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Saturday, July 21 2018 @ 02:29 AM CDT

Studying the Bible

Bible Study MaterialsJake Taft discusses a good way to study the Bible.

In my few short years on this earth, I've often found myself amazed upon hearing why a person believes a particular false doctrine. These people explain to me why they "feel" that such-and-such is true while using totally unrelated scriptures to back up their position. Sometimes I can only stand there in disbelief listening to how they have twisted and mutilated the word of God to fit their belief (2 Peter 3:15-16). Most of the time, they have thrown proper reading skills and common-sense understanding right out the window. The Bible is not that hard to understand! It is not a difficult book to read! The rules you use to read and understand other books and even day-to-day conversations apply to the Bible as well! Jehovah is our all-knowing, all-powerful creator. He made us in his own image! If he can speak the universe into existence and sustain all creation by his word (2 Peter 3:5-7), can he not write a book that tells us all we need to know about how to worship him and be pleasing to him while making it simple enough that everyone can understand it? Of course he can!

Having said that, here is my challenge to you. First, find you a good translation of the Bible, preferably the King James version (KJV), American Standard version (ASV), New King James version (NKJV) or the English Standard version (ESV). These are all very good, reliable translations. If you are comfortable with reading old English use the KJV or the ASV. If you would rather read and study the Bible in a modern English translation, use the ESV or NKJV. Second, get a nice thick notebook or note pad and a good pencil for taking notes. A pen will do in a pinch, but the pencil with its eraser is the best tool for the job, since we humans tend to make mistakes. Thirdly, find yourself a good quiet place where you can easily read and write. Some people prefer outdoors, some indoors. As long as you have enough room to read the Bible on one side and take notes on the other you should be fine. Finally, before you begin, go to God in prayer and ask him to help you as you study his word. He will, but you have to have the desire to want to learn (Ezra 7:10). Now comes the hard part. Forget everything that you have ever been told about the Bible. Forget everything your parents say, everything your friends say and everything your preacher says. You are going to study like the Bereans did in Acts 17:11-12. You want to approach your study of the Bible with a fresh, open mind, free of the opinions of others. Listening to friends, family, preachers and teachers is good, but when it comes to the salvation of your soul, you need to go to the source. People can be wrong, the Bible is never wrong. You need to base everything you believe on what you can read for yourself in God's word, not on what you parents taught you or what your preacher says. Your parents and preacher are human - they can make mistakes. Remember, you are ultimately responsible for your own salvation (Philippians 2:12b). If someone tells you something that the Bible doesn't support and you believe it without checking, you will only have yourself to blame on the day of judgment. If you do discover that a friend has told you something different from what the Bible says, tell them, show them! They need to know! Where they spend eternity may be hanging in the balance!

I hope you will take what I've said here to heart. So much depends on you obeying God. Please, study your Bible. As my teacher used to say in school, "you will be tested on it, so make sure you know it" and live it.

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