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Bible Study Techniques and Tips


By Rachel Lower

John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (KJV)

Supplies

You need a Bible, for one thing! I normally use a KJV (King James Version), but most any version will do. I would recommend either KJV or NRSV. It is also nice to have a bible with spaces for notes, or pages right in the back for notes. The Bible is the most important tool of any kind, the 'Sword'.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (KJV)

The Bible was penned by forty different authors (Kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, and scholars). In deserts, in prisons, in palaces, on Islands, Asia, Africa, Europe, etc. With a wide variety of emotions and personalities.) Over a 1500 year period, from about 1400 BC to 100 AD and in 3000 years there has not been one discrepancy found by archaeology.

The Bible is unique in its survival through persecution. It's been burned, banned and outlawed from Nero to the present day. Voltaire, the noted French infidel who died in 1778 said that in 100 years Christianity would be swept from existence. 50 years after his death the Geneva Bible Society used Voltaire's press and house to produce and distribute bibles.

For basic and solid study all you really need is a Bible, but to get into the meat of it more there are many other helpful tools to use. One you have probably heard of is Strong's. The Strong's Greek and Hebrew Lexicon is a dictionary of Greek and Hebrew words

whose words are assigned to numbers called Strong's Numbers. In many false doctrines, the words are twisted around. That is one reason Strong's is handy. You can find out what the meanings of the words used are. For example:

0430 'elohiym {el-o-heem'}
plural of 0433; TWOT - 93c; n m p
AV - God 2346, god 244, judge 5, GOD 1, goddess 2, great 2, mighty 2,
angels 1, exceeding 1, God-ward + 04136 1, godly 1; 2606
1) (plural)
1a) rulers, judges
1b) divine ones
1c) angels
1d) gods
2) (plural intensive - singular meaning)
2a) god, goddess
2b) godlike one
2c) works or special possessions of God
2d) the (true) God
2e) God

Another popular tool is the Nave's Topical Bible. The Nave's Topical Bible is a topical Bible created by Orville J. Nave. This topical Bible contains more than 100,000 passages under 5316 main topics, which include 1789 subtopics and sub-subtopics. You can find quick references to topics from Aaron to Zuzims.

When I work on bible studies I use the KJV Bible, Strong's, and Nave's the most. For some studies I look at commentaries and archaeological references. The two I use most often, which contain both commentary and archaeological information, are the International Bible Commentary and Unger's Bible Handbook. There are many more books out there, in the thousands, which can be of use.

Another tool is the Internet. There are many bible studies and articles already out there that can point you to verses you haven't found yet. You can also find many of these tools online, like Nave's. There are also many groups of people in forums and mailing lists that would love to discuss bible topics with you! Beware of wolves in sheep's clothing though!

A very useful tool I use is a computer Bible. Specifically, I use Logos Bible Software. You can either buy one or download a free one off the net. Mine has both Strong's, Nave's, and a word search. It also has both the King James Version and the New Revised Standard Version. It is great to be able to find all mentions of a certain phrase or word in just three seconds!

The final tools I would like to mention are an atlas, some paper or an office program to take notes, highlighters, pens, bookmarks, and a loving heart and desire to know the Truth.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (KJV)

Keep Reading

Devotions

Matthew 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. (KJV)

I would like to make a distinction between bible study and devotions, in my terms at least. I look at bible study as going over doctrines and certain topics, like investigating what the bible says about abortion or seeing if a new doctrine I have heard is correct. I look at devotion as just reading to learn, and not about a certain subject. Devotions to me are like opening the bible and reading whatever passages the Book opens to. Sometimes I find that I will, for a week, do some major bible studies and no devotions. At the end of the week I can completely show one why the 'blank' doctrine is right or wrong, but I haven't had my diversified devotions. Devotions are quiet, peaceful, and wholesome. While studies can be time consuming if I write a study to go with it, often loud, and are usually only about one topic.

For devotions I like the book of Psalms. Sometimes I just sit down and read entire books, like Romans or Ruth. There are also devotional books, some free, that are fun to use. You can read a chapter a day till you have read the whole bible or you can real about love one day, time the next, friendship the next, and then jealousy. Devotions are very important. There are books out there with devotions for mothers, wives, fathers, husbands, children, families, etc.

For the most part you can read whatever interests you the most for your devotions; law, history, poetry, prophecy, gospel, letters, biographies, great life stories, and love stories! Matthew 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (KJV)

Warnings

Acts 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. (KJV)

This verse has always stuck in my mind. There are many odd doctrines out there. Many of them seem believable depending on the preacher. We should follow the example of this church and search the scripture to see if "those things are so". Many today just hear it and believe it, and that is very risky. When you hear someone preach a new doctrine, you should run to the Book and see if it is so. Most sermons I have been too are accurate to the ear, repeating verses I know are there and doctrines I have long believed and made sure to be true. There have been a few I have had to check out though! Sometimes you may have to study for a while to make sure you have come to the right conclusion. Some doctrines are so twisted and you may even greatly desire them to be true, which can be a major stumbling block.

2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. (KJV)

Another warning is not to believe everything written in your Bible! By that I mean, the Translator's Notes! In my favorite bible there are notes on the sides, a couple I have found to be incorrect. The same goes with commentaries and bible studies. Remember: search the scripture to see if "those things are so".

Tips

Psalm 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV)

I once had a friend who suggested a few tricks to me. One was to have four highlighters; red or pink, blue, green, yellow. When you come across a warning or verse that says not to do something highlight it in red. If you come across a verse that cautions you about something use yellow. If you come across a verse that says to do something use green. If you just come across a verse that you like and doesn't fit under the other categories use blue. His other tip was to read one chapter of Proverbs every morning, the one that corresponds with the date. You can memorize one of the verses in that chapter, whichever sticks out to you, if you wish. Since there are 31 chapters you never run out! Since today is December 13 I would read Proverbs 13! Pretty neat, huh?

There are some very cool 'verse a day' programs you can use on your computer. I use Daily Bread 2.0, by Software for Christ. Whenever my computer starts up I get a new verse to read. You can also get a verse a day in the email, or a devotion a day in the email. Then there are sites with a new verse and/or devotion each day. Another cool computer technique is getting wallpaper with a verse on it. I have a few, and by the end of one week I can usually remember the verse by just having glanced at it a few times. Another tip along these lines is having scriptures displayed in your homes. Growing up there were a few wooden framed pictures with scripture on them on the walls.

Deuteronomy 6:9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (KJV)

Speaking of software, you can find games that can help you learn scripture also. I have a few from http://members.aol.com/dan4god/software.html. His work has inspired me to learn Visual Basic and create some more programs like the ones he made. In fact, I just got Visual Basic today!

There are songs that help you learn scripture too! Buying a good CD or tape of praise songs to sing along to can really benefit your praise life.

Daily Prayer, Daily Bread, & Daily Praise! - The three most important daily vitamins!

Praying before and after you study, that you learn and interpret the scriptures correctly, is a very good idea.

Some ministers have their flock follow along the verses they use in their sermons during the sermon. If you learn more by sight or involvement this is a good idea, but if you learn better by hearing you probably should just pay great attention and listen well. I have even taken notes in the past.

There are Churches, Bible study groups, Fellowship groups, and even family studies to help everyone learn. Just be cautious in joining any group. It may be helpful to look them up on the Internet first.

Keeping a Bible diary, a prayer book, a psalm book if you are a poet, or anything else along those lines can also be a growth tool.

© Rachel

 

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