How to Study the Bible... Advice?

Mar 20, 2015
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It's always been a sad thing for me when my bible gets worn beyond salvage, but also kind of cool. It almost feels like I'm starting all over again when I get a new one.
I never liked replacing my old bible because it was like losing a friend, and its hard work transferring all the notes. Having said that, it does give me time to revisit and edit my notes and links.
When I first left home I met a guy who grew up in church, but did not know the gospel or have a bible of his own.
At the time my bible (the first one I read completely through) was falling apart and held together solely by good wishes and tape. It was full of notes and underlined copiously.
I gave that bible to him so that he would have one.
It wasn't until some time later that it dawned on me that he may have thought I was dumping my trash off on him.
If I ever gave my old bible away, it is usually so trashed that it would only get used as a fire lighter!

I still get surprised when I follow my cross references put there years ago.
I am pretty useless at remembering chapter and verse numbers, other than the obvious ones like John3v16........(What's that?)
If I remember a quote, I can only find it in my own bible because I remember that it's in maybe Romans and in the left hand column of the right hand page about one third of the way down. I usually remember the "look" of the passage also, so to find it a have to flick through the pages until I recognise the "look of the page, and there it is.
Very strange I know! Give me someone else's bible and I am utterly lost.

So for about the last 30 years, I have had to hunt for the same issue bible if I need to replace it. That was impossible till Amazon arrived on the scene. I can generally find one there and for safety I have one waiting in the bookshelf ready for the time the current one fades away.
Pathetic isn't it. Like a child that won't surrender its comfort blanket!

The really laughable thing is that my beloved bible is actually a Scofield reference bible. Scofield was a Calvinist and various people here have condemned his study notes. I am completely opposed to Calvinism and also disagree with many of his other notes, so there are many pages covered in red scribble as I have edited out his stuff.
However I personally enjoy the layout and a good percentage of his notes and it was a good help at the beginning of my journey.

The moral of this tale is, do not get taken in by any editor, or any bible teacher, or any "ism". Listen to the Holy Spirit because he promises to lead you into all truth!
 
Apr 11, 2014
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If I remember a quote, I can only find it in my own bible because I remember that it's in maybe Romans and in the left hand column of the right hand page about one third of the way down. I usually remember the "look" of the passage also, so to find it a have to flick through the pages until I recognise the "look of the page, and there it is.
Very strange I know! Give me someone else's bible and I am utterly lost.
I'm with you brother! I do the same thing with my KJV hardcover with matching black duct tape down the spine. 'Where two or more are gathered...' is about middle to 2/3 into Matthew and on left page about 1/3 down the left column. :D And I generally recognize the passages before and after what I'm looking for.
 
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Apr 11, 2014
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My wife has had great experiences in looking through a topical index, (listing of topics such as 'God's promise when you are: sick, in need, disappointed, confused, tempted, weak , afraid, grieve, suffer, fail, doubt.') Nave's has a topical index as well some Bibles. My wife will just peruse the index until the Holy Spirit speaks to her on an issue in the list. Then she starts researching the passages. Sometimes during the research she will run across something else that calls to her. Many times she has come to me and said, "Did you know it said this?" This lets the HS lead her in knowledge and keeps things interesting. You start writing stuff down because you start to find many things you want to look up later.
Studying by topic is a great way to get started. I taught a teen Sunday School class and used this as a vehicle to get the teens interested. I had them all write a few questions on slips of paper of things they would like answers from the Bible on. Then I research them and prepared lessons based on these questions. At the end of class each week someone would pick a question out of a hat and that would be the topic for next weeks lesson. We had all kinds of questions such as : why are people mean, why do I have bad thoughts, what is the meaning of life (thanks a lot for that one!) , etc.
I learned a lot through this process.
I hope this helps.
 
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Jul 29, 2015
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This thread is being written as a complementary discussion to the thread I posted about buying a new Bible. As with that thread, please feel free to move this if I have placed it in the wrong location. :)

1. What to Read First?

Once I have my new Bible I am going to need to consider how best to actually use / study it. From what I have researched, it is commonly suggested to read Matthew --> John --> Mark -- Luke --> Through the NT, then through the OT. I have a background in the OT already. It's been a while since I read it but I have done so. The NT outside of the Gospels and Revelations is completely new to me. I have no idea how or why I ended up reading that way and I know it needs to be fixed.

Anyone have thoughts on how reading should go? Is there a logical order or should I just start somewhere? The Bible is such a large book with so many parts that it can be very overwhelming to make a decision.

2. Online Bible Study Groups -- Good idea or Not?

Do you think studying the Bible via the internet with others is a productive idea? One of the sites I've been following is planning a study of Acts in August and I've been considering whether I should join that or not. I realize that online study does not replace the need for a Church (can't remember the verse but I'm pretty sure it's in Hebrews it says church is important?) but as I do not drive any currently do not have anyone who can / will take me to a church, I figure I should do what I can / study where I can / go where I can. At the same time though, I am definitely open to insights from others.

3. Is there anything else beyond the Bible that might be worth reading?

That question might be misleading, so I will try to clarify it.

(1) The Bible is the only written source that can give us the Word of God.

(2) With that said, though, reading huge chunks of the Bible and not thinking / reflecting on what is being read is generally counter-productive. (From my own experience, at least? And by this I mean something like someone gobbling up all four gospels and not thinking about what is being read.)

(3) Despite the Bible being the only place to get the written Word of God, I am going to assume that there are other books out there that may enhance one's knowledge and understanding as a Christian. (Please correct me if I am mistaken or if this is some form of false idea that I have been taught.) Provided that this is true, I am looking for suggestions. :)

4. Your thoughts on memorizing verse?

Do you see value in this? Does anyone have any thoughts on which things (off hand) would be really valuable to memorize and know? It's all from God and therefore its all useful, but I'm pretty sure that even with a pretty solid memory I'm not likely to memorize the whole thing and be able to recite it in order book by book. Thoughts?

Thanks very much for your time. Have a great day! :)

Kat
hi Kat, the way I study scriptures is dispensationally. I rightly divide the Scriptures,2 Timothy2:15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. What does it mean to study dispensationally or to rightly divide? It is reading a Bible passage and asking am I in the group of people being spoken to here? The whole Bible is written for us for our learning but not all of it is addressed to us.
 

Cturtle

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I've not found anything :( I too wish it because I'm going on vacation for 46 days starting the end of Aug and I will only have an iPad while we move. The only site I know that has Hebrew and Greek stuff is http://www.blueletterbible.org
I was looking up my sword for an ipad...and it lead me to e sword for ipad. Have you looked at the app to see if it is any good? And has the greek and hebrew?
 
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No, sorry, never heard of it. I don't use my devices much outside of emails and Whatsapp. I don't even browse much. But going on vacation for 46 days I won't have my computer with all my study material will be difficult.
 

Cturtle

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No, sorry, never heard of it. I don't use my devices much outside of emails and Whatsapp. I don't even browse much. But going on vacation for 46 days I won't have my computer with all my study material will be difficult.
The my sword for android has the strongs definitions attached to the kjv part of it. The e sword is supposed to be a little better, so it may be enough to get you through till you get your pc back. Just a thought :)
 

Fish Catcher Jim

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Here are Two Key Points or Ways that we should remember to study His word.
1. The written word of God wasnot meant to be read silently
....God has shown me that we should at least read the first chapterof our daily reading out loud. Try it for a couple of weeks and see if things dont change for you.

2. The bible was not written in capter and verse. We can thank king james for this and thank him for his poor judgment on where to break what is written.
Easy test for you.........look at hebrews 1 and 2. There should not be a new chapter there for it is still taalking about the same. It is like this through out the bible.

So pay close attention and always read and or include what is written before and after something that stands out.

I hope and pray this helps
God Bless
Jim