The BIBLE:


THERE IS POWER

in SEEING 

WHAT YOU 

MAY HAVE MISSED

or

MISUNDERSTOOD


by R. Thomas Vosburgh

The end of this web site contains changing bulletins covering similar content to that in the books

WHY YOU WILL WANT TO READ THIS BOOK

  Dr. Vosburgh has faced severe health issues including being paralyzed from the neck down. He has also faced more than one personal crisis. So he knows what it takes and how faith and prayer can see one through the most tragic of circumstances.    When faith seems not to help, answers seem hidden, you are discouraged and not sure what to believe, know that Dr. Vosburgh has looked those demons in the eye and offers real help.


Believers, unbelievers, and skeptics alike will find in this book compelling information and inspiring insights that will enable them to crush their doubts and claim the faith for themselves and grow in discipleship.  


 Dr. Vosburgh comes to the study of the Bible with experiences of faith that inform his intensive academic study of the scriptures and finds answers to some of the dilemmas that have turned off unbelievers and tripped up searchers of faith   Whatever your Christian background or doctrine you will find that a fresh look at your faith will release the Holy Spirit to inform, energize, and inspire you too, as well as refresh and empower your witness.  

BOLDLY BIBLICAL


SOLIDLY GROUNDED in SCRIPTURE


 Yet

DELICIOUSLY UNCONVENTIONAL



Too often the Bible is read with "divine inattention" so we only see what we want to see or only interpret  the Bible so that it says what we think  it ought to say.


Did you know that St Paul and Einstein are on the same page?


Paul said, "I only know  in part"  (ICor 13:)


Einstein said, "We still do not  know one thousanth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us."


A healthy skepticism about what people tell us that we should believe  is desirable because the scriptures tell us that there will come those who will tell us what we want to hear rather than the truth.  There are those who think they have all of the answers to faith and life, however some of the things they tell us or we were taught are far more fungible than we have been told, but it is OK to see things differently than what is conventionally believed  or has  been  told to us by those self-appointed experts.


Dr. Vosburgh's books will challenge you to think more deeply.    One reader of the book has stated in her review of it to Amazon,  "This book will help you to understand what you really do believe."


When traditional answers are not always satisfying or seem nonsensical this book may offer  a perspective to you that puts it all into focus.    


Know-it-all Christians who think that only they know the truth are not only delusional, but they are turning  people off and away from the church.  As Dr. makes clear, honest people of faith can see many concepts or principles of the faith differently and still be true and faithful disciples of Jesus.  


Dr. Vosburgh thinks we should hold the attitude of both Paul and Einstein about the limits of our viewpoints.  He also believes we should dig deeper into the substance of the scriptures so that we are not merely mouthing cliche's,  repeating without thought what others tell us to believe and without looking for things in the scriptures that confirm what we want to believe.


Dr. Vosburgh challenges you in this book to dig deeper and let the Holy Spirit transform you where needed.



You can contact Dr. Vosburgh through the "Contact Me" form that follows.  Ask him to explain a scripture verse that troubles you or about anything in his books with which  you disagree.  All subjects regarding the faith are fair game.  Just ask him 

FINDING ANSWERS

Why your prayers don't work the way you think they should. or were told they would.



Why calling the Bible the "Word of God" is dangerous.



If Jesus walked the earth again today would he be murdered all over again?  If so, by whom and why?  You may be as surprised as the author was.



When holiness is not so holy and what to do about it.



How to make evangelism  more than a gigantic game of musical pews. What we should do   now? 



  Why tithing, Bible studies and mega churches will never create a revival.  What will..



Did Jesus think that he was God?  What does Jesus say when they wanted to stone him for saying that he is God?



Dr. Vosburgh had what he believed to be a divine revelation that may help you to understand the Incarnation and Trinity in a more Biblically accurate way.  Take a look and let him know what you think.



Are you prepared to explain to modern day secular humanists what the great truths of the scripture are so as to bridge the gulf that they often find between between science and religion?    This book along with the author's other book, Discovering the Biblical God in the 21st Century  wiil give you the concepts and tools to do just that.  


 Hang onto this.  Einstein said, 

 "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." 


"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."


"The measure of intelligence is the ability to change."



 let the journey begin.




Do you have difficulty in explaining your Christian faith  to unbelievers?  Do you feel the skepticism before you even start as well sense  the condescending look?  What you need to do is to get the author's corresponding book, Discovering the Biblical God in the 21st Century.  You will get a better understanding of the gulf you are trying to bridge as well as insights as to how to craft the message, thus bridging the gulf.




