No recording

Download the Notes:


Meditation 8 Images.001Meditation 8 Images.002Meditation 8 Images.003Meditation 8 Images.004Meditation 8 Images.005Meditation 8 Images.006Meditation 8 Images.007Meditation 8 Images.008Meditation 8 Images.009Meditation 8 Images.010Meditation 8 Images.011Meditation 8 Images.012Meditation 8 Images.013Meditation 8 Images.014Meditation 8 Images.015Meditation 8 Images.016Meditation 8 Images.017Meditation 8 Images.018Meditation 8 Images.019Meditation 8 Images.020Meditation 8 Images.021Meditation 8 Images.022Meditation 8 Images.023Meditation 8 Images.024Meditation 8 Images.025Meditation 8 Images.026Meditation 8 Images.027Meditation 8 Images.028Meditation 8 Images.029



The Pleasure of Meditation: Lesson 8 

Finding Bibles to help with your meditation

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • October 1, In the year of our Lord, 2017


  1. When the church at Ephesus received Paul’s letter, 
    1. did it have chapter and verse divisions?
      1. Did it have footnotes?
      2. Did it have maps?
      3. Did it have cross references?
      4. Could they consult commentaries?
    2. How then could they understand what he had written?
      1. Do you think they could understand what he said in that Letter?
      2. If they could, why can’t we understand it the same way they did?
  2. Can helps become hindrances? 
    1. Imagine as you do a job for the first time,
      1. that someone stands next to you,
      2. offering tips and tells you what to do.
        1. The first time you appreciate it.
        2. However, he keep speaking giving endless advice.
          1. After a while it actually becomes annoying.
          2. It keeps you from wanting to do the job.
            1. You can also become so dependent upon that helper,
            2. that you believe you cannot do it without the helper.
    2. Do the helps in the Bible keep you from reading it?
      1. Do the helps make you think
      2. that each time you have to study and analyze the text?
        1. If so, does that discourage you from time in the Bible?
        2. How does the arrangement of our current Bibles affect outsiders?
    3. What if your Bible appeared as other books do?


  1. The Harm of Versification and Other “Helps” 
    1. I believe these things have hindered us from meditating upon the Scriptures.
      1. We do not see the Scriptures as something to meditate upon, but
      2. as something to study, to analyze, and to dissect.
        1. Yes, there is a place for those things, but
        2. because of the Bible’s current format,
          1. we fail to see that we can meditate upon it.
          2. The format of most Bibles discourages people from getting into it.
    2. Consider a letter my youngest daughter wrote to me in 1999.
      1. First, here is a scan of a photocopy of the original.
        1. At the present, I cannot locate the original “autograph.”
        2. However, the photocopy has preserved it enough for you to read it.
      2. Second, I have typed it to make it easier to read.
      3. Third, let us do with it, what we do with our Bibles.
        1. Let us arbitrarily break it up into verses and
        2. make each verse a paragraph.
          1. Now let us add “helpful” notes, references, maps, et al.
          2. What has this done to my daughter’s letter?
    3. The “helps” make it appear as a heartless manual.
      1. You are familiar with the Bible, but
      2. the world is not, and
        1. to them it looks challenging.
        2. You may know how to block out the helps, but newbies may not.
    4. When and why were the chapters and verses added?
      1. Stephen Langton divided the Bible into chapters in 1227.
      2. Robert Stephanus (Stephens) divided it further into verses in 1551.
        1. Interestingly, the original Hebrew Bible only had 22 books, but
        2. it was divided up later to give us 39 books.
    5. Consider some passages that show how the versification of the Bible has a tendency to lead us to divide up our thoughts.
      1. The Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that at death,
        1. you are acquitted of your sins.
        2. They use Romans 6.7,

          For he who has died has been freed from sin (Rom 6.7, NKJV).

          For he who has died has been acquitted from [his] sin (Rom 6.7, NWT).

          1. They believe that this verse refers to the death of the body.
          2. Do you believe? If not, why not?
            1. Watch what you do.
            2. You will go to the verses before and get the context.
              1. However, do not speak ill of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, for
              2. we probably all do something similar.
      2. You can make an outline for the Book of Hebrews.
        1. Chap. 1: Jesus is greater than the angels
        2. Chap. 2: Jesus is greater than the prophets
        3. Chap. 3: Jesus is greater than Moses
        4. Chap. 4: Jesus is greater than Joshua
        5. Chaps. 5–10: The priesthood of Jesus surpasses that of Aaron
        6. Chap. 11: The faith chapter
        7. Chaps. 12–13: The application
          1. Each of those chapters can then be broken down by verses.
          2. It almost seems as though it is just some good ideas the writer threw together.
      3. In preaching school, I did an exegesis on Hebrews 10.
        1. I know, or knew, the chapter well.
        2. However, I did not see the connection with Hebrews 11 until recently.
          1. I discovered the connection because I was reading through Hebrews in a Reader’s Bible.
          2. Without the chapter and verse division I read the two chapters together and I read it as a whole.
            1. That is when I saw the connection between the chapters.
            2. You can see it when you read the first verse of chapter 11,

              Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11.1).

