Homiletics or Hermeneutics?

I received a comment on my blog, saying Bible Study Fellowship has it wrong for the final question every lesson.  It’s not “homiletics”.  It should be “hermeneutics.”

Never having heard of hermeneutics, I googled.   And now I am wondering myself which is it that BSF means.

Homiletics is “the application of Scripture” or “the study of the composition and delivery of a sermon.”  Webster’s defines homiletics as “the art of preaching.”

Hermeneutics is “the interpretation of Scripture” or exegesis.  Webster’s defines hermeneutics as “the study of the methodological principles of interpretation (as of the Bible)”.

Exegesis is according to Webster’s “exposition, explanation; an explanation or critical interpretation of a text”.

When I took the Homiletic seminar a few years back offered by BSF, I understood it as the interpretation of Scripture and what is the Word saying.  But is BSF looking for what is the Word saying or what is the Word saying TO ME?  Or is it how to preach??

While there is infinite applications, there is usually only one (or a couple if not clear) interpretations.

I’m confused after having done my own research on just what is BSF looking for on that last question.  What the Bible is saying?  What is the Bible saying to me?  Or how to give a sermon to others on what the Bible is saying?  Or how to give a sermon to others on applications from the passage?

Would love to know from you leaders out there which it is…

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31 comments on “Homiletics or Hermeneutics?

  1. Virginia says:

    Way,Way,Way too much detail. I just get my lesson done with your help. I am very thankful for your blog
    it gives me a kick start and encouragement. I agree with you on some of the faults of BSF . It is not perfect but it is better than NOTHING! My BSF lesson enriches my worship. It is such a thrill to go to church on Sunday and the Scripture readings are on something we have been studying in BSF. I really know what it is about!!!! The Lord has a plan. Thank you again for doing your blog.

  2. Shirley says:

    The last question is for the group leaders and administrative leaders so I’ve never paid any attention to it. It’s hard enough to answer the sixth day question above it!

  3. Shelly says:

    BSF has it correct in the term they use because of the reasons they offer it.

    The Homiletics seminar is offered to members every year (it used to be twice a year). I personally have taken it or facilitated it administratively, 8 or 9 times? I do homiletics every week as a part of my lesson so I have some experience with it.

    That last question is for the group and administrative leaders, that is correct; but, anyone can do the seminar and homiletics. Homiletics is offered for leaders and for members who want to not only pull more out of the passages that we are studying but also to extrapolate what that passage means to you and how you would use this method to teach it. For group leaders the focus it towards their ladies in conversation and discussion. For administrative leaders the focus is to use it in interactions with all the ladies they come across at group. For members it’s to be used in any area they may serve. Sunday school, small groups, family devotions, etc. The focus of homiletics is basically for the person doing it to use the results as a teaching tool.

    I think you should try doing doing it for awhile as a discipline AtoZ. Following the model set by the Homiletics seminar has been incredibly rewarding to me. With the audience you have here, man would it ever be cool to see what you get out of it each week and how it speaks to people. You are a writer. I think it would enrich your blog. The key to homiletics is brevity and really whittling it down to the main point of the while passage we study it. It’s fun. And challenging.

  4. Shelly says:

    Lasts sentence correction (I forgot to finish it before I hit post):

    They key to homiletics is brevity and really whittling the passage down to the main point of what we studied to use it was a teaching tool. It also helps me see why the passage was broken up as it was for us to tackle that week. It brings into focus the content, the main subject, the aim of what it means to the listener and personal application.

  5. dccgc says:

    Sorry, I responded in the wrong place.

    The study of Scripture (hermeneutics) includes application. more specifically though, Homiletics is sermon prep and what homily comes from. the greek definition (from the web cuz mine is rusty) is essentially people assembled together. I don’t know about being in the know, but when I learned to preach, the two words were taught to us in sharp distinction.

    i think it is unfortunate BSF misuses the word even after people point it out because it a) makes it look like they don’t want to change or hear what others think (because I can’t be the first person to mention it), b) are unaware, and/or c) are unable to look things up.

