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It always amazes me how many Christians I meet who don’t know what the Bible teaches. The Bible is the manual for the Christian life and is the revelation of God Himself, who we must love more than anything in order to be saved in the end. Matthew 10:37 Do we read the instructions for a new electronic device, which will wear out in three years or less and need replaced? How much more crucial it is to read and understand the information that will determine our eternal salvation or damnation and that of those we love.

It is dangerous to simply believe everything you hear from another person, even a preacher. We are all imperfect humans and make mistakes. God tells us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. Philippians 2:12 We alone are accountable to God for what we believe and how we live. We need to know what He has told us, so we can obey Him and will know when we are hearing lies.

Many people think the Bible is difficult to understand, so they don't try. Actually, it was written on a 6th grade level. Sure there are topics that are open to differing opinions, but the majority is easily understood, especially when you ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you as you study. The Rabbis of old said that scripture has 70 layers of meanings, so after we learn the obvious meaning of a passage, there is still a wealth of knowledge to be gained from further study, with His help.

I am going to "demystify" how to study the Bible in a few short, easy lessons in the hopes of encouraging you to explore the riches it holds for you. Look in the label cloud under "Christianity 101" for lessons you have missed and God bless your efforts! I'm always available to you in e-mail and I pray for everyone who visits here.

CHRISTIANITY 101 - Using Your Bible Lesson 7

Buying A New Bible - Features

If you are looking to buy a new Bible, here are a few features that are a great help. Not all Bibles have them and you might want to look for one that does. Most Christian book stores are happy to order you just what you are looking for at no additional cost.

-Ribbons. Basic, but having attached ribbons is a convenient way to keep your place. They never fall out!

-References are a great help when studying your Bible. You will see tiny reference numbers next to words in the verses. The explanations of these numbers can be located either in between the two columns of text or at the bottom of the page. First look for the verse number in the explanation area. Many times there will be more than one reference number in a verse, so when you look for the explanation, look for the number that’s by the word you are looking up listed under the verse number in the explanation area. Various information will be offered there depending on the Bible you have. It may give another word that the translators could have used there. It may list other passages that are similar, which is helpful to read to be sure you get a full understanding of the subject. It may give further information.

-Maps are found at the back of many Bibles. These help give us an understanding of the places we are reading about and what those places are called today. They often show the path of the missionary journeys and other journeys also.

-Red letters showing the words Jesus spoke while in the flesh here on earth.

-Concordances are found in the back of many Bibles. They are arranged alphabetically and list many words in the scriptures and some of the passages they are found in with a brief portion of the text for each. Next to the “key word” you are looking up, there will be related words or synonyms. This concordance is not a complete list, but a list of what the publisher hopes will be most helpful.

I strongly recommend buying an exhaustive concordance for the specific translation of the Bible that you are using. Their value is beyond my ability to express. Having a concordance will help you find a scripture you are looking for when you can’t remember where it is book, chapter and verse. They will list every word used in the Bible and under each word, will list every scripture where it is used with a small bit of that text to help you find what you are looking for. It will also give you the number for the Hebrew or Greek word it has been translated from. In the back of the concordance they have a section for Hebrew and one for Greek where you can look up that number and see the original word, it’s meaning and much more information to aid you in your studies. The concordance does not include any man’s opinions, just lots immensely helpful data.
Next we will talk about translations, versions and paraphrases of the Bible.

Today's freebie is the Oval Marble Frame (at the bottom of the post). Tomorrow I'll give you the Rectangular Frame. This preview below is to remind you of other marble gifts I've given you that are still available in the archives in the left column if you have missed them! If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Download here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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