Now why even poise such a question? All I can say is this. The other day I encountered a discussion and someone’s reply quoted some man that stated you must have a seminary degree to know the words of God. I was dumbfounded.
As I have explained before I only use the King James Bible*. Why because it is the closest to the original Greek and Hebrew available. I then use Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to get to that Greek and Hebrew to see their meaning of the words and then two dictionaries and these are a luxury. Most people have not had these resources available till recent history, but these items truly do help you understands God’s instruction manual better.
It is dogmatic teachings that someone with more education then you must be the person you listen to allowing you insight into what God desires of each and every person. This is a lie period. It is this mentality that has caused evil to exist throughout the centuries because humans would place their spin on the Word of God for their benefit. It caused the Crusades, Slavery and even in some part contributed to the Holocaust.
It is this thinking that you must go through a person to get to God that is causing so much confusion and even falling away from the church. It is this believe that has caused Atheism. It is this very mentality that Martin Luther confronted in his thesis.
What is required? People actually reading the Bible themselves. Actually taking the time to study it, getting to know it. Will there be some need for aids form others that have studied the Bible longer. I would say yes, but I would also say to take anything they say with a grain of salt and for you to verify if it stands with the Bible itself.
I also refuse to read any versions of the Bible that have been written since after 1960*. Why? Because I don’t trust them. They are a translation of a translation of a translation and as I have witnesses when I did read them the translation was not that, but an opinion.
Too many allow some other human to tell them what God says. That is not their job. God gave these jobs to be done by apostles; prophets; evangelists; pastors and teachers;
The apostle is apostolos ap-os’-tol-os from 649; a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”) (with miraculous powers):–apostle, messenger, he that is sent. So he is to read the word of God unto those that have not heard it.
Key statement – “officially a commissioner of Christ” this mean chosen by Christ Himself this was the 12 apostles and Paul. I know of no other “apostles.”
The prophet is prokerusso prok-ay-rooce’-so from 4253 and 2784; to herald (i.e. proclaim) in advance:–before (first) preach. So he is to herald the return of Christ.
The evangelist is euaggelistes yoo-ang-ghel-is-tace’ from 2097; a preacher of the gospel:–evangelist. Is someone that Deliver a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people.
The pastor is of uncertain affinity; a shepherd (literally or figuratively):–shepherd, pastor. Is someone that watches over the congregation and counsels them.
The teacher is didaskalos did-as’-kal-os from 1321; an instructor (genitive case or specially):–doctor, master, and teacher. The one who educates those that accept Christ as their Savior
Now in the times of Jesus they had the Pharisees, Scribes and the Sadducees. These men would equate to well educated men. Yet were they following the Torah correctly? No they were not. If fact Jesus made it very clear that these men make themselves to be of a higher class then of the common person. This is not how it was meant to be. If you read the Old Testament you will find that the judges and the prophets were usually common people blessed by God for what reason? Their knowledge of God and His teachings. These men were self-taught and in some cases tutored by another prophet.
Yet that is not acceptable in today’s world. Why?
If someone studies the word of God correctly and adheres to them and then teaches them yet he had not gone to any theological college. Why is his understanding of God less than anyone else that has gone to a university?
I think it can be at minimum equal, and to some degree better. Why? Because this layman was not exposed to all the doctrinal dogma taught by this religious organization or that religious organization, which I feel frees this person to truly read the Bible correctly.
As another example, does not the Baptist teach that once you are saved you are always saved, yet is that not the opposite of what is taught in Revelation 3:14-22, John 15: 1-8 and 2 Peter 2:1-22? Yes it is. Then this is a false and man-made doctrine and should be removed and replaced with the correct teaching, which states that if you continue to be exposed to the world you can become re-corrupted by it and you will no longer bear fruit and will be cast off by God Himself.
So in reality what is right, the Bible or the Baptist Church? That answer is simple… the Bible.
NOTE: This is not an attack against the Baptist Church, it was just one example of many man-made doctrines that fill many denominations throughout Christendom. I could give examples of many of them but that would take up too much time and space. Please look to the Bible and your denominations doctrines and see if it fits in the Bible correctly or not. If it does not it should not be followed for it is not God-made but man-made.
* – In my posts I use (NLT) the New Living Translation as a tool for the reader. I do not use it when I study the Word of God for the reasons stated above. I have found flaws within this translation and when I do I revert to the KJV when I need to post that verse.