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How to Read the Bible | Daniel King & Max Martinez

Do you know how to read the Bible? What questions should you ask when you read the Bible? What are the best resources for understanding the true meaning of the Bible? On today’s podcast, Daniel King and Max Martinez answer these vital questions and help you to become better at understanding God’s word.

 

Transcript: 

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:00):
Do you know how to read the Bible? What questions should you ask when you read the Bible? What are the best resources for understanding the true meaning of the Bible? On today’s podcast, I’m gonna talk to you with my friend Max Martinez, about these vital questions, and we’re going to help you to become better at understanding God’s word.

Evangelism Podcast Host (00:35):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast with Dr. Daniel King, where Daniel interviews full-time evangelists, pastors, missionaries, and normal everyday Christians to discover how they share their faith, their powerful testimonies, and amazing stories that will inspire you to reach people with the good news. And now, here’s your host, missionary, and evangelist Daniel King.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (00:59):
Welcome to the Evangelism Podcast. I’m Daniel King, and I’m excited about telling people about Jesus. Today we have a very special guest, max Martinez. Thank you for being with me today on the Evangelism Podcast.

Max Martinez (01:14):
Well, thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:16):
All right. So I am excited about having you, max. You just recently started an internship with King Ministries. Yes. And we are just so excited that you’re coming to learn and be a part of what we’re doing to tell people about Jesus around the world.

Max Martinez (01:32):
I’m so excited to be here. So excited to learn from you and to launch out.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (01:37):
So why’d you decide to do an internship with King Ministries? Like what, what did God put on your heart that you’re really hoping to learn?

Max Martinez (01:44):
Yeah. Well, God, uh, put on my heart at the beginning, uh, end of, uh, end of 2022, in the beginning of 2023, to reach the nation of Asia, uh, with the gospel of Jesus. And so I thought, well, how do I learn how to do that? And so I begin to think about different people in my life who I had had met before, and who had, uh, experience in Asia or just in evangelism. And so you have many, many years of experience and, uh, wisdom to offer. And so as the Lord of, um, put it on my heart to, you know, mention to you, I was thinking about possibly doing an internship and then the favor of the Lord game. And here I am, <laugh>. Here

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:30):
You are. So we’re delighted to have you. And just tell everyone your full name so we know your full name. Oh,

Max Martinez (02:37):
Well, my full name is Maxim Milano Martinez, the fourth. And Maxim Milano actually means greatest, although I don’t think I’m the greatest. I think Jesus is the greatest. But, um,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:48):
You serve the greatest. I

Max Martinez (02:49):
Serve the greatest. It’s a great

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (02:51):
Reminder. Well, I’ll just call you Max for short <laugh>. So Max today, I, decided that it would be good for us to talk about how to read the Bible. And so the, the topic of this podcast is, is how to read the Bible, how to study the Bible, how to get the very most out of the Bible, because that is one of our responsibilities as evangelists. And I was thinking, oh, I’m gonna sit down with you and kind of show you the process of how I do it. And then I was like, instead of just telling you, let’s do it for the podcast. Yes. So, and I hope, uh, uh, you as a listener would be interested in, in how to read the Bible. Now, let me tell you why I got into this today. Uh, yesterday I interviewed an evangelist, and in the interview we were talking, and, uh, we looked at a specific verse, John 10 10, which says, the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.

(03:52):
But Jesus says, I have come to give you life in life more abundantly. And so as we were discussing this verse, uh, the, the evangelist I was talking to actually misquoted, uh, part of the verse and misinterpreted it. And so that really bothered me. Yes. Because as evangelists, we are called to accurately communicate what God’s word actually says. Yeah. And, and, and so kind of the context was that I was saying that God loves you, has a wonderful plan for your life. John 10, 10, Jesus, I’ve come to give you life and life more abundantly. And he was saying, you know, God doesn’t have a wonderful plan for your life because in, uh, the, the Bible, Stephen was stoned. Peter was, uh, hanged upside down. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Paul had his head chopped off. And when these great apostles, they went through such trial and tribulation, that doesn’t sound like God has a wonderful plan for your life.

(04:51):
It doesn’t sound like an abundant life. And so he said the word abundant means that you could suffer abundant persecution in life. And I thought, you know, I don’t really think that’s what John 10 10 means. It doesn’t mean that Jesus comes to give you abundant persecution. And so, really, to combat what I think is an erroneous idea, we need to go into study the Bible Right. And find out what does John 10 10 really mean? Yeah. And so last night I started, pulled out some books for myself, started studying this morning, I’ve been studying some more. And so we’re gonna kind of talk through the process of how you study the Bible, some of the resources that you use to study the Bible, and using John 10 10 as kind of the subject of what we are studying today. All right. Alright. So to interpret the Bible, first, you have to pretend like you’re a newspaper reporter, and you’ve gotta ask the right questions. So every news story attempts to answer the five W’s in the one H question who, what, when, where, why, and how. Hmm. And so, the first thing you should do when you look at a passage is you should start to ask yourself these questions. So go ahead and read through these questions, and let’s think about them in, in the context of, of John 10 10. So,

Max Martinez (06:13):
Well, number one says, who wrote this?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:15):
All right. So John, the, the, the, the Gospel of John mm-hmm. <affirmative> was written by the, the apostle John,

Max Martinez (06:22):
John,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:23):
Who is he? Throughout the, the book he calls himself the, the, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Max Martinez (06:29):
Yes, he does

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:30):
<laugh>. All right. And so then the second question, who

Max Martinez (06:33):
Was it written to?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:34):
Who, who do you think John wrote the gospel of John, too? Oh,

Max Martinez (06:36):
You know, and I learned this, and I should remember, I, I think he, I think he wrote it to the Gentiles.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (06:45):
Okay. So if you don’t really know, then that’s where you start going to commentaries and yes. Looking at the history, and, and let’s try to figure that out. Who did John write to? Uh, go on with the next question.

