Free your mind of church teachings before reading the Bible!

And then follow the advice of one of Jesus' brothers:

"James 1:5- If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you."

Do you REALLY believe that Jesus taught THAT?

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  • Freeing my mind of church teachings includes hiding chapter & verse numbering, which were added a few centuries ago for concordance locating of word(s). Chapter and verse numbers disrupt flow of thoughts: many places has numbers in the middle of sentences and discourses (awkward).

    Also freeing my mind for Bible reading includes setting aside words written by human(s): study notes, commentaries, Watchtower, ...

    Every word has context in a sentence. Every sentence has context in a paragraph. Every paragraph has context in a larger unit.

    Before reading other Bible passages, I like to read/pray the Gimel section (eight verses whose first letter is the Hebrew letter Gimel) of Psalm 119:17-24 LEB =>

    Gimel

    Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and heed your word. 

    Uncover my eyes, that I may look at wonderful things from your law. 

    I am a sojourner on the earth; do not hide your commands from me. 

    My soul is crushed with longing for your ordinances at all times. 

    You rebuke the arrogant, the accursed, who stray from your commands. 

    ⌊Remove from⌋ me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies. 

    Even though princes sit and speak against me, your servant meditates on your statutes. 

    Your testimonies are my delight, ⌊my counselors⌋. 

     W. Hall Harris III et al., eds., The Lexham English Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Ps 119:17–24.

    ג (Gimel

    Deal generously with your servant; then I will live and observe your word. 

    Open my eyes, so that I will see wonders from your Torah

    Though I’m just a wanderer on the earth, don’t hide your mitzvot from me. 

    I am continually consumed with longing for your rulings. 

    You rebuke the proud, the cursed, who stray from your mitzvot

    Remove scorn and contempt from me, because I observe your instruction. 

    Even when princes sit and plot against me, your servant meditates on your laws. 

    Also your instructions are my delight; they are my counselors. 

     David H. Stern, Complete Jewish Bible: An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B’rit Hadashah (New Testament), 1st ed. (Clarksville, MD: Jewish New Testament Publications, 1998), Ps 119:16–24.


    Comparing English Bible translations provides insight into original language range of word meanings. The Lexham English Bible was designed for reading beside original language texts, which includes sentence length matching original expression. The Apostle Paul penned a number of longish sentences: e.g. Ephesians 1:3-14 LEB  (with Hebrew words usually translated by Jewish scholars in LXX: יהוה as Lord & אלהים as God) =>

    Blessed is the אלהים God and Father of our יהוה Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him in love, having predestined us to adoption through Jesus Christ to himself according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace that he bestowed on us in the beloved, in whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, that he caused to abound to us in all wisdom and insight, making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he purposed in him, for the administration of the fullness of times, to bring together all things in Christ, the things in the heavens and the things on the earth, in him in whom also we were chosen, having been predestined according to the purpose of the One who works all things according to the counsel of his will, that we who hoped beforehand in Christ should be for the praise of his glory, in whom also you, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also when you believed you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the down payment of our inheritance, until the redemption of the possession, to the praise of his glory. 

     W. Hall Harris III et al., eds., The Lexham English Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012), Eph 1:3–14.

    Keep Smiling 😊

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