Effective Bible Study 0001 - Lesson 3

                          Believing Bible Study

  1. THE PRINCIPLE DEFINED
    1. Steps Set Forth by Others
      1. The following is the method of studying the Bible as set forth in Methods of Bible Study by W. H. Griffith Thomas pages 101-102.
        1. “The first stage of all study in relation to the Bible is that known as Textual Criticism – the discovery of the true text, the assurance that we have as nearly as is possible for us to obtain them the words of the sacred writers.  But this stage of study is obviously only introductory.  It is essential as the foundation, but it is only the foundation.”
        2. “The next stage is that which is known as Literary Criticism – the study of the Bible as literature, the consideration of its composition, authorship, date, style, and contents.”
        3. “The third stage of Bible study is concerned with Biblical Exegesis – that is, the true interpretation of the contents of the Bible, the exact meaning of passages, sections and verses.”
        4. “The fourth stage of our work with the Bible is occupied with Biblical Theology – the consideration of the religion revealed in the Scriptures, its doctrines, morals and duties.”
      2. The following is the method of studying the Bible as set forth in The Study and Teaching of the English Bible by G. Campbell Morgan.
        1. “It will at once be conceded that it is necessary to recognize that this is essentially a Library of religious literature.  It may incidentally contain scientific facts, or philosophic principles; but it is neither a scientific textbook, nor a philosophic treatise….For the present I am not concerned as to whether the teaching is true, for that is not at all the question at this point.  We do not start with that assumption.” (From page 14)
        2. “It is preeminently necessary that we come to the study of the Bible without prejudice either for it or against it…..It is a grave mistake to demand this prejudice in favor of the Bible from a class, or an individual student, when its very existence may prevent the honest and profitable study of it.”  (From pages 25-26)
    2. Steps Set Forth in This Class
      1. We must approach the Bible with a bias for it.
      2. We must approach the Bible believing the following….
        1. God gave His word by inspiration and that it was exactly what He wanted it to be.
        2. God began immediately to work on the end of preservation so that each word would remain exactly what He wanted it to be.
        3. God preserved His word in the King James Bible so that every word that we have is exactly what God wants it to be.
        4. God had no problem making a perfect translation seeing as how He was able to do this in the original manuscripts.
      3. We must approach the Bible as though every word is the word God wanted it to be (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
  2. THE PRINCIPLE REQUIRED
    1. Why It Is Required.
      1. In this course we want to learn how to do textual Bible study.
      2. In this course we want to learn how to do biographical Bible study.
      3. In this course we want to learn how to do geographical Bible study.
      4. In this course we want to learn how to do topical Bible study.
      5. In this course we want to learn how to do typological Bible study.
      6. If we do not have in our Bible exactly what God said, then we cannot accurately study any of these.
    2. What Happens If This Principle is Not Administered?
      1. If we do not approach the Bible with this faith, then we must learn Greek and Hebrew.
      2. If we do not approach the Bible with this faith then, we must approach it in complete distrust and unbelief.
      3. Therefore we must…
        1. Ignore chapter and verse divisions, which will disallow the study of a verse or chapter.
        2. Check every word to see if it was correctly translated.
        3. Keep an open mind to all of the possible renderings of any given Hebrew or Greek word as the possible true rendering.
        4. Declare that we do not and cannot have the perfect word of God today.
        5. Throw out the idea of studying the scriptures to any real benefit.
  3. THE PRINCIPLE ILLUSTRATED
    1. The Work of a Detective
      1. Detective work typically requires a great deal of walking or "footwork,"  sometimes to no avail.
      2. A detective must always keep his eyes open for evidence.
      3. A detective must see everything as possible evidence.
      4. Once a piece of information is found, the detective must follow up with more research to see if the evidence is valid.
      5. A detective must be willing to research out possible evidence even though many times it will end up leading them nowhere.
      6. A detective’s work is not completed until valid evidence is found.  This evidence must be able to stand up in the court of law.
    2. The Work of a Bible Student
      1. The Bible student is going to have to be willing to put in a great deal of footwork through the scriptures without the necessity of finding something every time.
      2. The Bible student must always keep his/her eyes open for evidence.  Our evidence is in the punctuation, letters, words, phrases and even in the omissions.  Another term for letters is characters.  They are called characters because they have personality and they give information.  As a detective you must be observant to the smallest details of the word of God.
      3. Once the Bible student sees something in the scriptures that stands out, he/she must be willing to follow through with the proper research.
      4. The Bible student must be careful when submitting evidence that is unfounded according to the scriptures.
  4. THE PRINCIPLE HINDERED
    1. By Unbelief
    2. By Previously Gained Knowledge
    3. By Improper Study Tools
    4. By Incorrect Order of Study Tools Usage

