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Friday, August 04, 2006

Acts 17, Verses 11 and 13, and James 1, Verse 2

The best place to kick this off is at Acts 17, verse 11:


Acts 17:11 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.



This is one of my favorite verses, and is oft-cited by others. In fact, years ago the First United Methodist Church in Upland, California had a Bible study group named "Bereans," and I bet there are countless others.

But - and I think this will come out as I post on this blog - you can't look at one verse in isolation in the Bible. Attempts to look at one verse and ignore all others have led to all sorts of falsehoods.

Obviously, many people look at the preceding verses about the Thessalonians, the mob that was organized, and the escape that Paul and Silas had to make. And people look at verse 12, where the preaching of Paul and the others bears fruit.

As Paul Harvey would say, there's the rest of the story. How did these wonderful Bereans treat Paul in the end?


Acts 17:13 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

13When the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, they went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up.



I confess that I often skip over this verse, ignoring the fact that the Bible-reading Bereans ended up reacting similarly to the "less noble" Thessalonians.

Bible reading isn't enough. A few nights ago I watched a 1980s-era VHS for children about the Bible. It had all sorts of cute characters and all sorts of cute songs, and one should not expect a fully developed theology from such a production. Yet there was a significant gap in the study, even considering the audience. First, let's see what the VHS did cover:
  • The Bible consists of 66 books.

  • The Bible includes some really great stories - believe it or not!

  • The Bible includes multiple forms of literature.

  • Many great men have said things about the Bible in the past.

Notice what's missing?

I do not recollect one mention of "Jesus" or "the Holy Spirit" in the entire video, and I'm not even sure that they mentioned the word "God" all that much. If so, He certainly wasn't prominent.

Even us "sola scriptura" Lutherans realize that the Bible itself is worthless except as the Word of God. And, as James points out, it's not enough to just study it:


James 1:22 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ontario Emperor said...

I just sent the following message to Blogger. Until this is fixed, you can find me at blog.myspace.com/oemperor

- - - - - - -

On Friday morning, I tried to add the new blog "Ontario Logoblog" at ologo.blogspot.com, subsequently was then told it already existed, but was unable to modify it. Later I successfully added ologo66.blogspot.com with the "Ontario Logoblog" name. I successfully posted to the latter blog. Later that day, I logged on via Blogger and received an "Unexpected error" message. Apparently I was logged on - I could comment on messages from other blogs - but I could not get to the screen to post or maintain my own blogs.

Tried the same thing from a second computer later that day, got the same message.

Just happened to look at my profile http://www.blogger.com/profile/2102803 and noticed that TWO Ontario Logoblogs appear. However, the first Ontario Logoblog (ologo.blogspot.com) is "Not found."

In short, I can't get to my dashboard, can't post to any of my blogs, and I have a "created" blog that is inaccessible and cannot be deleted.

Can this be fixed?

8/05/2006 9:40 AM  

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