Rationale behind study entitled ‘the direct yet contradictory relationship between the Holy Bible of Christianity and the Vedas of Hinduism,’ part forty-seven.
“Before we continue looking at the references from the Vedas and Upanishads that pose problems and raise questions for the Christian reader,” Dr. D. James, President and teacher of The Lay School in Clinton, Tennessee, as he continued his presentation before The Lay School faculty on the direct yet contradictory relationship between the Holy Bible of Christianity and the Vedas of Hinduism, said, “let us consider, as best we can, the rationale behind this series of studies, which we have heretofore avoided explanation of.
There are those of the fundamentalist and conservative elements of Christianity who adamantly assert that the ONLY thing we need to do is read and study the Bible; and the Bible to many of this persuasion means the King James Version of the Bible, ONLY. This adamant attitude toward the reading and study of any other translation/version of the Bible as well as other pertinent writings of antiquity, leaves a great deal to be desired for an informed, educated, and intelligent Christian. Further, their equally adamant and negative attitude concerning the formal study of the Bible in Bible colleges, universities, and seminaries, asserting instead that all that is needed is the earnest personal study of the Bible under the direction of the Holy Spirit, implying by their words and attitudes that the formal study of the Bible under the direction of the Holy Spirit is a total impossibility, equally, leaves a great deal to be desired for an informed, educated, and intelligent Christian. These otherwise well-meaning Christians forget that the very Bible and all that it contains, the very Bible they revere, was NOT written in a vacuum; that is, the Bible was written by over forty different men during various historical periods throughout 1600 years of man’s existence on this earth. Its pages chronicle first and foremost the history of the Hebrew nation, and its struggle to honor the covenant that its pages assert was made between the children of Israel and Almighty God, a struggle that occurred within an historical context amidst the pagan religious practices of various other peoples of antiquity. To attempt to understand each and every passage of the Bible without considering the other extant available writings of antiquity, is to ignore a substantial amount of written evidence that supports the claims of the Bible.
Those at the other end of the theological spectrum, the moderates and liberals, have exercised ample time and resources for well over 100 years and it appears that all they can show for their efforts is criticism of the very Bible, whatever translation or version, that the Judeo-Christian tradition has revered for millennia. Their conclusions all too often overtly omit pertinent information to the understanding of any particular passage in question, many times concentrating their efforts on passages and arguments that raise doubts about the text as well as the content of the Bible. Their explanations of the relationship between the Bible and other writings of antiquity reflect their critical approach to the study of the Bible, but all too often do not accurately reflect what is contained in those other writings; many times focusing on those passages of those other writings that raise more doubts about the content and authority of the Bible.
A close examination of the knowledge and understanding of the rank and file of the former many times yields a group of believers who have, at best, a rudimentary understanding of the truths and doctrines of the Bible, but when it comes to a deeper knowledge of the flow of history, the deeper truths, or the relevant extant other writings of antiquity that provide insight into the Bible and the events it records, their understanding is severely lacking; and worst of all is their complacency in their willful ignorance. Conversely, a close examination of the knowledge and understanding of the rank and file of the latter reveal many who have extensive learning, but as the Apostle Paul states in 2 Timothy 3:7 ‘Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth’. And this condemnation occurs in a passage of the New Testament that opens with the statement, ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous time shall come.’ And Paul goes on in this passage to describe the condition of the church in ‘the last days’!
The solution to these issues from either side of the theological spectrum is FIRST-HAND knowledge! The ‘seeker’ of truth should understand and be willing to search for the truths of God wherever they may be found, for those truths are not limited to merely the King James Version of the Bible, as the side-by-side, verse-by-verse, comparison study of the Bible being conducted by Sterling Ministries is proving over and over across the fifteen translations/versions, both modern and of antiquity, included in that comparison study. The differences between those fifteen translations/versions are overwhelmingly overshadowed by the similarities between the same!
