Originally Posted by Sarahdactyl
I think I am ready to sit down with my bible again with a pen and highlighter and not let anyone interfere. I have a bad habit of stopping and getting stuck in anything I do if someone criticizes me. I am sure that the Bible holds more truth to Christianity than the people who have (or claimed to have) read it. I will probably search through the entirety of my life. But hopefully my questions will soon lead me so I can find the answer to my ultimate question.
Sarah, speaking as a new member to this thread, I feel you bring such a truth and honesty to your yearning to find answers. I think there are many, many people exactly like you! Other posters have touched upon looking at everything in this world with an open mind and I would second that.
I want to first say that I am a Christian, and I know what that means and it has nothing to do with religion - it simply means that I am a Christ Follower, a disciple of Jesus - that I have a personal relationship with God. It is not my intent to preach to or proselytize you in any way...but I do want to add to the thoughts that have been expressed in this thread for you or any other "seekers" that may be reading.
God clearly states He has revealed Himself to mankind so that ALL may come to know Him:
His first revelation is in His very creation. As you have pointed out, you can't imagine the wonder and complexity of the human body, the galaxies, the atom, the earth, the sun. These things reveal God as a designer behind the design. I am a trained scientist, and I believe you can't be a real scientist and not see or experience the hand of God in any area of His creation that we can observe.
Secondly, God has revealed Himself in the written Word, the Bible, so reading His word is the best thing any true seeker could possible do. You seem to know this instinctively already.
Third, God revealed Himself in the Flesh, Jesus the Christ. Through these three Revelations man(woman) is without excuse to not know Him IF they truly want to know Him.
My final thought is to give you something that might help you in your endeavor to read the Bible and search for answers...The Bible is Unique in its Continuity throughout all 66 books (Old and New Testaments). There is one very good contemporary apologist, Josh McDowell, that offers these cogent points about the Bible:
A. HERE IS A BOOK THAT WAS WRITTEN...
1. Over a long period of time
a. About 1600 years
b. A span of 40 generations
2. By approximately 40 authors from every walk of life
a. Moses, political leader trained in the universities of Egypt
b. Peter, fisherman
c. Amos, herdsman
d. Joshua, military general
e. Nehemiah, cup bearer to the king of Persia
f. Daniel, prime minister in the courts of Babylon
g. Luke, physician
h. Solomon, philosopher king
i. Matthew, tax collector
j. Paul, rabbi and tentmaker
3. In different places
a. Moses in the wilderness
b. Jeremiah in a dungeon
c. Daniel on a hillside, and in a palace
d. Paul inside prison walls
e. Luke while traveling
f. John in exile on the isle of Patmos
g. Others in the rigors of a military campaign
4. At different times
a. David in times of war
b. Solomon in times of peace
5. During different moods
a. Some writing from the heights of joy
b. Others from the depths of sorrow and despair
6. On three continents: Asia, Africa, Europe
7. In three languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek
8. With subject matter involving hundreds of controversial topics,
a. The origin of man and the universe
b. The nature of God
c. The nature of man, sin, and man's redemption
B. YET THERE IS HARMONY AND CONTINUITY...
1. For example:
a. "The Paradise Lost of the book of Genesis becomes the
Paradise Regained of Revelation."
b. "Whereas the gate to the Tree of Life is closed in Genesis,
it is opened forevermore in Revelation."
I have taken this list from Josh's book, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict"
I would add that the main underlying theme throughout the entire Bible is Gods plan for the redemption of mankind.
I would encourage you to look for this theme and continuity in each and every book of the Bible you read. Here is a general guideline for what you might find or look for as you read, ask questions and explore God's written revelation: Jesus is in Every Book of the Bible
?In Genesis, Jesus Christ is the seed of the woman.
?In Exodus, He is the passover lamb.
?In Leviticus, He is our high priest.
?In Numbers, He is the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night.
?In Deuteronomy, He is the prophet like unto Moses.
?In Joshua, He is the captain of our salvation.
?In Judges, He is our judge and lawgiver.
?In Ruth, He is our kinsman redeemer.
?In 1st and 2nd Samuel, He is our trusted prophet.
?In Kings and Chronicles, He is our reigning king.
?In Ezra, He is the rebuilder of the broken down walls of human life.
?In Esther, He is our Mordecai.
?In Job, He is our ever-living redeemer.
?In Psalms, He is our shepherd.
?In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, He is our wisdom.
?In the Song of Solomon, He is the loving bridegroom.
?In Isaiah, He is the prince of peace.
?In Jeremiah, He is the righteous branch.
?In Lamentations, He is our weeping prophet.
?In Ezekiel, He is the wonderful four-faced man.
?In Daniel, He is the forth man in life's "fiery furnace."
?In Hosea, He is the faithful husband, forever married to the backslider.
?In Joel, He is the baptizer with the Holy Ghost and fire.
?In Amos, He is our burden-bearer.
?In Obadiah, He is the mighty to save.
?In Jonah, He is our great foreign missionary.
?In Micah, He is the messenger of beautiful feet.
?In Nahum, He is the avenger of God's elect.
?In Habakkuk, he is God's evangelist, crying, "revive thy work in the midst of the years."
?In Zephaniah, He is our Saviour.
?In Haggai, He is the restorer of God's lost heritage.
?In Zechariah, He is the fountain opened up in the house of David for sin and uncleanness.
?In Malachi, He is the Sun of Righteousness, rising with healing in His wings.
?In Matthew, He is King of the Jews.
?In Mark, He is the Servant.
?In Luke, He is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.
?In John, He is the Son of God.
?In Acts, He is the Savior of the world.
?In Romans, He is the righteousness of God.
?In I Corinthians, He is the Rock that followed Israel.
?In II Corinthians, He is the Triumphant One, giving victory.
?In Galatians, He is your liberty; He sets you free.
?In Ephesians, He is Head of the Church.
?In Philippians, He is your joy.
?In Colossians, He is your completeness.
?In 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, He is your hope.
?In I Timothy, He is your faith.
?In II Timothy, He is your stability.
?In Philemon, He is your Benefactor.
?In Titus, He is truth.
?In Hebrews, He is your perfection.
?In James, he is the Power behind your faith.
?In I Peter, He is your example.
?In II Peter, He is your purity.
?In I John, He is your life.
?In II John, He is your pattern.
?In III John, He is your motivation.
?In Jude, He is the foundation of your faith.
?In Revelation, He is your coming King.
So, God Bless you Sarah in the midst of your search for answers and may the Holy Spirt guide you to a real and lasting relationship with God through His Son, Jesus.