Max Martinez (06:59):
Um, what was the writer trying to say?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:02):
Okay. So the, the, the verse that we’re looking at, John 10, 10 says, that thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Jesus says, I’ve come to give you life and life more abundantly. What do you think the author was trying to say there?

Max Martinez (07:14):
That’s a good question. Well, um, he’s, he’s, he’s speaking about, you know, the, the devil, right? He’s saying that he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. There’s many dreams. There’s, I, I believe that he comes to steal, kill, and destroy the plan of God for your life. I do believe that God has an amazing plan for each and every one of us, and we are called to walk that out. But I believe that he’s, he’s speaking about that the devil’s coming to steal, kill, and destroy that plan, those goals and those desires that not only God has for us, but even the ones that we have for ourselves.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:46):
Okay. That’s, that’s great. Uh, go on with the next question.

Max Martinez (07:50):
What was going on when it was written?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (07:53):
All right. So think about the, the story of the, the Apostle John at that time mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there was persecution against the church. Uh, John was exiled to the island of Patmos, where he wrote the book of Revelation. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we know that during this time, uh, many of the Christians were, were being executed. There, be hunt being hunted. Stephen was stoned. Um, the, the, uh, brother of Jesus James was, was killed by Herod the Great. And, and so there was a lot of persecution going. But in the midst of that, he says, Jesus said, I have come to give you life and life more abundantly. So you gotta gotta think what was going on when it was written. And that will inform how we interpret the verse. All right. Next question.

Max Martinez (08:36):
When was this written?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (08:38):
Okay. So the, uh, the book of John was written during the, the lifetime of John. So right late first century. Uh, and actually what’s interesting is the oldest piece of the written New Testament that we have, uh, goes back to late first century, maybe early second century. And it is a, a, a tiny fragment from the Gospel of John. Wow. And, and so we have archeological evidence that goes almost all the way back to the exact time that this was written. And so John would’ve written it, and then the different churches would’ve started to copy it and share it with one another. And, uh, we have evidence that it was written within the lifetime of people that would’ve been alive while Jesus was alive. Yes. So that gives us historical credibility to, to know that this accurately reflects the, the actual words of Jesus. Yes. All right. Next question.

Max Martinez (09:36):
Um, where was this written?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:37):
Okay. Maybe we can find that out as we start to study mm-hmm.

Max Martinez (09:41):
<affirmative>, why was this written?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:43):
Okay. Next question. Why

Max Martinez (09:44):
Did the Holy Spirit preserve

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:46):
This? And then the next question,

Max Martinez (09:48):
And how does this apply to our lives

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (09:50):
Today? All right. So these are all great questions to ask any bible, uh, scripture that you start to look for you. These, these questions you can begin to ask. And you’re kind of like a detective, right? You’re going in, you’re looking, what does this passage mean? Who was it written to, and why was it written? What was the purpose? How did the original readers of this interpret this passage? And then after you figure out what it meant to them, then you can apply it to yourself and say, what does this mean for me today? Mm-hmm. And then once you find out what it means to you, then you can start to translate it into other, uh, other people’s lives. Right? And, and, and so first, you, you’re like a, a bridge. First you figure out what it meant to the original people who read the passage.

(10:42):
Yeah. And then you, you bring that meaning across the bridge and apply it to the meaning of the, the people’s lives who are listening to you preach. Yes. And, and so as we study this, first we study, but then later I think we could put together an evangelistic sermon. Hmm. And, and yeah, the, the evangelistic sermon is like an iceberg. You, you, you preach a small portion of the truth, but underneath the water, there is a lot of research and study an investigation to help the evangelists understand what is really going on in this passage. And once you understand the original context and the original meaning of the passage, then you can translate that into helping the lives of the people who are listening to you preach. Okay. Yes. All right. So isn’t that exciting? I mean, this is a whole process. And, uh, I, I think that as evangelists, we are called by God to diligently study the word of God.

(11:43):
I agree. The, the, the Bible is God’s message to us. This is how God communicates to us is, is through the written word. And we a responsibility as evangelists to know as much as we possibly can about this love letter, which God wrote to us with his word. Yes. We should, we should get into the Bible every single day. We should read the Bible. And actually, this is something that you were encouraging the young adults Yeah. At, at Victory last night. Yes. Youer for the Victory Youth Group. I do, yes. And, and so my son last night was in your small group. They, they took the big youth group and split it up into small groups. Yes. And so my son Kayla was there, and you’re helping to mentor him and disciple him. And so, kind of talk me through, what were the questions that you’re asking the young people last night? Yes.

Max Martinez (12:32):
So last night, we had the great opportunity to bring small groups back for the first time. And so we thought the perfect way to kick it off was to speak about, um, the importance of reading the word. And so our pastor, one of our pastors, preached on the importance of reading the word, why we read the word, uh, and just different things like that. And so we broke into small groups of eight to 10 students, uh, and we asked them these questions. What is holding you back from reading your Bible? What, um, so what is holding you back from reading your Bible? What are you gonna do to get into your Bible? And why do you think it’s important to read your Bible? And so we had some really great answers. Uh, we had answers, um, very, very developed answers about the importance of reading your Bible. It transforms you, it brings faith. The student spoke about, um, um, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Um, the students still spoke about how you get to connect to Jesus and truly know his heart for you, his plan for you, uh, what he says about you. Uh, and so we’re thinking these middle schoolers, um, they get it. They understand, uh, but it’s a little hard for them. There’s things in their life, like many of them said, oh, video games or sports practices, or different things, hold me back.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (13:55):
That had to be my son who said video games. Cuz he loves video games, <laugh>. And I think this is the right on message for his life at this time. He’s 12 years old, in just a couple of weeks, he’s gonna turn 13. Yeah. And so this year we’ve really been emphasizing reading through the Bible. I I think I was about 12 or 13 the first time I read through the full Bible from cover to cover. Wow. And so I’m encouraging Caleb to do that. Uh, but I gotta be honest with you, it’s a little tough to get him <laugh> to pull him away from the video game. Yep. And say, Caleb, I want you to read the Bible. And, and so we need to work on that. So I think that what they’re talking about at Youth at Church is right on for what my son needs in his life right now.

