Have you ever wanted an explanation for a Bible verse, but found out that the explanation was more confusing than the actual verse? Welcome to the club.
The Long & Short Of It
I’ve often been left scratching my head over the way some people explain things. I understand that SOME things require a back story, but certainly not EVERY little detail demands a history lesson. Many times I have been afraid to ask a question for fear of losing what little understanding I had!
Alternatively, we communicate in an abbreviated, slanged-up, ‘text-message’ world. We accept a statement with no evidence. We will retweet, post, or forward a news headline based on ‘wow’ factor, without ever reading the full article. There is just as much fault in being too wordy as in being too shallow.
Fortunately, there is the King James Bible. It is an ancient book straight out of the future. The double-column style page has set the screen size for smartphone designs. The chapter and verse markings have made it the standard for bibliography and record keeping. It is also cutting-edge in electronic text communications.
Friedhelm Hillenbrand is credited in 1986 with suggesting a 160-character limit on “short message service” or SMS. He is credited with the discovery of empty space on cellular phone signals that could carry approximately 160 bytes of information. Since 1 byte = approximately 1 letter, number, or space(character), the standard text message size was established.
According to the statistics on KingJamesBibleDictionary.com, there are 31,102 verses in the KJV, and 3,116,480 letters. That brings us to an average verse length of 100.2 letters. The average WORD length in the Bible is 4 letters- so when you add spaces and punctuation, you will find that most Bible verses will fit comfortably into a text message with room for the reference: 125 characters, plus the book, chapter, and verse.
Explaining Or Correcting?
The wisdom of a Bible verse can not only fit into a modern text message, it can also be EXPLAINED in so many words or less.
The rule when I was in school for defining a word was to be able to describe it without using the same word. Thus, you could define, “a boat” as, “a craft for moving on water.”
The Bible is just as easily and briefly explained.
Now, someone will stop here and justify their use of a lesser version of the Bible. Whether it’s the RV of 1881 or the ESV of 2019, these ‘versions’ all have one thing in common: they do not EXPLAIN the Scripture in other words, they CORRECT the Scripture with their own words.
Here’s the difference:
We keep the cereal on top of the refrigerator. My children love cereal, but it is so high they cannot reach it easily. In order to get the cereal, they can:
- Use a stool to grab the cereal from the top of the fridge (Mom & Dad’s Way)
- Climb on the cabinets to grab the cereal (Their way)
Mom and Dad’s ordained method of getting the cereal is to use the stool. Children are simply not allowed on the cabinets, and the cereal does not belong anywhere on the countertop The end product is the same, they get the cereal, but one way acknowledges the rightful place of the cereal and who put it there. The other way puts the child in control of the cereal, to bring it to his/her level, and lessens the respect for who bought the cereal.
Got it? I hope so.
So let’s grab the kitchen stool and look at some text message scripture expositions- verses and definitions of them that each fit neatly into 160 characters or less. I have sent or received these messages personally, and have found them to be short, simple, and sharp.
“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Romans 14:17
God rules in people’s hearts, and his assets are not money and property, but clean living, forgiven sins, and assurance of salvation.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13
The flesh is the earthly part off you that lusts, covets, and sins. SIN KILLS YOU. you can kill sin through God’s spirit. Kill sin before it kills you!
“The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is His glory to pass over a transgression.” Proverbs 19:11
Discretion is knowing when to have mercy or judgement. It is more honorable to have mercy, because it shows an even temper.
“House and riches are the inheritance of fathers: and a prudent wife is from the Lord.” Proverbs 19:14
Some good possessions can be passed on, like money or houses, but the most valuable thing for a man to have is a lady that is wise about the future(prudent), and only the Lord can give her those virtues.
“Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.” Proverb 24:1
Don’t be jealous of what crooks have, or of what they are, or what they are going to get. Don’t hang out with them to try and get what they’ve got either.
From a teenager came this explanation: don’t talk or be evil to the evil or stay on there side and be evil. This is easy!!! (: