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Choose Life That You Might Live

Part 12: Is The Evidence Insufficient or Too Obscure?
If the Bible is indeed the word of God, the consequences for the individual who chooses to ignore, or counter the evidence with clever arguments, are fatal. In view of which, if Christianity even has a one in a hundred chance of being true, perhaps we should not be demanding greater evidence, but wake up to the fact that a far more sensible way to look at it is this.... the more severe the consequences, the less we should take risks.

Carol Brooks
Edited by Vicki Narlee

List of Chapters
For a slightly longer description of each chapter, please go to the Main Index

Part 1: ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’. The question is how do you know that the spiritual path you are on will lead somewhere you want to be?
Part 2: Religious Pluralism. Anyone who doesn't have their facts straight cannot be trusted, and certainly not to show you the path to God.
Part 3: Faith and The Bible. Christianity is perhaps the only religion that does not demand 'blind faith' from its followers.
Part 4: God And His Bible. There is far more evidence in favor of the Bible being true, than there is for any of the other 'holy books.
Part 5: Differences and Discrepancies in the Old Testament.
  Part 6: Why Jesus Is Without Equal. Anyone can claim to be divine, be divinely inspired, or have mystical visions or experiences, but...
Part 7: The Reliability of The New Testament. Applying the same standards to the Bible as we do to other ancient literary works.
Part 8: Differences and Discrepancies in the New Testament. Most alleged 'mistakes' arise from understanding too little about the Bible.
Part 8 b: Alleged Discrepancies in the Resurrection Accounts
 Part 9: The Bible, Then And Now. The New Testament happens to be the best authenticated ancient document... by far.
Part 10: Historical Corroboration. Were any of the Gospel accounts substantiated by non-Christian sources?
Part 11: Does archaeology confirm, or undermine, the New Testament accounts?
YOU ARE HERE001orange Part 12: Is The Evidence Insufficient or Too Obscure? A far more sensible way to look at it is... the more severe the consequences, the fewer risks we should take.
Part 13: The Message of The Bible. The Heaven Jesus was sent to tell us about is no pie in the sky ethereal place 'somewhere out there'
Part 14: The Warning of The Bible. We are all under the death penalty.
Part 15: Who Is and Isn't a Christian. Since the word originated with the Bible, only the Bible has the right to define what a "Christian" is. Part 16: Myths and misconceptions that stem from knowing too little about Biblical Christianity.

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I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live...  (Deuteronomy 30)

ON THIS PAGE

PART I... Is The Evidence Insufficient?
Summary of The Evidence

Why Isn't The Evidence Clearer?
Paternalism and Freedom Of Choice
Allegiance to The King

How Much Evidence Would Be Enough Evidence?
Would a few gigantic miracles such as those witnessed by the Israeli slaves in Egypt be enough? Probably not!
The problem is we have rejected a great part of the evidence we already have and God is not obligated to provide more.

Ignoring The Traffic Signs is Fatal

PART II... Is The Bible is Too Difficult To Understand? HERE
God made sure that His main message is in language that is both comprehensible, straightforward and repeated many times.

 

PART I... Is The Evidence Insufficient?
Summary of The Evidence

    It is impossible to attribute the unity of the Bible’s message to solely human ability.

    The physical details of both the New and Old Testaments are well substantiated by the historical records and archaeological findings.

    The scientific accuracy of the Bible definitively shows that there was a greater source of intelligence at work in the writings of men who could not possibly have had known the first things about the solar system, the universe, the ocean floor, or germs

    The many prophecies made in the Bible have been documented as accurate, especially those concerning the birth, life and death of the Messiah.

    The Gospels are shown to be accurate historical accounts recorded within a few years from the events, written by the people they have been attributed to, with absolutely no reason to believe that the authors were lying about Jesus' resurrection.

    The New Testament, with its thousands of full, or partial, Greek manuscripts and Latin translations, the copies and fragments of the New Testament in various other languages, and the copious quotes by early church writers make it the best authenticated ancient document.

    The Bible is the only religious book that points to a completely believable utopia here in earth, as opposed to ridiculously esoteric ideas of an after life that tell us precisely nothing.

Yet, forgetting that the sheer weight of evidence is on the side of the Bible and that, as much as we like to think otherwise, our knowledge is extremely limited, so many people busy themselves with long and clever arguments as to why this or that (usually minor) point cannot possibly be true.  One of the oft asked questions is ...


