2nd Edition, Revised Material

3 Necessary Questions For Bible Readers

To understand the Bible, one must be clear as to what the Bible is not.

“Sources of biblical writings were people just like us.”
~ Donald L. O’Dell

Many of the Bible’s writers edited existing, original material or wrote under the name of a familiar author.

These latter-day editors/authors came from the perspective of a fear-based set of beliefs based upon purification and sacrifice. Upon reading my book you will understand how and why this occurred.

You will also understand the original positive message of the prophets and of Jesus.

To understand a text, you must ask three questions:

  1. Who is doing the writing?
  2. To whom is the writing addressed?
  3. What are the historical/political issues of the time surrounding the writing?

HOW WELL DO PEOPLE KNOW RELIGIONS

Most Americans are familiar with some of the basics of Christianity and the Bible, and even a few facts about Islam. But far fewer U.S. adults are able to correctly answer factual questions about Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, and most do not know what the U.S. Constitution says about religion as it relates to elected officials.

In addition, a large majority of Americans are unsure (or incorrect) about the share of the U.S. public that is Muslim or Jewish, according to a new Pew Research Center survey that quizzed nearly 11,000 U.S. adults on a variety of religious topics.

According to Pew Research, people who are most knowledgeable about a religion (and are not members of that religion) tend to rate the religion’s adherents most favorably.

For instance, Buddhists receive an average thermometer rating of 67 degrees from non-Buddhists, but just 53 degrees from those who do not have correct knowledge of Buddhist fundamental information.

Another example is Hinduism. An average rating given to Hindus is 11 degrees warmer among those who know a lot about Hinduism than among those who know little about Hinduism.

Donald L. O'Dell

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