Apologetics and exegesis are words most of us only ever would use in a crossword puzzle.  My dictionary defines apologetics as "the branch of theology concerned with the rational justification of Christianity".  Exegesis is defined as the "critical interpretation of the Bible".  I guess that means they represent two different ways of trying to get to the Truth. Apologetics assumes the truth of the Gospel, based on personal experience and then tries to back it up with scriptural confirmation.  Exegesis looks at the scriptures and tries to determine just what they mean, hopefully with as little in the way of preconceived ideas as possible.

Truth is immutable.  Jesus told us "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6). 

Paul told Timothy,


"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness". (2 Timothy 3:16)

It is our version of the truth that gets us into trouble. 

I guess, in the main, this website uses apologetics to get its point across. Language is a dynamic medium.  Even in the late sixties, when Johnny O'Keefe sang 'feeling happy and gay', nobody raised an eyebrow, but now 'gay' has an entirely different meaning.  So using exegetic analysis of scripture has to take into account not only the use of words, comparing their application, but also the time of writing.  A word used in 2000 BC could well have a substantially different meaning in 1000 BC.  Exegesis would be considered by many to be a more 'scientific' way of determining truth, yet, as you can see, it is also faced with huge obstacles. If my children maintain this website after I'm gone, in fifty years time they may need to rephrase or even translate much of what I said.

This essay looks at this problem (hopefully) objectively and tries to determine the best way for the layman to find out what is Truth.


First let's look at exactly what might qualify as scripture. At the time Paul wrote his letter to Timothy, I don't know whether he considered his own letter to be scripture. The Jews only ever had the Old Testament (or its rough equivalent) to refer to.  The last book of the OT (Malachi) was written some 400 years before Jesus came on the scene. The OT contains the Pentateuch or books of Moses, the books of History, then Poetry, then Prophecy.  There is little doubt that all these books qualify as scripture.  Jesus referred to them frequently.  He studied them when he was young, even had extensive debates with the learned theologists of His day before He reached teenage years.  He realised His calling from studying them and declared He was the fulfillment of the prophecies therein.

As Christians, most of our belief system is determined by interpretation of the New Testament. Many more documents were written about Jesus around the same time, which are not included in the New Testament. A committee of men decided which were 'in' and which were 'out'.  The decision we have to make is: do we believe they were guided by the Holy Spirit when they made their decisions?  I don't think there is a clear-cut 'scientific' way of determining an answer.  It comes down to a matter of faith, not in the men who made the decisions, but in a God Who is in control of the entire Universe, in control of His eternal purpose, in control of what He wants to tell us.  If we are going to believe at all, it makes good sense that we believe in a message that wasn't made up by an ordinary man or ourselves.  If we are to be Christians, we must believe in the words attributed to Christ. If we take away that basic tenet, we are left with chaos.  Without the New Testament, we have no Christianity.  If Jesus wasn't the Messiah, we as westerners don't even have a valid claim to be included in God's eternal purpose.
A recent documentary on SBS TV called “Who wrote the New Testament” typically throws doubt on the authorship of the books/letters making up the NT.  Theistic scholars are reknowned for tenaciously trying to discredit anything that implies a supernatural input.  It is my position that the Truth of God, Jesus, and salvation through Him, is proven to me through spiritual confirmation following commitment by faith.  From there, I have no trouble believing in anything God tells me, from six-day creation, right through to a wedding to beat all weddings. In between, I have no trouble believing He is all-powerful and able to control what is in the Bible and what isn’t.  The mortal hand that claimed authorship really is a secondary consideration.
Time to draw a Conclusion:


  • Any Christian must accept that the whole of the Old and New Testaments qualify as God-inspired Scripture on which to base our faith.