Why Isn't The Evidence Clearer?
One question often asked is, if God really exists and the Bible is indeed His message to man, why isn't the evidence more plain.... in fact, so undeniable that virtually everyone would acknowledge and believe it?

Paternalism
Paternalism derived from the Latin "pater" or father. Just as a father makes decisions for his children on the grounds that "father knows best", paternalism protects adults as if they were children, i.e. provide for their needs without giving them any responsibility or freedom of choice. In other words, paternalism limits a person or a group's liberty/autonomy for their own good.

However, our heavenly Father doesn't treat us like children. Although, as the apostle Peter said, the Lord is long-suffering towards us, because He is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" [2 Peter 3:9], He is not going to interfere in our freedom of choice. Neither is He going to intimidate, manipulate, scare, or 'awe' people into choosing the right path.

Freedom Of Choice
From very early in the history of His dealings with the nation of Israel, God made it extremely clear that they had choices to make. In Deuteronomy 28, He gave the nation a detailed account of the privileges and blessings which the obedient would receive, and the miseries which would be inflicted on the ungodly and idolatrous who neglected His commandments. In His words...

    "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants,  (Deuteronomy 30:19 NASB)

Joshua later reiterated the choices open to the children of Israel, telling them "If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."  (Joshua 24:15 NASB)

In other words, God has always given man freedom of choice, including the freedom to make the wrong decision. However, He has also outlined the positive and negative consequences of each path. Note the (added) emphasis on the word "live".

    "Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the Lord, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. "So you shall keep His statutes and His commandments which I am giving you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may live long on the land which the Lord your God is giving you for all time." (Deuteronomy 4:39-40 NASB)

    "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. (Isaiah 55:3 NASB)

    "Seek the Lord that you may live, Or He will break forth like a fire, O house of Joseph, And it will consume with none to quench it for Bethel,  (Amos 5:6 NASB)

Allegiance to The King
Which leads to one other question. Why would God not interfere when the choices people freely make are contrary to their own well being which, by Biblical standards, means they will be denied entrance into His everlasting kingdom and will, instead, find themselves facing His judgment with the inevitable consequence of a death sentence.

Why would He not, as some people have suggested, do something like putting a warning in flaming, 80 foot tall, letters in the sky.

I believe the answer is simple.

People will, for the most part, behave themselves when they think they are being watched by someone in authority. Just ask any mother. But that does not mean that they would behave the same way if they think they are no longer being watched. And what people do when they think they can 'get away' with something, shows where their hearts truly are, and where their allegiance lies.

Jesus' kingdom began to germinate with His disciples and, since then, it has developed both roots and branches. However the tree is not full grown, which it will be in a short period of time, when He, as Sovereign King and Lord completely and entirely takes over this earth and everything in it. And, make no mistake... it will be a "kingdom" in every sense of the word. And the short version is why would Jesus want anyone in His kingdom when they show no allegiance to Him as King and have not, of their own free will, bothered to obey Him, which means they have, in effect, rejected His authority.

Also See Salvation Part II... Acknowledging Jesus Merely as Savior is Insufficient
and What and Where is Heaven?


How Much Evidence Would Be Enough Evidence?
One also has to ask how much evidence there would have to be for in order to convince people of the truth of the Scriptures? Just how clear does the evidence have to be before people stop gambling on their fate? Would a few gigantic miracles such as those witnessed by the Israeli slaves in Egypt be enough?

Apparently not.

Not only did the nation of Israel see God's plagues rain down on the Egyptians, but they also walked across dry land as the waters of the Red Sea parted to let them through. Yet, a whole five minutes later, they were gathering their gold ornaments to make an idol which they then proceeded to worship as 'god'. As John Bloom says...

    the miracles performed by Elijah and Elisha were not sufficient to convert the Northern Kingdom of Israel to unperverted forms of Biblical worship. [12] Even in New Testament times, we find arguments in the crowds surrounding Jesus as to whether God the Father spoke to him from heaven or if the noise everyone heard was merely some unseasonable thunder. [John 12:28-30] After Jesus healed a blind man [John 9] and raised Lazarus from the dead, [John 11:1-45] the Jewish leaders wanted to kill him although they could not dispute the genuineness of his miracles. [John 11:46-57]  

