Herbert W Armstrong Library
Sign In  |  MyHWA  |    
What's Your BIBLE IQ?
Plain Truth Magazine
January 1985
Volume: Vol 50, No.1
QR Code
What's Your BIBLE IQ?
Richard H Sedliacik   
Church of God

Died: December 23, 2010
Office: ACE - Evangelist

Managing Editor of the Ambassador College Correspondence Course.

What is the Bible? Why was it written? And to whom? Why do so few really understand the Bible? Read this eye-opening article for the surprising answers!

   YOU WOULD be shocked to know the "Bible IQ" of most professing Christians.
   A survey conducted by a Bible society found that 98 percent of all American homes contain at least one Bible. Yet, another survey showed that the vast majority of those who claim to be Christians are "Bible illiterates"!
   Biblical ignorance is considered "respectable" today. "It is one of the curious phenomena of modern times," comments J.B. Phillips in The Young Church in Action, "that it is considered perfectly respectable to be abysmally ignorant of the Christian faith.
   "Paradoxically, men and women who would be deeply ashamed of having their ignorance exposed in matters of poetry, music, or painting, for example, are not in the least perturbed to be found ignorant of the New Testament" (page 6).
   And so the Bible has become little more than an obsolete book in which millions claim to believe, but very few actually read, study or understand!

Do Theologians Understand?

   What are some of the underlying reasons for such widespread biblical ignorance and lack of understanding?
   You might expect that atheists and agnostics would not understand the purpose of the Bible and what it says. But most would be surprised to learn that many of today's ministers and theologians themselves don't understand the significance of the Book they profess to understand! They have assumed as true the erroneous hypotheses and theories taught today in important seminaries and schools of theology.
   Typical of what leading theologians and biblical scholars are saying today is the following comment from a minister of a major church denomination:
   "No mainstream Christian church accepts the Bible as the literal interpretation of the Word of God. Some of it is folklore, some legend, some tribal history."
   Another theologian summed up the modern trend this way: "We must take the Bible seriously; but not literally."
   No wonder the ordinary layman has little or no interest in the Bible.
   Unfortunately, most people have taken for granted what other people, such as the leading "authorities" above, have said about the Bible!
   Most people — including church laymen and many in the clergy — have not taken the time to really look into the Bible and study it for themselves! They simply have never proved what they accept as "truth."

What the Bible Is

   Believe it or not, the Bible was written for our day, this age — this generation! The Bible is the most up-to-date book you can read today.
   In the pages of what author Bruce Barton referred to in a book title as The Book Nobody Knows are revealed the causes of all of today's ills — the social problems, the economic problems and even the threat of nuclear annihilation hanging over humanity today.
   The Bible shows where world events are leading, and what the final outcome will be.
   The Bible is God's revelation of basic knowledge — knowledge of laws and principles that humans are unable to discover for themselves — knowledge that is otherwise utterly inaccessible to the human mind.
   The laws of physics, for example, are not directly revealed in the Bible. God equipped man with the powers and abilities to discover these laws for himself. But man has not been able to discover with assurance what he is and why he was put here on earth — whether there is a real PURPOSE for human life, and what that purpose is.
   Man has not been able, by himself, to discover the way to peace, happiness, abundant well-being and real success. This world's colleges and universities teach students how to earn a living — but they invariably fail to teach them how to live. But the Bible does!
   Perhaps you have not thought of it this way before, but the Bible is God's "Instruction Manual" that shows his supreme physical creation how to live. Only in the Bible can one find this necessary basic knowledge. Only in the Bible is the basis of true education to be found!
   The Bible is the FOUNDATION of knowledge. It gives the true approach to the acquisition of knowledge in the fields of history, education, psychology, sociology and the health sciences. It reveals basic principles concerning business, commerce, science, the arts, law, government, philosophy and religion.
   The Bible also explains the meaning of the chaotic times in which we live. And it shows us how peace, prosperity, success and happiness are coming to all the world — in our lifetime!
   Yet, ironically, this "Book of all books" is one of the least known, least understood of all books. Why?
   Simply because when most people try to read the Bible, they can't understand it. Consequently, they assume it is out-of-date and irrelevant in our modern age.
   People could begin to understand the Bible — if they were really willing to let it teach them and if they would accept it for what it says. The Bible is plain and simple. It means exactly what it says. If we take it as it is — letting it interpret itself — it makes real sense!

