From the Editor Jan/Feb 2022
A few years ago, I watched a film about a man who never learned to read in school. His mother dies when he is young; and his father moves Stanley around from town to town so many times as a child that Stanley falls so far behind in his education he can never catch up.
As an adult, he rides a bicycle because he can’t get a driver’s license. If he goes to an unfamiliar part of town, he gets lost because he can’t read street signs. He can’t hold down a job as a cook because he can’t read food labels or directions, and he can’t land a job worthy of his high intellect and innate engineering ability because he’s illiterate.
The movie has a happy ending because someone teaches Stanley how to read, and it changes his life.
The Bible is not difficult to read. It isn’t filled with big, long, complicated words. Perhaps that’s why people can use it to teach English as a second language (ESL). According to eslministries.org, “The Bible has been a standard text for centuries and has acted as a regulator of standard English in the English-speaking world since the inception of the printing press.”
But some people try to make the Bible difficult. They tell us many of the words don’t actually mean what they usually mean. Harold Camping, the late president of Family Radio, was famous for creating a system of interpretation all his own. According to Camping, if he didn’t tell you what God actually meant, there was no way to know what the Bible actually said.
We don’t agree with that philosophy at The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry. We believe the Bible is meant to be read literally, the way we read the newspaper, so everyone can understand it. And when Scripture says “Israel,” it means Israel. It does not mean the church.
If the actual words of Scripture were not intended to mean what they usually mean, we’d all be like Stanley before he learned to read. As a first-grade teacher so aptly put it, “If you don’t understand what you’re reading, there’s no point to reading at all!”
This issue of Israel My Glory is devoted to “How to Read Your Bible.” We want to thank Dr. Bruce A. Baker and the Baptist Bulletin for giving us permission to run Dr. Baker’s outstanding article, “Kingdom Now?”
How we read our Bibles is important because it determines what we believe, and what we believe changes our lives.
Waiting for His Appearing,