Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Apostle Paul Part VII: Steps To Study

So, you have an earnest desire to study the Bible.

You've got questions.

You're not a biblical scholar.

You want to know The Truth.

What's a girl to do?

Here are MY steps to practical Bible study:

1. Always start with prayer.

I liked Ephesians 3:14-21 so much that I worked to memorize it. It really is the perfect prayer.

2. Let the purpose for your study be for understanding and enlightenment. NOT to prove a point.

Attitude is everything.

3. ALWAYS read your passage in context. That means take the time to read what is before and what is after. At least read the entire chapter. If you've got the time read the whole book.

Searching for Truth is not a rush job.

4. KNOW the intent of the biblical author: who he was writing to and what literary form he was using (narrative, poetry, teaching, or prophecy).

Most Bibles today have excellent "lead in" narratives before each book. If your Bible doesn't have that ... perhaps you should consider investing in a newer one.

5. Make every effort to UNDERSTAND the culture of the passage, both historical and geographical.

Study Bibles make every effort to provide their readers with a wealth of information that gives wonderful insight. My favorite? The New Living Translation Study Bible put out by Tyndale House Publishers. Visit and take a look at all the different versions out there ... for free!!

6. MAKE USE of the many tools available today: reference books. commentaries, concordances, cross references and various biblical translations.

We are incredibly fortunate with the wealth of information available to us today. We should make use of everything we can get our hands on. The Internet is a great place to start ... and the price is right!

I earnestly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed but will have sufficient courage so that now, as always, Christ will be exalted in my life. For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Paul said that in his letter to the Philippians (1:20-21).

But it's my theme.

What's your theme?

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