. You are attacking Christians. Is this because something in you hates them, or is it because something in you wants to know more?
Many if not most find it much easier to simply ask someone else. This seems to be human nature. Years ago my wife said at work it was easier and faster to ask a coworker how to do something on the software than to read the instructions or try something on her own. That makes sense from the standpoint of keeping one’s job, but not from the standpoint of knowing what God requires of us. In other words; I don’t think this is only a Christian problem.
However on line I’ve noticed that many people regardless of their religious belief prefer to ask questions than dig for answers from the correct source. If they get an answer from several different people with different beliefs then they are more confused than ever with more questions and still no answer from God’s Word. In my years of Bible study I’ve discovered that serious Bible students who seek answers from God instead of man have way more they agree upon than what they disagree on.
This simply is not true...........
Many " church affiliated" people may fall ( and probably do) into this category.
Throughout our national history, even into present day............we seek ( American Christians) our God, on the plains, in the forest, in the garden, at the river, in the stream, while stretched out on the hammock in our backyard, at the park where our children are content with life.
Some of us, ( self included) have sought His counsel, under the sky of a barren desert, and in the hollows, where the coyotes cried.
Your assumption is false. You do not know 'most christians.' Maybe the ones you know fit your description. The ones I know, myself included, do not. I generally study the bible alone. I do read commentaries, and advanced bible studies. But I make up my own mind. Have you ever considered that many Christians seek help in understanding the nuances of the original languages of the bible? The Old Testament was written first in Hebrew, then translated into Latin. The New Testament was originally written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. These are all archaic languages, which - oh, by the way - means they are no longer commonly spoken. They are not easy languages to learn, All scripture must be considered wiith the original language, in the context it is written, and with consideration to the specific situations it addresses. 66 books written by over 40 authors of varying degrees of education in a vast array of styles is not easily assimilated by even the most educated scholar.
whoisbid, I fail to understand why the comments so far are so accusatory/defensive for your very reasonable question. Yes, absolutely beyond a doubt, christians depend upon someone else to interpret scriptures for them. As ministers and long-time church teachers, we have known for decades and by their own admissions, even the church leaders did not know scripture. Those who disagree with you have not taken polls and if they are blessed to be around others who actually care to know what scripture says to them via the Holy Spirit, how wonderful! Even though Christ came to make us all priests, we have still clung to the O.T. ways of another intercessor, (preacher), who might or might not be right about his interpretation. Teach children for 30 years in SS and you'll find out how many times the Bible is opened in their homes. And yes, most have lost their ability to reason (discern) as is evident in today's society. When a christian understands that the Holy Bible is a letter to them personally, from him personally, they will take very seriously the words written therein and, by the power of the Holy Spirit, begin to understand and put them into practice.
First...spiritual warfare in which Satan and his demons work actively to dissuade Christians from growing in grace. Ephesians 6:10-20 goes into this in detail.
Second...some folks simply want to know for sure they're not going to Hell, so they drink the "pure milk of the Word" and don't grow...a problem apparently around since the books of Hebrews and 1 & 2 Peter were written addressing those problems, not to mention Ephesians 6:11-16.
Third...some pastors WANT their people to stay immature, so spoon feed them what they want them to know and folks, for reasons #1 & #2, are happy that way.
Fourth...there's a certain part of human nature that doesn't want to accept personal responsibility and, frankly, for folks who know their Bibles, there is, as Ecclesiastes says, a lot of pain that goes with wisdom.
I think Christians do not study the bible by themselves for many reasons.
-We are intiimidated by the thee's and thou's and hath's and forget to read several versions to really understand what the Bible is saying.
-We are scared to read something that is speaking directly to them in their life.
-We are not ready to fully accept everything in the Bible.
-Christians, such as myself still question alot of things in the Bible and it will take a while to get to the point where we fully accept everything.
-And finally, Christians don't read the Bible themselves because we are not taught to. Think about it, alot of Christan parents take kids to church, the pastor does not preach about reading the Bible - they bash homosexuals, they say 'you're not doing right, you're doing wrong'. We find out alot of the Church leaders, ministers, popes, etc. are committing sins and molesting children. So faith is destroyed ultimately because we have no leaders to minister to us anymore.
Many Christians do study the Bible by and for themselves. Many others study in groups and make their own decisions. Others read many sources and also decide for themselves.
Many also see the Bible as just another book, or an inspired, but imperfect book.
People who tend to study for themselves tend to be quieter. Maybe you just haven't met many of us.
I agree with Sidkemp. I have been in a few religions and they told me what the Bible was all about. Then something happened in my life that got me to investigate further-on my own and I got a very different meaning from that Bible and other sources
I spent 25 years in various churches and there was precious little objective study of the bible. In fact objective study was actively discouraged because of the danger of getting ideas into one's head that were not Christian. There was never any search for evidence to see whether or not one's held doctrines were true. The bible was always interpreted via the goggles of the central tenets of Christianity: unless you accept Jesus into your heart you are going to hell; Satan is out to get you; and it is your personal responsibility to tell everyone you know these 'truths'.
What I think is sad is that if someone reads the bible and what they see aligns with the above, they conclude the Holy Spirit has revealed this to them. Ideas that depart from the above are simply not tolerated. This is where religion departs from science. Science is about objectivity, searching for truth no matter where it leads, and if evidence does not support an idea, the idea is abandoned. Religion is not objective and wilfully ignores evidence if it does not align with received 'truth'.
After three years studying the bible as if I'd never read it before, looking at Hebrew and Greek meanings, studying Jewish theology and the history of the Church, I now see that the two central tenets above are made up myths. This of course now means I'm a heretic 'deceived by Satan'. However if Christians actually studied for themselves in the manner that a scientist, engineer, historian, or doctor studies a subject, they would no longer believe the myths proclaimed from the pulpits themselves. But they wont do that because to do so is to 'follow human wisdom' and if there's one thing Christians will always do it is to disregard their own God given intellect in favour of unsupported claims of those who have been indoctrinated in bible colleges.
By when you say by themselves-do you mean like alone in a closet or room away from other people? I am like that I am a bit of a loner-though I do my studying in the living room. I like Christian book stores but I don't buy books to replace the bible. The Bible is to Christians the Number 1 book. i buy both fiction and nonfiction books. the fiction ones are for entertainment. The nonfiction ones I read to help me grow stronger as a Christian, not because as you said "struggle to use their own mind when reading scriptures and prefer to have someone else do the thinking for them"
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