Friday, March 16, 2006
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2C
"Is scripture clear or complicated?"

You have a natural desire to communicate and understand yet many depend on others to clarify God's word. This communication with God is a critical subject as
you alone will face God on judgment day to answer for yourself. God has the right to demand one on one communication with you as He wrote His letter (scriptures) to maintain a close relationship with you.
What is required to understand God's word?
What tools are necessary to get the job done?
Which Bible is best for you to communicate?
Let's begin on the ground floor. To understand God's word, you must be able to find the "subject" and stay on track. It's like allowing your thoughts to diagram God's message to stay in touch. I credit my tenth grade English teacher, Vada Gore, as she drilled home the importance of diagramming, following the subject, and
recognizing the article. Mrs. Gore's passing this past year left an empty spot at HHS for she represented us all. Just prior to her passing, I was able to spend some time with her at Morningside to let her know the value of her teaching. That was fifty years ago and my ability to communicate and understand is directly related to her teaching skills.
The tools necessary for Bible study are a Bible, a concordance, and a good dictionary. Let's begin with an example; Luke 14:26 (KJV)
reads: "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple." As you diagram this verse, the subject is unclear as it appears God is asking you to hate family members. Webster's third edition defines hate as follows: intense hostility toward an object (as an individual) that has frustrated the release of an inner tension (as of a biological nature) .....Your common sense lets you know to look deeper in
order to find the subject. You use your concordance to research the word hate. It shows the English word hate was translated from the greek manuscripts as follows: miseo, from a primary misos (hatred); to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less :- hate (-ful). The King James translators should have chosen"loveless"insteadofthe word hate. You now see clearly that the subject is: You love your family members less than God.
The original 1611 King James Bible includes a letter (from the translators to the reader) informing you of the difficulty they experienced in translating the Hebrew and the Greek into English. Whenever a verse is unclear, simply consult with your concordance for clarity.
Choosing a Bible: there are many good translations available today and they all do their best to translate God's word from the manuscripts. I
study all versions, however I choose the KJV Bible to teach for these reasons:
1. The King James Version is easily documented by utilizing your Strong's Concordance.
2. The KJV is the choice of most people in our area.
3. The KJV was used by my grandparents and parents

as well as the local churches I attendedinmyyouth. Scripture is not complicated, and you will never find

God's Word confusing. God invites you to know Him better and scripture is how He commun- icates with you. It is your responsibility to discover God's truth and His invi-tation is made abundantly clear to you. Observe Proverbs 15:14 which reads: "The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness." Seeking knowledge is under- standing God's Word while man's traditions will place you in the mist of fools. How much time do you spend reaching out
to God; understanding Him through His Written Word?


Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at or viewed online at