You Can Understand It

   For three decades now, the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course has been helping hundreds of thousands to become "biblical literates." This unique course of biblical understanding has led more than one and one-half million students in almost every nation on earth to a greater knowledge and understanding of the most — misunderstood book in the world.
   This course is a totally different method of Bible study. It makes the Bible easy to understand and shows how the Bible is relevant to the space age! It is dynamic, down-to-earth. It pulls no punches. It tells the truth straight from the Bible. You've not seen any course like it before!
   The Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course is designed to guide you through a systematic study of your own Bible, which is the only textbook you will need. It is not a study of men's ideas about the Bible, but a study of the Bible itself.
   Major subjects of vital interest to you today are thoroughly gone into and made clear with each 16- page, monthly lesson. Each lesson directs you step-by-step to the plain, simple answers in your own Bible!
   This course helps you find the answers to the really big questions of life you have always wondered about. It shows the meaning behind today's world problems, and it helps you to understand the very purpose for your existence — the reason you were born.
   Students from all walks of life are enrolled in the course — including ministers of religion — and are enthusiastically discovering new truth in their Bibles with the guidance of each lesson.
   They are learning that there is hope for the future — that there are solutions to the seemingly unsolvable problems of today. They are learning to understand Bible prophecy and the principles that lead to success, financial security and a happy, abundant life.

What Our Students Say

   But perhaps you might think that a college correspondence course would be too difficult for you, that you wouldn't understand it, or that you're too old to study.
   If you think that way, you could not be more wrong. This course is designed for people of all ages — including you! And it makes studying the Bible enjoyable, rewarding — the experience of a lifetime for individual or family.
   Thousands of our Bible correspondence course students have written to the editor expressing sincere appreciation for the lessons. We'd like to share some of those letters with you, showing how our students are actually understanding their Bibles for the first time, and finding that it is relevant to their own lives here and now. Notice the following letter:

   I wish to express my thanks for the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. It is truly amazing how alive and exciting the Holy Bible is. I have never known how up-to-date the Bible is, nor how relevant the prophetic events are to our twentieth-century world. Thank you so much for enlightening me about God's inspired Word; I needed this understanding so very much.
Richmond, Virginia

   Read what these two students discovered with the aid of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course:

   Your Bible correspondence course is the most rewarding and remarkable course that has ever been put together. I am learning more about my Bible and how to understand it since I started, than I have ever learned from reading the Bible myself, or from any minister I have ever heard or talked to.
Quincy, Illinois

   I am up to Lesson 3 of your correspondence course, and am amazed at what I have discovered in the Bible. Your method of study makes it easy to learn. I, like most people, thought the Bible would be hard to understand, but it really isn't. I would highly recommend this course to anyone.
McKenzie, Tennessee

   The following student was like the man who tried to read the Bible upside down with dark glasses — until he enrolled in the course:

   For quite some time I have been reading and trying to understand what the Bible was all about. I couldn't for the life of me make heads or tails of it. That is until this past year with the help of your Bible correspondence course. I must honestly say this has just got to be the most simple and understanding way to learn the meaning of God's Word. I could possibly have stumbled through the Bible for the rest of my life and still not understood what it was all about. You have opened my eyes, my mind and my life.
Glen Lyon, Pennsylvania

   Even with a doctor's degree in divinity, this student learned additional fundamental knowledge essential to understanding the purpose of life from the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course:

   I graduated from three Bible schools and have a doctor's degree in divinity, but I have learned more from your correspondence course than anywhere else. You make it so plain to understand with the scripture verses to back up what you have written. It is just beautiful and
I'm so thankful for it.
R.M. Vanceboro, North Carolina

   A well-pleased Canadian wrote the following letter:

   Before hearing the World Tomorrow broadcast I had many unanswered questions that were so big that a psychiatrist was unwilling to answer them. The only answer I received from him was that I should take a trip to Europe, go hunting, roam the countryside to get close to nature, take up sailboating, get married, etc. This didn't answer any of my questions.
   Through the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course I have received direct and workable answers to all my questions. I am now learning the real purpose in life and receiving blessings beyond my wildest dreams.
Vancouver, B.C.

