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How & Why to Read & Study the Bible 5 April 2014
How the Bible Is Organized Old Testament • Historical Books New Testament n Matthew through Acts Genesis through Esther • Poetic Books n Isaiah through Malachi Ancient Time to ~400 BC Epistles/Letters Romans through Jude Job through Song of Songs • Prophetic Books Historical Books n Prophetic Book Revelation ~0 AD to ~100 AD
Examples of People in the Bible Who Studied the Bible Ø Jeremiah 15: 16 When your words came I ate them, for they were my joy and my heart’s delight. Ø Ezra 7: 10 Now Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
Examples of People in the Bible Who Studied the Bible Ø Mt. 4: 4 Jesus answered, “It is written, ‘man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. ’” Ø Acts 17: 11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for the received the message with great and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true
Navigator Hand Illustration Apply James 1: 22
Reasons to Read the Bible 1. The world's best selling book 2. Biblical faith is based on a historical event 3. Jesus was a real person 4. Believing in the Bible message changes lives People have been rescued from: drugs, depression, shop-lifting, heart condition, low self-esteem, a life of violence, a lesbian lifestyle, the effects of abuse. . .
Reasons to Read the Bible 5. Filled with real people and real places 6. Jesus has dramatically affected history 7. Brilliant people believe it to be true George Frederic Handel, Johann Sebastian Bach, Franz Haydn, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, C. S. Lewis 8. Fulfils our deepest needs Love, truth, know God, overcome fear of death, find forgiveness, find peace, find freedom, find joy, find security
Reasons to Read the Bible 9. The world's most widely distributed book The whole Bible has been translated into 405 different languages and the New Testament into 1034 languages. 10. Packed with the most exciting events These include human emotion (love, joy, peace, exhilaration, pain and disappointment), miracles like people rising from the dead, people receiving their sight and walking on water, suspense, battles and the supernatural (God and demons).
Reasons to Read the Bible 11. What the Bible says makes sense There must be a Creator, there is good and evil, we have trouble doing what is right, there will be a judgment for what we have done, we need forgiveness 12. Many people have died for their faith 13. Has survived the most sustained attack 14. The Bible is historically reliable From the book "In Six Days (why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation)" edited by John F Ashton Ph. D, New Holland Publishers, 1999. http: //www. changinglivesonline. org/why-read-the-bible. html
Bible Reading Priorities (for First Time Readers) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 4 Gospels Rest of New Testament Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes Genesis (the beginning of many thinhgs) Exodus – Esther Job, Song of Solomon Major prophets Minor prophets Book of Enoch (maybe not Bible canon, but quoted by Jesus and the apostles; worth reading to understand Genesis. )
Which version of the Bible? Ø Use an English translation based on the Greek majority text § KJV – true to the original text but hard to understand some Old English words § NKJV – easier to read but has some minor problems § The Sovereign Creator Has Spoken (SCS) – true to the text and easy to read! Based on the best line of transmission in all 27 books of the NT.
Which version of the Bible? Ø Beware of English versions based on the corrupted Nestle / Westcott-Hort / Alexandrian / Greek text, e. g. , NIV, RSV, NASB, The Message, Jerusalem Bible, etc. Ø The Nestle Greek text has been popular for translation for over 100 years, but it has lots of drop-out errors, so it may be 2 -5% incorrect. Ø Other languages – Try to find the best translation possible. Unfortunately, most rely on the corrupted Greek text.
Bible Reading Plan 1189 chapters in the Bible 365 days per year Ø 3 year plan: 1. 09 chapters / day Ø 2 year plan: 1. 63 chapters / day Ø 1 year plan: 3. 26 chapters / day Ø 6 month plan: 6. 5 chapters / day Ø 4 month plan: 9. 78 chapters / day Ø 3 month plan: 13. 06 chapters / day
How To Study the Bible Ø Historical book study Ø Prophetic book study Ø Wisdom / poetic book study Ø Parable study Ø Epistle study Ø Topical study, e. g. , angels & demons Ø Character study, e. g. , Paul Ø Word study, love
Inductive Bible Study Ø Observations § What the text says Ø Interpretation § What the text means Ø Application § What do I do with it in my life?
Observations Ø Who? Ø Comparison Ø What? Ø Contrast Ø Why? Ø Cause & Effect Ø Where? Ø Word repetition Ø When? Ø Key verse(s) Ø How?
Interpretation Ø Listen for the truth; ask God for guidance Ø Do some research to try to understand the context and the historic situation Ø Let Scripture interpret Scripture, i. e. , use cross references Ø Recognize literal and figurative language Ø Read the text literally unless the context demands otherwise Ø Don’t rely too much on commentaries
Study Tools Ø The Bible itself! (Best tool) Ø Concordance / Dictionary Ø http: //www. blueletterbible. org/ Ø Bible maps Ø Internet search Ø Ask your pastor / church leaders
Application But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. – James 1: 22 Ø Listen to the Holy Spirit speak directly Ø Is there a sin I need to repent of? Ø Is there a character area, bad habit that I need to change or stop? Ø Is there a positive example I can follow? Ø Is there a forgotten task I need to do? Ø Is there a person I need to talk to?
Study Tools Ø The Bible itself! (Best tool) Ø Concordance / Dictionary Ø http: //www. blueletterbible. org/ Ø Bible maps Ø Internet search Ø Ask your pastor / church leaders Ø Old Testament Power. Point intros: http: //www. somehelpful. info/OT/
Scripture Memory Tips Ø Choose a verse to memorize that speaks to something in your life right now. Ø Write it down and carry it or put it by your bed. Ø Say it out loud. Ø Pray with it. Ø Review, review
Father’s Love Letter http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=z. Jvqmh. Gs 1 Y 8
Q&A The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. – Isaiah 40: 8