ENTER the DISCUSSION

I encourage you to review the article that follows about how to read the Bible, so you will get the straight unvarnished truth about what a verse is saying. .  Do the exercises in the article and then contact me using the form that follows to make any comments or to  send to me any questions you may have.    If you think that I got something wrong I also  want you to contact me and tell what it is.   I'll get back to you as quickly as I can to either answer your questions or to respond to your thoughts.    If there is not enough space to express your thoughts or questions, you can contact me by sending an email to tvosburgh44@gmail.com.   In the subject line put your name and the words,  "I want to know more"  you can also send me a letter to the address noted.  You can also send me a Bible verse that is puzzling  you, and I will send you my take on the meaning of it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             


If you want to know more about me, my biography is detailed at the end of this web site.   

Contact ME

Drop me a line!

Discovering Bible Truth

2042 Wembley Place , Rockford, IL 61114, US

(815) 633-4444

Hours

Mon

By Appointment

Tue

By Appointment

Wed

By Appointment

Thu

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THe Bible

HOW TO READ IT so as to reduce confusion, understand difficult passages and to get beyond the cacophony of voices that want you to see it their way and only their way. Now you will have the concepts and tools necessary to understand the scriptures as they were meant to be understood.

 The following  guidelines should be used when interpreting the scriptures to prevent or correct  mistakes or abuse. 

  • No more reading into scripture our cultural views and saying the Bible says what we want it to say or think it ought to say. The scripture is good enough itself. Celebrate the Bible's integrity and theological diversity. Sometimes misreading the Bible can result in the Christian faith being presented in a way that becomes a barrier to faith.   You may wonder how you can know if opinions about faith and the Bible are just cultural or Bible based.  i would suggest that those opinions that are commonly believed are more likely to be cultural.  One example of this is calling the Bible "the Word of God."  This  is commonly believed, but there is no scriptural basis for it. unless we twist the words of the Bible or read into the words of the Bible  what we want them to mean  If an opinion is commonly believed I just suggest that you approach it suspiciously.  But be open minded because everything commonly believed is not wrong


  • I am a  Christian and follow Jesus, so the New Testament trumps the Old Testament whenever and wherever I find variations.   


  • We must respect the integrity of the Bible, therefore we need to read it with intellectual honesty. What this means is that we must take our time in reading it so we are giving it the depth of thought it deserves. Jumping to conclusions or thinking that our first impression is correct because it conforms to what we think already is no way to read the Bible because it may blind us to the deeper meanings to be found therein. 


  • A parable is a parable and not history.  Parables, metaphors or allegories are  not to be taken literally.  Its truth is deeper. Neither shall we take literally what is clearly a hyperbole so as not to destroy the integrity of the Bible.   We exaggerate all of the time to make a point, such as, "I  married the most beautiful woman in the world.  you would intuitively know that this is an exaggeration that  makes a point but it  is not to be taken literally. The point we are making is clear without the necessity to believe that it is literally true  Such is the way we should approach hyperbole in the Bible. If we take a hyperbole as literal  just because it is in the Bible we will do a disservice to the Bible. To take a hyperbole literally in  the Bible negates the value of the hyperbole so that is no longer sensible.  To do that will mean that we will be mislead and will miss the real point.  The first job we have in interpreting scripture is to understand what type of literature it is that we are reading.. If we take a Dr. Seuss story as literal history we will be ridiculed by those who will see our interpretation as nonsensical.  However, not all is lost, because Dr. Seuss stories speak truth even if they re not historical.  Keeping it true will make it acceptable  and likely life changing. To not do that leaves the Bible open to ridicule.


  • Look for other scriptures that may seem to contradict the verses you are studying. Then see if there is a reconciling connection or find the reason why it may only be an apparent contradiction. Don't emphasize one without the balance found in the other. There are reasons for these differences that are important.


  • When reading a Biblical passage, be sure to read the whole passage so you know the context of the event and the context of the comment or teaching. Note: The last phrase or two of the scriptures being read about an event or teaching will often provide a good summary as well as identify the meaning thereof.  Luke 11: 9-13 is an example of this.  
    Most people think that when Jesus said, "Ask and you will receive" that he is referring to prayer.  Here you will see that it is about receiving the Holy Spirit.  This scripture must then be read in concert with Matthew 7:1- 12 where the asking is about neither prayer nor the Holy Spirit, but instead it is about forgiveness.  This is why you have to take your time when reading the Bible and why it is important to review similar and contrasting scriptures so one is not led astray.
     