(14:34):
All right. So let’s look at some of the steps for reading the Bible. So just, uh, uh, uh, briefly there, there’s four steps to reading the Bible. Yes. So the first step is selection. The next step is observation. The next step is interpretation. And then the next step is life application. And so we’re gonna kind of go through each one of these and we’ve got a series of, of, of questions and things that you would do under each step. And so the first step is selection. You start asking yourself, what do I wanna study today? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And you pray, ask the Holy Spirit, what do you wanna speak to me? And then you pick a passage. Yeah. And so the passage that I was inspired to look at today is John 10, 10, 10 10. Yes. And I, I shared that story about why that caught my attention.

(15:23):
And, and so, you know, it is just curiosity like, God, you know, what is the meaning of John 10 10? How can we apply this to our lives? And so we’ve selected a passage, John 10 10. Okay. Now the second step is observation. And so this is the, the big question around observation is what do I see? And so the first step is you would start by reading the passage several times in several different translations. And so when I read the Bible for my own personal devotion, I usually read in the niv. And so here’s my Bible here, you can see, you know, it’s got lots of underlines and stuff. You know, they say, uh, dirty Bible, clean living, clean bible, dirty living. So, uh, my Bible has been marked up and, and it’s been, uh, rained on overseas and dropped in mud puddles and stuff.

(16:19):
Oh, yes. It’s like a little bit dirty. Uh, but, uh, so I usually read in the NIV V Okay. Um, when I preach, I usually preach from the New King James version, and it’s because I memorize scripture in the, the new King James. And the reason is I really like the way it sounds. Yes. It has kind of a formal sound to it. And, and so I read Devotionally in the niv, but I memorize in the New King James version. But there’s a lot of different versions. There is Yes. Out there. And some of them are expanding. You’ve got versions like the, the Amplified Bible that kind of expands the meaning right. Of the words. Uh, and then you have some that are very literal translations, other ones that try to interpret it more into modern language. And, and so each different translation has a little bit of a different flavor.

(17:11):
Yeah. So you might want to look at it in several different translations, and that will pull out some of the different meanings of the text. All the, all the meaning is there in the original Greek text. Yeah. And so when I was in Oral Roberts University, I actually studied how to, uh, read the Bible in Greek. And so here’s my Greek Bible. Wow. And so sometimes I’ll actually go back to the original translation, but not everybody speaks Greek <laugh>. But you can kind of pull out some of the different meanings of the Greek words by looking at it in several different translations. And one online resources I like to use to do that is bible gateway.com. Okay. You can go on there and you can pull it up in like 50 versions. Right. And can look at it. Uh, and, and so then a second thing that you could do is as you read the passage, then write down all the questions you have about the passage. So think about John 10 10. What are some questions that, that someone might bring to this passage?

Max Martinez (18:08):
Well, what is the, what is the says Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. What is he coming to steal, to kill and destroy? And, uh, what is the abundant life that Jesus is here to give us?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (18:21):
Yeah. Those are great questions. Okay. So then to understand a passage, then you would start going to look at different, uh, Bible help books mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so there’s a variety of different books that have been written to help us to understand the Bible. So we’ve got things like commentaries, we’ve got Bible dictionaries, Bible encyclopedias, interlinear Bibles, which has like Greek to English. And it shows both of them together. Okay. We’ve got bible handbooks, bible atlas’s, you have things that show the timelines of what was happening. And then topical bibles. And so all of these different resources help us to, to understand, uh, the passage. So I have a huge bookshelf. He does. And I got lots of books. And all the books are there to help me to study the Bible, to understand God better. Uh, I’ve got, uh, lots of different resources. And, and so like, one, one thing you might start out with in, in looking at a passage is an atlas of the Bible.

(19:20):
Now, I don’t think that John 10 10, we necessarily need an atlas. You kind of want to general idea of what the land of Israel looked like. But if you were studying a passage that was happened in a particular city or something, you’re going to wanna look at an atlas at to kind of understand what was going on. Like, like say you’re looking at the passage where, uh, Marion Joseph take baby Jesus to Egypt. Mm-hmm. You’re gonna wanna look at the atlas and see, okay, you know, how far is that from Israel? And, and Right. And look at what’s going on there. All right. So then we’ve got resources like, um, Haley’s Bible Handbook, which, um, is old, but it’s good <laugh>. Um, and then we’ve got, uh, Bible dictionaries. And so this is one of the best Bible dictionaries, the anchor Bible dictionary. It’s a six volume set.

(20:06):
And you can see one volume here is, is pretty big. And, and so this ha the Bible dictionary just explains different biblical stuff. And, and so if you look at the context of John 10 10, the whole chapter of John 10 is talking about sheep. Yes. John 10 11, Jesus says, I am the good shepherd. Uh, John ten seven, he says, you know, I am the gate to the sheep. He says, the thief tries to, uh, come over the wall. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, and, and steal the sheep. And, but Jesus says, I’m the gate. My sheep know my voice. So it’s talking a lot about sheep. So it’s, it’s using sheep as a metaphor. Right. So I thought here in this, uh, Bible dictionary, we could look up, uh, the, the sheep. And you wanna understand, um, understanding this passage, John 10 10, you have to understand what was happening with sheep in Right. In the old tub. Now, how, how do you know that? Ha. Have you ever heard of sheep?

