James T. Bartsch

"For Ezra had set his heart to study the law of the LORD and to practice it and to teach His statutes and ordinances in Israel."
Ezra 7:10

Information about the Author, James T. Bartsch, his Experience, his Theological Framework, the Standard Operating Procedures (including Outline Style)  of WordExplain.com, and Interim Pastor Ministries, under whom he has been serving as an interim pastor. See his current status.

About --

B. A., Grace University, Omaha, NE, 1969

Th. M., Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, TX, 1974

Served various churches as pastor from 1974 - 2013

Joined Interim Pastor Ministries, January, 2014 - November, 2021.

Presently Semi-Retired, living in Omaha, NE, and attending Crosspoint Bible Church. He works part time as a receptionist at John A. Gentleman Mortuaries and Crematory in Omaha, NE. 
The Author, James T. Bartsch

My parents gave me the name of James Timothy Bartsch. In my early years I was Jimmy. I changed the name to Jim when I entered Santa Fe Jr. High School in Newton, Kansas.

I am a member of the New Jerusalem Catholic Church. I say New Jerusalem, because that will be the eternal capital city of the Universal Church, which will have no sectarian or denominational boundaries. New Jerusalem will also be the eternal capital city of the redeemed State of Israel. You can't get more Jewish than "New Jerusalem!" You become a member of the New Jerusalem Catholic Church by trusting in Jesus as the Messiah, the Ultimate Prophet, Priest, King, and Judge. He is God's "only-born" Son (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9).

I grew up in Newton, Kansas, the son of the late John T. and Florence M. Toevs Bartsch. A Godly home graced by two parents who loved each other, loved God, studied the Bible, were faithful in church attendance, and who loved and taught their six children was the Sovereignly - bestowed blessing he inherited.

Jim attended Newton Public Schools through Grade 8, then attended an excellent Christian High School, Berean Academy, 12 miles east of Newton in Elbing, Kansas.

Jim attended Grace College of the Bible (later, Grace University, now disbanded) in Omaha, NE, where he met his supportive wife Esther, herself the daughter of a committed Mennonite Pastor, Abraham H. Schultz and his dedicated wife Catherine. Jim completed the Pre-Seminary Course, and received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1969.

In 1974 Jim completed a Master of Theology Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary, in Dallas, Texas.  He majored in Bible Exposition.

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From 1974 to 1978, Jim served as Pastor of Rexford Community Church of Rexford, Kansas, a small town of 300 on the Golden Plains of Northwest Kansas.

      Jim and Esther, along with their two young sons, flew to Adelaide, South Australia June 15, 1978.  Jim served as Youth Pastor of Edwardstown Baptist Church from 1978-82.  During his last year there, he and several other pastors, led by Rev. Ian Dunn and Rev. Paul Hoogenraad, helped found Adelaide College of Ministries. This college continues as an excellent "hands-on" ministry-oriented Bible College that services not only Klemzig, South Australia, but the broader Pacific region.  Graduates now serve in twelve different countries.  The Bartsches' third son and only daughter were born in Adelaide. 

      Between 1982 and 1986, the Bartsch family lived in Omaha, NE.   Jim sold sanitation supplies with Levenson Industrial Supply, Inc., briefly pastored Grace Bible Church, and helped paint apartments for such managing firms as NP Dodge.

      From 1986 to 1991, Jim taught Bible classes for Grades 7-12 at James Valley Christian School in Huron, South Dakota.  Teaching at that level forced him to simplify the Bible and to develop some easy ways to teach theology.

      Returning to ministry in a local church, Jim served as Pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Newell, Iowa from 1991 to 2002.

      In 2002, Jim and Esther left Iowa for the beautiful Flint Hills of East Central Kansas to pastor the Flint Hills Community Church in Cottonwood Falls. He pastored there from 2002-2013.

