So, we must ask ourselves, which one of the thousands of different Christian denominations or doctrines or "religions" is the "right one"?
The answer is: NONE OF THEM! Judaism is the closest because it most closely follows YHWH's Word and insists on Torah obedience. The only problem with Judaism is that it doesn't yet include Yeshua as the Messiah for whom believers in YHWH have been waiting.
In the meantime, people have literally killed each other over their interpretations of the Bible (or - in the case of Islam - the Koran, which is totally false). Unfortunately, when error is repeated often enough, it can easily become accepted as fact. And so, it is imperative that we not only understand YHWH's Word, but to also OBEY. But, obedience can only come with proper understanding....
So, how does one come to understand the Scriptures? Through proper study! Most people - including pastors and rabbis - have not been taught how to properly study the Scriptures. Most don't know that we are to use, not our own opinions and interpretations, but the Scriptures alone to interpret themselves without any extrabiblical writings. Following are three suggestions to help us seek YHWH's Truth:
- The first thing we must do is to get hold of a Bible, preferably one that has been translated directly into English, using the original Hebrew and Aramaic texts.
- Next, we must attempt to view verses in context, keeping in mind how the same words and phrases are used everywhere else in the Bible.
- Finally, we must look at the original Hebrew and Aramaic words to ensure that words were most accurately translated into English (or whatever your native tongue is). This can be done with Hebrew interlinears and with concordances such as Strong's or Young's. When we do these "word studies" we will find that translators, at times, either transliterated words instead of translating them or at other times they omitted words from the English translation that are found in the original manuscripts.
The above suggestions are completely based on a biblical principles:
1 Cor. 2: 13. Which things we also speak; not in the teaching of the words of man's wisdom, but in the teaching of the spirit; and we teach spiritual matters to those with spiritual focus. 14. For a man in his natural self does not receive spiritual concepts; for they are foolishness to him. Neither can he know them; for they are discerned by the Spirit.
Romans 7: 14. For we know, that Torah is spiritual; but I am carnal, and sold to sin.
We must remember that, outside of divine inspiration, man cannot be trusted to always write infallibly because he is an imperfect, sin-tainted creature. We all make mistakes and have biases and limited biblical knowledge. No one on Earth can completely know the mind of YHWH!
Romans 11: 33. O the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of Elohim! For man has not searched out his judgments; and his ways are inscrutable. 34. For who has known the mind of Master YHWH? Or who has been a counselor to him? 35. Or who has first given to him and then received from him? 36. Because all is from him, and all by him, and all through him: to whom be praises and benedictions, for ever and ever: Amen.
1 Cor. 2: 5. That your faith might not arise from the wisdom of men, but from the power of Elohim.
Titus 1: 14. and may not throw themselves into Jewish fables and into the precepts of men who hate the Truth.
YHWH has assured us that we can trust HIS Words only:
Psalm 12: 6 The words of ADONAI are pure words, silver in a melting-pot set in the earth, refined and purified seven times over. 7 You, ADONAI, protect us; guard us forever from this generation... (CJB)
Psalm 119: 160 The main thing about your word is that it's true; and all your just rulings last forever. (CJB)
Matthew 5: 18. For truly I say to you that until heaven and earth pass away not one Yodh or one stroke will pass from Torah until everything happens. 19. All who loosen, therefore, from one (of) these small commandments and teach thus to the sons of man, will be called little in the Kingdom of Heaven, but all who do and teach this will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20. For I say to you that unless your righteousness exceeds more than that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 24: 35. Heaven and earth may pass, but my word will not pass.
Luke 16: 17. And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one letter of Torah to pass away.
Romans 3: 4. Far be it: for Elohim is truthful, and every man false: as it is written: That you might be upright, in your declarations; and be found pure when they judge you.
Considering there are so many irresponsible writers "out there" - as a matter of fact, man is even re-writing history - how can anyone honestly and assuredly insist that extrabiblical writings have not been twisted or corrupted? To rely upon extrabiblical sources (books, commentaries and the like) to assist in the interpretation of Scripture can be quite dangerous! When dealing with difficult passages, it is wiser to honestly state that you do not know the meaning than to latch onto the interpretation of the seminaries, reformers, or most so-called "scholars." Unless something completely "lines up" with the Scriptures, we can safely assume it is NOT from God!
2 Timothy 3: 16. All Scripture that was written by the Spirit is profitable for instruction and for decisive refutation, and for correction, and for deep extensive learning in righteousness; 17. that the man of Elohim may become perfect and complete for every good work.
We need not feel inadequate if we do not have college or seminary degrees or libraries full the works of supposed scholars - not that there is no value in those other writings but those men were themselves human and were in error on various doctrines. We must never forget that we have the best Bible teacher on Earth:
John 14: 26. But the Redeemer, the Ruach haKodesh, the One whom my Father will send in my name will teach you everything. And He will remind you of everything that I said to you.
In addition to the Holy Spirit, we also have the best Bible textbook on Earth:
Proverbs 30: 5 "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him."
If you're a brand new reader of the Bible, don't start with the New Testament; start with the beginning in Genesis, and systematically read your way through, chapter by chapter (or decide on a certain number of pages to read) on at least once-a-week basic until you've read your way through. (This will take approximately one year!)
Don't just "read" but actually "think" about what you're reading, savoring each line as you read, visualizing what you're reading about.
For those who have come to realize our need for Torah observance, you already know that Torah study is to be done every Shabbat. A proper Torah study cycle takes a whole year. (For more on exactly what that entails please read the entire introduction section on our Weekly Torah studies page.)
Weekly Torah studies do not just consist of methodical readings of the Torah, but they also include some readings from the Writings and the Prophets AND the New Testament - readings that tie in with each week's particular Torah portion. (Our weekly Torah portions and related scriptures have been posted in their entirety on the page/link above, with each one showing exactly what the readings are and, at the bottom of each, what next week's readings will be.)
So how does one manage to do both the Torah study and reading their way through the Bible? Well, consider doing the Torah study on Shabbat and immediately afterward, read a couple of chapters, consecutively each week through "the rest of the Bible" starting with Joshua, which is the first Book after the Torah (which consists of the first five Books of the Bible).and reading your way through each week until you get to the end of Revelation. Don't forget to concentrate on everything you read. Don't just "read" and sluff over the sentences.
Of course, regular Bible reading can be done on other days, as well - it all depends on how much you wish to read - each day, or twice a week...it's all up to you. Whatever you decide to do, stick with it and DO it!