    Maybe this reveals a different problem/issue? I appreciate that BSF encourages people to get into Scripture, but maybe they don’t realize the posture with which we approach the text (humility) OR the value of Community in doing so. While it is VERY true that you don’t have to understand greek, hebrew or aramaic to understand Scripture, There is a huge benefit from hearing from other believers about what the text says. There is a fullness that can be brought to bear from academics, theologians, other cultures and other times. The “danger” of the Church is to approach the text as if we’re the only ones to think a certain way (one way to interpret something — the reality is that there can be many!). For example, Calvinists versus Arminians — can a person lose their salvation/how do people come to faith? (out of the Romans study).

    Is it possible that they hurt their credibility of explaining the text of Scripture when they miss a fairly simple word such as this? I don’t know, but it still seems odd that no one has ever bothered to look up the word. It reminds me of Princess Bride and the word “inconceivable.”

    I appreciate you’ve got your blog and I had the fortune to stumble across it. Sorry if I’ve stirred the pot too much.

    • Kallie says:

      DCCGC, I am not in BSF leadership, so I don’t have a ‘dog in this race’. However, I find your post to be quite condescending and supercilious . Have you ever considered the idea that BSF might be using the word exactly as they intended, and that YOU might be the one who is in error? I have examined their website and other places and found that their Board of DIrectors consists of Godly and highly educated theologians. In my opinion, your post is rude and self-serving.

      • Shelly says:

        Thank you Kallie. I agree.

      • DC says:

        Kallie thank you for your response. I respect and appreciate your willingness to engage, be direct and call me out for my tone. I can see where I deserved that. While not intending to be condescending, I see how what I’ve written can be taken that way and it’s more than fair to bring attention to that. I am apologize to you, the blog readers and the blog host about that.

        Again, I do appreciate what BSF does and they certainly have a long history of ministry that deserves appropriate recognition.

        I still respectfully disagree about the word, though. If they continue to use it the way they do, that’s fine — as you say, I don’t have a dog in the fight either. Obviously, I’m not on a crusade to get them to change and won’t sweat it. I haven’t spoken to the leadership so I don’t know why they use homiletics over hermeneutics.

        My main observation is that homiletics is the study of sermon preparation. Hermeneutics is the interpretation of Scripture.

        I’m fairly certain about the definition of these words, and it can be verified Have I used the words in error? If not, how does one reconcile the differences? Why the reluctance to call it hermeneutics?

      • Shelly says:

        You are correct. That is the definition of those words and that meaning of Homiletics is why BSF teaches that seminar. BSF wants us to use Homiletics as a tool to teach. They’re very clear about that.

      • DC says:

        To clarify what I mean — to prepare to preach, one has to study the bible. Hermeneutics is foundational to homiletics. Preaching/teaching (homiletics) cannot be done apart from interpretation (hermeneutics). Interpretive questions are asked all the time. For instance, who is the text written to? what is the context of what is being said? For example, when Jesus says, to pluck one’s eye out lest they sin, how do we know if it is a figure of speech or literal? When we look at the biblical text and recognize that it has an original audience and move it into the present day audience, application requires interpretation. I think I remain befuddled about how teaching/preaching the text is done apart from studying and interpreting the text.

    • Shelly says:

      They have looked up the word and they use it intentionally.

    • I am a BSF leader, and the correct term is homiletics. Leaders are required to do homiletics for each passage, in order to identify key principles of the passage prepare to teach that passage through various avenues . It is not done for us to interpret the text (we are to encourage members to do this for themselves, prayerfully), nor is it to be exegetical, as outside sources are a last resort. Rather, it is a way to make a reverse outline of a pre-written text in order to identify the key points of the author. Because it is a good way to study the passage, and because an aim of BSF is to raise up leaders, group members are encouraged to learn the process of homiletics. In religious circles this often points to preparation for a homily, or sermon, but the original Greek root (homiletikos) points to a gathering and conversation. Thus, BSF’s usage of this term combines these two correct definitions by teaching people to analyze a specific religious text for use in gathering to discuss that text.