      In January of 2014 Jim began working with Interim Pastor Ministries. As of November, 2021, he has completed the interim process with six different churches, one in North Dakota, two in Iowa, one in Wisconsin, one in South Dakota, and one in Mountain Lake, Minnesota.

      After retiring from IPM, Jim and Esther moved to their home in Omaha, Nebraska. They have made Crosspoint Bible Church their  church home.

      Presently Jim is semi-retired and works part time at John A. Gentleman Mortuaries and Crematory. He continues to add studies and links to WordExplain.com.

    Theological Framework

      I grew up in a home where the Scofield Bible was standard fare.  My church roots, my Christian High School, my Bible College, and my Seminary training all reinforced that persuasion.

Dallas Seminary is historically dispensational in its orientation, and so am I. Dispensational theology is based on a historical, grammatical, and literal interpretation of the Scriptures that understands completely the role of metaphors and figures of speech. 

 I use the same method of exegeting and interpreting the Scriptures in the epistles that I do in the gospels and in the historical narratives of the Old Testament. Hebrew poetry in the prophets and the Psalms and other wisdom literature requires special consideration.  Predictive prophetic literature such as is found in portions of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, some of the Minor Prophets, and the book of Revelation presents its unique challenges of symbolism, but there are many entities that are literal, not symbolic. Clearly, the numbers in Revelation are literal numbers, for example.  To understand Revelation, one must understand Daniel and the Old Testament prophets, which make amazing predictions.  In my opinion, only a dispensational framework enables one to explain and correlate a myriad of Old Testament prophecies.

I am not particularly hung up on how many dispensations there are.  The important point is to understand that God works with different peoples in different ways at different times. That is the simplest definition of dispensationalism I know.  In other words, just because God worked with Adam and Eve a certain way in their innocence does not demand that He work the same way after their fall.  Clearly, when God began to work with Abraham, He started a whole new trend.  The difficulty comes when Bible students and teachers employ a non-literal hermeneutic that results in Replacement Theology, the view that the Church replaces Israel.  That theology, in my view, simply cannot be supported by a consistent hermeneutic (method of interpretation).

The five books of Moses (Torah), the historical narratives, certain Psalms, and the Old Testament prophets are unanimous in their view that God made certain promises to Abraham, to his son Isaac, to his son Jacob and Jacob's twelve sons that can only be explained by a literal people, Israel, in a literal land with specific geographic boundaries, the land which I deliberately choose to call Israel (not Palestine and most certainly not "occupied territories").  One cannot read the Old Testament in an objective way without concluding that God has a future for His chosen people, people which, unfortunately, have largely forsaken their God over the past centuries.  Paul's Israel apologetic (Rom. 9-11) teaches that God has temporarily placed Israel on the shelf (so to speak) in order to bring in the Gentiles (nations of the world) into His blessings through Jesus Christ.  But that temporary turning of God to the Gentiles is designed to provoke Israel to jealousy.  One day God's tactics will be successful.  God's chosen people, the Jewish people, will some day understand that Yeshua is their Messiah.

(Zec 12:10)  "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.

At that time the Jewish Messiah will begin a reign over the entire earth!  It will come about that the peace and  prosperity the world yearns for will finally have arrived!  I can hardly wait for that time!

(Zec 14:9)  And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.

(Isa 2:2-4)  Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it. {3} And many peoples will come and say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths." For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. {4} And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.

Only when Israel is rightly related to her Messiah will there be peace and prosperity for us Gentile nations.  To me it is impossible to make sense out of the Bible without this framework.

I am a conservative. That affects my philosophical, theological, and political views. Politics and theology intersect on many occasions. Cosmologically, I believe in a young earth because I believe that is what the book of Genesis conveys. I fear that, unfortunately, many Bible scholars have been influenced by an evolutionary cosmology more than they care to admit, or perhaps, are even aware of.  I do not see any gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 5 and 11.

