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How to Use the Bible Today?

Praise be to God! There is no other god except God. According to Rashad Khalifa’s rough estimate, 90% of the Bible is divine truth. In this sermon let me show you how to increase that accuracy to 99% with minimal efforts. And this is possible because the errors in the Bible do not come in many small different places, but they come in just a few large chunks. Basically, many books in the Bible are almost completely true, while a few other books are completely human-made, so all we need to do is identify those books, and we increase the accuracy to 99%.

But first let’s familiarize ourselves with the concept of Biblical Canon. In the past, learned people would write books, and a lot of those books were religious books, and not all of them were necessarily divinely inspired books. Some books were books of prophets. Others books were books of scribes, and others were books for teaching purposes for students. And all those books were called “bibles”. Bible simply means book. Once in a while, religious authorities gathered and decided which books are God-inspired and which books are not God-inspired. And this process of selecting the books is called canonization. Here are 104 books of the Bible which have been canonized by at least one Christian or Jewish sect.

Some of them are human made, so the Greek Orthodox Christians more correctly canonized only 81 of them, and declared the others human-made, and then from that the Catholics even more correctly canonized only 73 of them, and declared the others human-made, and then from that the Protestants more correctly canonized only 66 of them, which are the green ones, and declared the others human made:

So here again is the list of only those Bible books as printed today:

So, when you go on the internet and try to read the Bible in English, most likely you will be reading this Bible with 66 canonized books, and it’s by far the dominant Bible version in the English Speaking world, because the Protestant Churches, and the Anglican Church are the dominant Christian sects in the English Speaking World, and they have this Bible with 66 book. And in this Bible with 66 books, almost all the books are books which were initially God-inspired, and only a few of them are human inspired. However, before we clean the Bible further, let’s just reorganize it a little bit. First of all, the book of Ezra and Nehemiah, are one book in the Hebrew Bible,

so let’s merge them together as seen below.

Second, the two books of Chronicles are also found as one books in the Hebrew Version of the Old Testament. So, let’s merge them into one book also, as seen below:

Also, bellow we colored in red the books from Romans to Philemon because they are just letters written by Paul to the early groups of Christians around the Mediterranean region.

All of these red books above together actually are about as long as just one of the other books. For example, only the book of Psalms is long as all these other letters put together. They should be merged together into one book, which we can “Paul’s letters”, as seen below in red.

Similarly, the books of Peter, and the books of John, the five of them should be merged into two separate books, as seen below (in green and brown):

Now, after we merged the books which should be merged, let’s present the books of the same Bible, but with a different number of books, although it contains the same material as the one which is in existence among Protestants today. So, here is a Bible with the same material, but split into only 48 separate books (instead of 66):

Now, when these books were compiled and included in the canon, the people who created the canonized Bible, either Jews of the past, or the Christians, they were primarily concerned with preserving their Jewishness or Christianity, and their ultimate motive was not to define which books are from God and which books are not from God, but their motive was to include the books which define Jewishness or Christianity. So, they included everything which fit within their Jewishness or their Christianity. They did not think that it is important to distinguish which books were written by prophets, which books were written by messengers, and which books were written by scribes. However, they knew that. They were aware of that classification, and it is still known today. So, the books which were written by scribes are the dark red books below, and the Jews know it. The light red ones below were written by Ezra, who was a famous scribe who wrote for Cyrus the Great, the King of the First Persian Empire.

