Here I go again, but I want so badly to say how simple it is to self-teach the Bible.
My best friend and I were discussing the "institutional errors" of various churches. We agreed that each church has at least one error that they promote. It's not that you can't get saved in most of them (or in spite of them), but that for various reasons they have adopted errors in their teaching by adding to the Bible, or detracting from it.
Do I have a way that I use to avoid this problem? Yes, (here he goes again!) but I go directly to the Word, using a few simple resources. Many will say they do this, of course.
A lady from the Watchtower Society told me that her religion was based entirely on the Bible. What she did not say is that the Watchtower people have their own "translation", custom-tailored to fit their beliefs.
Back to the simple plan. A couple or more kinds of Bibles,including a good study Bible (my favorite is the Scofield), a complete concordance, and any of the popular Bible dictionaries, is a good start. Online aids make study easier but are not necessary.
Of course, we all need to think, as critically as possible. Leave the denominations behind. Remember, the great men of the Bible were loners, not members of a committee.
I watched an episode of "Inspector Morse", where he was asked, rather archly, by a college faculty member, "What do you think?" Morse replied, "I don't think. I don't have a degree." Of course Morse thought deeply all the time, and so can we.
Here are the classic Dispensations that I have found so very useful:
- >Innocence--Genesis 1:1-3:7
- Conscience--Genesis 3:8-8:22
- Human Government--Genesis 9:1-11:32
- Promise--Genesis 12:1-Exodus 19:25
- Law--Exodus 20:1-Acts 2:4
- Grace--Acts 2:4-Revelation 20:3
- Millennial Kingdom--Revelation 20:4-20:6
You needn't memorize these or anything like that, but you will find each one marks a new way that God deals with man and His people.
Good luck with your private seminary.
Please see the following.