This columnist recently had the opportunity to interview Edward Andrews, Chief Editor of Bible Translation Magazine, about his work and his publication.
Andrews has is Master of Divinities from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, and is currently working toward his PhD in Biblical Studies.
Andrews defines his magazine:
“It’s a journal that has three aspects: to be able to defend the Bible, to be able to defend the faith, and to be able to pull someone back from doubts even to the level of spiritual shipwreck.”
Andrews explains his motivation for starting this Magazine:
“Some people who wanted me to study the Bible with them invited me over to their home… They ended up being people who wanted to attack the Bible.
“All of the Bible questions they threw at me, you know, ‘Why is this verse not in this translation?’ ‘What about this contradiction here?’ ‘What about this error over here?’ ‘Well Jesus said this, but if we go over to this book, it really isn’t that way there.’
“I went through that for two hours. I couldn’t answer one single question, and I’d done 15 to 20 years of Bible study at the time.
“I went home that night and I literally cried and prayed the rest of the night and told God if He’d give me the books, this won’t happen twice.
“When I acquired the knowledge, and I was able to defend the scriptures, so I wanted to be able to offer a tool to educate (other Christians) or at least help them find the tools to educate themselves to be able to better defend the Bible, better defend their faith, and to help anyone out who’s about to crash and burn in their faith.”
Andrews is insistent in his belief that committed Christians will always be willing to put in the time to understand their faith. He says:
“Almost every Bible reading program that you see out there is a one year program. We feel that if you read through the Bible in one year, what you’re going to know is that there was a King David, there was a Moses; you’re going to know a few Bible characters, you’re going to know a few Bible stories. But the moment that your faith is confronted with any Bible difficulties, the moment you’re asked, ‘What do you believe, can you defend that?’ you’re not going to know anything.
“When Jesus used parables and illustrations, it was used to weed the people out who really didn’t have the heart condition that was interested in knowing what was true and what was not true. When he used the parables and illustrations, a lot of (people), on many occasions, just walked away. But it was the Apostles, his true disciples that pummeled him with questions, ‘well what do you really mean?’
“So people who do not want to be a Bible student – who want to be a ‘Social Christian,’ they wouldn’t enjoy the Bible Translation Magazine. Now that might sound harsh, but we’re after people who really, truly want to be a Christian in the strictest sense of the word.”
Andrews admits that this kind of commitment isn’t easy:
“It’s like anything when you first start it: it’s intimidating. I remember when I was at school, if I had to understand a subject matter in a class, instead of looking in the encyclopedias, I looked in the kids encyclopedias first, and then I went and looked in the encyclopedias to get a deeper understanding of it.
“So you use the tools that are out there. Christianity has really gotten great at having tools. You have commentaries that are written on sixth-grade levels. You have Bible Dictionaries now that are very easy to understand. Are there going to be terms in there that are foreign to you? That’s what the Bible Dictionary is for. Pull it off the shelf and look up the word.
“At first they’ll feel frustrated, but it’s like picking up a vocabulary: eventually it will all start sinking in and you don’t have to look that word up so many times. You now know what it means.
“So there are books that are very easy to understand, it just takes a little bit of time. You have to want it. You have to have a heart condition that wants to understand the Bible better. You have to be a person who wants to get into the ballgame, and not sit on the bench and watch everyone else compete.
“Sadly, sadly, sadly, 95% of the Christian Population, 2 billion people, fail to buy out the time on the one thing.
“We expect people to come to our journal because they have the heart condition and the desire, because they’re tired of being on the bench. They’re tired of the Bible Scholars and the Church Leaders having all the knowledge. And they’re just sitting on the sideline, and being spoon-fed, and not really being able to compete.”