Max Martinez (21:09):
I have

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:09):
Not. You’ve never heard of sheep? You don’t, you don’t have a pet

Max Martinez (21:12):
Sheep. I’ve never, ever, I’ve worked on many farms,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:15):
But, you know, it’s biblical to have a sheep. You know, Mary had a little lamb, little little

Max Martinez (21:18):
Lamb. Yeah. Maybe one day. All

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:20):
Right. <laugh>. So, so here in the Bible dictionary, let’s just kind look at, go, go ahead and read. Yeah. Um, just here about how Israel leaders were perceived as, as sheep.

Max Martinez (21:32):
Right? So it says, Israel’s leaders were often regarded as shepherds. And even though God was always their principle, shepherd, responsible human agents were necessary so that Israel would not be as sheep without a shepherd.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (21:46):
And, and so that’s actually reflecting, um, the, the Old Testament. Yes. Uh, many times in the Old Testament, we have these metaphors of, of sheep and shepherd and, and especially Ezekiel Chapter 34. And so when Jesus is talking about, I am the good shepherd, he is lit, literally saying, I am fulfilling the prophecy of Ezekiel 34. And, and, and so yeah, you can learn that by looking at, uh, Bible dictionaries. Um, and then you can also look up the meanings of specific words. But let’s look at a few commentaries first. And so here I have a commentary by William Barkley about, uh, John, uh, go ahead and find, uh, where it talks about John 10 10 there mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And let’s just read a little bit about what it says and what we can discover about the passage.

Max Martinez (22:40):
Okay. Let’s see.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (22:50):
What do you got?

Max Martinez (22:51):
So there’s a verse that’s just, uh, a line that just stuck out to me, says he b began by saying, I am the door. In this parable, Jesus spoke about two kinds of sheep folds and the villages in town themselves. They were com communal sheep folds, where all the village flocks were sheltered. When they returned home at night, these folds were protected by strong door of which only the guardian of the door held the key. And there’s a second sheepfold. These are the hillside sheep folds, where just open spaces en closed by a wall in them. There was an opening by which the sheep came in and went out, but there was no door of any kind kind. What happened was that at night, the shepherd himself laid down across the opening, and no sheep could get out or in, except over his body. In the most literal sense, the shepherd was the door.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (23:33):
Wow. Okay. That’s actually a really interesting thing to understand about the passage, cuz I was reading through the passage, and anytime you, you read a verse, you wanna read the entire passage that the verse is found in so that you understand the context. Right. And so, the context of John 10 10, we’re talking about the thief, the robber who comes to steal the sheep. And then Jesus says, I am the door to the sheep. And then right after that, he says, I am the shepherd. And it’s kinda like, make up your mind, Jesus, are you the door or are you the shepherd? Right. But by looking at this commentary, you find out that the, the shepherd actually was the door cuz he was laying down Yeah. In the doorway, so that the sheep couldn’t get out at night or anything. And so he’s both the shepherd in the door.

Max Martinez (24:15):
Yeah.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:15):
He’s the gate.

Max Martinez (24:16):
He

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (24:17):
Is, and he’s the only way Jesus says, I am the way, the truth in the life. No one comes through the Father except, except through me, me. So he’s the door. He’s the only way to, to get to God. So that gives us powerful. That’s a really, uh, it, uh, great insight into the passage. All right. So here’s another commentary. This is the NIV v application commentary, uh, by Gary Berg. So could you just read this blue portion here? Yeah. Tell me what it says.

Max Martinez (24:41):
Says. So not only can sheep identify rightful shepherds by their access through the main gate, but they also recognize the voice of their shepherd. The Middle Eastern shepherd is well known for having a personal devotion to a sheep. He talks to them and sings to them. Often shepherds will carry a short flute and use a repeated tune so that the flock as a consistent auditory cue to follow. Jesus knows his own sheep. They can recognize his voice, and he leads them note that this shepherd does not drive the sheep. Rather, he’s out in front leading the way.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (25:13):
All right. So that is also powerful. That gives us some great insight in the passage. Yeah. Uh, here’s another commentary that I really like the Expo’s Bible commentary. And this is, this is volume nine. Wow. So there’s, there’s like 14 volumes of this. It’s, it’s a lot of information about the Bible. Uh, but it says, uh, in referring to, to John 10 10, it gives us some insight into the meaning of the word abundantly. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it says, Jesus’ main purpose was the salvation health of the sheep, which he defined as free access to pasture and fullness of life under his protection. And by his gift, they can experience the best life can offer. And so that gives us some insight into what the word abundantly means. All right. So we’re looking at some of these commentaries, these bible dictionaries, and we can learn all kinds of neat things.

(26:05):
Um, I’ve also got this research, we’ve got word pictures in the New Testament. It goes through, and, and this is one of the word pictures that Jesus uses when Jesus taught, he always used illustrations. Yeah. He said, look at the shepherd. Look at the sheep. I, I think when he was teaching, he was probably sitting on a hillside. And on the hill, there’s, there’s a shepherd there watching his sheep. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And he’s like, look at the shepherd. Right. And he says, I am the good shepherd. Like he’s using an illustration. So this gives us a principle that can help us in preaching to people. We use illustrations that can relate to them in their daily lives. Right. Okay. So word pictures. In the New Testament, we’ve got, uh, this is a Interlinear Greek English New Testament. If you don’t, uh, be, if you’re not able to read the Greek New Testament, you can look at resources like this to get insight into the Greek. And then we’ve got some other, uh, theological dictionaries, and we’re gonna look at that in, in, in just a moment. All right. So we look at the text. Yeah. Now read through some of these different questions that you would want to ask yourself as you’re looking at the text.

