Synopsis by Chapter
The Book: Key to Biblical Doctrine by Jerald L Brown
The author shows how Jesus sums up all the commands and laws in the Bible into one simple Core Doctrine that even children can understand.
Then, the author explains how to apply the Core Doctrine to solve problems Christians face today. Finally, the author applies this Core Doctrine to problems dividing Christians today, primarily homosexuality but also slavery,
adultery and divorce.
Can the entire Bible be summed into a simple message that even a child can understand? If so, what is that simple message?
Why the author adopted a challenging attitude and tone rather than presenting the story meekly
Introduction - Five Dangers of Bible Doctrine
A brief review of why people believe diverse things and come up with a myriad of unbiblical doctrines.
This serves as a warning to us not to do the same thing.
- The Core Doctrine
This is it, the single Core Doctrine from which all the rest the commands and instructions of the Bible are founded.
Jesus himself pointed it out and said that this is what it's all about and nothing else surpasses it.
It's simple enough that even a child can instantly grasp it.
- The Apostles Affirm the Core Doctrine
The Apostles of Jesus went around teaching and wrote in their epistles
that this is the one central Core Doctrine of everything God wants us to know and do.
- Entire Bible Affirms the Core Doctrine
The Entire Bible, Old Testament and New Testament, affirm the Core Doctrine.
Not only are there explicit verses supporting the Core Doctrine, there are other verses that imply it.
- Early Church Practiced the Core Doctrine
Examples of what the early church did based on their keeping the Core Doctrine.
- How Paul Practiced the Core Doctrine
Examples of what Paul said and did based on his keeping of the Core Doctrine.
- Who Were the Pharisees?
To better understand the teachings of Jesus in the first century,
we need to know who the participants were and how they relate to groups we have today.
- Who Can Be Saved?
Since so many Christians are telling gays and lesbians they they cannot be saved and they cannot please God,
we need to look at just what is salvation, how is it obtained, and to whom is it available.
- Who Rejected God?
The story of the Tenach (Old Testament). An overview of events from Adam to Zechariah
- Regarding Sodomites
"Sodomite" is an old English word used then as we use "gay" today.
The Tenach warns against Sodomites and encourages their execution or forceful ejection from the land.
However, the word translated "sodomite" is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word qadesh.
That word stands for a pagan priest in a fertility religion and has nothing to do with homosexuality.
That is not a unique "interpretation" of the Bible that the author has;
it is the actual and correct translation of that Hebrew word, and agreed to by all Biblical scholars.
- The Story of Sodom
The story of Sodom is frequently told with the interpretation that it condemns gay people
and that Sodom was destroyed because it tolerated homosexuals.
But that is only their interpretation and it is a wrong interpretation.
The author takes time to examine both the story of Sodom and the Biblical explanation as to why Sodom was destroyed.
The Bible says one thing and current Christian interpretation says the opposite.
That puts the current Christians who use their interpretation of the story of Sodom to condemn gays on the same footing
as the Sodomites themselves. They are in fact the true "sodomites" of today.
The author finally shows how ancient Jews understood the story of Sodom,
which is the same way that the author understands it today.
- Leviticus 18:22
Taken by itself (out of context), Leviticus 18:22 can be interpreted to say strange things. But what does the context of that verse really say?
When you include the context, Leviticus chapters 18-20, a whole new picture emerges that does not contradict but rather reinforces the Bible's core doctine.
- Transition From Tenach to New Testament
About four hundred years passed from the last writing in the Tenach to the first writing in the New Testament.
What happened to the people in the meantime. Did the Jews continue living in Judah and develop into the people that Jesus
dealt with? Or is the New Testament disjointed and has no connection with the Old Testament?
The author shows that the New Testament Jews were a product of their history, and so was the entire world.
The same fertility religions that was so strongly condemned by God in the Tenach survived and developed also.
The same challenges for Jews to be faithful to God in the Tenach also had to be dealt with by Christians in the New Testament.
