Last year, we embarked upon a 21-day meditation challenge, after which we completed a 40-day meditation challenge. This year, we began a 365-day meditation challenge, which we enjoy and continue to participate in daily. But last Sunday, we began the most exciting challenge to date – reading, studying and meditating together through every book in the Bible – over the next few years.
We immediately learned that reading the Bible cover to cover is a sacred exercise. Even the basic task of reading the scripture out loud allows us to speak truth to power and proclaim our good. This movement through the Word is anointed with such prophetic prayer, strong devotion and energizing Spirit that the process of the journey will be even better than its completion.
Some say that the Bible is similar to us, composed of body, mind and spirit: as a body, it is a book of history; as a soul, it is the teacher of morals; and as Spirit, it is a teacher of the mysteries. Others say it is the story of our generation, degeneration and regeneration: how we were created, lost our divine heritage, and how we may regain it.
Perhaps it is even more: an open door – through which anyone may enter the Kingdom of God. The Bible is not merely a collection of 66 books (39 in the First Testament; 27 in the Second Testament) subject to literary interpretations, historical examinations or sociological confines, it is the living movement of truth.
Jesus said I will send to you the Holy Spirit, who will guide you in all things. The Holy Spirit guides us in reading the Bible and interpreting the Living Word, blessing us beyond our imagination by teaching us how to discern Spirit’s message to us.
Even though we are not confined to one version of the Bible, we prefer to use the New International Version via www.biblegateway.com. Why? Because lots of errors have been revealed since the King James Version was written in 1611. Even the New International Version who had a team of hundreds of scholars around the world revise the New King James Bible will tell you that they did not get it right.
It is best to study the scripture and look within for its spiritual message, but it is enlightening to use tools like Reverend Mark Hick’s www.truthunity.net for metaphysical interpretation tools. His website has a great link to the Unity Metaphysical Bible Dictionary by Unity Co-Founder Charles Fillmore. These are definitions of key people, places and things in the Bible compiled by Unity Village students from Fillmore’s writings.
I also strongly encourage you to purchase the Charles Fillmore Collection, Kindle Edition for only $4.95, which includes all of Fillmore’s books, like The Mysteries of Genesis and The Mysteries of John. The collection at this price is basically giving away these powerful metaphysical discourses. Elizabeth Sand Turner also has three books that interpret the Bible. Some say that she is out-dated so I hope that over the two years of this journey, I will compile something more up-to-date.
Here are also four steps for studying the Bible:
Step One: Read and study the scripture. Read the passage several times. Consult the dictionary for general information or unfamiliar words – and particularly for names. Consult a bible atlas to understand the location of places.
Step Two: Identify words and key phrases. Take note of inconsistencies. For example, find the inconsistencies between Genesis 1 and 2.
GENESIS 1:26-27 says: Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness . . . .So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female, he created them.”
BUT GENESIS 2:7 says: The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and then man became a living being. AND GENESIS 2:22 says: Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Step Three: Develop interpretations for the words. Look at places — why is a particular place named? (In movies, I like to say that no footage is wasted; same is true for the Bible.) What is the meaning of objects and symbols and names? If Jesus is going up to Galilee, what does that mean? If someone was enduring something for 40 days – why 40? Why 38?
Step Four: Allow the metaphysical meaning to emerge. Study, pray, and meditate on the whole story. Consult metaphysical books interpreting it. Think about how it applies to your own life. Apply your own creativity. Write down the interpretations as they are given to you. It may differ from time to time.
If you join us on Sundays, you will discover that everyone – even you have something miraculous to offer to this movement through the Word of Spirit.