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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions about our free web sites: The Gospel Way, Bible Instruction, etc. To answer your questions about our Free Bible Study Lessons web site click here.

* Who sponsors your web sites, and what do you believe?
* What copyright restrictions are placed on your materials?
* Can I receive your materials by regular mail?
* Can you send us copies of your materials so we can distribute them to others?
* Do you have free advanced courses available?
* What translation of the Bible should I use with your materials?
* What do I do when I cannot access a page on your web site?
* Do you answer questions and respond to comments?
* What is the RSS feed mentioned on your web sites?
* My color printer prints the background color. What can I do?
* Can you provide me with a free Bible?
* Can we make a financial contribution to help with your work?
* Can you help me find a local church or a Christian to study with in my area?
* How can I distinguish when you are explaining Scripture from when you are quoting? 

Who sponsors your web sites, are you affiliated with a denomination, and what do you believe?

Occasionally people inquire about the religious views and/or affiliation of those who sponsor our web sites (The Gospel Way, Bible Study Lessons, Bible Instruction, etc.). This information is easily available on our site at the following link: www.gospelway.com/bio.htm

What copyright restrictions are placed on your materials?

All materials and all pages on our sites are copyrighted, whether or not they have an express copyright notice on them. For a statement of our guidelines for use of our materials by others, please go to our copyright guidelines page.

Can I receive your materials by regular mail?

As a general rule our policy is that we send out materials only online and by email. Regular mail is comparatively expensive and time consuming.

Since we live in northern Illinois (near Wisconsin), we do make exceptions for people who live in Illinois and Wisconsin. Other than that, our general rule is to send materials only online and by email.

If you don't own a computer, one thing you might try would be to go to a computer (wherever you can get access to one, such as at a library or a friend's house) and print out a few of our online lessons. You can then study them at home and answer the questions. Then the next time you have online access, you can fill in the answers to those lessons and send them to us. Then you can print out some more lessons, etc.

We are sorry if this inconveniences you, but we operate on a "shoestring" budget. We hope you understand.

Can you send us copies of your materials so we can distribute them to others?

Unfortunately, for financial reasons, we are unable to send out free copies of our materials for distribution. If you know people who have access to the Internet, we would gladly have them take our online courses or email us and we will send them materials by email.

We do not offer our free courses with the intent of making money or even receiving contributions. However, for those who are really interested, some of our materials are available for sale in quantity. See our Light to My Path web site for more information.

We always wish we could do more, but we hope these alternatives will be helpful.

Do you have free advanced courses available?

All the materials we have available are on our web sites. We have several Bible study courses available at our Free Bible Study Lessons web site at www.BibleStudyLessons.com. We also have free articles about various Bible study topics. These are available through our Gospel Way and Bible Instruction sites at www.gospelway.com and www.gospelway.com/instruct.

We are continually working to develop more materials for our Bible study sites. We encourage you to check back from time to time.

Also we have a monthly newsletter that contains a Bible study article each month and that informs our students of any new materials that we have recently placed online. If you would like to subscribe to that newsletter, please go to our Gospel Way web site and look for our Order Request Form.

What translation of the Bible should I use with your materials?

The menu page for each online Bible course lists the recommended translations for that course. Any of those translations should work well.

With the computer grading system, however, other translations may not work as well, simply because we cannot program the computer to accept all the variations in wording that may be found in various translations. For further information, so our note explaining the automatic grading system.

Even with lessons graded by our human graders, however, some translations might not work well, such as the looser modern "translations" that simply paraphrase the Scriptures, rather than attempting to give a true translation. An example of this would be The Living Bible.

What do I do when a file on your web site will not download to my computer?

When a file does not completely download to your computer, the reason is usually a problem somewhere in the Internet. As you know, the Internet is a conglomerate of millions of computers, and problems can occur anywhere along the line as our file is transferred to you.  

If a file does not transfer properly, you can attempt the following steps to solve the problem:  

1) If you tried to access the site by clicking on a "link," try typing the URL address directly into the appropriate line of your browser. Some have told me this will work even when clicking the link did not.

2) If still no results, try clicking on the "refresh" button in your software. This will attempt to download the file to your computer again.

3) Try closing as many programs on your computer as you can. I have found that sometimes lack of computer memory slows a browser down so much it cannot access a web site.

4) If you still have problems, you may try again at a different time. Sometimes the Internet is just "busy" and cannot complete a request until later. This is especially a problem during the evenings.

5) If you have tried the above approaches and still have problems, then please send us an email naming the file you were trying to download. See below to email us.

Do you answer questions and respond to comments?

The purpose of our web sites is to provide serious Bible students with quality materials to help them study the word of God for themselves. It is not our purpose to provide chat rooms or discussion groups. Other sites may provide that service, but that is not our purpose.

So we encourage our students to benefit from the materials we provide online. We have literally thousands of students taking our online Bible courses every year. We try to respond to their serious questions and brief comments about our online materials, but this of itself takes a significant amount of our time. All our graders are volunteers who have many other serious responsibilities. They grade lessons and respond to students in their "spare time." This means their time is limited.

