BIBLE STUDY?

(You can listen to audio of the article and pause the audio to follow page links, then, resume the audio when you are ready. Please note that I use page links in lieu of references or footnotes for important details on this teaching.)

WHY DO YOU “STUDY” THE BIBLE?

I have a few questions to help us get started.  First, what is the Bible? (I’ll wait).

                                                                                                                                                    .

What is “Bible Study” and why study the Bible?

                                                                                                                                                    .

Just one more question:  Try and be honest with yourself.  Why do you study the Bible?

                                                                                                                                                    .

If you do an internet search on the first two questions, you will spend hours, if not days or weeks, reading the responses. The third question is subjective and, although it takes some thought, should be relatively brief and easy to answer. I like simple, so let’s keep this simple and direct, OK?

As an example, simply read Psalms 1:1-3,

Verse 1. “Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Verse 2. But his delight is in the Law of the LORD,

And on His Law he meditates day and night.

Verse 3. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water,

Which yields its fruit in its season,

And its leaf does not wither; “

And in whatever he does, he prospers.”

What did you get from the reading?

I asked one of my sons, recently, how he was studying the Bible.  He said that he was following a reading plan to “read through the Bible”.  I said that was great, however, I asked him if he would add three elements to his reading;

 First, and most importantly, personalize what you read, wherever possible. In other words, read the Bible as if it were written by God, specifically and personally, to you.

Secondly, read it, as much as possible, at “face value”, keeping what you read in the context of the surrounding verses, chapters and of the entire Bible.

Finally, always try to read with an eye, (that is, ‘keep your thinking’), toward the future. In other words, ask yourself, ‘where is this leading me?’.

Now, read Psalms 1:1-3, again, and:

  1. First, personalize the text. Read it as a letter from God, to you. (I am giving an example below here).
  2. Secondly, what does this say at plain ‘face value’?
  3. Thirdly, ask yourself, ‘based on what this says, and if I do this, how will it affect my future’?

Verse 1. “Blessed am I when I do not walk in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the path of sinners,

Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Verse 2. But my delight is in the Law of the LORD,

And on His Law I meditate day and night.

Verse 3. I will be like a tree planted by streams of water,

And I will yield fruit in season,

And my leaf will not wither; “

And in whatever I do, I will prosper.”

Now, what did you get from this reading?

(Please be careful not to change the meanings of worlds to suit yourself, just make it personal.)

Practice this and let me know how it goes for you.

Later, I would like to introduce two other ways to go deeper into a personal study of God’s Word:

One, is to learn how to find the meaning of the Greek or Hebrew words used for context, definition and usage;

The other is to practice ‘inductive Bible study techniques’, (I.e., what does it say, what does it mean, and what does it mean to me?).

In closing this section, let’s all remember to

(New American Standard version)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth, claiming that the resurrection has already taken place; and they are jeopardizing the faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His;” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to keep away from wickedness.”  (2 Timothy 2:15-9)

 (Personalized)

 I will be diligent to present myself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. I will avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and that kind of talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, men who have gone astray from the truth, claiming that the resurrection has already taken place; and they are jeopardizing the faith of some. Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His;” and, “Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to keep away from wickedness.”  (2 Timothy 2:15-9)

Your Brother and Friend,

Mike Young

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