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Lesson 10

Most Christians believe it is up to them to decide how God’s word is understood, what meanings his words should have and what he intended them to say. For proof of this bold claim I offer the conclusions of LiveScience who estimates there are over 45000 denominations of Christianity in the world as of 2022. Whatever the real number, as long as it is over 1, there must be a disagreement over something. Before putting their trust in a belief, few test the belief against all Bible scripture, or scrutinize the scripture that is used to support the belief for context or word meanings. Following a good exegesis protocol is essential to fully understand any message God has provided.  Using good exegesis to unbiasedly let the Bible speak for itself, God’s truths will be revealed providing new depths of understanding. Jews were not allowed to associate with Gentiles and especially not enter their homes and eat with them. Altering deeply held beliefs is difficult. Not having scriptural references to rely on, it would have been hard for Peter to accept a new direction without divine intervention. How do you study the words of God? How do you discover a verse’s proper context? If a verse appears to contradict one of your beliefs do you study it until you reconcile it within your belief? Have you ever broadened one of your beliefs to accommodate a verse that alters that belief? Have you ever abandoned a belief after finding it to be biblically inaccurate? What scriptures would have prevented Peter and the Jewish believers from accepting Gentiles as brethren who didn’t conform to Jewish ritual? 

Acts 10:13-22 Disciples’ Literal New Testament

13 And a voice came to him, “Having arisen, Peter, slaughter and eat!” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord, because I never ate anything defiled and unclean”. 15 And a voice again came to him for a second time, “The things which God made-clean, don’t you be making-defiled”. 16 And this took place three-times, and immediately the object was taken-up into heaven. 17 Now while Peter was being greatly-perplexed within himself as to what the vision which he saw might mean, behold— the men having been sent-forth by Cornelius, having asked-repeatedly as to the house of Simon, stood at the gate. 18 And having called, they were inquiring, “Is Simon, the one being called Peter, lodging here?” 19 And while Peter was pondering about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold— three men are seeking you. 20 But having arisen, go down and proceed with them not doubting at all, because I have sent them forth”. 21 And Peter, having gone down to the men, said, “Behold— I am the one whom you are seeking. What is the reason for which you are-here?” 22 And the ones said, “Cornelius— a centurion, a righteous man, and one fearing God, and one being attested by the whole nation of the Jews— was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to listen-to words from you”.

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