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How to study the Bible - Bible Study Tools


HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE

      Lesson Five: Bible Study Tools  by Brother bob...<>< 

{Please note: Many of these same Bible Study Tools are available free on-line for you to use anytime at   http://www.biblestudytools.net}

Dear Friends in Christ,

One important point to always remember as you approach studying God's Word is to submit yourself to the power and person of the Holy Spirit to teach you what His Word means. There are many teachers and preachers and writers of books and scholars who would like to tell you what the Bible means, but there is only One Holy Spirit who actually wrote it using the instrumentality of chosen men of God, and knows exactly what it means. He is also waiting for you to yield yourself to His teaching as you study this Holy Book. Before you go to study His Word, pray a simple prayer like this,

"Lord God, Holy Spirit, teach me what You want me to know from your Word today. I want to cast aside all my pre-conceived ideas about your Word, and submit myself to Your teaching. It is in Jesus' Name I pray this. Amen"

God Bless you as you study His Word.
In Christ....brother bob.....<><

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There are a number of very helpful Bible study tools:

1. King James Version of the Bible

We start out with the King James version for a number of reasons:
(The following is quoted from http://www.jesus-is-lord.com/bible.htm , "The Most Important Book in the Universe" , author unknown.

"The Holy Bible is the Authorized King James Version of 1611. The Bible is the best selling book of all time. The King James Bible has served Christians, and unbelievers (as a savour unto death), for almost 400 years and has brought millions to the life saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The King James Bible is the culmination of the ancient Bibles begun by Wycliffe..... According to Dr. Jewell Smith, the King James Bible produced more martyrs than any other Bible. Blood, tears, imprisonment, torture, trial and tribulation went into every page of THAT BOOK." 

There are also many other reasons to start with the KJV. The KJV starts from Original Greek and Hebrew texts which are much older and more complete than the texts used for many of the Modern Versions. Some 155 verses are missing, for example, from the New International Version, because of the texts used to translate it. These missing verses tend to demean the Diety of Christ, and impact dozens of other important Bible Doctrines so important to our faith. (See http://www.chick.com/catalog/books/0132.asp?FROM=biblecenter )
According to the book, "If the Foundations Be Destroyed" by Chick Salliby, some of the doctrines which the NIV translation tends to have a negative impact on are:

Redemption, Christ's Eternal Existence, Christ's Deity, Deity Provable in Christ as Judge, Christ the Creator, Christ the Son of God, Virgin Birth, Also Concerning Christ's Birth, Christ's Incarnation, Christ's Omnipresence, Worship of Christ, Christ's Commission, Christ's Miracles,Christ the Comforter, Christ's Teachings and Words, Christ's Teaching on Eternal Punishment, Christ's Teaching on Prayer and Fasting, Steps to the Cross, Trial, Crucifixion, and Resurrection, Ascencion and Glorification of Christ, Christ's Priesthood, Christ's Lordship, Christ's Grace, Christ's Return, Christ's Eternal Existence (Future), Title "Lord", Title "Christ", Title "Jesus", Names and Titles of Jesus Omitted in the NIV.

You can see that these are serious problems. Anyway, there are even more practical reasons to use the KJV as your main source as a study Bible source:

1) The KJV appears to be the closest thing to a word for word translation of the original Greek and Hebrew texts. I found this out by studying the Bible using the KJV and the Strongs Exhaustive Concordance (an essential companion to the KJV Bible). In the Strong's, every word of the KJV Bible is listed in a group together with every time that English word occurs in the BIble. Each english word is given a reference number, and each reference number refers to either the Hebrew (Old Testamen) or Greek (New Testament) dictionary in the back of the book. These dictionaries, then, list the meaning in the original language, and the origin of the word from other words in the original language, and the various ways the word is translated in the KJV Bible. The more you use this treasure, the more valuable you see it is to get as close to the correct meaning of a verse as possible, and avoid confusion due to mistranslations or misapplications of words.

2) There are many other valuable Bible study tools which have been created since about the early 1900's, which not only were all originally based on the KJV translation, but some of which also refer to the Strong's Dictionary reference numbers, which again are based on KJV words. Don't be put off by the fact that these references are "so old"... the fact is that they are very scholarly and helpful Bible references, and in many cases modern Bible Software packages converted them to digital and searchable form "as written" over a hundred years ago now. This testifies to me of their timeless value.