                     Proper Tools for Bible Study

  1. THE BIBLE
    1. The Benefit of the Bible
      1. The Bible is the best dictionary for the Bible.
      2. The Bible is the best commentary for the Bible.
      3. The Bible is the only perfect resource for Bible study.
    2. What is Meant by the Bible.
      1. The King James Bible is the only Bible in the English language.  The rest are considered below under the heading perversions.
      2. In order to do the most honest Bible study, it is recommended that the student avoid any and all reference Bibles.
      3. Reference Bibles can come in later, but the most honest of Bible studies can be hindered by the comments of men.
      4. When looking for a King James Bible, you must be careful to avoid some of the newer perversions that are still claiming to be King James, such as the New Scofield of 1967 that changed the text.
      5. I would recommend the Bibles printed by Local Church Bible Publishers.
  2. SWORDSEARCHER
    1. The Material
      1. The newer version has a wealth of new material indexed and ready for immediate retrieval.
      2. Among dozens of resources, it has the commentaries of Adam Clarke, Jamieson-Fausset-Brown, Matthew Henry and Matthew Poole.
      3. It also includes Webster’s 1828 Dictionary (a classic), the entire International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (another classic), Nave’s Topical Bible, and numerous maps and illustrations.
    2. The Cost Is Affordable.
    3. NOTE:  Our website, learnthebible.org, is constantly updating our research tools.  Please check our online Bible for the most up-to-date tools.
  3. CONCORDANCES
    1. Definition
      1. A concordance is an alphabetical list of the words used in the Bible with the references where these words are used and usually a partial quote of the passage showing the word in context.
      2. A complete concordance records every listing of every word in the Bible. There are also concordances for different versions of the Bible.
    2. Specific Uses
      1. Aids in finding a verse when the reference is not known
      2. Gives material for word studies
    3. Most Popular Concordances
      1. Cruden's Concordance
        1. Features
          1. Has some definitions
          2. Gives many words according to phrase
          3. Paraphrases some selections
        2. Advantages
          1. Smaller than the others and therefore easier to handle
          2. Excellent for finding references
          3. Excellent for phrase studies
        3. Disadvantages
          1. Does not have all Bible words or references
          2. Phrasing can be confusing.
          3. Paraphrasing does not give exact feel of the verse.
          4. NOTE: avoid abridged versions of Cruden's.
      2. Young's Concordance
        1. Features
          1. Contains most Bible references
          2. Subdivides each English word into Hebrew and Greek words with a short definition
        2. Advantage - helps to distinguish words with completely different meanings but identical spellings, i.e.,  fast, bow
        3. Disadvantages
          1. Still not complete
          2. Places too much emphasis on the Hebrew and Greek
          3. Makes it hard to find a passage
          4. Makes word studies difficult
      3. Strong's Concordance
        1. Features
          1. Contains every Biblical reference to every passage
          2. Passages are verbatim
          3. No subdivisions - except in the new edition which subdivides proper nouns when they refer to different people or places
        2. Advantages
          1. Every word and reference
          2. Exact wording
          3. Excellent for word studies or verse searches
        3. Disadvantage - if spelling is the same, no distinction is made.
  4. DICTIONARIES
    1. For Definitions
      1. The most obvious usage of a dictionary is for its definitions.
      2. It is, however, dangerous to rely too heavily on the definitions found in dictionaries as they are always updating to reflect the modern usage of the word.
    2. For Etymology
      1. This is a history of how a word came to its present form.
      2. Use the etymology to help determine the most basic idea of the word.
    3. For Part of Speech
      1. If more than one applies to the word, find which applies to the passage you are studying.
      2. Use this information to understand the significance of this word in the verses in which it is found.
    4. Some Recommendations
      1. Webster’s New World Dictionary published by Simon & Schuster
      2. 1828 American Dictionary of the American Language by Noah Webster
      3. The Merriam-Webster New Book of Word Histories
      4. Dictionary of Word Origins by John Ayto
      5. An Etymological Dictionary of the English Language by Walter W. Skeat
  5. CROSS-REFERENCE AIDS
    1. Definition - any reference that starts from a particular Bible reference and gives related references
    2. Uses
      1. Find related verses and passages
      2. Find what else the Bible has to say on the same subject
      3. Obey the commands to compare and build truth on scripture (Isaiah 28:9-10; 1 Corinthians 2:13)
    3. Examples
      1. Center column reference Bibles
        1. Often an excellent tool for Bible study
        2. All center column references are not alike; check them out before you purchase them.
        3. Use the center column reference.
      2. The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
        1. Probably the best cross-reference tool available
        2. Has many more references than a Bible center column
        3. Divides the verses into phrases to save time in study
        4. This is a must for the serious Bible student
      3. The New Topical Textbook
        1. More of a topical reference than a cross reference
        2. Yet, an excellent tool for the study of certain topics
        3. A great help in sermon building
  6. BIBLE DICTIONARIES
    1. Kinds
      1. Single-volume Bible dictionaries
        1. Most contain all proper nouns in the Bible
        2. Also discuss many major Bible words
        3. Many outline major topics in the Bible: history, temple, vegetation
        4. Cover some of the major themes about the Bible: archeology, chronology, Bible versions
        5. Most give an outline, summary and brief introduction to the books of the Bible
      2. Encyclopedia Bible dictionaries
        1. Take up several volumes
        2. Has everything found in the single-volume dictionaries and much more
        3. They usually cover less frequent words, related historical subjects and archeological discoveries which are not found in single-volume dictionaries.
    2. Uses
      1. Helps in defining Biblical words
      2. Good for biographical or geographical studies
      3. Good for the study of background information on Bible words and topics
      4. Helps in tracing related subjects
  7. COMMENTARIES
    1. A Proper Expectation
      1. We tend to expect too much from commentaries and find ourselves disappointed.
      2. Do not expect these books to have the answers you want.
    2. A Proper Use
      1. Use commentaries after you have studied the problem for yourself.
      2. Commentaries tend to emphasize different things: doctrine, devotional thoughts, and technical discussions. Know your commentaries and know when to use which.
  8. PERVERSIONS OF THE SCRIPTURE
    1. Usage
      1. This is not meant to be used for actual study of the scripture.
      2. When a modern version changes something from the King James Bible, it is a good indicator that you need to do some studying of the King James because Satan is obviously trying to get rid of a good truth.
    2. Acquisition
      1. You do not have to purchase the modern versions.
      2. Many of these are available for your viewing on the internet.
Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 22:6

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.