I Am Reading The Bible For The First Time, Please Suggest Companion Resources

I'm doing research for a book, and as part of this I am reading the Bible. It is my goal to understand the message as fully as possible. In pursuit of that goal, I am reaching out to a number of communities to ask about potential resources to help me in that understanding.

I purchased the NIRV Bible, but will probably pick up a KJV as well to get the full picture. Or, perhaps I will just read it via this forum (great resource, thank you for this).

What resources do you suggest?

Thank you very much for your time.
The message of the Bible is Salvation of man/ mankind and the history of why we need Salvation. We were created to be dependent on God as the source of light, life and 'good'. Given free will to make that choice to follow Him. The Bible tells of Jesus Christ (as Christians we believe that Jesus appears as the 'Angel of the Lord' or the "LORD" of the Old Testament revealing Himself to Moses and the Prophets) and His love for His creation-so much so that He became the 'Holy' sacrifice to pay our sin debt so that we may enjoy eternal life-if only we will believe (have faith) in Him....who created us.

What exactly is the subject of your research may I ask?

Maybe some of these links will be of use to you:


















Thank you very much for all the links. I will look into each and every one of them.

The book I intend to write will promote a greater understanding of all major world religions. I imagine you have felt at some time that you were being misrepresented or misunderstood. I think this is the case for everyone, and wish to examine this shared experience.

My research for now is to learn as much as I can about Christianity from a variety of perspectives. For this reason, your extensive list of links will be very helpful.

I thank you again for your time and assistance.
Thank you very much for all the links. I will look into each and every one of them.

The book I intend to write will promote a greater understanding of all major world religions. I imagine you have felt at some time that you were being misrepresented or misunderstood. I think this is the case for everyone, and wish to examine this shared experience.

My research for now is to learn as much as I can about Christianity from a variety of perspectives. For this reason, your extensive list of links will be very helpful.

I thank you again for your time and assistance.

Do you know the message of salvation and hope of the Bible; many say that it is summed up in the book John, chapter 3 verse 16.
It is my goal to understand the message as fully as possible.

It is such a simple message. As Brother Mike mentioned John 3:16. The Bible reads like this...God made mankind, mankind sinned. God knew mankind would sin, so He planned to send His Son as a redemptive sacrifice for our sins. God needed a race to birth His Son from. Abraham's line was chosen when he passed the test of similarly sacrificing his own son. Jacob / the Jews were the prophesied chosen race. God sent Moses and many prophets to them to keep them holy. They built a temple where the high priests could go behind a 'veil' and hear from God. Daniel prophesied that God would give the Jews 490 years. The temple was destroyed on year 483. The Jews are still awaiting their last 7 years from God. Jesus came for one reason, not to replace the laws or even really add much to them. He came to die for us. He came to remove the 'sting' of the law. As we are all sinners and the wages of any sin is death. He came to re-unite mankind with God. Just as it was in the beginning with Adam and Eve.

Christianity = Those (any person under the sun, in any religion, on any island) who draw near to God truthfully James 4:8 / 1 Cor 11:31 on His terms James 1:27, Psalm 51:17, Matt 16:24-26 will receive a revelation that Jesus is Lord 1 Cor 12:3 / Matt 16:16-17 and be saved / become a new creation 2 Cor 5:17. God reveals Himself to us as Jesus to all living after the cross. John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. All the good people after God's heart OT were in a waiting place called 'Abraham's bosom and resurrected with Jesus.

There are two trends in the bible that you can't miss. 1. God's wrath comes upon the evil (after many warnings) and 2. God's people escape His wrath. All Christians are now awaiting Christs return and His wrath to come upon the earth / fulfilment of the final 7 years to the Jews. In Matt 24 Jesus gives us signs to watch for / season of His return.

What resources do you suggest?
Paul's teaching. If you are going to comment on the bible, read / stick to the actual bible! Paul was given a revelation from God on how we are to live after the cross (Christianity). He clashed with the eleven disciples on how the gospel of Jesus should be preached. They conceded and hence Paul's teaching has dominated the NT.
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There are many ways you can read the Bible. You can focus on the various historical narratives, the people that are mentioned, the Law and how it was kept or ignored, etc. Since I expect you intend to read through the Bible only once, I would suggest you read with an eye for what the Bible says about who God is and what He's like: His character, His nature, what He says He's going to do, what He does, and why. I have found this to be the most rewarding way to read the Bible, and I keep notes of what I find.