3) As you study the KJV using the Strong's concordance, you see the Genius of the Holy Spirt in the arrangement and "searchable-ness" of the translation. For example, it is very easy to trace one doctrine of the Scriptures through the KJV Bible by doing  a "search" on a single word. It must be stated that every english word may be translated by one or more Hebrew or Greek words, but you can still trace one topic using the same Hebrew or Greek word by searching for the same number word. You thereby don't need to be a scholar of these languages (although that would be nice). There are, however, various verb tenses of the original words and other grammatical properties of the original language which are not given in the Strongs, but there are other Bible Study Tools which do help out with these things. 

Other Helpful Translations

Having said all of the above, there are a few different translations which I use as a quick help to understand a Bible passage when the KJV is just too inscrutible:

1) The Amplified Bible. This Bible contains verb tenses, word meanings, explanations, right in the verse itself, and encouragingly enough, seems to surround these things with the KJV translation in the same verse. It is a scholarly done, reference Bible, which may be difficult to read as easily as reading a newspaper, but it is a valuable companion to the KJV and the Strongs.

2) The Expanded New Testament by Kenneth Wuest. This version of the New testament was written by a Greek Scholar, and attempts to express the difficult to understand Greek verb tenses into an English Translation. The reading is a bit unusual, because Greek does not easily translate into English because Greek is a more complex language than English. However, once you get accustomed to reading it, the same as for the Amplified, it is helpful and well worth the effort. 

3) The Living Bible - I use the Living Bible for the reason that it reads as simply as a newspaper. There are many passages in the KJV that are difficult to comprehend on their own. This is because the KJV was written in 1611, and much of the vocabulary used in it has changed, some of the word orders and of course the "thee's and thou's" which we all stumble over. When writing a devotional for the internet, for example, one must make the teachings as understandable as possible to people whose first language may not be English. Many English speakers have trouble with some of the KJV verbage, so imagine how someone from another language skill feels. And remember, whenever your pastor reads a passage out of the KJV or any other translation, and then says "in other words..." , he is giving you his own paraphrase of that passage. The Living Bible is a whole Bible full of such paraphrases, but written by Greek and Hebrew scholars. 

The next lesson will discuss even more Bible Study Tools. 

God Bless you as you Study God's Word.

In Christ....brother bob.......<><

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--Bible Study Verses to Ponder--

2 Tim 2:14-16 (KJV)
 Of these things put them in remembrance, 
charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, 
but to the subverting of the hearers. 

{15} Study to show thyself approved unto God, 
a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, 
rightly dividing the word of truth. 
{16} But shun profane and vain babblings:
 for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

2 Tim 2:14-16 AMPLIFIED
 

14 Remind [the people] of these facts 
and [solemnly] charge them in the presence of the Lord 
to avoid petty controversy over words, 
which does no good but upsets and undermines the faith of the hearers.

15 Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God 
approved (tested by trial), 
a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, 
correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

16 But avoid all empty (vain, useless, idle) talk,
 for it will lead people into more and more ungodliness.

2 Tim 2:14-16 (TLB-The Living Bible) 
Remind your people of these great facts,
 and command them in the name of the Lord 
not to argue over unimportant things. 
Such arguments are confusing and useless and even harmful. 

{15} Work hard so God can say to you, "Well done." 
Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed 
when God examines your work.
 Know what his Word says and means.
 {16} Steer clear of foolish discussions
 that lead people into the sin of anger with each other. 

2 Tim 2:14-16 (Expanded Translation)
{14}These things be constanly reminding them,
charging them in the presence of God
not to be continually wrangling about empty and trifling matters,
which results in not one useful thing, 
since it ruins those who hear.
{15}Bend your every effort to present yourself to God,
approved, a workman unashamed,
expounding soundly the Word of Truth.
{16}But with reference to unhallowed and empty discussions,
give them wide berth, 
for they will progress toward more impiety towards God, 
and their word will spread as does a cancer.

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God Bless You.....brother bob.......<><

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