“Take that Bible Away from that Man!”

Omar-1-copy

The man pictured above is named Omar Jiménez. Omar is a pastor in our Honduras group and is very active training other pastors with the Training National Trainers program.

The story below describes a valuable lesson one of the pastors in Omar’s group learned about relying too much on outside framework in reading Scripture (see more about Text and Framework in our Dig and Discover Hermeneutical Principles Booklet.)


In the last group of pastors I (Omar) led, there was a pastor who was given a study Bible, which he brought to our training. For him, every good pastor who preached correctly should preach according to what the notes in that Bible were saying. Even if you went to preach at his church, he was expecting you to follow the notes of his study Bible!

One time, one of our fellow pastors said, “Please, take that Bible away from that man!”

Because of that study Bible, he was feeling that he was better than everybody else. One time, one of our fellow pastors said, “Please, take that Bible away from that man!”

He brought this mentality to our training as well. On the first day, when I went to lead the TNT training, I noticed that while the other men were participating in the training, this man was comparing whatever was said with his study Bible’s notes. I told him that he could not express an opinion until he put his study Bible to the side. And when he prepared and delivered his own practice sermon, his message was very strange and very different.

I challenged him to use just the Bible, and not the study Bible notes in the training. But he kissed the Bible and said, “No, I’m not going to get rid of this Bible, at all, ever. There is no other Bible like this.”

I took my little Bible out, and said, “I’m going to be your teacher now with my Bible, small and old and used.” I told him he needed to understand that actually it is the Word of God that is inspired – not the study Bible notes – and he needed to leave his study Bible to the side and just to try to concentrate on doing his preaching with the Bible alone.

The pastor said, “No, I’m not going to stop using this study Bible. I’m going to leave if you make me use the plain Bible.”

Thankfully, I convinced him to stay.

A Change of Mind and an Important Lesson

On the second day of the training, I told him again that he needed to just use the Bible without the notes. And he said, “Okay I’ll do that. I’ll use the Bible without the notes.”

Later, when he gave his second practice sermon, we all cheered because he did a much better job than the first one!

Afterwards, he said, “Now I’m going to check my notes in comparison with the study notes.” And so, when he compared his study of the passage with the study Bible notes, he said, “My conclusions are better than the notes.”

He said, “Now I’m going to use the notes just as a reference after doing my own study in the Bible.”

It wasn’t until we learned the Text and Framework hermeneutical principle that he understood that his study Bible’s notes were a framework preventing him from letting the text speak to him on its own terms.

He said, “Now I’m going to use the notes just as a reference after doing my own study in the Bible.”

After the training, of course, he was a changed man. Now he’s preaching the Word as it is written in the Word, and doing so with a humble heart.


This isn’t the first time Omar has been featured on our blog. Read how one man he trained confessed to wasting thirty-five years in ministry preaching nothing.

Related Links:

Curriculum Coordinator at Leadership Resources

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