My view of the Scripture is a high one.  I believe that the Bible is "God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16) and therefore accurate and unassailable as the Word of God.  Our Lord said the following about the Scriptures:

(Mat 5:17-19)  "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. {18} "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. {19} "Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

I know, of course, that we do not possess original manuscripts.  However the care that the Hebrew Masoretes took in preserving the accuracy of the Old Testament Scriptures is barely short of miraculous. We have massive New Testament manuscript support, and even though there are minor variations in the text in places, there is no significant doctrine that is in question.  For all practical purposes, we can hold a word for word translation of the Scriptures in our hands and say, "We have the Word of God." 

The Doctrinal Statement of James T. Bartsch

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Doctrinal Statement of James T. Bartsch

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Standard Operating Procedure

Version of the Bible

I make no claims to being a Bible Scholar.  I know my limitations in the original languages of Greek and especially Hebrew.  I have never studied Aramaic and certainly not Arabic.  But my goal is to reflect accurately what God meant to say through the Biblical writers.

It is for that reason that I have opted for the New American Standard Bible as my version of choice.  I have no quibbles with the accuracy of the King James.  It is, indeed, a very accurate translation. Unfortunately it uses an English language that is now several hundred years old.  For those of you who wish to stick with the King James, I would encourage you to move to the New King James.

The New American Standard Bible is based on what I believe to be is a more accurate textual family than is the King James and New King James.  That is an additional reason why I choose the NASB over the NKJV.

Although most today opt for the New International Version, in my limited experience with the original languages, too often the NIV paraphrases or uses different English words for the same Hebrew or Greek words.  I am interested in the original language words behind the English language of our translations, and so I appreciate the greater consistency, time after time, in the New American Standard. Unfortunately, the NIV 2011 has succumbed to a gender-neutered philosophy motivated, in my view, by the destructive dogma of feminism. I cannot recommend the NIV 2011.

For those of you who do not live in the United States or who were born elsewhere, I apologize for the "American-ness" of the name of the version I have chosen. My preferred version is not meant to be a vote for America. God loves all the nations of the world. That is why He sent His Son (John 3:16)! 

Function over Form

I strive for accuracy in reflecting the Biblical text.  In my Analytical Outlines of the Books of the Bible, Function takes precedence over Form.  Some of my titles may be wordy, but that is because I am trying to pick up important elements in a particular paragraph or section of the Biblical text.

Others, like Warren Wiersbe, have a beautiful way of accurately reflecting God's Word in well-turned phrases that have symmetry and, almost, melody.  That does not appear to be my gift.  I strive for accuracy, and consequently some of my titles are, admittedly, cumbersome.  I beg your pardon and your indulgence.

The Names of God

In my efforts to be accurate, I frequently, but not always, choose, particularly in the Old Testament, to use English equivalents of the Hebrew names of God.  I respect Orthodox Jewry's desire to protect the name of God by not spelling it out.  I appreciate the motivation behind their policy, but I disagree with it respectfully. I believe God wants His name praised throughout the earth (Psalm 66:4).

The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is identified by three primary names in the Hebrew Scriptures.  Most English translations use the names God, LORD, and Lord.  In my outlines I frequently prefer to use transliterations of the Hebrew.  I often use the Hebrew plural Elohim rather than God.  I use Adonai rather than Lord.  For LORD, rather than use the English "Jehovah," which represents the Jewish deliberate mis-spelling of God's covenant name which He emphasized with Moses (Exod. 3:14-16), I use what is probably the original name, "Yahweh," derived from the verb "to be."

(In the New Testament Jesus' response (John 8:58), "before Abraham was born, I AM" indicated clearly that Jesus claimed to be the Yahweh of the Old Testament!  It is no wonder that His disbelieving audience picked up stones to kill him, but did not succeed!)

