Real Bible Study

from Volume 1, April 2016, page # 29

by James G Landis

While seeking to write out the “Plow Boy Version” of the passage from I John (pg. 20), I encountered the word, “propitiation” in the KJV. This word presented several challenges. What did the word mean? How could I put it in simple language that everyone would understand?

I studied several different translations and wrote down a definition that I thought sounded pretty good. Jesus is the One who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God. 

In the editing process, Brother Mike Atnip called my definition into question. He said, “We could have a long discussion about propitiation, but your definition is a general Protestant definition.” Brother Mike then gave a shorter and simpler definition that satisfied me better than the first one. Jesus is the one sacrifice that brought us peace with God.

This example illustrates one of the best methods of real Bible study. Take a passage of Scripture. Write out your own Plow Boy Version of the passage as you understand it. Then get together with another friend who has written out his own interpretation of the same passage. Compare your writing and where you differ. You may have several friends together, but keep the group small, no more than four or five.

As I understand it, it was out of this very kind of Bible study that the Anabaptist movement was born. Ulrich Zwingli, Felix Manz, Conrad Grebel and a few others met regularly together to study the New Testament in the original language. It was a firm desire to understand the true meaning of the Scripture that convicted them and impelled them to put it into practice.

One thought on “Real Bible Study

  • June 1, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Dear Mr. James,

    Thank you for your article; it was most encouraging and challenging.

    As I mentioned in our recent conversation, it was Albert Einstein who said “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”

    May the Lord continue to guide us in our desire to study His Word and make it simple and practical in our daily lives.


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