As anyone who teaches or writes about the bible, I am prayerful and vigilant of the warnings in Revelation 22:18-19 to not add to or take from the word of God. There is risk in any illustration or any words not directly quoted from scripture that they alter meaning, even if done inadvertently.
The things I watch for are the ands and the buts.
For example, the bible says (quote any scripture passage), but… or John wrote (reference/quote), and I…
Whether in writing or in speech we need to train ourselves both to watch for and to avoid using these terms. Clearly there are numerous examples where we are called upon to teach the bible. Our study in BSF includes lectures and notes which provide illustrations and principles and applications. We have study bibles which include additional resources. All of these are good and add value to our study. The key is that it is our study, yours and mine, and that our goal is not to learn what someone else thinks or says but what the word of God actually says and how God speaks to me and you directly to build a stronger relationship with each of us personally.
Hopefully, when you visit here or read other comments (after you’ve completed your own questions, of course), it isn’t to shape your beliefs or interpretations or even your answers around what I think or what my life experiences have been, but because you are so moved by the word of God that you want to continue to swim in the verses with another human being that also loves His word. One of the things I love about God’s word is that the deeper you go, the more beautiful it is and the more we are moved to share it with others.
Spirit says come, the bride says come. I too say come. I am thirsty for the joy of salvation. I am thirsty for the power of holiness. I am thirsty to shed off the pain and sadness and horrors of wrongness of this world and live in perfect peace.
My treasures are not of this world. I seek not for more for the sake of more, but for relationships and connections, for helping and leading others, young and old. I look to God’s direction and calling.
Because it is not ours. We can be confident in what it says, but we only confuse and confound and create division when we try to interpret it to fit events, rather than allowing the events to unfold as Christ says they will