Frequently in the OT Prophets, Yahweh is addressed as "LORD of hosts."  English readers are largely unaware that "hosts" is a military term.  I typically render the phrase "Yahweh of Troops" to identify more readily the strategic name of God.  Those who perceive of God as only a God of love are sadly mistaken.  The name "Yahweh of Troops" signifies that there is a cosmic war between Good and Evil, between God and Satan.  The "Troops" are undoubtedly God's usually unseen army of angels, "assisted" at various times by a visible Israeli army in the Old Testament. God's army is most strikingly illustrated in in 2 Kings 6:8-23 and in Daniel 10:1-14.

Outline Style

Donald Tschetter, long time Academic Dean at Grace University in Omaha, Nebraska, introduced us students to a method of outlining that readily alerts a reader to the level of the outline he is studying.  I have employed his method.

Level 1 is A1, A2, etc.; 

Level 2 is B1, B2, etc.; 

Level 3 consists of C's - C1, C2, C3, etc.  

D's are Level 4, 

E's Level 5, and so on.

In the event a reader would prefer a more traditional style, arrangements can be made to supply the preferred style.  Please contact the author at jbartsch@wordexplain.com with your request and an explanation of a modest fee structure.


WordExplain.com has arisen out of my intense desire to communicate God's Word to people.  It is my desire that God will use these humble reflections of mine over a number of decades to bring glory to Himself.

Dr. Howard Hendricks challenged us, years ago in Dallas Seminary, to study a book of the Bible a paragraph at a time.  He encouraged us to use those wonderful working questions of WHO?, WHAT?, WHEN?, WHERE?, and HOW?.  The last question, WHY?, I have found is perhaps the most instructive question AFTER the others have been used.  It often affords striking insight into God's ways.

Dr. Hendricks encouraged us to give a title to each paragraph we studied, and to spend a month in a particular Bible Book.  After I finally gave heed to his advice in 1980, six years after graduating from DTS, I discovered two things.  (1) I couldn't get by with only one month, particularly in the lengthy books.  So I ignored his advice and took as long as necessary to go through a book.  (2) After I had given titles to each of the paragraphs in a book, I felt somehow short-changed.  So I began to go further.  I grouped paragraphs that had related titles into a group and gave that group a title.  Then I began to group groups and gave that new group a title.  Finally, I found I had constructed an analytical outline of the entire book, with titles to at least the paragraph level and sometimes deeper.

I found these analytical outlines to be enormously helpful when I would later go to teach or preach from a book of the Bible.  After awhile I began to make a policy that I would not teach or preach from a Bible book until I had first gone entirely through the book and constructed an analytical outline.  That way, any particular paragraph or chapter I taught from could be placed in a proper context.

I submit these analytical outlines to you in the hopes that they would help you understand the Scriptures, and furthermore, that you would be challenged to conduct your own independent, inductive Bible study!

It is my hope at some point to introduce on this site Books of the Bible completely and exhaustively outlined with the complete Bible text inserted between the points.  That project awaits an enormous amount of effort and copyright considerations.  The section on Psalms illustrates that approach for the moment.

Interim Pastor Ministries

Interim Pastor Ministries is a missional network of Interim Pastors who serve churches in pastoral transition.

Our goal is to serve, support and strengthen churches during their transitional season. We build a bridge from one pastor to the next with kingdom effectiveness and impact in view.
Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM) is a proven ministry.   We were begun in 1990.  Rev. Turner Tallaksen and Dr. Arnie Conrad were the first two Executive Directors. In 23 years IPM has served over 850 churches. We have 130 quality, evangelical Pastors on our staff.  At any one time, 40-50 churches are utilizing the service of one of our interim, staff pastors.

If you are a church seeking an interim pastor or a pastor interested in being trained and serving as an interim pastor, IPM has a great deal to offer you..

Rev. Tom Harris is the Executive Director of IPM. He can be reached at 800-501-7117 or emailed at ipmdirector@gmail.com

(Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.  Used by Permission.)

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Page Updated May 9, 2024