I continue to receive requests to publish my study called, “Keys To Scripture Knowledge.” This series was originally done for teenagers but is applicable to anyone wanting to deepen their understanding of the “bigger picture” of Scripture. I have highlighted twelve distinct areas that need to be grasped in order to have a better understanding of how Scripture fits together.
In this first segment, I have highlighted the important aspects of Bible Study in general and why it is transformational to your life.
to Bible Study
When you study the Word of God, you should do so with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of its truths. Without a solid grasp on the various methods of study and the tools available for your use, Bible study can be difficult and frustrating.
As a believer, you have been called to “Study” or to be “diligent” to show God that you are serious about your faith in Christ. ( 2 Tim. 2:15) To be serious about something requires that you have some proper tools for the task. It’s like trying to learn a new skill for the first time without any help.
Unfortunately for many people, that’s exactly what happens. We all have been told that we need to be studying God’s Word and we agree. But all the while, we are saying to ourselves, “I wish someone would show me how because I don’t know what I’m doing… or where to go to find out.”
Every believer needs to know what God’s Word teaches. Without a clear understanding of its truth, you open yourself up to being carried about by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14). You are unable to discern the false from the truth. The person that knows the truth will not be easily deceived by counterfeits.
The following brief section on Bible study is intended to help equip you to become a better Bible student. Several different Bible study methods are explained with instructions and examples.
Follow the instructions as closely as possible. You will hopefully gain an understanding of the various methods and tools. Not only will you enjoy using them now, but these helpful techniques will be a great asset to your own personal Bible study throughout your entire life!
As you work your way through this study, as the Lord for help in prayer. The Holy Spirit will guide you as learn to apply these new techniques. It will be a blessing to you as you journey down the road in your spiritual walk.
BIBLE STUDY HELPS
You need Bible study tools or helps to study the Bible effectively. If possible, invest in a study Bible.
A good study Bible is an essential tool for any student of the Word. This type of Bible usually contains a cross-reference system, maps, concordances, and various study helps. It is critical to understand that the commentary offered by the author (s) is not inspired. It is the words of Scripture which are inspired, not the words of men (2 Tim. 3:16-17). While The information provided in many study Bibles is very helpful, this factual information is often mixed with man’s opinions. Feel free to add your own thoughts and outlines in your Bible. Underline and highlight key verses that have special meaning to you.
If you’ve shopped for a Bible recently you know that there is a plethora of good choices. Be aware of the difference between a study Bible and a paraphrase Bible. A translated Bible, like the KJV or NASB for example, attempts to communicate as word-for-word or thought-for thought as much as possible. A paraphrase takes the meaning of a verse or passage of Scripture and attempts to express the meaning in “plain language,” essentially the words the author of the paraphrase would use to say the same thing. A paraphrase Bible should not be used as your primary Bible.
So which Study Bible is best? That’s a tough question! Make sure you choose a translation that is known for it’s accuracy and commitment to stay close to the original language. In my own personal study I have found several good translations that meet this criteria including, but not limited to the NASB, KJV, NKJV, ESV, and NIV.
What about the “Study” portion of the Study Bible? Again there is a good variety of choices here that really come down to personal preference. A few choices I have found particularly helpful have been the the Ryrie Study Bible, the Thompson Chain-Reference, and the MacArthur Study Bible. My best advice is to get a hold of each of them, look through them and dive in!
Commentaries explain many Bible texts so you can more easily understand their message. A commentary may or may not contain accurate interpretations, depending on the author. Commentaries are available in helpful one-volume editions or in individual editions. Here again the sky seems to be the limit. Ask someone you trust to recommend some good sources for you.
If you are just looking for something fairly basic to help you understand what you are reading I highly recommend The Bible Knowledge Commentary by Warren Wiersbe, author of the “BE” Series. I can recommend more at your request.
A great site is www.blueletterbible.org. This site allows you to study with a huge selection of translations (including Greek & Hebrew), as well as commentaries, reference materials and other study aids.
Biblegateway.com is another one of my favorites. It has reading plans, topical searches, almost all the translations, and other useful helps.
As you begin this study stop and evaluate your relationship with Christ. Be honest with yourself. How are you really doing? On a scale from 1-10 how would you rate your current spiritual walk? Never be satisfied with where you are, strive to always give God your very best effort.
Did you realize that the type of music you listen to can greatly influence your outlook on life? Would you be willing to swap music files with Jesus Christ? What about the stuff you feed your eyes TV, Movies… would Christ be comfortable watching or looking at it with you? You get the idea, be careful out there, as a young believer, you have become the enemy of Satan. He wants to influence every area of life to make you as ineffective for Christ as he can. Don’t let him have any victory in your life!!