    In his account of an unnamed rich man and a poor man named Lazarus, Jesus himself makes our point clear: The rich man, now in hell, pleads with Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn his brothers so they will not face the same torment that he is experiencing. Abraham replies, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." [Luke 16:19-31] [01]

Even after Moses witnessed more than one miraculous sign at the burning bush, and received the Lord's personal assurance that He would go with Moses to Egypt and be his mouth, Moses asked the Lord to send someone else.. At which the Lord's anger "burned against Moses" (Exodus 4:1-17)

Note: The parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus is usually believed to be Jesus' vivid, and very graphic, description of conditions in hell.
That He was warning unrepentant sinners that they would be sentenced to extreme torment, engulfed forever in a unquenchable fire.
But is this so? If this parable is meant to be taken literally, we are faced with numerous serious difficulties.
[See The Rich Man and Lazarus]

 There are those who ask why God doesn't just appear to us so we could see Him?

Actually He did.. in the form of Jesus Christ. Although Jesus was a man, He was also fully God with all of the characteristics of God. The fact that Jesus so accurately fulfilled several very precise Old Testament prophecies, the miracles He performed, and the prophecies He made which were fulfilled clearly demonstrated that He was who He said He was. (See Chapter Jesus Vs. Other Religious Leaders) It is very telling that, as mentioned in the previous chapter, even the Qu'ran says the miracles performed by Jesus, (specifically mentioning healing the blind and the leper, and raising the dead) was "clear proof" to the children of Israel. (Sura 5. Surat Al-Ma'idah. V. 110)

There can be little doubt that the scribes and the Pharisees both personally witnessed, and had first hand testimony of, the miracles performed by Jesus. However, they asked Him for a further sign which, as Luke recorded, was done to test Him (Luke 11:16). Jesus' reply was that no sign would be given an evil and adulterous generation other than His coming resurrection (Matthew 12:38-42), which was, and still is, the ultimate sign.

Even if Jesus were to appear and perform miracles on the street of New York today, tell me how many of our world wise population would not argue that He was a skilled illusionist? Those who believed that His miracles were of God would be considered simple minded and gullible by the majority

Also See Section Why Isn't There More Evidence? in chapter NT Historical Corroboration

Quite simply, what is ample evidence for one person, is not going to be nearly enough for another. It is never going to satisfy everyone... and the God of the universe isn't going to provide different evidence for different people. Just as Jesus refused to give the Jewish religious leaders yet another sign, God does not feel obligated to cater to those who ignore, or argue against, every bit of evidence He has already provided... His creation for example.


Creation... The Greatest of All Evidence For The Existence of God

Let's look at one very tiny facet of His handiwork... so many bird species undertake semiannual migrations over vast distances, making make incredible journeys of up to 1800-2000 miles and yet come back, year after year, to exactly the same place. Albatrosses literally circle the earth, while others such as the Arctic Tern, which only weigh about 100 grams, travel between Arctic breeding grounds and the Antarctic each year, a distance of about 20,000 kilometres (Pl. Note British spelling), or well over 12,000 miles. Bar-headed Geese fly over the Himalayas twice a year. We should be so smart

How do they do this? As explained by International Polar Foundation

    They can use the sun, for example, which means that they permanently "know" what time it is, in order to know the right direction on the basis of the sun's position.... Nocturnal birds also use the stars. This has been proved by letting birds fly in a planetarium and changing the stars' position.

    Another tool is the earth's magnetic field (earth's north and south magnetic poles). Some birds, like pigeons, have a small zone in their brain made of magnetite (magnetic mineral), just like a small compass. ...

    Of course, birds also use their knowledge of the landscape: they follow rivers, valleys or roads, or locate themselves with particular mountain peaks. [02]

And of course all of this is supposed to have just happened, or evolved. Someone is going to have to explain to me how, in the first place, any of these birds knew that it was warmer in another place, hundreds and thousands of miles away..

Science will blather on and on about the origins of the universe, but think about it for a second... As J. W. Jepson said, true science deals with facts -- observable, testable, reproducible under controlled conditions. The origin of things is not observable, not testable, not reproducible. This places the question of origins outside of science. [03]

Scientists are now finding that the universe in which we live is like a diamond studded Rolex, except the universe is even more precisely designed than the watch. He has created a universe with scores of improbable and interdependent life-supporting conditions that make it a tiny oasis in a vast and hostile universe, "specifically tweaked to enable life on earth". The extent of the universe's fine-tuning makes it perhaps the most powerful argument for the existence of God. (See Anthropic Principle: The Design Is In The Details. Excerpt from I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek.)