Also, the best companion resource for the Bible is the Author. If you honestly ask God for understanding every time you read, it makes a big difference!
Thank you all. After learning more about the Bible, it seems I was woefully ignorant. I never imagined there would be so many versions!

I think what I am going to do is read 3 or 4 different versions at the same time to compare and contrast. I've been given some good resources to provide additional perspective while reading, but I will likely have a number of questions that I will bring to this community.

Please continue to provide me with any suggestions you have. I think I have what I need to decide which Bibles to read, but I could still use some more resource to provide perspective.

Thank you again for all your kind words and suggestions, I will keep all of them in mind!
One commentary that I recommend is What the Bible Is All About by Henrietta C. Mears.

It has a short chapter on every book of the Bible, provides a big picture summary of the themes, and hits several high points in each book. I don't agree with all her points, but I found the book helpful.
Some books I have that I have found useful:

Nave's Topical Bible
Zondervan Handbook to the Bible
Manners & Customs in the Bible
Today's Parallel Bible: NIV NASB KJV NLT
One Perfect Life by John MacArthur

My mom got me "In the footsteps of Jesus: a chronicle of his life and the origins of Christianity" by Jean-Pierre Isbouts published by National Geographic for Christmas. I am partially through it and the jury is still out on my opinion of the book. But from a worldly perspective; it is informative at a historical level.

I also have an 1869 Holy Bible (aka: Kjv nowadays) that I treasure and it is a wealth of information unlike modern Bibles; also from my mother.

Also I have a pc program with Strongs numbers, Hebrew & Greek translations as well as multiple commentaries from generations of biblical scholars that is ultra valuable.
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Thank you all again for your suggestions. I begin my reading tomorrow.

It will likely be some time before I have specific questions to ask, but I will periodically update this thread with where I am at, verses I find particularly compelling, etc.

Happy new years!
I have some very strong negative opinions about the NIV especially the newer the version; however, you can still garner the message of Salvation from it if so lead by the Holy Spirit.

Have you tried the NKJV?
My first introduction into the complexity of The Bible and potential translations comes in the form of the Curse of Ham. I see that there are many interpretations of what exactly Ham did. What do you think Ham did?
I would be interested to hear why you dislike the NIV. For the time being, my primary reading is the NASB, and if I am confused by the language I refer to the NIV. Per your suggestion I have added the NKJV for further context, and already find that some of the language is helpful.

For instance :

Genesis 9:5

NASB - Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man's brother I will require the life of man.

NIV - And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each human being, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of another human being.

NKJV - Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

Having a variety of translations is helping make sure I have some basic grasp of the meaning, and specifically the use of the word "reckoning" in NKJV is particularly helpful.
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The short of the NIV issue is this: I was raised in the Presbyterian Church and cannot ever recall the Gospel message being presented to me as a child or teen-which could have made a huge difference in my teen and adult decision making processes. Not that it is the NIV's fault-but the Presbyterian Church uses the NIV and that particular denomination has become more 'ecumenical' over the years and less Bible.

I was given an NIV from the Presbyterian Church and when I got saved some 13 years after receiving that Bible as a High School graduation gift-it was the first Bible I went to. The guy (Dave-God Bless him!) who gave me the materials that lead me to salvation also gave me a pamphlet on different versions-at that moment I didn't think that it was that big a deal about the versions-until I started digging into that pamphlet and examining Bibles side by side-I was rather shocked. The Bible says not to 'change' God's Word. In short, why does a Bible need to be re-translated every few years in the same language? It doesn't.

The truth is, you actually garner more truth and wisdom from examining the original Hebrew and Greek words with a variety of definitions in English. That's mainly why I stick to the KJV, because I will go back to the Greek and Hebrew for definition clarification anyhow and I can't find any fault in the original full modern English translation. For clarification on thought, the NKJV and NASB help me greatly. Our Church also uses the KJV as our main modern text.

As far as Ham goes;

Genesis 9:
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis 9&version=KJV


I think this will be one of the mysteries that will be clarified when we enter the afterlife as to the exact details of the importance of this verse. Do I subscribe to the 'colored folks came from Canaan' camp-not really. Looking at this, we would have to examine what we know Biblically, 'Scientifically' and Historically about the human race. I ere on the side of the Bible being the truth having being raised to believe many other things growing up. The problem you have with many commentators, theologists and philosophers is that they like to interject their 'opinion' to come up with an answer; that lends towards taking away or adding to God's Word. The Bible will decode itself as you read, and with every reading and walking with the Holy Spirit, more is revealed to you when God sees fit to increase your wisdom. My wisdom on this matter is nonexistent. Therefore, I take it for what it says.
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