Theme: Making Bible study personal, practical, and profitable.
- Bible study can seem like a daunting task (boring to others).
- For some, simply reading the Bible taxes the mind and brings about physical exhaustion.
- The sub conscience might reason: If Bible reading is this taxing stay how much harder studying it!
- Like anything else, however, you get out what you put in.
- Many don’t study because they don’t have the tools and those who do don’t know how to use them to help them in their study.
- Then, there is the study itself that can seem so rigid or filled with life!
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
- Indispensible resources:
- Differing translations: literal (NASB), modern (ESV), easy reading (NIV).
- Differing dictionaries: definitionalencyclopedic; original language (HebrewGreek) lexicons.
- Differing commentaries: devotional, pastoral, scholarly etc.
- Maps: public domain; modern maps (with updated information)
- Simple but most powerful/flexible: Logos Bible Software.
- Free (quite useful): E-Sword.
MAKING IT ALL COME TOGETHER
- Adding a “layer” of context to your study: archaeology.
- Example: Ephesians 2:14.
- Through archaeology artifacts shed light into the understanding of passages found in the Bible.
- Archaeological website: www.bib-arch.org
- Gleaning from external sources (where/when available).
- “The Book of wars of the Lord”; “Book of Jashar”; etc. Cp. Num. 21:14; 2 Sam. 1:18
- Other ancient historians: Herodotus (cp. 2 Ki. 18-19; Isa. 36-37; Micah); Sennacherib’s prism
- As more ancient artifacts and literature are found such only confirms the validity of the Scriptures, but more important for believers: enhances our understanding of it.
CONCLUSION ~ LIFE APPLICATION
- No study has any genuine value unless it affects you personally.
- Only when we see the effect of Jesus’ death/resurrection for our sins…do we see a desperate need for salvation.
- Only by connecting other passages, concepts of the Bible to God’s plan for saving us from our sins – do these studies truly come to life for each one personally.