  • The Bible is our source. Although there is wisdom in our culture, the church's primary source is the scriptures.  Preaching and witness should not be a repackaging of some platitude, cliché' nor warmed- over pop psychology. Sometimes scripture speaks to specific historical situations so it must not be taken out of context and applied to ourselves as if it is directed at us, although inferences can be recognized. No more playing games with scripture for personal empire building and excessive self-enrichment.


  • The general message of the scripture should direct our understanding of individual passages or books so that, in the end, the test we apply to our interpretation of a scripture is whether it produces the fruits of the spirit.  (Galatians 5)


  • Review various translations to make sure you understand what the words of the text actually mean. This is easy to do by merely typing the address of the text into a search engine such as Google. You will often get various web sites that will  reveal different translations.


  • Be sure you know about the author of the book of the Bible you are reading and his intended audience. That context may totally change how you interpret a particular verse.  



THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR MISUSING AND ABUSING THE BIBLE.      


APPLYING the GUIDELINES

OVERCOMING
BARRIERS
TO
FAITH

Now you will get an opportunity to apply the guidelines we have set forth for interpreting specific scriptural passages

A. A common expression that we hear is, "Seek and you shall find."    Read Matthew 7:1-12, Luke 11:9-13, and James 4:1-3.    Although this phrase is in the Bible, what guideline(s) for Bible interpretation might we violate if we accept it at face value and see it as an instruction to pray? If so, why? If not, why?         


B. One pastor took his view of Hell from this scripture. Read Luke 16: 19-31.    What guideline(s) for Bible interpretation did he violate? lf he did,  what are they? If not, why not?         


C. Read Psalm 37:4.  The pastor read this scripture and said nothing further. Did he violate any guideline(s) for Bible interpretation? If he did, what are they? If not, why not?        


 D. A church leader quoted this scripture to keep a parishioner from taking him to court to recover damages the leader had caused.    Read I Cor 6:1-11 and Matthew 18:15-22.    Did he violate any guideline(s) for Bible interpretation? If he did, what are they? If not, why?         


E. There are two scriptures that are apparently complete contradictions of each other.   Read Luke 9:49-50 and Matthew12:22-30.     What guideline(s) for Bible interpretation might one easily violate when interpreting these scriptures?


 F. Read Matthew 10:34-39 and Luke 14:26.     What guideline(s) for Bible interpretation should one follow when interpreting these scriptures?  What then do these verses say to us?            


G. Read Genesis 2:15-25 and I Timothy 6:10.    What guideline(s) for Bible interpretation might one easily violate when interpreting these scriptures?             


H. Those who promote a prosperity Gospel quote the following passages. Do they violate any of the   guidelines for Bible interpretation by doing so?    (Read Mark 10: 29-30, Luke 6:27-38, John 10:10, II Corinthians 8:9, Malachi 3:10) Also read James 4:3.          


 I. One pastor used the following scripture to identify Muhammed as the Antichrist. Did he violate or not the guidelines for Bible interpretation by doing so? If so, why? If not, why not?   Read I John 4:3

.             

J. Read Matthew 19:16-26.     What is the meaning to be taken from this lesson? How might one misunderstand the meaning of it?      


 K. Read Matthew 21:21-22 What meaning can be taken from this passage and how might it be misinterpreted? Consider also I Corinthians 13: 2-3   


If you have a verse in the Bible you wish to have explained, Dr. Vosburgh will give you his take on it.  Just send him the verse, tell him what you want to know, and what dilemmas you have faced in trying to interpret it.

DISCOVERING the

BIBLICAL GOD

IN THE

21st CENTURY

by The Rev. Dr. R. Thomas Vosburgh

This is a  companion book.which explores the gulf that exists between Christians and secular humanists.  It offers real world ideas on how to craft the Christian message so as to  make it understandable to  contemporaries of any era, especially today.  You will be given ideas that will make a difference in connecting the Biblical message to a world defined by Quantum Physics,  and a multi cultural, multi-religious life.


 You may purchase this book in hard or soft cover as well as a Kindle version of it at Amazon.com 

R. Thomas (Tom) Vosburgh

Residence:  2042 Wembley Pl.,  Rockford  Il. 61114 

    

Mobile  815-566-2855   

Home 815-633-4444

Email;  tvosburgh44@gmail.com.

Web site: Vosburghconsulting.com  


  • Born in DeKalb, IL and raised in Northern Illinois


  • 1966  B.A.  in psychology from Northern  Illinois University. and inducted into the Psi Chi honorary Society for psychology majors


  • 1970 Master's of Divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Il.