Cyrus ordered Ezra, as a very learned scholar, to write all the history of the Jews, and to write also a useful biography for the times of the Cyrus, which Ezra did, and they are the two light red books above – The Chronicles and Ezra 1 and 2. They were written under the command of the King of Persia, not under the command of God. And even from the content you can notice that. The book of Chronicles is simply a summary of the books before it, a short retelling of the other books in the Bible. It’s just a summary of the Bible intended for the King of Persia to read. This book just repeats the main points from the earlier books of the Bible. So, the two light red books above are history books, but they do not belong in the Bible. The other books which also do not belong in the Bible are the five dark red books. They are called the Five Megillot according to the Jewish compilers of the canon, which means “The Five Scrolls”, which is a different term used to distinguish it from the Torah and the Prophetic books. These five scrolls are simply Jewish songs or poems which the Jews used to sing or recite during their holidays, and after centuries of singing, someone decided to write them, and included them in the Bible. Again, even from their content, you can notice that they should not be included in the Bible. For example, the book titled “Song of Solomon” is actually just full of love songs which one of the Kings after Solomon sang to his wives. This book belongs in the Bible as much as Justin Bieber songs. They are just love song towards women. The book of Ecclesiastes is also attributed to Solomon, which could be, but not as God’s prophet. This book is a pessimistic philosophy which simply teaches that life has no meaning. It’s the same thoughts which a drug addict would get when they have increased their doses so much, that the drugs do not get them high anymore, or a king who feels no satisfaction anymore, because he felt everything positive that he could possibly feel in life, and then finds no purpose in life anymore. The books of Esther, Ruth, and Lamentations are again just stories, of non-Jewish people, or the Jews lamenting their losses, which entered in their popular culture as songs, and then later were written.

So all the red-highlighted books above are written by scribes, but not by Prophets or messengers, and the Jewish scholars know this, but they include them anyway, but, of course, they do not belong in the Bible. The other books which do not belong in the Bible are the books above highlighted in orange. Actually, most of those orange books were written by messengers, but they were not intended as books to be included in the Bible. For example, Rashad Khalifa, wrote the book titled “Quran, Hadith, and Islam”, which is a nice book, but we don’t include it as part of the Quran. Similarly, the orange books above are nice books, but we should not include them as part of the Bible. Only the books of Prophets should be part of the Bible, and the Quran is the last of those books. So, now let’s respectfully remove the highlighted non-prophetic books. Of course, they should be kept as very important books of history, and not be lost, but they should not included in the Bible. And by adding the last book of the Bible, which is the Quran, we have the purified Bible, with only true prophetic books, as seen below:

This Bible is 99% correct. 99% of the information in this Bible is correct. God allowed about 1% of it to be changed, because those previous books became non-mandatory anyway, after the times and circumstances changed. So, God would not reveal another book, until a little bit of the previous book was changed or lost. So, because the Quran is the last book, it must be the only book which is 100% correct. So, the correct way to think of it, is not to see the Quran as one book, and the Bible as another book, but to see the Quran as one of the books of the Bible, the last book of the Bible, the only book of the Bible which is still 100% correct, and the content of which is the summary of all the previous books of the Bible. So, this Bible which is shown above is the same as the Bible which is predominantly available around the world, except that we removed about 10% of it, the part which was not of Prophets, and we added 10% of it which was missing, which is the Quran, which is from the last prophet. So, the Quran is the last 10% of this Bible, which is why verse 34:45 in the Quran, if you read it in the Arabic, one of the things it says is that this generation is given only one tenth as much scripture compared to the previous generations. The Quran has about 77,000 words, while the Bible has 10 times more words.

So, now let’s classify these true books of the Bible into three classes as seen below divided into the green, blue, and white books:

So, we have Mandatory Books which is the Quran, the green one. Then we have the very useful books which are not mandatory anymore – the blue ones. The first five blue books were revealed to Moses, the Psalms were revealed to David, and the Proverbs was revealed to Solomon, and then we have the last two blue books which are the Gospel, revealed to Jesus. Now, the Gospel in the Bible is recorded four different times by different scribes, Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John. And because Mathew, Mark, and Luke, are pretty much the same book repeated three different times by three different people, they have mostly the same material, and if you just read Luke, it is the same as reading the other too books as well, because Luke is slightly longer, and includes mostly what Mathew and Mark have, and a little bit more. While the book of John still tells the same story, but from a slightly different angle, concentrating more on Jesus as the word of God, and de-emphasizing his human side, which is an important different angle of the same truth. So, reading these two books from the Gospel is almost the same as reading all four of them. And the rest of the books in this Bible (the white ones) are books which are 99% true, but they deal mostly with information which belongs to the past, and not relevant for us anymore. For, example a lot of them just prophecy what will happen to the Jews within a few years, and almost all those prophecies are now to our past, and not relevant to us anymore, because almost none of us are Jews, and none of us live in the past. So, actually, if you just read these 10 colored books of the Bible, the blue ones and the green one, then you have read everything you need to know from the books which God revealed.

