There are many other pamphlets and courses for new Christians that are much better than this, but perhaps this might help, encourage, stimulate, and ground someone in the faith. That is my only intent. This copy is Copyright © 2019 by Len Gane All rights reserved but the pdf download version 10 April 19 only is .
The New Christian's Handbook Part 1
Pray at the start
Read the material
Answer the questions
Basic Bible InterpretationB1 This is based on the Principles of the Literal Bible Interpretation by Cooper Abrams III.
B2 The 11 Rules given by by Dr. Abrams III.
- Follow the Customary Usages of the language (Example: Revelation 20:6). This is the rule, "If the literal sense makes sense, seek no other sense."
- Commit no historical or cultural blunders. (Example: Deuteronomy 13:5. Israel was to stone to death false prophets, but we have no command for this today).
- Make Christ central in all interpretations. (Example: John 5:38)
- Be conscious of context. (Example: 1 Corinthians 15:32. Is Paul teaching that our life is to be spend as "let us eat, drink, for tomorrow we die?" No, we understand by the context that Paul is teaching the opposite).
- Interpret by the analogy of the faith. (Example: 2 Timothy 3:16. Scripture is not the words of religious leaders but God Himself. Also, Hosea 12:10 teaches that God spoke to the prophets and gave the visions that they wrote about).
- Recognize the progress of revelation. (Example: Genesis 3:15 is understood by most to be foretelling the coming of Messiah, but no details are given to recognize him. The details are revealed over thousands of years by the prophets).
- Grant one interpretation to each passage. (Example: Genesis 15:18. Abraham understood the passage to be a promise of a chunk of real estate from the river in Egypt to the Euphrates, so should we. We are not to surmise that the mention of the Euphrates means the Persian Gulf).
- Choose the simplest alternative. (Example: Judges 11:30-40. Did Jephthah really cut up and burn his daughter as a sacrifice? NO! God would have punished him, for God hates murder. His daughter took a vow of virginity. Read the context and choose the simplest alternative).
- Never invent explanations to silent areas of Scripture. (Example: Heaven is spoken up as being up. Where is up? To guess a certain area of the universe would be inventing an explanation).
- Never theorize to accommodate man's views or modern science. (Example: God spoke the knowledge of creation to Moses. Do we assume the higher authority of science or believe God? Is the "gap theory" of past generations the explanation because of science)?
- Never base a doctrine on one passage of Scripture. (Example: 1 Corinthians 15:29. Are we to baptize dead people like the Mormons? Since it is not taught anywhere else, it seems most reasonable that Paul is not giving a command but an example).
B4 Assignment. Give the plain, normal sense to the following Scriptures.
- 1 Timothy 2:1-4 GNB First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, requests, and thanksgivings be offered to God for all people; 2 for kings and all others who are in authority, that we may live a quiet and peaceful life with all reverence toward God and with proper conduct. 3 This is good and it pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to come to know the truth.
- John 3:12-18 WEL "If I told you earthly things, and you won't believe, how will you believe, if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 "No one has gone up to heaven, except he who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven. 14 "As Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, even so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 “So that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, so that anyone believing in him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 "For God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him. 18 "The one who believes in him is not judged, but the one who does not believe is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
- James 2:14-26 WEL What does it profit, my brothers, if a man says he has faith and not works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister becomes naked and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say to them, "Leave in peace, may you be warm and filled [with food]," yet you do not give them those things which they need for the body. What good [is it]? 17 And so, if faith does not have works, it is dead in itself. 18 Someone may say, "You have faith, and I have works. You show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." 19 You believe that God is one? You do well; the devils also believe and shudder. 20 But will you understand, you senseless man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Wasn't Abraham, our father, justified by works when he had offered Isaac, his son, on the altar? 22 See how faith worked together with his works, and [how] faith was made complete by works? 23 The Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness," and he was called the Friend of God. 24 You see then how a person is justified by works and not by faith only. 25 In the same way, wasn't Rahab, the harlot, justified by works when she had received the messengers and sent [them] out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.