Comprehending the Bible

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KANSAS- A local author is on a mission to help others to learn how to read the Bible for comprehension.

Kansas resident Josiah Nichols recently released book, “Romans Roadblocks: Using Hermeneutics to Discover the Essentials of the Christian Faith,” both explains and demonstrates how to read the sacred scriptures.

“The Bible is actually relatively easy to understand if you read it literally in its historical and grammatical content,” said Nichols.

Currently an employee of Hershey’s Company in Robinson, Nichols earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible and preaching ministry and is currently attending online college through the Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Mo.

“My favorite part of preaching is studying the Bible,” he said. “I wished to do something like that so I started doing it and that is where the series originated.”

The first book in the series, ”When My Ox Gores My Neighbor: Using Hermeneutics to Travel from Mt. Sinai to Mt. Zion,” was released a couple of years ago while his newest release, the second in the using hermeneutics series is now available on amazon.com for $14.95 and on Kindle for $3.99.

Hermeneutics is the branch of knowledge that deals with interpretation, especially of the Bible or literary texts. It also explains how to share Christian faith and what the gospel is about.

“Writing is similar to preparing a sermon,” Nichols said. “Each chapter is like a small sermon to me and I consider it a series.”

He also noted it is important to correctly read the Bible to understand the text.

“A lot of people read the Bible to see what it means to them when it is meant to be interpreted literally as it was written,” added Nichols.

He eases worshippers’ fears about reading the Bible, which was originally written thousands of years ago by many authors and has been rewritten in different languages many times through history.

Nichols encourages people not to be intimidated. His method of hermeneutics depends on a literal reading of the scripture through an understanding of history, grammar and context. The new book, he said, demonstrates how to do that.

“The road to eternal life is built on the essential truths that I uncover in my book, but they could be roadblocks for those who reject them, hence the name is “Romans Roadblocks,’” said Nichols.

He rereads the Bible every six months and then studies the specific context that stands out to him on each reading.

“The harder portions of the Bible to understand are made easier to understand by the simpler portions of the Bible,” he said, adding the simpler portions are more prevalent.

As an example, Nichols said a day in Biblical literature is 24 hours from sunset to sunset and the creation story in Genesis relates God created the heavens and Earth in six literal days before one day of rest.

“These books are for anyone who is wanting to start reading the Bible,” Nichols said. “Not a lot of hermeneutics books actually teach the reader by demonstrations on how to read the Bible. My hope is for this most recent book to teach the reader the essential truths of Christianity.”

“Romans Roadblocks” is also available in softback from Nichols directly from his hermeneutics series Facebook site. He is also willing to teach the Bible and is available for sermons and motivational speaking by contacting him through the Facebook page.

He lives in Kansas with his wife Cassandra Dayhoff Nichols, two-year-old daughter Lydia and newborn daughter Miriam.