- Romans 1:16 – 2:3
The current interpretation of Romans chapter 1 is almost totally incorrect. The author shows that while current
theologians teach it is talking about gentiles and homosexuals, in fact a close and proper examination of that passage
shows it is actually talking about the Jews and their wholesale abandonment of God for pagan religions. This is not
a new interpretation of the Bible. It is a close analysis and word-for-word examination of what is actually said.
- 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
The author offers a new interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. The current interpretation, which condemns gays, is just
the current interpretation. The author shows how that interpretation is inconsistent with he rest of the Bible.
Then he offers another interpretation, which is consistent with the Bible and the history of both Corinth and the world.
- Putting 1 Corinthians 6:9 in Context
The context of 1 Corinthians 6, verses 1-8, seem to offer a whole new insight to the meaning of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.
As usual, putting a verse into context enlightenes the meaning rather than obscuring it.
- What If I'm Wrong?
What if the author is wrong in his understanding of the Bible and its interpretation?
What if "Christian" gay-bashers are right and the author is wrong? The author divides what he says into two formats:
That which is directly taught by the Bible (such as the Core Doctrine) and that which he interprets and concludes.
He cannot be wrong about the former, because that is what the Bible says and he can point to it, word for word.
But if he is wrong in his interpretation and its application, then there are two possible results:
(1.) The Bible itself contradicts itself and cannot be trusted. Because in one place it says one thing and in another place
the author interprets it to agree with the first thing it said. If that is not true, then the Bible is an unreliable witness.
(2.) The other possibility, in which the Bible does not contradict itself and the author truly is wrong, he is wrong in minor
things that does not affect his message as a whole at all. He can learn, grow and develop, and still be right in his overall
- Identifying Who Is Who
This compares two sets of religious groups and how they relate to each other.
In the Bible there were Pharisees, Sadducees and other groups.
Today, there are Evangelicals, mainstream Christians and other groups.
The practices and doctrines of the first group are copied and mimicked in the second group.
The things that Jesus and Paul said to the first group applies perfectly to today's Christians.
- True Christians
Jews have different sects: Hasidic, Orthodox, Conservative and Reform. Many people in the Orthodox group do not recognize the
Reform as true Judaism. In the same way, Christians have different sects, Fundamentalists, Evangelicals, Mainstream and Liberal.
Those in the more conservative sects do not recognize those in other sects as true Christians. The author examines what it
means to be a true Christian. Who is actually saved, who is not, and why?
- The Offended One
Christians viciously attack gay Christians as if they are acting on behalf of an offended God. They are God's muscle,
God's executioners. But what does the Bible say about that? The story of Gideon in the book of Judges describe the same
thing, whereby Gideon insulted the pagan god Baal. Gideon's father told the townspeople, who were about to execute him, that
they should let Baal speak for himself if he's a god. In the same way, Christians today should let God judge people hearts
rather than taking it on themselves. The Bible clearly says that Jesus is the one and only judge of sin and we are forbidden
to do it for him.
- They Say We Say
The author discovers that even if his presentation is overwhelming and cannot be denied,
Christians will still find a way around it so that they get to hate and condemn gays anyway.
This level of evil is not justified in the Bible and never has been. It is their own evil hearts that lead them
to condemn gay Christians.
- Marriage, Adultery, Divorce
The author now turns to other issues in the Christian church: marriage, adultery and divorce. The same Christians that misinterpret
and apply the Bible to condemn gays do the same thing to people who commit adultery or get divorced. The author examines what the
Bible and Jesus actually say and teach, which is consistent with the Core Doctrine but the opposite of what current Christians say.
The author tries to apologize for taking an offensive tone and perhaps offending the very people he's talking to.
But the more he things about it, he seems to get angry all over again. Christians who condemn gay Christians have committed a
grave sin and are in danger themselves of the very consequences they so joyfully load on other people.