Top 10 Bible Study Recommendations
Proverbs 3:5-8 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge himand he will direct thy paths.
Read in Context - This includes reading latter and previous poems or chapters, understanding the characters involved, the setting, in addition to the audience. I.e. Paul is sometimes talking to Jews, and sometimes both Jews and Gentiles are in the audience.
Strong's Concordance - This will show us where a word, such as Spirit, is elsewhere . It also gives a number that's related to the Hebrew word (Old testament) or Greek phrase (New Testament). Note: Sometimes the exact same word will have distinct meanings. This is essential in my opinion. It gives the definition of the Hebrew and Greek words. However, what's more, we will see via the Strong's concordance that some words have 2 meanings. Unless we have this info, we might not understand the scripture properly.
Multiple Bibles - I'm always asked,"What's a good bible to buy?" Those 2 together have done me well. If something in the KJV can not completely be grasped, I'll check it at the NKJV (or vice versa). From time to time, I'll open up a 3rd and 4th version too. There are some parallel bibles out there which have 2-4 versions in the exact same book. The easier to see bibles, in my humble opinion, alter meanings too much. They're very good for those that are having difficulty using the KJV, however they shouldn't be our sole bible.
Study the Bible (not'reading') - There is a difference between studying the bible and studying it. Occasionally I catch myself studying the bible to receive my daily read in. But I get done, and I don't have any clue what I just read. It's because I'm reading as it's the ideal thing to do (functions ). 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. Note: it's quite dangerous to preempt our reading with needing an answer on something. When doing this, we'll almost always find the answer we want to hear. Yes, God definitely will talk to us via His word. Just be careful on this. Occasionally we'll find precisely that which we want to find. It might be ourselves answering and not necessarily be God speaking to us.
Prayer - This is another in my top five tools I do not do enough of. Before studying, I suggest praying for the Holy Spirit to fill us up and give guidance on Word. Let us ask the Lord to speak to us, write the word on our hearts, and to help us study. Subsequently, plead the same with thanksgiving and request the seeds of God which were implanted to be protected from the enemy. A good addition to the prayer:"Lord, your word says it won't come back to you void and it will do exactly what it's sent forth to achieve. I thank you Lord for this particular guarantee."
Holy Spirit - This is my #1 instrument. Guide us Guider, instruct us Teacher, and assist us Helper. John 14:26 But the Comforter, that's the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Note: If you're struggling with a particular scripture or are getting pulled in two different directions by doctrinal warfare of denominationalism, then go away from the subject and pray for the Holy Spirit to instruct it. I've had some significant issues not understood until nearly a year afterwards, and the subject is still being taught. If we're caught in this trap and something is confusing, causing a struggle, turmoil, etc., I suggest to surrender it to God and stop from seeking man's view about it. Pray for the Helper to help, the Teacher to instruct, then be cautious. It will come, in His good timing. Peace be with us, always.
Jewish origins - I'm a firm believer that we must have a good understanding of the Jewish culture. Remember, we are grafted in Gentiles. Grafted into the ones that are chosen, Israel. It is quite good to comprehend the culture so as to fully understand our #1 point, Read in Context. I've located some verses which have meanings changed after understanding the Jewish culture and correct circumstance. This is a companion to his Jewish Bible, which I intend on becoming soon.
Working with a Research Bible - These previous 2 of the top 10, I'm a little apprehensive on advocating, but they are helpful. When it comes to the words of man (even from the Jewish NT Commentary mentioned above), I've found that we are able to get tricked by the view of guy very easy. This is the reason why the Holy Spirit are extremely important. I have read some excellent commentaries that seem very good, but have later discovered that they were contrary to additional commentaries (which places man's words in question). Thus, I recommend using a study bible with caution. I have comments crossed out in my study bible which were denominationally based. Some things are fact and are extremely good in the study bible. As a matter of fact, the majority of the info is quite great. Just be careful and pray for discernment.
Commentaries - Same as remarks in #9. I think a few commentaries are extremely good, but keep in mind that many of them are denominationally based. There is a massive challenge in the church now on contradictions to some philosophy. Commentaries will become one or another belief systems on specific doctrine. I really like commentaries, they surely do help. This is where bible study applications assists, for example Sword Searcher. It provides a lot of commentaries to see in addition to a lexicon/concordance, multiple bible versions, and many other helps. So if commentaries are utilized, I read numerous commentaries in combination with #1-9 above. Then, with each of the advice, allow the Spirit to guide about what places well with the Spirit (not what sets well with me and my manners ).
BONUS: Dating - I needed to throw this one on the market. It has been a huge leap for my studying lately. Discuss the Word of God back to God. Like, while reading a Psalm that's praising God, then praise God out loud whilst reading the phrases! While studying promises of God, speak them out loud -"Lord, thank you to your promise." For example, look at John 14:27 Peace I leave you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be frightened. I change a few of the words. Such as the"I" will be changed to"you" and the"you" into"me", so the verse changes to a connection with Jesus Christ:"Lord, serenity you leave with me, your peace you give to me, not because the world gives it." Man, there is power in reading the term this way. There is a soul to soul communication going on, a relationship with the Word of God, Jesus Christ.
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