The Book of Man

 

A MODERN

INTRODUCTION TO

CHRISTIANITY

 

by

 

Ron gambrell

 

 

Rough River Publishing LLC

Louisville, KY

Contents

 

·         The Book of Man

·         Introduction

·         Preface

·         Chapter 1—CREATION

·         Chapter 2—SPIRITS on EARTH

·         Chapter 3—FIRST MAN on EARTH

·         Chapter 4—The HUMAN SOUL

·         Chapter 5—SIN and JUDGMENTS

·         Chapter 6—CONSCIENCE

·         Chapter 7—ADAM

·         Chapter 8—PROPHETS

·         Chapter 9—GOD'S CHOSEN PEOPLE

·         Chapter 10—REBIRTH of ADAM

·         Chapter 11—GODS and VIRGIN BIRTHS

·         Chapter 12—THE SECOND TEST

·         Chapter 13—HISTORY BECOMES SCRIPTURE

·         Chapter 14—BLIND FAITH

·         Chapter 15—SACRIFICIAL OFFERINGS

·         Chapter 16—GOD'S INTERVENTION

·         Chapter 17—THE TRUTH
 

 

 

THE BOOK OF MAN

 

Published by Rough River Publishing © 2014

Any copying or republication without express written permission is prohibited.

Rough River Publishing

PO Box 58844

Louisville, KY 40268

roughriverpublishing@twc.com

 

 

Inner peace starts with a personally accepted understanding of one’s purpose on Earth.


 

 

Introduction

I still recall the day a co-worker gave me an old tattered copy of the Holy Bible. He knew I had doubts, and therefore, asked me to read it, and then provide a book report. It seemed an odd request and at a busy time in my life. Reluctantly, I agreed. That first reading took a year. After that, I studied, researched, discussed and restudied my findings. Those I shared my thoughts with encouraged me to write down what I had discovered. Eventually, I realized a need to share my conclusions with those who, like me, had been plagued with doubts. What you are about to read is my book report on the Holy Bible. It is not the Church’s interpretation of scripture. It is mine. My audacity … my elucidation … my truth. Untold pages have been written about the Bible. Interpretations and variations of interpretations are numerous, and with only one fact in common. No interpretation of the Bible is verifiable. No one can guarantee what is true and what is not.

Be it fact, fiction, or fantasy, the Bible has a story. In the following pages I will describe what comes to my mind as I read the scriptures which have become the staple of all Christianity.

In keeping with Bible format, I write in chapters and verses for easy reference.

Note: Bible quotes in THE BOOK OF MAN are from the King James Bible. I do not endorse one Bible version over another. I read and therefore used the King James Bible as reference in my writing. If your Bible does not correspond with what I quote, perhaps you should pick up a copy of the King James Bible to assist in your understanding of what I have written.


 

 

Preface

As a citizen of the United States of America, I feel it is a blessing to be under the jurisdiction of a Constitution, which offers Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion. That said; I find it difficult to criticize the religious beliefs or teachings of any individual or group. Yet, in order to answer questions of doubt, I must explain why my religious beliefs now differ somewhat from those of my past teachings.

Having been raised in the Roman Catholic Church, I was not taught to or required to read the Holy Bible. I attended a Catholic school where students were taught the beliefs of the Catholic Church—beliefs which were derived from the Church’s interpretation of the scriptures within the Holy Bible.

I first read the Holy Bible in its entirety at age thirty. My plan had been to read the Scriptures as though I had no prior knowledge of Christianity. Not an easy task. I did at least read with an open mind. Nonetheless, chapter after chapter, the question remained, Why? Why would any of this happen? Though I had varying thoughts throughout the read, it was not until nearing the end of the New Testament that the light came on and the Bible story as a whole began to make better sense. It seems the differences between my impression of the Bible I read and what I had been taught as a child are simply a matter of interpretation.

We can no longer afford to technically educate our children in one direction while religiously educating them in another. Should we expect today’s youth to buy into traditional interpretations of the Holy Bible? If one takes their child to the History and Science Museum on Friday, they may see bones of dinosaurs that are millions of years old. What happens if on Sunday the preacher says that God created the world and all its inhabitants a few thousand years ago in a matter of six days? Will your child believe the preacher, or will your child have doubts? And if your son or daughter should dispute the preacher, what will you as a parent say to the child? I believe it is time to bring religion and reality into a better perspective.

It has been over two thousand years since Jesus of Nazareth walked on Earth. His teachings have become the basis of all Christianity. Several first-century authors wrote accounts of the life, ministry, and teachings of Jesus. Selections of those writings have been declared scripture and are included in the New Testament of the Holy Bible.

Various modern authors have debated the authenticity of Bible scriptures. That is not my particular purpose. My task has been to read the book and decipher what I believe it says and means as written. Therefore, I will dwell less on the authenticity of the Bible, and more on the message.

The authors of the scriptures lived in a time when man used religion to explain anything that was otherwise unexplainable. Many of the superstitions that influenced mankind’s perception of the world during Biblical times have since been explained. It has been my advantage to read the scriptures as a whole, and with a better understanding of the physical world about me than was provided to those who wrote the scriptures which make up the Holy Bible.

I am impressed by any person who knows exactly what his or her religious beliefs are. Even more so if they are able to express and live by said beliefs without doubts.