      • dccgc says:

        Thanks for a coherent response, Starfish.

        I’m unclear on two spots.

        To make sure I understand what you’re saying…

        First spot, when you say, ” two correct definitions”, are you are referring to both hermeneutics and homiletics? And, that BSF’s definition and understanding of homilos (coming together, as in assembly) combines/implies these two? OR, BSF’s definition is based on homiletikos (preaching) and homilos (assembly)? Does that make sense?

        And, second spot — when you say, “group members are encouraged to learn the process of homiletics.”

        Are you saying:
        A) ‘group members are encouraged to learn the process of sermon prep (in your words, “prepare to teach that passage”)’ OR
        B) ‘group members are encouraged to learn the process of interpreting/understanding the text?’

      • Shelly says:

        Exactly.

      • The two correct definitions I’m referring to are the modern religious definition, and the Greek root definition. Since interpretation and the use of outside sources are discourage, it isn’t, by definition, hermeneutics or exegetical. Homiletikos doesn’t mean preaching, in the strict Greek definition. Homilos means a crowd or throng, homileo means to consort with or discuss, while homiletikos means to assemble together. The English version, homily, means a sermon (teaching leaders do lecture weekly, while their substitutes must be ready to lecture in case of emergency) or discourse (discourse meaning the use of words to exchange ideas about a subject, or a long talk about a piece of writing on a subject). Group members are encouraged to learn the process used to prepare teaching (which comes in many forms other than sermons), because analyzing what the text says (homiletics) is helpful for retention of text, discussion, and prayerfully coming to a personal application. We are at the basic level, just creating an outline of the existing text, rather than teaching/practicing a method for interpretation or engaging in the exegesis that would be necessary for a hermeneutical definition. At the end of the day, it’s semantics, but it has nothing to do with being too arrogant to use a different word, and it’s unfair to paint it as such.

      • dccgc says:

        “but it has nothing to do with being too arrogant to use a different word, and it’s unfair to paint it as such.”

        Starfish, it is fair to call me on that. It is an unfair and inappropriate accusation that is unwarranted and I believe I’ve owned up to that.

        Hopefully, the additional clarifications provide some insight as to why I raised it in the first place. It is an ongoing question I’ve asked over time to various folks. The answers were found wanting and I encountered some stiff resistance. Hence, it wrongly(!) colored my presentation of the issue.

        I am convicted and reasonably chastised (in a good way) of how I raised the point by the graceful responses. Again, even if I disagree in the semantics it makes me still appreciative of the interchange..

    • Sweet Mama says:

      I am in agreement with you regarding the term but not terribly hung up by it. I do have a dog in the fight as I have to do them each week but after years in children’s leadership/supervision, doing them is a blessing and a huge enrichment to my Bible study. There are weeks that I get more out of my content list, divisions, subject sentence, AIM, application questions, and principles than I do answering the questions. That is NOT a dig at BSF. I am thankful beyond measure to BSF. I think of it as a growth factor. I always tell people that not every question is about you and not every lesson is about you right now and where you are that day. Some weeks it is a discipline to get it done and others it is an on your knees, how could I have missed this lesson from you, Jesus, week. It might be that you are there to help someone else those weeks that feel more like a discipline than a heart lesson. Maybe you learned something new. Maybe you didn’t. Maybe you had one of those Holy Spirit Boulders wop you in the heart and head and maybe it was a gentle little ripple of peace from the Living Water. I was taught and learned that homiletics was SERMON preparation and a fancy outline so to speak for someone who was going to deliver a sermon or lecture to a congregation, class, or fellowship. I’m no theologian. Doesn’t really matter to me other than IF we (and I think of all of us participating in BSF as WE, along with the Board of Directors and staff) are not using the word as commonly used in seminaries, then, we should humbly consider a change. IF there is common usage of both in this context, then, we should move on and get over it with good humor and love.

  6. larry stirtz says:

    I do not know what the stated objective of BSF is, however there is a long history of interpretation and reconciling what has been written to the oral traditions, which of course came first. Prophets and others along the way have had much influence on what our bible says today along with translators. There were several belief systems that had a hand in this evolution. One was to interpret the old testament in terms of Christ’s message and is the source of most of the old testament’s predictions about the Christ his birth and life. As you might guess each person’s point of view who was involved had its impact. However having said that it is still the word of God.

  7. Victoria says:

    Homeletics is a method used to condense a portion of the bible that you are studying or are teaching. It is what the bible states specifically not what you believe it says. Although each person may shorten the passage differently according to what they feel is most important in the scripture, the main topic and content is the same. As we all know different lessons can be learned and studied from the same passage. It is a very effective tool to wade through a lot of information that may turn people off. For ex. All the laws and endless details in the Moses study.

  8. Patti Allen says:

    For me, homeletics was very interesting and a real challenge, but I was not ready to go to that level.

    I may eventually try again . Just doing the lessons rewarded my soul daily. I admire the leaders who are

    saints to me. Keep up the good work you all do for our Lord and Savior.

  9. LoveBSFstudy says:

    Hi there. I have attended the BSF Homiletics seminar 2X and my leader 2 years ago has specifically found some time to ‘personally coach’ me and I find it extremely useful.
    As I recall, I have been told that the Homiletics seminar is for those who seek to have deeper understanding of the Scripture and for the use of leading a Bible Study…

  10. D Elsdon says:

    I believe the answer reveals itself in the definition of Homiletics; BSF has deliberately chosen to use that word with full knowledge of what it’s definition is!/?.

    Also, BSF with the numerous personal/Challenge questions leads to Worldly views, rather than the actual study and pursuit of the TRUE message of the prescribed Scriptural passage.

    We are warned in scripture, ‘NOT’ to add or subtract from the scripture; and that is where I have to question BSF’s motive.
    I Come To Bible study to ‘Study’ the Word of God; not speculate, and play, ‘what if’, or ‘I think’ with His Word!
    Proverbs 30:5 ; Every word of God is pure:b he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
    Proverbs 30:6 ; Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
    u not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
    Deut. 4:2; Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
    Deut. 12:32; What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.
    Galatians 3:15; Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto .
    Rev. 22:18; For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    19; And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

    It is CLEAR that we’re to accept His word just as it is.
    When you start messing with the Bible; you are going to get in trouble . . . every word of God is pure!
    You better leave it alone; The Lord’s Prayer is not the Lord’s Prayer without the last sentence; it is completely omitted in the NIV!

    It seems to me BSF violates these commands repeatedly, I vehemently disagree with this and in turn have stopped attending BSF; it is merely my intense fear of playing ‘god’, by discussing topics (Study questions) related to the Word of God, but are ‘not written’ in the Word of God! (Pure Speculation which defiles God’s Word)

    ‘God is in Heaven and is Not saying let’s make a deal; He is in Heaven saying this IS the deal’.
    —Pastor John Hagee

    If it is NOT written in the Word, NOT disclosed to us in the Word of God; it should NOT be discussed in Bible Study or anywhere else?
    WE NEED NOT PUT A QUESTION MARK, WHERE GOD PUTS A PERIOD!

    Who’s in charge here; is it man; or is it GOD?
    If it’s man we need to pray and get that corrected; if it’s God we need to roll up our sleeves and do His will.

    The first thing I understand is the stage has to be set to reveal the Truth; knowing and understanding there are two people groups:
    – Those who are willing to submit, and subject their opinions to obtain the Truth.
    – Those who are willing to walk all over the truth, in order to obtain their opinion.
    It is not about what I think or you think; but rather, what is the Will of God and what does His Word really Say!

