Why I give the Bible Studies Away for Free!
I give the studies, articles, and commentaries away for free on this site because the essence of ministry is to minister. The dictionary definition of minister means to give aid or service. In the New Testament the word “minister” is translated from the Greek word which means “servant.” My desire is to minister to the body of Christ and to answer legitimate questions about Christianity and the Bible when e-mail inquiries are received. No Christian, who has a ministry website, should be charging one red cent for any Bible studies. If every ministry, even the so-called "professional" ministries which are on radio or TV, gave their studies away instead of charging for their materials, there would be much more Christian materials available for download and distribution. Scion of Zion has been on the Internet since November 20,1997 and before that since 1996 on a free Earthlink website. I have never charged one red cent for any of the studies. It is a privilege to study and bring forth the studies to help other Christians, especially the younger believers because they are the next generation, if there is one. Let me give you some reasons for giving the studies away:
1) Many Christians worldwide cannot afford to pay the outrageous prices for Christian material. Some books cost $20-50 and that is as much as some Christians make in a year in other countries. So we help those Christians by not charging them.(Mat 10:8 KJV) Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. The principle is found in Matthew 10:8 where we receive the Gospel for free and so we give it for free. I also do not place any fancy graphics on the pages so this way when someone downloads, they will get the article and not a lot of nonsense. This is especially important in foreign countries where paper and ink is expensive and really dents the budget. That is why you will see a simple format on all the studies.
2) Charging for materials shows no faith in God.(Heb 11:6 KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. When ministries state that they will send you a book or something for a certain amount, they are in essence stating that they do not believe that God will bring in the money necessary for dissemination of materials. If ministries truly believe what they preach, there would be no charge for any of the materials and they would leave it up to the Lord to bring funds sufficient to cover ministry expenses. I wonder how many times a ministry has charged $25 for some materials and if they would have left it up to the Lord in faith, they would have received much more than that. It is a shame that the majority of ministries are run as businesses. They walk by sight and not by faith. This is why at the end of the year they are begging, pleading, and groveling to pay all their bills by Dec. 31. Their problem is that they go to the stones instead of the Rock.
3) Charging for materials exalts the writer. Just because someone is on radio or TV does not mean they have a better relationship to God than the rest of us Christians. In fact, I have seen many so-called “famous Christians” who have given the worst interpretations of Scripture and the most twisted understandings. The problem is that they rely on their fame and not their ability to study the Bible. In fact, many of them use ghost writers. There is no one so profound that they have to charge for their materials. The problem is that many of them sell books based upon who they are rather than what is contained in the writings.
4) At present I offer 32 complete commentaries, verse by verse, on the entire New Testament plus Daniel, Proverbs, Judges, Haggai and Ezekiel 37, for free. In stores these commentaries could cost from $10-$50. This means that you could spend from $240-$1200 for 24 books. I have looked at quite a number of these “store bought” commentaries and the authors disseminate mass confusion. They use multiple versions of the Bible, multiple Hebrew and Greek Texts, many quotations from other writers, and by time you get done reading their commentaries, you are more confused than when you started out. My desire is to focus on one verse at a time and extract the principles and spiritual truths found in those verses. I do not clump verses together in an effort to avoid the hard ones. Each commentary is verse by verse including Revelation. I have a commentary on Proverbs by Harry Ironside and he takes many verses, clumps them together by 2 and as much as 4 and then comments on the group very glibly but because he is Harry Ironside, it is acceptable. I just went on to Amazon and priced his commentary on 1 & 2 Corinthians, the price was $22.79, I offer them for free. (12/28/09) See if Amazon gives them for free.
5) There are hundreds of articles and studies on various subjects and even by other authors which are available for free. There is no such thing on this site as send $5 and I will unlock a certain amount of studies. What if the Lord handled these ministry sites like that? What if He decided to unlock a certain amount of blessings if they sent a certain amount of money to another ministry? On Scion of Zion, every study, article, and commentary is open and available from the moment it is uploaded. I also offer a 13 part Foundational Study for New Christians absolutely free.
6) There is no copyright on any of the studies which means that you are free to use them in any manner you need except for sales. There is no permission needed to down load any of the studies or commentaries. If there are any articles which are copyrighted, they are here with the understanding that they are to be given out for free or else they will not be on this site. Try copying some of the works of the “famous people” and right away they want to take you to court. You are safe to surf and down load here all you want.
These are 6 basic reasons as to why the Scion of Zion site is free to all believers. Please do not e-mail me and tell me I am exalting myself because I am not, I am basically pointing out my ministry beliefs and method of operation which is in accord with the Bible. I will never charge for any studies because I believe, as long as the Lord lends me breath, that He will supply all that I need to maintain this on-line ministry. I don’t need the gimmicks of unlocking studies for a certain amount of money or requiring funds for permission to down load a study. If someone wants to send funds to help maintain the site, that is fine, but is never necessary in exchange for any studies, they are free to all and no one should feel guilty about taking studies from this site for free because it is free. I hope you understand a little bit more of my philosophy of ministry.
Dr. Ken Matto