Sunday, August 27, 2023

Helpful Aids For Bible Study (#1)

By Joe Slater
    We frequently speak of the importance of individual Bible study. Sermons and group Bible classes ought to be seen as supplements to personal study, not substitutes for it. And remember the difference between casual reading and study. Reading alone will benefit you, but study can open doors that casual reading leaves closed.
    Obviously, Bible study requires that you have a Bible to study! Obtain one with a font size that makes it easy to read. Center column or side column cross references can be helpful, but be advised that just because a cross reference takes you to a certain passage, that passage isn’t necessarily talking about the same thing. You have to study and think! In that same vein, be extremely cautious with “study Bibles.” Most have some good material, but also contain abundant false teaching. Here again, study and think!
    I recommend studying from multiple English translations. Not every translation is reliable, but often something can be gained even by reading a translation that may not be the best and shouldn’t be your “go to” Bible. For example, I don’t recommend the NIV as one’s primary Bible, but on occasion it does a respectable job of clearing up the meaning of a passage. My personal practice is to read a passage from my primary version (NKJV), but also from the KJV, ASV, NASB, ESV, and NIV.
    A good concordance can make Bible study easier. A concordance is a listing of words (such as “faith” or “baptism”) showing the passages where those words are used. I prefer Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, but some like Young’s Analytical Concordance or some other. If you are computer or internet savvy, many concordances are available online or in computer programs. Once more, just because two passages use the same word doesn’t necessarily mean they deal with the same thing. Study and think!

- Joe Slater serves as minister of the Church of Christ in Justin, TX. He may be contacted through the congregation's website:

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