  •   1970 Nominated by Northern Illinois University for "Outstanding Young Man of  America


  • 1974 Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary    


  •  1967 Appointed as a student pastor to McKinley Park United Methodist Church in Chicago 1969  Ordained as an Elder in the United Methodist Church 


  • 1969 -1978 Appointed as the pastor of Our Master's United Methodist Church in Rockford, IL.  Served as a volunteer Chaplain for a local hospital and the Rockford Police Department. 


  • 1972 - 1975 managed and hosted a television show, "Joy to the World" for the Rockford Council of  Churches and the Rockford Ministerial Association that aired on WREX which is an affiliate of NBC 


  • 1978  Pastor of the First United Methodist Church  in Polo, IL. 1981  Honorary leave of Absence.   


  • 1981-1985  Stockbroker for EF Hutton, in Rockford, ill. 


  • 1985 - 1988  Regional Manager and stockbroker for Oberweis  Securities.


  • 1987  Stricken with Guillain Barre' Syndrome and was paralyzed from the neck down, from which he has had almost a 100% recovery


  •  1988- 2006 Stockbroker for various firms and was in the top 10% of brokers every year while achieving top  broker  awards each year.  In 2006 He retired  


  • 2013 Published in Strathmore's Who's Who in America


  • 2013 published "The Bible, What You May Think It Says, But Doesn't."   In 2016 he published "Discovering the Biblical God in the 21st Century"and  "The Bible, There Is Power in Seeing What You May Have Missed or  Misunderstood"


  • 2017 Host of a weekly radio talk show, "Biblical Vibrations" on BBM Global network.  


  • 2017 included in Strathmore's Who's Who  Worldwide


  • Additional information:  Dr. Vosburgh in 2006 had triple bypass surgery.  In 2007 he had a stroke and was in a coma for three weeks.  He has recovered from these issues to the point  you would not know about them unless he told you.     


THINK ABOUT THIS

Who turns people away?

Some people in the church like to say Satan does it.    This  is a nifty way to wash one's hands of the problem.  Others will say it is the people who are turned off who are doing it to themselves.  This is just as nifty.


What if it is the church and Christians themselves who are doing it?  These books take a  "take no prisoners" approach that puts this into focus and thereby offers solutions

A taste of what you will learn.

I know that the following remarks will unsettle some.  If you want the "same old, same old" there are plenty of books that offer it.   If you want to learn and grow, and specifically let the Holy Spirit  into your heart then this is a pathway.  Remember, it was the hard hearts of the Pharisees  who clung to their preconceived notions, thereby rejecting Jesus and his message, that led Jesus to say that they have committed the unforgivable sin.  (Matthew 21: 22-32)

the "WORD of GOD"

This may be difficult for some of you to consider because this title is so often used to refer to the Bible that I know I am facing a strong head-wind.  I suggest that you don't have to agree with me, but I do ask that you hear me out.



What the Bible refer to when it refers to the Word of God.


  1. It is clear that  the Bible speaks of the Word of God in various places, but t would take enormous amounts of twisted thinking to say these are references to the Bible. In the first place the references to the Word of God in the Bible couldn't mean the Bible as it was not yet in existence.  


 2. All scripture (II Tim 3:16) is a phrase that some want to refer to as meaning the Bible.( Note point 1). The sacred writing referred to  here were something that they were acquainted with from childhood.  These scriptures were the books that eventually became a part of the old Testament. Again, the reference to all scripture being inspired referred to the scriptures available at that time and not the Bible.   


3. One cannot read John 1 and believe that the Word of God referred to here is the Bible. Most people think that it refers to Jesus. How could it be the Bible as those verses say the Word was God, was made flesh and dwelt among us.  It can't mean the Bible.



 4. Hebrews 4:12 is a favorite among those who believe the Bible is the Word of God, However, just read it carefully. A book is not a living thing and cannot act so as to pierce and discern. What is referred to here is also referred to in Ephesians six  where Paul tells them to take up the sword. Paul names clearly what the sword is when he states in verse 17 that the spirit is the Word of God. 

 

 5. Clearly wherever the Title or name, "Word of God" is used in scripture it refers to the work of the Holy Spirit or the message given by the Holy Spirit as when Paul talks about the word of the cross.(I Cor 1:18) One could even make a case for believing that the Word written about in John 1 refers to the Holy Spirit. Think of it in human terms. My spirit is truly me, it goes with me wherever I go. My spirit dwells in my flesh. When people encounter me they encounter my spirit. In that way did the Incarnation occur.  Jesus embodied the spirit and the message.  Please go to my chapter about Christmas in my book about discovering God and think about the revelation I received regarding  the Trinity and Incarnation.     ��&.RtP�S


The Bible was never called the Word of God throughout history.  This  is a 20th century creation by those who think that this will give the Bible credibility and authenticity.  Historically the Bible was called the "Holy Bible" or referred to as the inspired scriptures.  See if you can find a Bible that is labeled, "The Word of God"    I would love to see it.. Please call me if you find one.  Even into the 20th century the Bible was called the Bible had no other tittle.  Fill in the blank.  "Jesus loves me this i know, for the ________tells me so.  Thus it was and so it should be.


