The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
"I would like to really study the Bible. Could you please set forth a step-by-step plan by which someone may effectively study the Bible?"
To most people the study of the Bible is a dull, uninteresting, irksome task — done, if at all, only as a duty out of fear of a harsh God. Bible study can and SHOULD be the most interesting, most enjoyable, most profitable interest in our lives. But because mankind has forgotten God, His laws, and neglected His ways, man has never started to really understand God's inspired Word. Here's how you can "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Tim. 2:15.) Theoretically, there are several places to begin the study of your Bible. The first is to discover what the Bible is, how it was written and preserved, how to study it, and to show why it is that so few really understand their Bibles. Another natural starting place would be to start at the very beginning — at creation — in the very first chapter of Genesis, and to continue reading the Bible through to the book of Revelation. Many sincere people have attempted to study their Bibles in this way — but to no avail! Perhaps this has been your experience. Perhaps the Bible has seemed merely a chronicle of disconnected historical events, wise precepts and spiritual platitudes. You then know that such a study can be dull, unprofitable and boring. In answer to the many requests we receive daily from interested people in all parts of the world, we have compiled the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course. It is a BIBLE STUDY course. The only textbook you must use is your own Bible. The Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course begins the study of the Bible at a third natural starting paint. That is, to begin with this very present, the world in which we live — this time of upset world conditions. You will find that the study of your Bible will mean more to you if you first fully understand its vital relationship to your life today — and its direct connection with the world events you read about in your daily newspapers. You will find that far from being a dull, uninspiring chronicle of ancient history, your Bible will make life interesting. You will find that no entertainment, sport or mundane pleasure is ever so vitally interesting, so truly enjoyable, so delightful, and so satisfying as the study of your own Bible. You will find that God, through His Word, will reveal to you the way out of boredom, emptiness and discontentment. You will find, perhaps for the first time in your life, that you begin to understand God's message as it has been preserved in your own Bible. You may enroll for the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course without any obligation whatsoever. It is offered by Ambassador College, tuition FREE! You may discontinue receiving lessons at any time. But past experience has shown us that the average person finds this study so engrossing, so rewarding, so entertaining, that you will not want to discontinue it. The Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course is not difficult. There is no extraneous memorization of facts ABOUT the Bible. This course gives you a greater understanding of God's plan, God's overall purpose as it is revealed in His Word. You will begin to understand how the Bible applies to your daily life in this modern twentieth century! If you would like to enroll for the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course, send your name and address to the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course, Post Office Box 111, Pasadena, California. (Our overseas mailing addresses will be found on the inside front cover, under "Address all communications.") You will be enrolled with the next monthly class of students, and receive one lesson per month for as long as you desire to continue. You will be joining the ranks of tens of thousands of ACTIVE Correspondence Course students who are now receiving their lessons.
Why do you use the expression "Holy Spirit" instead of "Holy Ghost" in quoting scriptures?
Some have assumed that the "Holy Spirit" and the "Holy Ghost" mentioned in the King James Version of the Bible are two different spirits. This is not true! The word "ghost" is an unfortunate translation that should be avoided. In the inspired original Greek only one expression is used — meaning "Holy Spirit." In every case the English words "Ghost" and "Spirit" come from one Greek word "pneuma" meaning "spirit" — not some nebulous "ghost." This Greek word pneuma, unfortunately translated "Ghost" so many times, is properly translated "Spirit" in Luke 11:13, Ephesians 1:13, 4:30, and I Thessalonians, and in many other scriptures when referring to God's Spirit. When the King James Version of the Bible was first printed in 1611 — over 1400 years after the New Testament was first written in the Greek language — the English words "ghost" and "spirit" were both used to mean the same thing. Thus it was quite natural that the translators should have used both words in translating the one Greek word pneuma into English. This inconsistent usage has given many the false impression that a Holy Ghost AND a Holy Spirit exist as two separate spirits. This idea is utterly untrue. The word "ghost" has become obsolete as far as general English usage goes. But many have foolishly insisted upon continuing to use the word "ghost" in referring to God's Spirit. They think of God's Holy Spirit as some misty, spooky being. The only proper way to clarify the subject is to use the expression "Holy Spirit" in all cases that refer to the Spirit of God, instead of translating one expression two different ways and giving unsuspecting Bible students the false impression that two spirits, a Holy Ghost and a Holy Spirit, are meant.