To compound the rationale for Sterling Ministries’ reading and color-coding of the various extant writings of antiquity included in its Color-Coded Library, are several pertinent facts from the historical record. The history of almost every ancient civilization of any consequence includes a record of a library, sometimes a massive library, maintained usually in their capital city. We know of such libraries at Nineveh, the capital city of the Assyrian Empire; at Babylon, the capital city of the Neo-Babylonian or Chaldean Empire; at Elba in northwest Syria, the oldest library yet discovered and containing roughly 20,000 cuneiform tablets; Ugarit on the coast of northwestern Syria; the Academy of Gondishapur in Middle Persia; the House of Wisdom in Bagdad, Iraq; the Library of Alexandria, Egypt; the Library of Pergamum in Asia Minor; the Libraries of the Forum in Rome; the Imperial Library of Constantinople in Turkey; not to mention several on the Indian subcontinent, the private libraries of individuals in Ancient Rome, and other lesser known and less extensive libraries worldwide. Given the nature of civilizations to maintain libraries, some of which contained massive collections, does it not seem reasonable to conclude that somewhere amongst these vast collections there exist writings that either substantiates what is claimed in the Bible, OR, refutes it? Let there be no misunderstanding, it is our conviction that the Holy Bible of the Judeo-Christian Bible is true. Now would it not be fantastic to discover other writings apart from the Bible, and especially from traditions and civilizations, that had no connection with either ancient Judaism or early Christianity that substantiate what is contained in the Bible? A great many fundamentalists/conservatives assert such information and study is not needed and a great many moderates/liberals misrepresent what is contained in these other writings that they study. It behooves the true seeker of truth to investigate for him/herself what these other writings may offer to the study of the Bible!
Such commentary would not be complete without recognizing that a great number of church leaders including bi-vocational pastors have little time to devote to such endeavors and studies, hence, Sterling Ministries serves as a liaison, providing honest, scholarly evaluation of these writings and their content. The color-coding of these writings using the same basic color-code as Sterling Ministries’ King James Bible, as well as those other fifteen translations/versions in the comparison study, serves to cross-reference each and every writing completed to the King James Bible. The completed color-coded document, placed in the Color-Coded Library, becomes testimony and proof to the fact that Sterling Ministries has, in fact, read and color-coded these documents. And in many cases, pertinent cross-references to specific passages are notated in both the other documents and the digital Color-Coded King James Bible. Anyone familiar with the writings of certain pseudo-scholars could readily attest to the fact that one of the criticisms of their writings is the lack of credible documentation. Such is not the practice of Sterling Ministries, especially when the majority of their work is being compiled in the Color-Coded Library for future reference.
The true, Bible-believing Christian has nothing to fear from the reading and study of these other writings, even those from the pagan religions of the world. What is absolutely imperative as a prerequisite to the reading and study of these other writings is a thorough knowledge and understanding of what is contained in the Bible be accomplished prior to expanding anyone’s knowledge base into these other writings in order to provide the utmost preparation for the deceit and overload of information that many of these other writings provide.
To be sure, the temptation that the serpent offered to Eve in the Garden of Eden was that the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil would give her knowledge such that she would be as god, knowing good and evil. The search and thirst for knowledge is truly intoxicating; it provides an intellectual high, it is pleasurable, and the unwary can easily be enticed away from the truth only to be lost in the labyrinth of information, many times an elaborate mingling of both truths and falsehoods. Hence, the need for a sound foundational understanding of what the Bible contains and what it doesn’t contain, which is sometimes more important than the former!
If no other argument for the need for such concerted and honest examination of these extant other writings of antiquity presented here impresses you, consider these rhetorical questions: what level of understanding of the Bible and all that it teaches do you feel you personally, your church, your Sunday School teacher, and even your Pastor have? Does your church have young people of high school and college age in regular attendance? What preparation in Bible knowledge and understanding have your church programs provided for the college bound in your midst? College attendance is steadily on the rise, and one of the inherent characteristics of the modern collegiate education is the liberal arts curriculum, which has been notorious for its criticisms of the tenets of the Jude-Christian tradition and its antagonism toward the same, even in the denominationally supported institutions. If you find yourself concluding that you or your church and its programs have been less than competent in any of these areas, then maybe it is time for some serious soul-searching. The main characteristic of the Laodecian period of church history as recorded in the letter to the church at Laodecia in Revelation 3 was complacency: self-satisfied-ness!”
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