    There is also a problem with Bible versions which are ‘copyrighted’; which the NIV is.
    – “If your Bible is protected by ‘Copyright’ it is NO longer the Inspired Word of God; but of man!
    – If God’s Scriptures have been altered; they are perverted, corrupted, and are defiled!”
    –Pastor James Knox

    Vs to compare with the NIV; look for deleted or added words in the NIV.
    Luke 22:32;kjv; (niv uses the name ‘Simon’; Simon does not exist in any ancient Greek manuscript on the face of the Earth)
    Micah 5:2; kjv; (There are two Bethlehem’s, NIV does not say Ephrath; important to know, as one was the Birth Place of Christ )
    Isaiah 7:14;kjv;; (NIV attacks fundamentals of Virgin Birth; NIV says Maiden; man’s natural conception)
    Luke 2:33;kjv; (NIV says your father; Joseph is not the father; His father is in Heaven; ie, GOD)
    I Timothy 3:16k;kjv; (NIV omits GOD: With out the Virgin Birth you do have the deity of Jesus Christ; just another religious leader)
    I John 5:7;kjv; (NIV translators do not believe in the trinity; so NIV just omitted v7b)
    I John 3:16;kjv; (NIV removes God)
    Matthew 27:4;kjv; (NIV omits ‘the’; NiV has omitted all ‘the’s in the entire Bible)
    Acts 20;28;kjv; (Some versions of NIV have omitted ‘of God’)
    Luke 24:51;kjv; (Some versions of NIV have omitted ‘and carried up into heaven’)
    Matthew 6:13; (NIV omitted ‘v13b’ The whole last sentence of the Lord’s prayer; just omitted!?)
    Rev 11:17;kjv; (NIV omitted ‘and art to come’)
    Luke 23:42;kjv; (NIV omits ‘Lord’; to be saved you must believe on the ‘Lord’; important, one must address the ‘Lord’ Jesus to be saved)
    2 timothy 2:15;kjv; (NIV does not say ‘Study’; commanded; does not say read, not listen to tapes, it says ‘Study’)
    Luke 4:4;kjv; (NIV omitted v4b; ‘but by every word of God’)
    2 timothy 3:16;kjv; (Some versions of NIV have omitted ‘All’)
    2 Corinthians 2:17;kjv; (Interesting to see NIV omit the word ‘corrupt’; the very thing they have done)

    Some verses completely ‘omitted’ in the NIV: There are some 100+/-; just a sample for your perusal.
    Matt 17:21; Matt 08:11; Matt 23.14; Mark 09:44; Mark 09:46; Mark 11:26; Acts 08:37; etc.

    Places in the Bible where God reveals the work of Satin:
    I Tim 4:1; Kjv;
    I Tim 4:2; Kjv;
    I Tim 4:3; kjv;
    I Cor 7:1;kjv; (The NIV here makes Paul a hypocritical liar, with a seared conscious, teaching the doctrine of the devil)

    When I scan your blog, I sense satin gets a stab at your heart quite often, I sense your struggles and your anxiety; perhaps that is related to BSF’s doctrine and the NIV, leaving you open to his manipulation.

    The NIV; Started out with a noble cause, but soon succumbed to the philosophy of its translators.
    Their wish was to produce a translation with a high degree of clarity with a high degree of quality, one that meets the standards of modern English, but at the same time preserve some measure of continuity with the long tradition of translating the scripture into English, while attempting to make it sound somewhat like the KJV or people won’t think it’s the Bible.

    “The NIV is so easy to read that is often read as one might read a newspaper; quickly and with little comprehension.
    An advantage of more difficult reading is that one is more apt to read slowly and pick up nuances and meanings hidden from the rapid reader.
    This is one of the advantages of reading the scriptures from the older KJ Bible.
    Skimming the newspaper might be acceptable; but skimming the scriptures rather than reading and in depth study is most inappropriate.