Max Martinez (27:09):
Right. So, so you’d wanna ask yourself some of these questions. Who are the people in this passage? Uh, so there’s many different groups within this passage. Uh, what are the important ideas in the passage? So what, what are these important phrases, things that are repeated, uh, things that are said over and over again. What did this, when did this occur? So when is this happening? When it was written, when was this occurring? Um, what, where are the places in this passage? So, um, for this one, it could be the sheep, um, uh, uh, the shepherd, the hillside. Um, and what is the literary genre of this passage? Is it poetry? Uh, is it a story? Epic priestly writing law, um, laminate teaching prophecy, gospel parable letter, or APA apocalyptic literature.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (27:54):
So let’s, let’s talk about the literary genre a little bit. Yeah. You know, a lot of people say, do you, do you believe the Bible, literally mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and I would say, yes, we do believe the Bible, literally, but not everything that is in the Bible is meant to be understood in a literal sense. Right. And so, sometimes in the Book of Psalms, they will use, it’s a genre called poetry. Yes. And they’ll use big language, clap their hands. That please. Have you ever seen a tree with hands? No, I have

Max Martinez (28:24):
Not. Not

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (28:25):
Yet. <laugh>. So, so you’re like, well, can the Bible be true? Do you really literally think that trees have hands? Well, no, I don’t, but it’s, if you understand the genre is it’s written in, then trees clapping their hands. You understand that that is a poetic phrase. It’s meant to be understood. Poetic poet poetically. Yes. Can you say that word, poetically? Yeah, that’s it. There it is. And, and not in a scientific manner. You’re not, the Bible is not scientifically saying that trees have hands, it’s using a poetic metaphor. Yeah. Alright. And then what key words are used in this passage? Yeah. And, and so there are several key words in John 10, 10. You have thief, thief. You have steal, kill, destroy. You have life. Life, and you have abundant abundantly. So if I was looking at the passage, I, I would identify those key words, and then you might want to look more intensely at the meaning of those words to figure out w if there’s additional meaning that can be found there. Right? All right. So then after you look at the text, what do you do next?

Max Martinez (29:33):
You’re gonna wanna look at the context.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (29:35):
Okay.

Max Martinez (29:35):
And so that’s asking these two questions like what comes right before and right after this passage. So you don’t wanna just open up the Bible and just read just a random scripture. You wanna understand where you’re going. So you wanna read John ten nine, you wanna read John 10, one through nine? And understand you wanna read the rest of the chapter and even the book, you know, to get the whole understanding of this one verse. It’s super important to understand the context.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (30:01):
Yeah. So looking at John 10 10, you would look at the whole passage that’s talking about Jesus being the good shepherd. Yeah. In the sheep. That is, uh, an essential part of understanding the meaning of John 10 10, right. And then you’d look at what events are happening in the original time period. Okay. And so then you would look at the historical setting. So what’s the general historical, historical context of the passage? You might wanna look at some of what shepherds did back then, do some research into how they took care of their sheep. And, and that gives us some insight, right? When was the passage written? Where was this passage written? Who is the author? Who is the audience? What was the original purpose for this passage? And, and so all those things are, are really important. Alright? Then you start looking at interpretation.

(30:49):
And the big question for interpretation is, what does it mean? Yeah. So you’re going to look at the language. What is the meaning of each word in the original language? What are the significant words used in other pla How, I’m sorry. How are the significant words used in other places in scripture? Okay. Yep. How does the genre affect the text? What is the sentence structure? Why are these particular words used? And then you want to compare the passage in other versions of the Bible. All right. So I have some resources here that I use to, to look up the, the meanings of the words used in this passage. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and so, uh, this is a great, uh, dictionary of New Testament theology. It’s a, it’s a dictionary that goes into the meaning of every Greek word in the New Testament. And so this is a four volume series.

(31:41):
It’s the dictionary of New Testament theology. And it is written so that people who don’t know Greek can, can still understand it. And so, uh, it, uh, talks about, uh, the, the meaning of different Greek words. Now, as I was studying this, I found out some, something very interesting. It has, um, the, the, the word in this passage that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Right? And so the, the Greek word, um, for destroy is Apollo. Hmm. And what’s interesting is that this word is used here to talk about what the thief does, but the exact word is also used in the book of Revelation chapter nine, verse 11. And it is used to specifically refer to Satan. And so let’s look up wow, uh, revelation, revelation chapter nine. And, and let me find it here, and then I want you to read it. Okay? Uh, revelation chapter nine, and, um, just read, uh, verse 11 there. Okay.

Max Martinez (32:57):
Verse 11 reads, they had as a king over them, the angel of the abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abbadon

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (33:04):
Avalon. So that word Avalon, it actually means destroyer. It’s the same word that is used in John 10 10 to talk about how the thief comes to destroy. Wow. And so this is like a, a title of Satan. He is the destroyer, right? The great destroyer. And in revelation here, it talks about how he’s like a scorpion king. Yeah. And he’s got a, a tale that he uses to sting and and to destroy. And so this is a picture of Satan. He is a destroyer. He’s the one who comes to destroy. Wow. And John wrote both the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation. And so when he’s talking about the thief being a destroyer, later on, he has this revelation in Revelation Yeah. About how he is the destroyer. Avalon the

Max Martinez (33:52):
Destroyer, right? Yeah. In Greek Avalon and in Hebrew Abbadon, he writes it twice.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (33:59):
That’s right. So, so if you didn’t know Greek in, in,

Max Martinez (34:03):
You wanna make

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (34:04):
Sure, yeah. You knew that Satan is a destroyer. All right? So that’s something that you can find from Wow. A, a bible dictionary. Okay. And then, uh, looking up the, the word for a abundant or abundance, it’s the, the Greek word, uh, pariso para para. And so here’s some of the meanings of this. It means be more than enough, be left over, be present in abundance, be abundant, abound or excel. It can be used to refer to extraordinary abundant prouse, superfluous, unnecessary. It can be used referred to surplus abundance. Um, and then, and in late Judaism. So in order to understand the meaning of a word, you would look at how the word is used in other literature beside the Bible. Okay? And so you would look at, like, for Greek words, you would look at the septin, which is the, the Hebrew Old Testament, okay.