If we can gaze at a sunset tinting mountain peaks a rosy red, marvel at the sheer magnificence of huge waterfalls, and be enthralled by the colour and diversity that make up coral reefs. If we can walk on sandy beaches with palm trees on one side and endless ocean on the other. If we can fearfully peer down into the grand canyon, or wonder at subterranean crystal caves, or the mind boggling diversity of animal, bird, and plant life and blithely attribute all of it to chance, evolution, or the 'laws of nature', we have rejected a great part of the evidence we already have and God is not obligated to provide more.

In any case, all the evidence in the world does us no good if we are not willing to do what the Bible tells us to do


Ignoring The Traffic Signs is Fatal
Before we brush off all the signs that, collectively, make a very strong case for the God of the Bible, we need to ask ourselves what the risks are.

    Are we dealing with merely an advisory speed limit for negotiating a sharp curve (which is usually an underestimate), or is it a warning that the bridge is out ahead? Wouldn't we consider ourselves careless if we accelerated while passing a "bridge out" sign because we thought it seemed a little too small? [04]

The Bible very clearly tells us that we all have a choice to make in this life - the most important choice we will ever make. And, if the Bible is indeed the word of God, the consequences for the individual who chooses to ignore, or counter the evidence with clever arguments, are fatal. In view of which, perhaps we should not be demanding greater evidence, but wake up to the fact that a far more sensible way to look at it is this.... the more severe the consequences, the less we should take risks.

If Christianity even has a one in a hundred chance of being true, we need to spend a little more time investigating why it is true, rather than indulging in some very complicated philosophical arguments about how much evidence God has, or hasn't, provided, and why He hasn't given humanity more signs. These usually descend into a diatribe about what God should, and shouldn't have done.... what He could have done differently, what he should have done differently, and so on and so forth.

To which I only have one thing to say.. the next time you find yourself in the position of being god, go ahead and do things your way, and good luck to you.

I would be willing to bet that even many of those who examine every bit of evidence provided on these pages will still find ample reason to reject Christianity. On the other hand, a person who humbly seeks truth, and is willing to let God do things His way, will find that the evidence is sufficient. Why? Because when the Biblical data is examined, it quite clearly shows two things...

    1) When compared to other religions or spiritual paths, Biblical Christianity is the most trustworthy.

    2) The God of the Bible really exists and His warnings should be heeded.


PART II... Is The Bible is Too Difficult To Understand?
All of which brings us to one final charge made against the Bible... that it is too difficult to understand. Therefore we have to rely on the clergy or 'scholars' to tell us what it means, and everyone knows that a large portion of the Christian world disagrees on even some of the most basic issues. The objections usually stem from one of two sources....

    1. People who have never actually read the Bible from cover to cover. In fact they haven’t even carefully and thoroughly read key books like the Gospel of John.

    2. People who seem to expect every word of the Bible to be crystal clear with a superficial reading or two, and therefore have never made very much attempt to really understand it.

As the apostle Paul said... "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness" (2 Timothy 3:16 NASB). In other words, the Scriptures are crucially important, therefore God would be playing a cruel trick on us if they were incomprehensible.

The Bible's Primary Message Is Crystal Clear
If God Himself nurtured the Jews through thousands of years so that the nation could give birth to the Messiah, and Jesus went through an agonizing death to save us from the wrath of the Father, it would not make any sense if He cloaked His message in writing so obscure that few would grasp it. God made sure that His main message is in language that is both comprehensible, quite straightforward and repeated many times. I like the example Gary DeLashmutt, pastor of Xenos Christian Fellowship, gives in his article... How Can Anyone Be Certain of the Bible's Meaning? He says...

    Consider this statement: "go to the Kroger store & buy 10 lbs. of potatoes." Now we might reasonably ask which Kroger store and which kind of potatoes. If we were unfamiliar with American culture, we might even ask what a potato is and how much a pound is. But would it ever be acceptable to interpret this statement to mean: "go to the Himalayan mountains & meditate on your navel?" Would it be correct to say no one can be confident he understands this statement?