Of course, the books before the Quran, even when they are true, they are not necessarily applicable to us, which is why we should not use the other books as the ultimate source of reaching our conclusions. For example, both the books before the Quran and the Quran say that wine has both benefits and evil in it. However, during the ancient times the benefits of wine outweighed the evil, while in our current times, the evil of wine outweighs its benefits.  One of the benefits of wine is that it allows you to preserve grapes for a long time, and have those nutrients during the whole year, instead of just during one month. However, this benefit is not necessary anymore, because we have better preservation techniques, with freezers, and special types of packaging which keep the fruit juices drinkable for many years. So, the benefits of wine have decreased. Now, regarding the evil part, it has increased. The evil parts of wine are that it incites people to take risks and engage in vain reckless behavior. Now, had we been in the past, with no lighting during the night, where genders were separated, there were no cars, and no guns, the risks of wine mainly included simply falling asleep, and saying a few bad words to your brother, and that’s it, but today the risks of wine include having an accident with your car, or firing a gun, or many other things like that, and when you add all of them up, their evil outweighs the benefits. Some people think that they can avoid the evil parts even today. For example, they say, ‘I don’t drink and drive.” Well, you can decide not to drink and drive before you drink, but after you drink, the drinking changes your attitude, and then after you drink you start thinking, “It doesn’t matter if I drive. I am not that drunk anyway.” So, it is really not possible today to avoid the evil aspects of wine, unless you just don’t drink at all. Also, in the past, wine was only very diluted low alcohol wine, because they mixed it with water before they drank it, and today people have developed methods to keep much more alcohol in the wine, which makes it more evil than in the past. So, this is just one example, why the books of the Bible before the Quran can be risky to reach conclusions from them, even though they are true. It’s because some of those circumstances have changed. Actually, most of the circumstances are the same. However, it requires a deep analysis to understand which of those few circumstances have changed and how, and unless you are an expert of all of that history, then you are taking a risk, when you rely in those previous books. So, the books of the Bible are true, but it is slightly risky to reach conclusions from them. What we can do instead is to reach conclusions by using the Quran alone, and then we might find some interesting points in the other books of the Bible which supports that conclusion, and simply use it to emphasize the Quranic point even more, or maybe the wording in the Bible might be more interesting to stress a particular point.

Another misunderstanding, which people who read the Bible and the Quran have, is the perception of who Jesus was. This misperception mostly comes from the fact that the Bible and the Quran focus on two different aspects of Jesus. The Gospel speaks of Jesus as a soul, as the word of God, while the Quran speaks of Jesus as a body, as the son of Mary. The Quran almost always says “the son of Mary” whenever it mentions Jesus, to tell us that it is talking about the body of Jesus, because what comes out of a woman is the body, but what comes out God is the soul. So, the Gospel mostly speaks about Jesus, the soul, while the Quran mostly speaks about Jesus, the body. They are both correct. The Quran does not deny the Biblical Jesus, if you think of Jesus as a soul. It denies the blasphemies against him which were latter attributed to him, outside of the Bible, by latter Christian doctrines. But, the Jesus of the Bible and the Quran is just two aspects of the same person, the soul and the body. There are some additional misunderstandings because of mistranslations, but that is another issue.

So, these are the books of the Bible, about 99% of it intact, and the last book in it is the Quran, the only book which is still 100% intact: