Friday, March 4, 2011

Tools to Study the Bible

How do I study the Bible?  This is a question alot of people may ask themselves but never stop to figure the answer out.  For many people, reading the Bible from front to back is as deep as they ever go.  Other people may only open their Bible in church or Bible study group.

To grow deeper in Christ requires Bible study. This journey into the Book we, as Christians, base our very lives upon can be made easier if we have the right tools. What are these tools?

A good study Bible-A good Pentecostal Bible that recently came out is Life in the Spirit Study Bible.  It contains over eighty articles on key topics of Bible doctrine and teaching.

Whichever study Bible you choose keep some things in mind:
1- a study Bible has an introduction for each book of the Bible. This contains information about the author, original readers, outline, survey, background, theme, and other special features.
2.a study Bible contains comments on key verses that you should read to help you understand their meaning.

Translations-comparing different translations is a great way to delve deeper into the Bible.  Remember that the original Bible was written mostly in Greek and Hebrew.  The translations themselves are not inspired but are very good tools to compare in order to apply Scriptures to your life.

Concordances-A concordance lists all the words of the Bible alphabetically.  Each entry gives Scripture reference for where the word can be found in the Bible.  This study guide is helpful when you want to find different places a certain word is used.

Bible dictionaries and encyclopedias-dictionaries and encyclopedias are written to help us understand a word better.  They also explain the different ways a word was used in Biblical times.

Commentaries-this study tool gives the author's opinion on each verse in a Biblical book.  When choosing a commentary, it is important to know the author's individual doctrine since they can vary greatly in their handling of things like the babtism of the Holy Spirit, predestination, and eternal security.

This is just a brief overview of the tools available to aid you in your study of the Bible.  I based it upon my own study of Introduction to Hermeneutics: How to Interpret the Bible.

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