Occasionally we receive emails requesting that we read, study, and/or respond to lengthy statements, frequent questions, published articles, or that we engage in other lengthy exchanges about religious topics. These discussions or materials may or may not be of serious religious value. However, while we have no desire to be unkind to anyone, quite frankly we generally do not have time to respond or to engage in such lengthy discussions or exchanges.

Again, we do not mean to be unkind, but if you would like to receive a response from us, we request that you please do the following:

1) If you are responding to something you read in one of our online courses or articles, please read and study the online material carefully and look up the pertinent passages cited before you send us your question or comment. Often the material we have published will answer the questions people have -- that is why we have published it! If your question or comment indicates to us that you have not seen our published materials or have not read them carefully, we will simply respond by referring you to our published material and urging you to read and study it carefully.

2) Please send just one or two brief questions and/or comments, and be specific. If you disagree, give specific evidence (especially Bible evidence) to demonstrate where you believe we are mistaken. Broad, general accusations, such as "You don't know what you're talking about," "You need to do more research," or "You're an idiot," are not helpful and will not receive a response!

3) Since the purpose of our sites is to examine the text of the Bible itself, please restrict questions and comments to the Bible text, rather than to religious history, quotations from theologians, etc.

4) Please focus on studying our online materials, rather than on lengthy, ongoing correspondence with us.

We try to do a service to our students by publishing materials for your benefit. But we regret that we simply do not have time for lengthy exchanges and communications. Thank you for being understanding.

What is the RSS feed mentioned on your Gospel Way and Bible Study Lessons web sites?

RSS is increasingly popular as a means to receive updates regarding new information available on your favorite Internet web sites. You need RSS feed reading software on your computer (some of which can be obtained for free). This is different software from a web site browser or email software (though some RSS readers can integrate with either of these). If you have SBC Yahoo, your My Yahoo! home page can also be set to show RSS feeds. When you open your RSS reader (or your My Yahoo page), it displays information about updates to the materials available on your favorite web sites. But this requires each of those web sites to maintain an RSS feed file (many do not yet do so). 

We have just set up an RSS feed so you can stay informed of new developments on our Gospel Way and Bible Study Lessons web sites. The URL address for our RSS page is http://www.religionofjesuschrist.com/bible_topics.xml (this address is also available as a link at the bottom of most pages on the web sites). Just enter this address as a feed channel in your My Yahoo! home page or RSS reader. You should then see a list of materials that have been recently added to our web sites. Whenever we update this list (about once a week or so), you will automatically be notified. 

When I print out your lessons, my color printer prints the background color. This wastes ink and is expensive. What can I do?

Most browsers have a fix for this problem. If you look through your options or preferences you should have an option that tells the printer not to print the background at all. If you select this option, the background color should not print.

Can you provide me with a free Bible?

Unfortunately, for financial reasons we are not in a position to give away free Bibles. Inexpensive Bibles can be obtained at most large department stores (KMart, Walmart, etc.). They are generally available for less than the cost of a month's online service.

You can also refer to many Bible texts online by going to the following site: Bible texts.

Can we make a financial contribution to help with your work?

We consistently advertise the materials on our Gospel Way and Free Bible Study Courses web sites as being "free," and we sincerely mean that in every way. We neither solicit nor accept funds for the materials on these sites. We have no desire whatever to be offensive in this. We just believe this is the best way for us to demonstrate our sincere commitment to helping people learn the truth without charge. We feel abundantly rewarded because we have been able to help souls learn the truth.

There are, however, some things our students can do to help in the work. (1) Students can continue to study the other materials we offer. (2) Students can tell their friends and loved ones about our materials and encourage them to participate. This would help us accomplish even more good by our work.

(Please note that we do charge a fee or accept payment for some materials on our sites. * Click here for more information about our payment policy.)

Can you help me find a local church or a Christian I can study with in my local area?

When our Bible students have carefully studied our online materials and want to find a local church or Christians in their area, when possible we are willing to direct them to a Christian in their area who may offer some preliminary help. But the primary purpose of our site is to provide Bible instruction. So before asking for information for local contacts in your area, please do study carefully the Bible lessons and articles found on our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/ or our other web sites. This will help you understand what you should look for in a local church.

We may live a significant distance from you, and we work by word of mouth (somebody knows somebody who knows somebody), so our efforts may take a while and may or may not be fruitful. Also, it is possible that finding a faithful church may require a significant drive from where you live. 

Above all, you need to be aware that we do not claim to identify any local church as being completely faithful in all things. We act, not in any authoritative capacity, but only by suggesting someone who may help you in starting your search. You must then investigate further and reach your own conclusions based your study and application of the Scriptures.

Thank you for your interest in our free Bible study opportunities.

* How can I distinguish when you are explaining Scripture from when you are quoting? 

Some have apparently had trouble distinguishing when we are explaining a passage in our notes from when we are quoting. The rule is really simple: Do not assume we are quoting unless we put words in quotation marks! Sometimes our explanations are so closely worded to Scripture that they may seem indistinguishable. Nevertheless, we do not claim to be quoting unless we actually use quotation marks. 

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