Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tips For Bible Study Part 2: Proper Materials

2 Timothy 2:13 - The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

In his second to last epistle, Paul implored Timothy to bring these materials to him, but especially the parchments.  Especially the parchments because Paul loved his kinsmen in the flesh so much that before he departed this world, he wanted to write them a letter: The Epistle to the Hebrews.

Like the apostle Paul, there are somethings we need to have a successful bible study, and there are some things we especially need.  Let's look at a list of things broken down in these two categories that will help in your study of the scriptures.

Especially Needed Items - Items you must have

  • Authorized Version Bible - While there is no question that we are King James Only, this is only part of the reason you will need the Authorized Version for good believing Bible study.  One of the important things to understand about scripture is that topics/doctrines are often mentioned in various books with only some of the information about that topic/doctrine given in each place.  The AV was translated properly and using consistent terminology as to aid with cross-referencing.  Because the modern versions change lots of words and phrases for the sake of securing a financial copyright, lots of these patterns are destroyed and therefore will impede in bible study.  We will show examples of this later when we look at cross referencing and a sample study.
  • Pen or Pencil - It is up to you which you prefer and are more comfortable with.  Whether or not you mark you Bible or not is also up to you.  This may also depend upon if you have a note taking or wide margin Bible.  If you plan on taking notes in your Bible then we highly recommend using multiple copies as this will keep your notes clearer.
  • Notepad/notebook - Even if you plan to put notes in your Bible, you still need a notebook or notepad to take notes: there is not enough room in any Bible to hold all the notes in the margin.  Later, we suggest typing in the notes to a word processor.  This way the next time you read/study that passage, topic, verse, book, or cross reference you can add new things to your already existing notes; almost like a personal commentary.

Optional Study Items - Not essential, but can be helpful
  • Webster's 1828 Dictionary - Later we will show how to discover the meaning of an unknown word by cross referencing the scripture.  But sometimes it is helpful to have a dictionary handy for reading if you just need to look up a quick definition.  I have yet to find a definition in the 1828 that contradicts the AV.
  • Way of Life Encyclopedia - David Cloud sticks it foot in his mouth on occasion, but this  work is pretty good; full of topical information and definitions of scripture words and doctrines as well as cults.
  • Concordance - Although I would trust definitions from concordances and lexicons given their authors and their "theology" (see Gail Riplinger's Hazardous Materials), but it is good for looking up lists of words for word studies.  For instance: if studying baptism, you can use a concordance to find every place the word baptism and all the variations of it - baptism, baptized, baptizest, etc.  It is also helpful when looking at names and their meanings as they often tell something about the person.  There are free online programs that you can use, pay programs, and the old hard copy.  Use what best fits your budget.
  • Treasury of Scripture Knowledge - Good for simple cross references.


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