   Notice what happened to this student's understanding after just four lessons:

   I have just completed my first four lessons of the correspondence course. Suddenly I realized the amazing change in my understanding of the Bible as I recalled the days before I ever requested the course. It has helped move me out of complete misunderstanding, myth, guesswork and bewilderment, and into a clear and ever-revealing knowledge of the Bible.
Edward M.
Hanford, California

   A well-educated student wrote this letter:

   Since I had the advantage of a good deal of this world's education, I feel qualified to make this next statement. Although the correspondence course is written so that anyone who can read can easily do the work, in quality and thoroughness of instruction, it is easily the equivalent of courses given for college credit by the better colleges and universities. It is really superior.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

   Many are surprised to find that limited schooling is no barrier to studying the Bible with these lessons, as this student, a high-school dropout, discovered:

   Please tell people they don't have to have a high school education to take the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. I didn't finish high school and that kept me from writing for it for a long time. Now there isn't enough money to buy the lessons from me that I have received.
Tavares, Florida

   You, too, can begin to share these same experiences. You can begin to understand the knowledge that really counts.
   The only qualification necessary for taking this course is the ability to read. As the last student said, no prior college training or other advanced education is necessary at all.
   These monthly lessons are plainly and interestingly written. And there are no assignments to send in — just a test after every fourth lesson so that you can check your own progress as you continue your studies. New lessons are being added from time to time to this open-ended course.
   Remember, there is no tuition cost or obligation to you. Your lessons have already been paid for by others who are voluntarily helping to send this vital knowledge to all who request it. The course is absolutely free.
   Will you let the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course make the Bible 100 percent relevant to your life today? You can begin by checking the correspondence course box on the enclosed literature request card and returning it as instructed.
   Or you can call our toll-free number (see inside front cover) and ask to be enrolled.
   Do it right now and you won't forget. You'll be glad you took advantage of what so many have called "an opportunity of a lifetime"!

Back To Top

Plain Truth MagazineJanuary 1985Vol 50, No.1
|  Fundamental Doctrines of the Church of God  |  Comments or Suggestions?  |  FAQ  |   Holy Day Information   |   Site Map   |   Donations   |
|  Sabbath & Holy Day Services   |   Weekly Bible Study Services   |   Video Groups   |   2016 Feast of Tabernacles   |
Follow Us: HWALibrary - Mobile Site
Copyright © 2016 Herbert W Armstrong Library
Important Notice

Please Note:

The address and phone number for the Worldwide Church of God given for material are no longer valid for obtaining the material offered in booklets, magazines, telecast and radio broadcast.

HWALibrary.com has all material offered on this site 100% free. You do not need to call or mail your requests, simply do a search for the material offered on our site.

The Worldwide Church of God dissolved after Mr. Armstrong's death in January 1986.

Visit our FAQ page for instructions on downloading audio and video files.

Sabbath Services

Sabbath Services:

Hello, and welcome to our Sabbath and Holy Day service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Services are posted every Sabbath or Holy Day. Our service consists of 3 hymns, a Sermonette, a hymn, the Sermon and a final hymn.

Continue to the Sabbath Service page.

Bible Study Services

Bible Study:

Hello, and welcome to our Bible Study service tab. The services provided are selected from the recorded library of this website HWALibrary.com.

Bible Study services are posted each Wednesday. Our service consists of an opening hymn, a Bible Study and a final hymn.

Continue to the Bible Study Service page.