(35:03):
Translated into Greek. So that gives us some idea of how words were used. Uh, you would look at how other Jewish authors would use the word, and then you would look at how the Greeks used the word. And, and so this, you can really go in depth into some of these things. But, so in, in late Judaism, the way that they used this word, it refers to an abundance and blessed profusion of all desirable goods, including, here’s some of the, the pictures of abundance would be numerous offsprings. So you have lots of kits, okay? Po possessions, that means a lot of stuff, right? And super abundant crops, more than enough to eat. Wow. And so this is the idea of this word abundant. When used in other literature, it’s referring to having lots of kids, having lots of money, lots of possessions, and having more than enough to eat.

(35:57):
So it’s the opposite of famine, right? It’s the opposite of lack. This is an overabundance of everything that you need. But then it can also be used to an abundance of joy, okay? A great amount of righteousness and wisdom, or an abundance of the, the spirit of God, the breath of God. Wow. And so that’s very interesting. That is. And, and so John 10 10 says that those who belong to Jesus have life and have it abundantly. And so all those meanings from the word that other authors have used, it informs our understanding of the word. And what’s really interesting is the same word is used by Paul to talk about God’s abundance of grace. And so, like in, in Romans 10 12, Paul says that God is rich to all who call upon him. And then in Romans five 20, it says, law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased grace, abounded all the more.

(36:55):
And so he is saying that where there is sin, God gives abundant grace more than enough grace. And so this is exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think. This is more than you could ever imagine, that even when the law comes in and points its finger, if condemnation at people and, and says, you’re a sinner, God’s grace is there, not just enough to cover the sin, but in abundance to completely wipe out all the sin. Yeah. More than enough, more than you even need. And that’s the type of God we serve. He doesn’t just do things halfway or just enough. He’s the God of more than enough. He’s Jehovah Jiro. And so are you starting to see how you could preach this passage, right? Yeah. And how you could relate it, like, like, talk to me a little bit. What what does that say to you?

Max Martinez (37:45):
Well, it, it, it’s, it’s truly a blessing obvi, uh, especially when we’re preaching in other nations, um, um, let’s say Asia. Asia, there’s lots of poverty in Asia. When we preach in Asia, we’re preaching to, maybe we’re preaching to Hindus. Uh, and there’s cast systems where there’s a lot of lower cast people. And so for them, they don’t live in abundance. And so this is a great way to preach that, that the gods of Hinduism don’t promise you abundance, but the God of Christianity, Jesus Christ promises you abundant, abundant life. That there is someone who’s coming to steal, kill, and destroy. But our God is the one that offers you abundant life, abundant blessings, abundant grace, that there is forgiveness for all of your sins, not just the ones that you’ve committed in the past, but the ones in your present and the ones in your future when turn to him, he’s forgiven you. He’ll forgive you. This grace is just abundantly abounding, waiting to take away your sin. He wants to work in your life.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (38:44):
Amen. And so another resource I use is the theological dictionary of the New Testament. This is the gold standard of understanding, okay? What Greek words mean. And so it goes into enormous depth. It really helps if you know some Greek to, to get into this. But even if you don’t, you can still get a lot out of it. Um, but, uh, this, this, this is volume six. It’s, it’s a, it’s a lot of information and they have like 10 pages of dense, intense information on what the word abundant means. But you know, some of the things that it says is that abundant means to be present over abundantly, to be present to excess, to have super abundance of something, uh, miraculous fruitfulness, wealth of children, affluence in money, in goods. And, and so this is not just like, when I talk about the word abundant, I’m not just saying this means abundant life based on my interpretation. Yeah. I am looking at academic solid research,

Max Martinez (39:49):
Right? That,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (39:50):
That backs this up and says, this is how the word was used mm-hmm. <affirmative> during the time of Jesus, right? So when, when, when John wrote abundant life, this is what he meant. This is the interpretation of what he, he he was talking about. And so it also talks about how, uh, carries the gift of grace is available in overabundance for, for salvation. And that salvation, uh, it says a feature of the age of salvation, that the community is super abundantly rich and gifts, powers and ministries. And so the Holy Spirit comes to give us an abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Yeah. It can mean more than sufficient, overflowing, superfluous. The adjective occurs six times in the New Testament. It denotes the super abundance of the blessing of salvation, which Christ has as distinct from false prophets, which will give, uh, believers something else. Yeah. All right. So, so you can, uh, look at these different resources and get an understanding of what the, the word means. All right? So you wanna look in, in interpretation, you wanna look at the language mm-hmm. <affirmative>, then you wanna look at the historical and the theological interpretations. So read to me some of the historical questions you might ask.

Max Martinez (41:09):
Yeah. So how does the historical sociological or historical situation affect this specific text? What was happening at the time that this passage was written that might help to understand the text? And what did the passage mean to the original readers?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (41:25):
All right. So what, what do you think this passage meant to the, the original people that John wrote the, the gospel to?