    Now consider this statement: "he who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." We might reasonably ask who the Son is, what "believe" means, or if "believe" and "obey" are being used synonymously. But would it ever be acceptable to interpret this statement to mean: "it doesn't matter what you believe about the Son because everyone goes to heaven?" Would it be correct to say that no one can be confident he understands this statement? [05]


Study It For Yourself
Do not let anyone, not your friends and family, not your Bible study group, not even your pastor, tell you that you cannot understand the Bible without someone  interpreting it for you. However, apparently unwilling to do any serious study for themselves, or thinking that they are incapable, all too many people sit back and do exactly that. Unfortunately, in too many cases, this amounts to a verse being wrested from it's context, and used to convey whatever meaning the speaker/author wishes it to which, all too often, is nothing but a corruption of the truth.

In other words, they have allowed some other authority to replace God's Word.

These people need to note that the Bible does NOT say "sit back and let your beliefs be determined by someone who has arrived at his or her own conclusions and quotes verses at you to back them up". What the Bible says is "Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth". [2Timothy 2:15].

And no... you cannot deconstruct the text and come up with your own interpretation. The meaning of any Biblical passage was determined by the original author, and unless he was double minded (rendering him very unreliable and someone we can safely ignore), he would not, have intended to convey more than one meaning. Therefore, "interpretation" has to be strictly limited to the meaning that the original author intended to convey, and it is our job as readers to discover what that meaning is. Since this is a topic in itself, I suggest you read Context is CRUCIAL

Others restrict their reading to a "Bible verse or devotional of the day, which neither magically cloaks them in holiness, nor gives them any more than a very, very superficial knowledge of the Scriptures. While I suppose, but am far from convinced, that these devotionals have some use, reading them rarely contributes very much towards Biblical knowledge.


It Takes Time and Effort
Not only is the Bible is a very deep book, but it also contains a variety of literary genres, such as law, poetry, parables, history, prophecy, wisdom literature (a collection of a short pithy instructive sayings), epistles or letters to specific individuals or groups, and apocalyptic literature which warns of cataclysmic events. We also need to understand whether the text is literal or figurative and, if the latter, what it represents.

Which is one reason you may be convinced (or have been convinced) that since you are not a Hebrew or Greek scholar or do not have a theological degree (I have neither), you cannot understand the Scriptures.

While there is no question that some things in the Scriptures are more difficult to understand, no one starts out knowing everything... knowledge comes by degrees, but do not expect to master the Bible in a day, or a month, or a year. There are few issues cannot be resolved with some in-depth 'digging'.

So, is this a lot of work?

Of course it is.

So are a lot of other, far less important, things in life.

People spend countless hours working on their education. For example, in most cases a relatively simple Bachelor's degree is designed as a four year program for a full-time student, while it takes an average of "8.2 years to slog through a PhD program" [06].

Please note, I am not saying that education is unimportant. It certainly is. However, it fades into insignificance if you compare the temporary results of a formal education (your earning potential/lifestyle etc.) with where you are going to spend eternity. Put it this way... Although not the most pleasant of thoughts, spending your working life laying bricks, living in a small apartment and not driving a fancy car is preferable to being forever obliterated from the face of the earth. However, it is not an either-or choice. It is entirely possible to accomplish a great deal in this lifetime, yet have one eye unwaveringly fixed on the world to come.

Tragically however, people will not devote a fraction of the time to studying God's word that they give to the latest reality show, participating in or watching sports, or generally entertaining themselves.

We must be as myopic as it gets.

The question you have to ask yourself is whether or not you think that the Creator's message to you about your own eternal future is worth the time and effort. (If you decide that it is, then I have put a few hints that I consider invaluable into a footnote)

Perhaps the next chapter, The Message of the Bible, will convince you that it very definitely is. You see, the Bible is the only religion/spiritual path/way of life out there that actually provides the answers to man's deepest questions, and promises him his most longed for dreams. In other words, the ‘pie in the sky’ heaven preached by so many churches, is just so much baloney. Heaven, as portrayed in the Bible, is a lot less ‘pious’, a lot more practical and, may I say it, a lot less boring than our ‘esteemed theologians’ would lead you to believe. See What and Where is Heaven?


