Bible Study: Tools of the Trade

I have said in an earlier post that Bible study and Bible reading are two different things. Reading the Bible is reading in the sense that one reads passages of Scripture that they are covering in a daily devotional or digesting the last sermon that they have heard. I get a great deal of pleasure out of just reading the Bible. I have heard people say that they don’t read the Bible because it is boring. Boring? Nothing could be further from the truth! There is more in the Bible than one can find in the modern day soap opera. There is war, suffering, rejoicing, adultery, fornication, bad guys, good guys, and one, in particular, tremendous hero! Boring? If they feel the Bible is boring it is because they haven’t read it.

But what I want to talk about today is Bible STUDY. More precisely, I would like to discuss some things that would assist in Bible study.

First, a good study Bible is invaluable. Talk to your pastor and ask his opinion regarding a good study Bible. I have a two or three that I depend on. But let me say that a study Bible is a Bible that has notes of a scholar that explain the text and has references to other passages in the Bible that are part of what is currently being read. Personally, I have three. I have the ESV Study Bible and each book is notated by a different scholar. I have a Scofield Study Bible in the NASB95 translation and I have a John McArthur Study Bible in the NASB 95 translation. I refer to and use them all from time to time.

Another valuable tool is a Good Concordance. I have Strong’s Exhaustive Condordance for the King James, the NIV, and the NASB translations. These have helped tremendously during my inspections of Scripture.

One tool that I enjoy is a Bible dictionary. This allows me to look up meanings of words and events in the Bible that I had never imagined possible.

Two other tools that I have found beneficial in my studies are an Old Testament Survey and a New Testament Survey. These books go through the books of the Old and New Testament describing who wrote them, when they were written, to whom they were written, why they were written and the overview of the text contained within each book.

It is possible, if one looks in used book stores, and online to put together a respectable library to assist one’s study for a relatively economical figure.

Now, there is a company called Logos that has a Bible Study Software System that is hard to beat. They offer varying levels from a beginners collection to the scholar’s level. The initial levels can be obtained without hardship for most. The higher levels (collections) are somewhat straining on the pocket book. I do not brag, only of God, that He has allowed me to obtain the Platinum Edition of Logos or their highest level of library resources. There are over 7000 resources of biblical studies and I’ll probably never read them all in my lifetime. I am blessed to have it. But you don’t need those kinds of resources.

If you take the time and invest wisely, those tools that I have mentioned earlier will provide you with hours, months, years of material to effectively grasp God’s Word. You don’t have to collect them all at once. Start with a good Study Bible.  Add a Concordance later. Pick up a dictionary at another time. Purchase the Old Testament Survey and New Testament Survey together or split them up into two separate purchases. Believe me the investment is well worth it. Take a year or two to collect this small library that you will return to over and over again. You will be glad that you did. I am certainly glad that I did.

God Bless!

In His Grip,

Lonnie Richardson

BIBLE COPYRIGHTS:  Any scriptures quote above have been copyrighted by one of the following bibles made available on the Internet for your personal use only. These Scriptures may not be altered or modified in any form and must remain in their original context. These Scriptures may not be sold or otherwise offered for sale.

Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation

American Standard Version (ASV)
Public Domain (Why are modern Bible translations copyrighted?)

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

Living Bible (TLB)
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

The Passion Translation (TPT)
The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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