Even with that tenet 'in', we find huge conflict between scholars, theologians and denominations as to their meaning. All humans interpret new information by slotting it into their own framework of knowledge and experience.  All of us have a different framework, depending on our upbringing, environment and personality. So it is not surprising this conflict exists. More books have been written about Christianity than any other subject. Go to any Christian bookstore and you will find a plethora of publications, all purporting to have something meaningful to contribute to the progress of your faith walk. Many of these publications contain conflicting information, written by well-meaning Christians with an opinion. Apart from the fact that what you read here doesn't have a price tag, I am just one more Christian with an opinion. Yet somewhere in this maelstrom of information, which we can't possibly be expected to process in its entirety in one lifetime, is hidden one Truth which is absolute.

As I write many of my essays, like many other writers, I often feel inspired by the Holy Spirit, but there is no way I would suggest any of my essays should qualify as scripture and be added to the Bible! The precedent thus set would open a Pandora's box! However, I have placed my trust in Him, that if He wants people to read what I have to say, He will steer them to this site. I'm hoping and praying that at least some of what I have to say will strike a nerve and will start an avalanche of change.  Change which will take us back to the plain Gospel message of the New Testament. Change which will start us functioning the way Jesus wants us to. Change which will open the doors to Holy Spirit power the likes of which this world has not seen before.  Yet, while my intentions may be good, I have no grounds on which to stake a claim of being closer to the Truth than anyone else.  Only you can decide that.  All I ask you to do is weigh up what I've said and exercise your God-given right to make up your own mind. For too long have individual members of the Body of Christ given up their individual responsibility to decide what is Truth, handing a proxy vote to a paid representative with a vested interest.  As a result, the things we believe in are determined by a few scholars, who are not necessarily in touch with the Holy Spirit.

Time for more Conclusions:


  • Nothing may be added to the Old and New Testaments, claiming to qualify as scripture.
  • Determining the true Meaning of scripture is not only an individual right, but an individual responsibility.


The usual outcome of a decision to ask Jesus into your heart is that you start 'practising your faith'. In most circumstances this includes joining a church, regularly reading your Bible, praying, telling others about what has happened to you, as well as financially contributing to the 'work of the Lord'.  Depending on which church you join, you will find yourself participating in a variety of rituals, some of which actually have their roots in pagan practices.  Other practices are based on new age thinking, aimed at maximising personal achievement and financial success. Others still place great importance on tradition, with historical practices taking on equal, if not greater, significance than those things you may read about in the Bible.

Generally, it makes good sense to be suspicious of anything going on for which there is no scriptural precedent.  Certainly, anything which contradicts the Bible is wrong. For example, if your church encourages idol worship, you know you are blatantly disobeying God.  But sometimes the lines become blurred by smooth talk and persuasive argument. Money can be an idol.  If the church allows homosexual practices among its leaders, there is no doubt that the scriptures oppose this.  But we now have some Christians arguing that the scriptures weren't translated correctly. There is no doubt that we must not covet, yet our entire economy depends on it.

Then again, just because we practice something that does have a scriptural precedent, doesn't mean we are in God's will.  In my essay on Christian Love, I showed that very often we practice an imitation Christianity, full of good intentions, totally convinced we are on the right track. Just the way as kids we used to play 'doctors and nurses', we now as adults 'play Christians'. True Christianity places equal responsibility on the shoulders of every Christian, to seek Truth and guidance from Jesus personally.  Because of our busy lifestyles, we employ someone else to take over that responsibility.  Jesus told us (Matt.23:9-10) to call only Him ‘teacher’. That doesn’t mean there is no place for teachers.  It means that within the body of Christ, each and everyone of us needs to be in direct and real-time relationship with Him.


Further Conclusion:

  • Our personal responsibility to seek revelation of truth directly from Jesus is paramount in keeping the church on track.


Too many doctrines are developed using what I call 'cut and paste' scripture references, taken out of context.  Context conveys the true meaning. Sometimes I quote an entire chapter, but often it is necessary to read the whole book to appreciate context.  Where I quote a specific verse, which may sometimes be necessary for you to understand what I'm getting at, I still encourage you to read at least the whole chapter.  By cutting and pasting verses and bits of verses together we can establish anything, from proving the earth is flat to how ancient it is. From proving God wants us to love money to proving He's in favour of abortion!  We really need to stay away from cut-and paste doctrines, please!  