Continue on to Part 13: The Message of The Bible
All too many people picking out a random phrase or two, think 'love' was Jesus' core message. Unfortunately, they are terribly wrong... What Jesus never stopped talking about was the "kingdom of God", which phrase is used over 50 times in the four Gospels alone. He even said that the proclamation of the Kingdom was the reason He was sent to earth (Luke 4:43). But what and where is this kingdom?  Here is what is really paradoxical ... the Bible's description of this kingdom of God, also called heaven is no pie in the sky ethereal place 'somewhere out there', but matches, in every respect, the world most men and women would choose to live in... a place of peace and safety, where there is no crime, hunger and disease, war and above all... no death.  Far from being outdated, out of touch, and largely irrelevant to modern society, Christianity promises exactly the utopian world most men and women can only dream of. Unless, of course, your idea of paradise is "an ineffable transcendental state" (whatever that means).   CLICK HERE

 

Footnote I
Overviews are Invaluable: First get a good grasp of the big picture. Then and only then, begin to narrow your focus. A good grasp of the broad outline of the narrative makes it much easier to fill in the details, and can be likened to understanding how the pieces of a jigsaw fit into the complete picture. A one page overview of both Old and New Testaments can be found HERE. While a more detailed look at the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation is HERE

Never Use One Of The Paraphrases: A paraphrase is NOT a translation, but a restatement of a text or passage and, all too often, these 'other words' are nothing more than someone's ideas of what the passage may say or mean. For example, the Living Bible and The Message are not accurate translations but thought for thought paraphrases, heavily influenced by the author's own ideas.

Start at The Beginning: no one starts reading War and Peace on page 137.

Never Read A Single Bible Verse: The numbers in front of every verse gives the impression that each verse is a standalone. This is far from the case. The verse and chapter numbers did not exist in the original writings, but were added later for convenience. However, these divisions often pop up in inopportune places separating material that should have stayed together. Remember that every verse in the Bible is part of the original author's flow of thought, therefore can only be fully understood in light of the surrounding verses, which form the setting, or the big picture. Reading large blocks of Scripture at a single sitting, especially in the case of the Epistles, or letters, written to various churches or individuals in the New Testament makes it much easier to understand what the author was telling his audience. .

Commentaries: Can be very useful, however, just because someone has written a Commentary does NOT make them always right.

Don't Rely Solely On The Translations: The Bible was not written in English, but in Hebrew and Greek. While we could not do without the Bible in English, the problem is that there are times when the translators translated one or more words in accordance with a preconceived idea. An outstanding example of this is when the Holy Spirit is referred to as "He" in the New Testament, which actually forms the basis for assuming the Holy Spirit is male. However, the Greek word used is ambiguous and can be translated he, she, it, them etc. One would have to know the gender of the subject before using a specific English pronoun. In other words, it is circular reasoning.... we believe the Holy Spirit is male based on the English male pronoun "he", which was rendered so because the translators believe the Holy Sprit is male.

Additionally, it is not unknown for the translation to add in an English word that did not exist in the original language.... presumably done to bolster their own particular idea. Again, an outstanding example is when the NIV translated the Greek arrhabon into the English 'deposit' when it actually means 'earnest', then added the word "guarantee". Unknowingly, countless people have relied on these translations, believing that Scripture actually speaks of a guarantee when, in fact, it does no such thing. DETAILS

Therefore you should, at some point, start doing word studies of your own. And no, you do not need to speak either language. Easy to install and easy to understand computer programs like E-Sword (free Bible study software) can help you find the meaning of a Hebrew or Greek word, but FAR more importantly you can see for yourself HOW this verse is used in other verses.


Endnotes (Chapter 12)
[01] John A. Bloom, Ph.D. Why Isn't The Evidence Clearer? http://www.drjbloom.com/Public%20files/Bloom_Evidence.htm

[02] How do migratory birds find their way? © 2014 International Polar Foundation.
http://www.educapoles.org/news/news_detail/how_do_migratory_birds_find_their_way/

[03] How To Handle Evolution by J. W. Jepson, D.Min. http://www.christcenter.net/evolutn.htm

[04] John A. Bloom, Ph.D. Why Isn't The Evidence Clearer? http://www.drjbloom.com/Public%20files/Bloom_Evidence.htm

[05] Gary DeLashmutt. How Can Anyone Be Certain of the Bible's Meaning? http://www.xenos.org/teachings/?teaching=854

[06] Lynn O'Shaughnessy/MoneyWatch/July 10, 2012. 12 reasons not to get a PhD.
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/12-reasons-not-to-get-a-phd/

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