Max Martinez (41:31):
Well, seeing that sheep hurting was a big thing, was a big job. Um, a lot of them would’ve understood the importance of the shepherd. Not only did he, like we just spoke about in the one commentary that they didn’t drive them, but they led them. They understood that there, there was a grace among the sheep. There was a, there was a, um, peace as the shepherds guided them, they built relationship with the sheep. So they didn’t have to push them with fear, but with, with, with just a alluring of relationship, they, they followed them because they knew them. And I think that speaks a lot to our relationship with God is like, some of us believe that God is pushing us by fear, by fear tactics, um, but God desires a relationship with us. And so if we understood sheep hurting, we would understand that there’s not a fear, but there’s a relationship.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (42:23):
All right. So then you look at the theolo theological implications of the passage. What are some of the questions you would ask in the area of theology?

Max Martinez (42:33):
Yeah. So what truths are taught about God in this, um, in this verse, in this passage, what truths are taught about human nature? What does the passage tell us about sin or about salvation? What does the passage say about the devil, the enemy, Satan? Uh, what does the passage say to the church? And what does the passage say to me as an individual?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (42:57):
Okay. So I think this passage really gives us some theological insight into two areas. It gives us insight into the nature of Satan. Yep. And it gives us insight into the nature of Jesus. Yeah. And it, it provides a very strong contrast between the works of Satan in the works of Jesus. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. So Satan, the thief right. Is he’s evil, he’s bad.

Max Martinez (43:25):
Yeah.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (43:26):
He comes to steal. Yep. And that’s his main purpose. He wants to steal from you, and in order to steal, he will kill and destroy anything that gets in his way. And so that gives us a picture of the devil. He does not like you at all. Yeah. And everything bad comes from the devil. And then we have the contrast where Jesus says, I’ve come to give you life and life more abundantly. He doesn’t come to take, he comes to give. Yeah. And, and so that gives us a picture of who Jesus is. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Jesus comes to give good things. The thief takes away and causes death and destruction, but Jesus comes to give good things.

Max Martinez (44:07):
Yeah.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (44:08):
I think that theologically this answers the question that we were asking at the start of looking at John 10 10. Right. Uh, the Christian brother that I was talking to, he, he said that when Jesus said, I had come to give you abundant life, he said that the abundant meant abundant persecution, abundant trials abundant. Wow. Which is, is really interesting because I think he completely misses the point of the scripture. Yeah. Because when you look at the contrast between the devil and God, it says that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. And so, persecutions, trials, tribulations, those things do not come from God. Yeah. They come from the devil. And so this, this represents a complete misunderstanding of this verse from a theological standpoint, that, that you would dare to say that Jesus comes to give you abundant troubles That doesn’t sound like the Jesus of this verse.

(45:08):
Right. That that sounds like the devil. And and that is so sad to get the work of Satan in the work of God mixed up. Yes. And to attribute to God the things of the devil, and to attribute to the devil the, the things of God. And you know, Isaiah five verse 20 says, whoa unto those that call evil good in good evil. And it’s so sad when Christians get mixed up and they start saying that, that God might be the cause of evil. And and if you get this confused in your thinking, it messes everything up. Yeah. It mess up your entire interpretation of the Bible. If you think that God can do evil, well, like, for example, some people, they say that, that God gives people sickness in order to teach them a lesson. Hmm. Now that is not what we see in the life of Jesus.

(46:05):
Yeah. Jesus never cursed anyone with cancer. That’s true. In order to teach them, even the Pharisees that were completely off right in their understanding of who God was, Jesus didn’t say, I curse you. I give you cancer, and you, you just suffer. And think about that for a little bit. No, what did Jesus do? He healed the sick. He healed the sick. Every single time we see Jesus, he was healing someone. He wasn’t putting sickness on them. That’s true. And so when you confuse the goodness of God with the evil things that come from the devil, it messes up your whole theology. Hmm. And I think if you look at this verse, I think you can clearly see that, that God does things that are good. Jesus says, I give to give you life and life more abundantly. The, the, the verse clearly shows that Jesus comes to do good for us.

(46:54):
Yes. Prosperity, healing, abundance of blessings, abundance of peace, abundance of joy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, abundance of grace, that’s the God that we serve. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and the thief is the one to steal, kill, and destroy. Right. And to a tribute to God, the evil of Satan shows great confusion about the nature of the God that we serve. Yeah. Hi. All right. So we ask these theological questions now. So after we do all that research Yeah. All of that that we have just talked about, none of that do you share from the pulpit Okay. All of that, right? Yeah. Just informs what you are going to share from the public. Right. And so after you do all the study, that’s three quarters of the work, <laugh>, then you get to the point and you start to say, how am I going to preach this to the people? Now that I have an understanding of this verse, now that I understand the passage, I understand the context, the historical stuff that’s going on, I understand what was happening with sheep and shepherds. How do I take that idea and translate it into terms that my audience can understand? Mm-hmm. And, and so first of all, we do life a application. How does this apply to me? And then as we’re preparing sermons, we start to look at how does this apply to the people I’m talking to? So start going through some of these questions.

Max Martinez (48:13):
So how does this passage apply to, are we starting

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (48:16):
Yeah. Life application.

