I am frequently asked by new Christians, “How must I go about studying the Bible?” Lots of pastors will just say come join a single of their Bible study groups, and this is typically excellent assistance, due to the fact there will be quite a few persons readily available to aid newcomers get began or even take them “under their wing” as the study moves along. Some newcomers may perhaps really feel intimidated or overwhelmed with this strategy, but there are other significantly less stressful approaches to start a study.
Some persons recommend buying a ‘study Bible’ and commence reading from web page a single and continue all the way to the finish. Of course, there are dozens of distinctive approaches to differ this strategy. I’ve heard fantastic arguments for reading the New Testament very first, and just as numerous positive aspects for beginning with the Old Testament. Then some persons say study the book of John very first other people say study Paul very first. Some say use only “this translation” or “that translation.” It can be really confusing for a new Christian and that is just before they even basically sit down and commence their study.
Which Bible to Use?
My personal recommended strategy is a bit distinctive. Whether or not you are the new Bible student, or somebody else that is coming to you for aid, these ideas are equally applicable. When inquiring about what Bible must be applied, I commonly say whichever a single they have is fine. If soon after utilizing it a though they do not like it, then it is time to receive a distinctive a single. At least they can then evaluate scripture types in new ones against what they study in the old a single, to aid make a selection. If I am top the study, I just use the exact same translation as they do, but if your library is not substantial, you may perhaps want to direct them to a specific translation you currently have.
If the new student has no Bible or will be studying alone, I commonly recommend the New International Version (NIV) or New Living Translation (NLT),1 due to the fact they use a balanced mixture of common and formal writing, with an effortless reading level.two I do have a tendency to lean much more toward the NLT than the other. (Also see the Bible Versions Chart for other alternatives, which is listed in ‘References & Notes’ at the finish of this post.)three When somebody desires to study and study God’s word, I want to make it as effortless and comfy as feasible for them to get began.
Exactly where to Commence?
I like to have a brief speak with the new Christian student to get a really feel of what she or he expects and what biblical topic or subject or character they are most curious about. The much more you know somebody, the a lot easier it is to guide them in directions exactly where they will uncover subjects of interest. If they are interested in God’s creation story, commence in Genesis. If they want to know much more about God’s commandments, commence with the story of Moses. This way they get answers to the inquiries they have, sooner rather than later.
But, if they are at a loss about exactly where to commence, I recommend some thing relating to an upcoming vacation or a present news item. As an instance, if the Christian planet is anticipating the approaching Easter vacation, you could commence with the death and resurrection of Jesus — or if in the late fall, possibly the story of Jesus’ birth could draw interest. If there is a present news item regarding some horrible or evil circumstance, a study could be began about Adam and Eve and how sin and evil entered the planet. Then once more, occasionally the require for Bible study arises from some private difficulty. If they have shared their circumstance, you can aid them by obtaining relevant useful scripture to commence the study.
Other Points to Look at
Schedule a precise time for Bible study. Though not a fantastic fan of author Joyce Meyer, I did like her comment that she purposely tends to make “an appointment with God” for Bible study just about every day.four We make vital physician appointments, business enterprise appointments, and even appointments to get our vehicle fixed, so we must also do so with our creator. I consider consistently scheduled Bible time must turn out to be a lifetime habit.
Make confident you have an acceptable location to study. It must be nicely lighted (at least exactly where you sit) and comfy. And it must be quiet I uncover it definitely difficult to concentrate in a location that is noisy or a single with a lot of activity, but some of my buddies do not appear to have a difficulty with that.
Pray! Just take the chance, just before you open the Bible, to speak to God. Open your heart, thank him, and confess, if require be. Ask God to aid you realize what you study and aid you make use of your new information in your personal life as nicely as in others’ lives. Commence your Bible study time with adore and in peace.
As a Bible study progresses, either alone or with a leader, take into account obtaining a couple of tools to aid you. Have a note pad handy on which to jot down inquiries, references, thoughts, and so on. This will permit you to recall issues to verify later and not have to interrupt the flow of your reading or discussion. Some persons retain a journal to document their progress. Other individuals just make a lot of notes along the margins of their Bible pages. One particular particular person I know, when studying alone, utilizes a smaller voice recorder. I attempted that when and identified it fantastic to make speedy notes. Having said that, it was double perform, due to the fact later I had to listen to the recording and make written notes, also.
Obtaining a Bible dictionary, handy will aid define correct names and the which means of unfamiliar words, apart from assisting to realize the correct context of what you are studying. I like possessing a difficult copy inside arms attain though studying, but there are several dictionaries readily available on line for cost-free (see ‘References & Notes’ at the finish of this post).five
One more useful study tool is a Bible commentary written by a respected theologian. Not only will a commentary aid with verse-by-verse explanations and interpretation, but it will also help in delivering background info and history. If you are like me, you may perhaps want much more than a single commentary readily available to present much more than a single opinion. There is no require to invest heavily on these volumes, for there are quite a few readily available on line, also for cost-free (see ‘References & Notes’ at the finish of this post).six
Why Study the Bible?
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is valuable to teach us what is correct and to make us comprehend what is incorrect in our lives. It corrects us when we are incorrect and teaches us to do what is appropriate. God utilizes it to prepare and equip his persons to do just about every excellent work” (two Timothy three:16-17, NLT).
“For thousands of years the Bible has been study not only as history and God’s Word, but also for private edification.” This word edification comes from edify which indicates to instruct and strengthen, specially in moral and religious information (uplift, enlighten, inform).7 Though this is the most meaningful purpose to study the Bible for these believing in God, the Bible is edifying even for these persons who do not think in God. Why? It is due to the fact of all the stories about people and groups facing moral selections, life challenges, and other circumstances, will have applications equivalent to these required by persons nowadays.eight
Copyright © 2019, Dr. Ray Hermann
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References & Notes
- The Holy Bible, New International Version, (NIV), © 2011 by Biblica, Inc.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation (NLT), © 2007 by Tyndale Residence Foundation.
Note: Staff at a Christian book retailer can typically give assistance about numerous translations.
- Hermann, Ray, “Bible Versions–Why So Lots of?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, six April 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/bible-versions-why-so-numerous/
- “Bible Versions Chart,” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, six April 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/bible-version-chart/
- Meyer, Joyce, “How to Study the Bible,” (Joyce Meyer Ministries, retrieved 19 March 2019), https://joycemeyer.org/everydayanswers/ea-teachings/how-to-study-the-bible
- “Dictionaries,” (Bible Study Tools, retrieved 20 March 2019), https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/
- “Commentaries,” (Bible Study Tools, retrieved 20 March 2019), https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed., (Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc., 2003).
- Velarde, Robert, “Why Study the Bible?” (Concentrate On the Loved ones, retrieved 20 March 2019), https://www.focusonthefamily.com/faith/the-study-of-god/why-study-the-bible/why-study-the-bible