              1. Why did the writer say, “Now faith is…”?
              2. He had just mentioned faith in the previous chapter, but
                1. the chapter break either makes you stop reading or
                2. breaks up your thought so that you think he is starting a new subject.
        3. Go back in the text, let’s say to 10.31 to find out why he said, “now faith is” in chapter 11.
          1. What did you discover?
          2. Remember how you once lived as Christians.
      4. Genesis 18 shows the Lord arriving at Abraham and Sarah’s tent.
        1. Out of excitement, Abraham goes to Sarah and asks something of her,

          So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes” (Gen 18.6).

          1. One woman responded to that by saying,
          2. “Why do the women always have to do everything?”
        2. Let us back up in the story, going back only to 17.23 and
          1. reading from there to 18.8,
          2. without the verse and chapter divisions,

            So Abraham took Ishmael his son, all who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very same day, as God had said to him. Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. That very same day Abraham was circumcised, and his son Ishmael; and all the men of his house, born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him. Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, “My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant.” They said, “Do as you have said.” So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah and said, “Quickly, make ready three measures of fine meal; knead it and make cakes.” And Abraham ran to the herd, took a tender and good calf, gave it to a young man, and he hastened to prepare it. So he took butter and milk and the calf which he had prepared, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree as they ate (Gen 17.23–18.8).

            1. I want to ask the women here:
            2. Which would you prefer to do?
              1. Circumcise 400 MEN, butcher and prepare a calf, and gather butter and milk? or
              2. bake a loaf of bread for GOD?
      5. What does Matthew 5.48 teach or mean?

        “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt 5.48).

        1. Usually people will say that Jesus taught us to be sinless in this verse.
          1. They will just as quickly say that we cannot attain to sinlessness.
          2. Did Jesus give us a teaching that we cannot possibly keep?
        2. Even without the versification, you should be able to see
          1. that the verse does not stand alone.
          2. Somewhere at the beginning, you have the word, “therefore.”
            1. What does that tell you?
            2. It tells us that this sentence is part of a larger context.
              1. Jesus is either drawing a conclusion or
              2. making an application from what He had just said.
        3. What had He just taught?
          1. From verse 43 to verse 47 He addressed how we treat our enemies.
          2. He taught us to love our enemies, not just our friends.
            1. What did He say in regard to what the Father does?
            2. The Father blesses both the evil and the good, the just and the unjust.
              1. Jesus taught us to do the same thing.
              2. This passage is not about sinlessness, but about loving our enemies.
      6. I often hear people criticize a preacher because
        1. he only quoted part of a verse,
        2. forgetting or not knowing that the verse divisions
          1. were made by a man for scholars referencing Greek texts, but
          2. they think the preacher is leaving out some of the word of God.
            1. Some might be doing that, but
            2. it is not inherent.
        3. Consider Acts 8,

          32 The place in the Scripture which he read was this:

          “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
          And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
          So He opened not His mouth.
          33 In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
          And who will declare His generation?
          For His life is taken from the earth.”
          (Acts 8.32–33)

          1. Have you checked up Luke’s quotation of Isaiah?
          2. Luke only quoted parts of Isaiah 53.7–8.
            1. Someone says, But the chapter and verse divisions did not exist then.
            2. To which I reply, Exactly!
      7. Speaking of Isaiah 53,
        1. why did the man who divided the Bible up into chapters
        2. not start at Isaiah 52.13?
  2. Problems with Chapter and Verse Divisions and Other “Helps” 
    1. Encourages us to read sections only
    2. Makes the Bible appear as a look-it-up guide
    3. Breaks up paragraphs and sentences
    4. Paragraphing of verses isolates its thoughts
    5. Encourages Scripture bites
    6. Discourages meditation
    7. Red-letter Bibles elevate parts of the Bible
      1. Is not the entire Bible the word of Christ?
      2. What about the words of the Father?
      3. Is it not all inspired by the Holy Spirit?
    8. Uninviting format for the new Bible-reader
    9. Encourages out-of-context use of the Scriptures
    10. Imagine other books with these helps
    11. Provides distractions
    12. Makes the Bible merely a collection of wise sayings
  3. Reader’s Bibles 
    1. You can purchase Bibles with the intent in mind that I am promoting.
    2. You can also do it with your Bible apps.
  4. Meditation Tips from The Bible Meditator