I believe the entire Bible is intended to work together to convey truth. So if in one place we are told we can ask for 'anything in His name' and we'll get it, and in another place it says 'anything in His name, according to His will' (1 John 5:14), then the latter applies. Yet there are people who use the first to requisition mansions and Mercedeses. Jesus told the disciples they would be rewarded 100-fold for what they gave up for the sake of the Gospel. In one place it says it is here on Earth, and in another we are told it is in the Hereafter. We now really have to be careful before we jump to conclusions about what that really means. It is not a contradiction. It is our preconceptions that make it appear so. 

We now live in a society where 'truth' is a commodity that can be manipulated at will.  Our justice system makes us swear to 'tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth', yet when we try, the judge will direct us to only answer the question asked.  The defending attorney will try his best to get off a client heknows is guilty.  The prosecutor will do his utmost to convict an accused heknows is innocent.  Our society has lost the plot where truth is concerned.


Another Conclusion:

  • True Christian doctrine is based only on Bible scriptures read in context.


The Timothy Test (Ref. 'Starlight and Time', by Dr. Russell Humphreys, p.57) asserts that the scriptures were meant to be understood by the average person, of average intelligence and average education.  The name comes from the statement Paul makes to Timothy in 2 Tim.3:14-17; (read both letters to Timothy to get the drift).  Essentially, it means that we don't need to have a Master's degree in cosmology to understand Genesis 1. The first chapter of the Bible was never meant to convey the technical details or scientific principles of Creation.  But that doesn't mean it is not true. The person of average intelligence is very much entitled to accept God's word as truth, above the opinion of the man with a degree.

If I write here 'I caught a bus to visit my friend,' it doesn't become untrue if I don't explain what a bus is, what engine drives it, that I had to pay a fare or where it was going. And the straightforward reading tells my reader exactly what I want him to know. Many centuries from now, a person may have trouble understanding my statement, with tele-transportation being the 'in' thing. But that person can still get the gist of my meaning: I went somewhere using a means of transport to see someone I liked.


And another Conclusion:

  • The Bible was intended to be understood by the average person.


In the end, it comes down to common sense. And faith. And equal responsibility.

If we are going to be Christians at all, surely it makes sense to believe in an all-powerful God.  If we believe in an all-powerful God, it makes sense that He would reveal Himself in scriptures, not expect us to speculate over what He is like and what He wants from us - a recipe for chaos.  And if the very worst sin is to have another god before Him, how can He expect us to worship only Him, if He hasn’t reveaed Who He is?  If He has revealed Himself, it makes sense that He would do so through the scriptures that were instrumental in us meeting Him - the Bible. And if He is all-powerful, it makes sense that He was, and remains, in control of the message He wants to tell us - a message embedded in those scriptures.

The evidence all around us tells us that Man is able to take that message and twist it and corrupt it, causing division and conflict.  Usually, our Christian walk involves us choosing the twisted version that most appeals to us.  What we overlook is our own responsibility to seek Truth, by calling only one person 'Teacher' - Jesus Himself. The Truth will become clear when our heart is right, when we no longer come to Him with a hidden agenda or to 'get' something for ourselves. It is our personal relationship with Jesus, unpolluted by outside influence and pre-conceptions, that will reveal what the scriptures really are saying.

We are on this earth for an average of maybe seventy years.  In the overall scheme of eternity, that is such a short time span, it almost seems laughable that we spend so much effort, intensity and energy worrying about what happens to us during that time.  If we really, truly believe and trust God, nothing whatsoever should frighten or deter us. And trusting God includes faith that He will tell you what the scriptures mean.  If all of us took on that individual responsibility, we would no longer be vulnerable to the mind manipulation that goes on in so many places claiming to represent Him.  The sheer force of numbers knowing the Truth would make it impossible.



  • Finding the Truth ultimately depends on whether you really believe that you, personally, can experience a one-on-one dynamic, revelatory relationship with a living Saviour who wants nothing more.  And that YOU want it just as much.


What don’t we like about God?  We don’t like it that we aren’t free to pick and choose the bits of the Bible we believe and the bits we don’t.