    One more thing regarding the receptors; that is reader, the hearers of God’s Word.

    The natural man receiveth NOT the things of the Spirit of God, they are foolishness unto him, no matter how a passage is worded, how closely or loosely translated, and the unsaved man will never understand it, unless the Spirit of God opens his eyes to its Truth.

    In this respect the Word of God is most definitely given to His people, thru it God gives instruction as to how to live in a right relationship to Him.
    It is His Word to us and must be treated, not merely as a glorious piece of literature but as the very Word of God; the most import aspect of a translation therefore is not the audience, but the author.”
    –James Knox

    The author of KJV is GOD! (NOT Copyrighted)

    The author of NIV is man?/! (Copyrighted)

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Respectfully, but sincerely; may the Lord Comfort you and give you His Peace!

    D Elsdon

    PS –
    I promised, at a young age, my parents and grandparents that I would NOT abandon the KJ Bible; I am now back in the true Word of God (kjv) and once again have His comfort and His peace..

    • atozmom says:

      I posted this as I see merit in your points.

      But the author of the KJV is not God per se. The King James Version was commissioned by King James I to be translated into English and to reflect the views of the Church of England at that time. It was translated by 47 scholars at that time from the Latin into English. Latin was translated from the Greek and that from the Aramaic and Hebrew, depending on which part you are speaking of. See good history here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_James_Version

      Hence, I think your conclusions are a bit faulty. The author of KJV is technically man as well. It was the first Bible put into English and hence became the most popular in the seventeenth century.

      God did not write the Bible. Disciples and prophets did who were divinely inspired and spoken to by God. It is God’s word given to man, written down by man for man’s use.

      To me, the version is unimportant as we all know things tend to get lost in translation. As long as God speaks to you when you read His Word that is all that matters.

    • Shelly says:

      Ummm… D Elson, man translated the KJV too. Only the Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew texts are “untranslated”. One is free to use any bible they chose to study our lessons. If you want to you KJV go for it.

      The only reason BSF uses NIV is to help those who don’t speak the aforementioned languages or old English to understand what they’re studying. The KJV was the modern language of its day. The NIV is the modern language for ours. If you want complete unadulterated translation than I think you need to go learn Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew.

      As to the challenge and personal questions, those are to either a) answer in light of other scriptures and b) for personal application. Not to add to the bible. Just saying…..

      • Carol says:

        I too am disappointed with BSF’s decision to stay with NIV. Years ago BSF , when transitioning from KJV to NIV, were PROMISED that the changes made from ’86 to 2011 versions would never happen. At the very least the ’86 version would always be available.

        To make it clear, I am not a KJV-only advocate. In fact, my translation of choice right now is ESV.

  11. Lisa says:

    I agree with D Elsdon when speaking of all of the “changes” in the NIV. I use a NKJV. I believe that the KJV is a pretty accurate version, but as atozmom points out, it was translated by men. The New KJV that I use has changed the thee’s and thou’s to make it easier to understand and I am thankful for it. This does allow for easier reading and comprehension but that doesn’t mean that I am just skimming through my Bible when I sit down to read it.

    I disagree with D Elsdon on points made about BSF. I have attended church all of my life (I’m 50) but still failed to grasp the meaning of everything I read in the Bible. I even had someone that did not know me attack my faith because he saw me wearing a cross. He was a college professor and I could not go toe to toe with him in the conversation and left feeling terrible. I also left with a deep desire to know God’s Word better. I asked God to open a door for me to learn and understand His Word, and without elaborating on the details, I was invited to a Bible study. (As for the details, if revealed, they certainly show how God can put you exactly where you need to be.) So, I started attending BSF almost three years ago.

    I don’t believe that God would have opened this door if it were the wrong door. (And I am positive that God opened this door.)

