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Do you need to look up words in the Hebrew and Greek, or in 1828 Webster Dictionary (to understand the Bible)?


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First, we need to be people that daily read and study the Bible, comparing Scripture with Scripture.  Acts 17:11 says, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”  Psalms 119:99 says, “I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.”  The problem with many teachers is that they teach people what man says about the Bible—instead of teaching people what the Bible actually says.  When I was in Bible College, I had to read thousands of pages of assigned reading in books other than the Bible, but very few professors required actual Bible-reading to pass the class.  So the average Bible College graduate knows more about what people say about the Bible, than what the Bible actually does say.
Second, we need to make sure that we are obeying what we are reading in the Bible, because that will keep us from deception.  James 1:22 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.”  As an example, consider all of the professing Christians today that are coming out and admitting that they are sodomites.  They have failed to obey the clear Word of God on that subject.  Romans 1:24-28 says, “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:   Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.    For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:   And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.   And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”  That Scripture is very clear, but these professing Christians are saying that it is okay to be a sodomite.  Do you see how they have deceived themselves, because they did not obey the Scripture?  What they actually need is salvation.
Third, there is nothing wrong with looking up words in a Hebrew or Greek dictionary (like in Strong’s Concordance), or in an English dictionary, like the Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary, or in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary (I have the 11th edition).  Looking up words in these dictionaries can be very helpful—IF we have been faithful in the first point, daily reading and studying the Bible, and IF we have been faithful in the second point, obeying what we have been reading.  But, beware, because dictionaries offer all of the meanings of a word, they can actually be used as tools to “criticize” and “correct” the Bible by people who are not obeying point 1 and point 2 above.  They stand up and teach or preach, “This Hebrew or Greek word should have been translated this way...”
May God deliver us from pride, and truly excite our hearts from reading, studying, and obeying His Holy Word.



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