Max Martinez (48:17):
Yeah. So how does this passage apply to the contemporary situation? Okay. How do we apply this passage to our modern day assumptions, values and goals? What principles applied to our society today? And what does this passage say about social issues?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (48:34):
Okay. And then there’s, so let’s think about some of those questions. Yeah. What, what can we apply John 10 10 to what’s happening today

Max Martinez (48:43):
In our social, um, I would say poverty. There’s a lot of poverty today. Uh, especially in where we live. There’s a, there’s a big homeless, um, population, uh, right here in Tulsa.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (48:56):
So based on John 10 10, does that poverty come from Satan or from God

Max Martinez (49:02):
That comes from Satan?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (49:03):
Is poverty a good thing or a bad

Max Martinez (49:05):
Thing? No, it’s a bad thing.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (49:06):
And, and so the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Okay. So, so we can address that issue that God doesn’t want people to live in poverty. Right. God wants them to have life and life more abundantly. Yeah. He doesn’t want them to live in a tent in a cold shelter night, shelter o

Max Martinez (49:22):
Over in a shelter,

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (49:23):
You know, in the forest Yeah. Nearby here. He, he wants people to have life and life more abundantly. Right. That’s the kind of God we serve. Yes. Okay. Keep keep going with these

Max Martinez (49:31):
Questions. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So how do these principles apply to the church mm-hmm. <affirmative> to my friends and my family? To me personally? How does this passage affect my moral decisions?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (49:44):
How does, okay. So let’s talk about that. So, so you just said that one contemporary situation is that we have poverty in our city. Yeah. And so if you want to represent the goodness of God to people, what would you do in that situation? If you see someone who’s living in poverty,

Max Martinez (50:01):
Yeah. Serve them in whatever means that you have. So as a college student, we might not be able to give large amounts of money to them, but one thing I’ve done personally is I’ve done food outreaches with the Tulsa Dream Center. Uh, I’ve done homeless street ministry where we go out with food, with, um, just maybe their food trays or food boxes. And we hand them out and we bring hope to the people we’ve brought, we’ve brought socks, um, coats, blankets, different things. Um, but also by giving to them stopping and recognizing them, one thing that I’ve challenged myself to do is to recognize the people who are on the side of the road. Because a lot of times we come up to somebody who’s begging, who’s, who’s maybe feeling hopeless in that moment. And what do we do? We ignore them and we act as if they’re not there. And just, you don’t have to even give them anything, but just as simple, Hey, I just hope you have a great day. I don’t have anything to give you right now, but I just want you to know I see you. How much can that change somebody’s day?

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (51:03):
All right. Then some other questions we can ask is, how does this passage affect my personal goals? What am I going to, to do with what I learned? Because we don’t just read the Bible for intellectual understandings, right. We want to apply it to our lives, like, like we want to live God’s word out in our daily lives. Yeah. So how does this passage ap affect what I do? And I think you just address that really well. What am I going to do with what I learned? What personal goals am I going to set in my life to apply these principles that are found in this passage? How does this passage impact my relationship with God? What behaviors or attitudes in my life do I need to change based on this passage? And then I think the final step is you would pray for God to help you to apply the principles and the passage to your life. That’s good. And so, max, why don’t you lead us in a prayer that we could apply John 10 10 to our lives. And it really manifests that in, in how we live our lives. Yes. In our, our understanding of God.

Max Martinez (51:59):
Well, yes. Thank you for the opportunity. Well, God, we just thank you, father, we thank you for this opportunity to learn. Lord, we pray for each and every one. I pray for myself and each and every person that will listen and watch, that they would, um, hear the words that were spoken, that they would challenge themselves to study the Bible and to truly understand that they would pray for your understanding as they read, Lord and I pray that they would put into action what they learn for this specific verse that they would put into action, to the, the hope of abundance in life. And the realization that Satan is a destroyer, that he’s a stealer and he’s a killer. And he’s coming not to give us life or give us anything beneficial, but to take what we are, what God is giving to us. What, what the life in Jesus has given to us. Peace, joy, um, abundance, blessings, children. I, Lord, I just pray that you would help us to understand that and to walk it out. Lord, help us to be walking in abundance. Help us to grow closer to you, Lord, and help us to bless those around us with what we learn. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Evangelism Coach Daniel King (53:07):
Amen. And then as I’m thinking about how I would turn this into a crusade sermon, there’s, there’s a lot of different things that you could do with this. You could do a little drama and illustration right. About a thief who comes and steals. You could tell a story about somebody who’s walking down the street and someone comes and, and steals his wallet. He turns around and, and the guy hits him in the face with a fist and, and takes his wallet, rips all his nice clothes off his body, and then kills him. And, and give an illustration about a thief. But then you could give an illustration about someone like the Good Samaritan who comes and, and helps the person who’s laying dead and, uh, uh, you know, uh, almost dead in the ditch. Almost dead in the ditch. And you could contrast that between the work of the thief and, and, and the work of God.

(53:57):
Yes. And, and so that would make a really good, it would sermon, you know, you could, you could talk about how sickness is the devil coming to steal, kill, and destroy you, but Jesus comes to give you life. He wants to take away your sickness and give you healing. Or you could talk about how sin is destructive. Sin causes destruction. When we disobey God, it causes things to be robbed from us. Yep. It causes things to be destroyed. And ultimately sin leads to eternal death. Yeah. And so sin comes from the devil, but Jesus came to set us free from the power of sin. He died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. And now Jesus is alive and he takes away the sin and gives us life. Yes. He takes away death and gives us eternal life. Yeah. And, and, and so it could be a really powerful sermon.

(54:46):
Yes, it could. And and so we do all this research so that we understand the passage, and then we ask the Holy Spirit, how can I communicate these truths to the people I’m ministering to? Mm-hmm. And bring it to an understanding of who Jesus is. Yeah. All right. Well, thank you guys so much. Thank you for listening to the Evangelism Podcast. I encourage you to go and subscribe to it. Make sure you hit subscribe. Can you leave a review for us? We need you to leave a review so that the Apple Podcast will recommend yes. The podcast to other people, and then share it with your friends. If you know somebody who you think they could really benefit from learning how to study the Bible, how to read the Bible for it’s worth. Yeah. Uh, go ahead and forward this to them. And it will be a blessing to them. Max. Thank you so much. Thank you for being with me today on The Evangelism Podcast. Is

Evangelism Podcast Host (55:38):
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Evangelism Coach Daniel King (56:41):
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Evangelism Podcast Host (58:01):
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