    I have been so thankful for BSF as I have gained an understanding for the Word that I did not have before. I wish that BSF did not use the NIV as their “go to” Bible and did not encourage others to do so as well. There are other versions, like mine, that are more easily understood but do not change the Word to the degree that the NIV has. For example, I do not like how many instances there are in the NIV where the word God has been replaced by He. I call every man I know he, but there is only one God and He deserves to have His deity acknowledged. I don’t think that the answer is for me to quit BSF however. I don’t always like the wording of the questions but I have gotten so much out of attending BSF. Everyone is always accepting when I share, and I share a lot.

    The answer to this NIV dilemma is not to walk away but to share. I have shared the differences between my Bible and other’s NIV versions and have been met with acceptance. I believe that many people who come to Christ today will start with an NIV. Even though I don’t personally care for that version I believe that if someone is seeking God that He will lead them down the right path. To say that anyone using that version of the Bible is being led astray is to put limits on God’s power. I think that if God can use tax collectors, fishermen and people like Saul of Tarsus He can use anything He wants to further His Kingdom!

    In the study of Matthew, Jesus is continually hitting us over the head with His message. I often get the message that we need to stop getting caught up in trivial things because God has power over ALL things.
    –Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is my Lord and Savior. God loved me so much that He sent His one and only Son to be the atoning sacrifice for my sins. ALL my sins. Jesus died for my sins and on the third day was resurrected unto life. He ascended into Heaven and sits at the right hand of God until the day He will return.–
    All who BELIEVE that Jesus is the Son of God and accept him as their Savior RECEIVE eternal life. One only has to repent and turn from their sin. All of the secondary issues that people of different religions tend to argue over is what Jesus warns about over and over.

    When I read the Bible I only remember reading about the Jewish faith and Christians. Men created different religions and took their own interpretations of the Bible to come up with more guidelines on how to be good enough to get to heaven. I like it that BSF in non-denominational. They don’t allow things in that can detract from God’s message. People aren’t perfect, so neither will BSF be. After all, it was written by people. Since I can’t read Hebrew or Greek and I don’t have access to original texts, I have to believe that God’s hand is on those who do the interpretations.

    Thank you atozmom for your blog. When I first started BSF I relied on you heavily to help me understand things better. I am in year three now, and I do still look at your blog but don’t rely on it so much as I have graduated to a higher level in my own understanding of the Word.

    As for BSF, all I have to say is take a look at Matthew 18:20.

    “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

    –Jesus

  12. Shelly says:

    One more thing, we can make idols out of anything. We’re men, we’re good at that. Including the KJV. Seriously we need to major less in the minors and focus more on winning the lost. Arguments like these are a deterrent to bring people to Christ in my opinion. Modernizing language does not mean we are watering down the meaning or the value of God’s Holy Word. If I wrote these posts in old English you wouldn’t understand what I saying. According to your theory should we all go back to talking that way? BSF is bringing God’s word, uncompromised and unadulterated to the masses for FREE, they pray over everything! No organization is perfect but they’re trying desperately to win the next generation and they will not water down God’s Word to do so.

  13. larry stirtz says:

    Wonderful discussion, as long as we serve one God and follow his commandment regarding love, all will be well.

  14. Lisa says:

    Sorry I got distracted by other comments but going back to the original question . . . I say why get caught up in big words that we have to look up the meanings to understand. It has become clear to me that BSF’s intent is to help me learn and understand the Word of God – so – I can share the truth with others! I think that pretty much covers it all.

  15. R Scott says:

    If anyone has taken the BSF Homiletics course, it becomes obvious that BSF uses the word “Homiletics” very intentionally. Their “Fourth Step” of Homiletics is “The Aim,” stated as : “Aim: To cause the audience to __________________.” I no longer attend BSF due to the excessive number of conjecture questions as addressed by D Elsdon above. But I DO use what I learned in the BSF Homiletics course every day; it has significantly changed the way I study the Word, and I consider it a blessing!

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