The basic belief of Christianity is that eternal spiritual life may be obtained by those who believe in and follow the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. One might argue that the scriptures of the Holy Bible have been provided to explain how this process is supposed to work and why. After considerable study, it is my conclusion that the Holy Bible contains a much more logical explanation of life than what the Church interprets.

Many of us today are like the biblical character, Thomas, one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles, in that we might need to touch the wounds of our Messiah before believing. In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, Jesus did not condemn or reject Thomas for his lack of faith. The risen Jesus assured Thomas that if it took touching the wounds to make him believe, He would allow him to do just that. For those of us who can believe without seeing, I am very happy. It has been for those who, like Thomas, are plagued with doubts, that I have written THE BOOK OF MAN.

 

Chapter 1–CREATION

The Holy Bible starts, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” The Old Testament of the Christian Bible is a collection of writings which deals with the History of a people. As with any history, it has a beginning. The beginning in this case being a spot in time when the God of said History created the heaven and the earth, as it was known to the authors. The word “heaven,” in the first verse of the Bible, refers to that part of outer space, which the author was aware of. The word “earth,” in that same verse, refers to that portion of the planet Earth which was known to the author. I say portion because the writers of the original scriptures had little or no knowledge of the Earth’s size, shape, and status as a planet in a solar system in a universe. If Genesis had been written at a later date, it might start with, “In the beginning God created the Universe.”

To do a fair and comprehensive study of The Holy Bible, one must at least consider who wrote the scriptures as well as their understanding of the world at the time they wrote. Not a single author who contributed to the original scriptures had global knowledge. They had no clue that as they wrote, there were other continents and other races of people on the opposite side of the planet. Do I hold that against them? Certainly not. Do I consider such in my interpretation of the Holy Bible? Yes, I must in order to do an honest assessment.

Like most of us currently living, the authors of the Holy Bible had no idea how old the Earth actually is. One thing we do know now is that our planet is much older than previously thought. Having studied science, I tend to believe that some sort of slow process of change has and continues to take place on Earth. Since I am trying to relate said changes to scripture, let’s call it Devine Implemented Evolution.

Devine Implemented Evolution would not be the same as Darwinism. It would be based on the assumption that there is a God, and that the evolutionary process which is undeniably occurring, was set in motion by God. Can we prove this theory? No. Can we prove there is a God? No. Can we prove there is not a God? No. My purpose in this writing is not to prove or disprove God. I simply want to describe what I believe is a more accurate interpretation of the Christian Holy Bible. Where Earthly, biological inhabitants are concerned, evolution is a natural, slow process of change brought on by a variety of environmental and genetic conditions—cross breeding, inherited traits, genetic crossovers, mutations, atmospheric changes, etc.—complex processes even for a scientist, much less the average person, and certainly not understood by those who wrote scripture. Combining these processes with natural selection, often referred to as survival of the fittest, gives living organisms the appearance of an ability to physically adapt to their surroundings. As the Earth’s biosphere changed in those years preceding the existence of man, living creatures on Earth had to adapt. Does this change continue? I believe so. Changes in the biosphere—land, water, and air—are not always easily identified since they come about slowly.

Could it be that the pattern, by which we see the changing seasons annually, is but a small-scale example of the way the Earth itself changes over long periods of time? An Ice Age for instance, is a cyclic global event. It comes, it goes, and it will be back. Geological studies tell us that the time periods required for mountain ranges to grow and then shrink by erosion, or the amount of time it took to form the Grand Canyon, dwarfs the time period described in the Holy Bible. I do not say such to discourage anyone who believes otherwise. I simply am admitting what I confidently feel to be the truth. In order to make sense of the Bible and its message, I must somehow see it in coexistence with the world it describes.

Contrary to what some religions might claim; earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters are not signs of the end of the world. They are simply byproducts of the same system that has been changing the face of the Earth for untold millenniums. Imagine the number of earthquakes and tsunamis that occurred during the plate movements that caused the emergence of the world’s major mountain ranges. Throughout history, as the Earth’s biosphere evolved, many of its inhabitants were unable to adapt to the extreme changes and as a result became extinct. Many of those creatures which did survive had to go through major physiological changes. Like it or not, one of those animals which evolved over millions of years is man. Therefore, in order for the Holy Bible to be true, Devine Implemented Evolution has to be a real aspect in the history of the Earth and in the development of mankind. If there is a God, he must have implemented evolution.

Is it possible that man’s physical body had already evolved into Homo sapiens, before the God of the Holy Bible added spirits, creating the first human beings? Could it be that the animal man has been on Earth longer than human beings? When the Bible scriptures were written, the authors did not use the term human being. The term man was used to describe what we now refer to as a human being. For the purpose of this writing, I will distinguish the difference between man and human being. When I say man, I am referring to the animal Homo sapiens. When I say human being, I am referring to the combination of a Homo sapiens and a spirit as described in the Holy Bible. At times I may use the word human as an abbreviated version of human being. When I use the word Bible, it will be short for Holy Bible.

In Genesis, when we read the first account of the creation of man…“Let us make man in our image…,” I believe it is a reference to the creation of human beings. Man evolved over time. Biblically speaking, human beings were created when God added spirits to the flesh biological bodies of the already existing animal man. If Genesis, chapter 1, was inspired to its authors, it must have been done so as a simple explanation of creation for those who would not understand the overall complexity of Earth and its inhabitants. If we conclude that God added spirits to the animal man, creating human beings, then we must further ponder the question; WHY?