Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Simple Study Hints

For those who are new to Bible study, it might help to know how to find things you vaguely remember or have heard.

A good concordance is indespensable in studying the Bible. The verse I used in the previous study concerning our sin being removed as far as the east is from the west. I could not remember where it was in the Bible so I looked up the word west and found the verse by going through the references presented. Sometimes I may have to look up several verses to find the one I am thinking of.

A good reference Bible is necessary when studying on a particular subject. There are several good ones. I used a Scofield Reference Bible for many years, he also gives some footnotes that you may or may not agree with, which also contain references to other passages. The great part about a reference Bible is that you can start at the front of the Bible and follow a subject all the way through. I've heard good comments about a Thompson Chain Reference Bible too. I'm sure there are many others.

A good commentary can give a lot of help on a subject. This are written by people who have spent their lives studying and comparing scripture. If you draw a blank on a subject, a commentary can get you started on what it means. You can then go to the scriptures to confirm what you have read.

A Bible Dictionary is most helpful. The meaning of words change over time. 'Meat' is a good example. We wouild think that it meant flesh but in the Bible we have learned that it is never flesh but always vegetable. It will also contain the meaning of names. I use The Topical Reference Bible. It is bulky but has a dictionary, concordance, references and two Bibles: one in the traditional format and another broken down by subject i.e. Jesus, family. It is also called Dugan's topical Reference Bible A complete Analytical Study Edition.

Another way to get different angles of study is to listen to good teachers. I listened to Oliver B Greene for years and he still comes on radio. His books go verse by verse. Also, J Vernon Mcgee goes verse by verse and I also listened to him a lot. He provides study guides and there is a link on this website. Both men are dead now but their ministry goes on.

Running references will also make you more familiar with the Bible and you don't have to look up page numbers on Sunday Morning to find the book the preacher says to turn to. That's nice.

That is some of my ideas. One more thing. Reading the Bible can not be stressed enough. Just because you have heard stories over and over does not mean you can't learn something new by reading. Like when Saul was trying to kill David, did you know that one time David went around one side of a hill as Saul went around the other? Or did you know that David cut off Saul's garment and made it very short? Or that before David entered Jerusalem some of his men heard him wish for a drink from a well inside the city and they went and got him a drink? Did you know David poured it out and why?

There are lots of interesting details that you might never learn until you sit down and read the Bible because you want to read it.

I wish you good studying.

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