Now, you are probably wondering why I think this is a problem.


First of all, this moniker makes people think that the Bible actually contains God's words which were spoken to the "authors" who wrote them down.   If you think , as some people do, that  this  is confirmed by the fact that there are no errors, mistakes or contradictions in the Bible then   I ask you  this, What happens if they find out that there are contradictions, errors, and mistakes?  If our kids don't know it, there will be those who use that fact to undo all of the good work you did to raise them in the faith.  Please do a search on the internet and you will find numerous web sites that will list in the hundreds what these errors and contradictions are.  The book I wrote about the Bible will also let you see them through the eyes of someone who loves Jesus and believes he is the Messiah.  We are not helping our children have a mature faith that will counter the forces of evil if we present in a way that is wishful thinking.  Our kids will find themselves ridiculed for holding such an opinion.   our children have been told that God does not make mistakes.  How does that child process all of this when they find out that the Bible has mistakes, etc.  Does it not leave them confused if we tell them that the Bible is the words of God.


A second reason why we should not call the Bible the Word of God or suggest that the Bible  is God's own words is that this would  make the Bible vulnerable to misuse and abuse.  It has been said that the Bible is much like a person.  If one tortures it long enough it will say whatever you want it to say.  In fact, we have an example in the scriptures themselves where this happened. Scripture was misused when it was used in the wilderness to try to disrupt the ministry of Jesus.  I have seen it happen in a church near where I live.  Disreputable and dishonest people will twist the scripture so it says what they want it to say for their own benefit and to hurt others.    I saw a church leader talk members in his congregation to fund a project of his with the promise to pay back the money after a specific period of time.    When this date passed and he did not pay them back they threatened to take him to court.  His response was that they couldn't take a brother to court but had to go to a church council. ( Mt 18: 15-17 and I Cor 6: 1-8)   Because of his position he prevented that from taking place.  The Elders to their credit squeezed him out, but they let stand this leader's view of the Bible as, of course, they could do nothing else as these are God's words.  Nothing in all of this is about the fruits of the Spirit. (Galatians 5) and no effort was made to make these church members whole.  Disrespect able people will misinterpret scripture for their own benefit if they can and convince people these are God's own words.  Nothing at all about the overall meaning of scripture, such as not stealing and producing the fruits of the Spirit.  The problem here is not just poor interpretation of scripture, it is also this.  When calling the Bible the Word of God it encourages people to misuse and abuse it as they  only look for what will  be literally understood when supporting their opinion.  They can then claim that God said this or that and this settles the issue when it doesn't.  A popular thing that is said by some people is, God said it so I believe it"  This only encourages people to misuse the Bible for their own benefit.

When the same old, IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO BREAK BARRIERS

BULLETINS FOLLOW that will inform and chllenge you

I am considering starting a bulletin service  that will focus on issues that are creating barriers  to faith, offering ideas that will overcome them, and  set free  the church to receive  the Holy Spirit and create a revival.  Two bulletins follow that will give you a taste of what I plan to share.,   



 Four Scriptures from the "Word of God" that beg for an explanation   




WHY BIBLE Studies often fail to change lives or bring a revival to the church, What to do now. 

Yours for the taking

I have downloaded a copy of what my bulletins will be like if I decide to start a service.    A copy of them  can be downloaded below.  I would appreciate it if you would send any comments you may have about them to me at my email address, tvosburgh44@gmail.com


Please  enter your email address below . You are not purchasing anything, There is no obligation.  For now I will just send you notices for free  of what is happening on this site. 

COME BACK HERE OFTEN

I expect to be providing stimulating  ideas  about what we need to do to overcome barriers to faith and to provide real life solutions.  I promise you not to give you the some old, same old.  You can get that  anywhere.  This will be a place to challenge ourselves  to do better and be more than we ever thought possible..

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DOWNLOAD: FOUR SCRIPTURES BeggIng for an explanation

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Four scriptures from the "Word of God" begging for an explanation (doc)

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Download: WHY BIBLE STUDIES OFTEN FAIL to change lives

Why Bible Studies often fail to change lives or bring a revival to the church, what to do now (doc)

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