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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 2

How To Read The Bible, Index & Tabs

The Holy Bible is made up of two main parts, the Old Testament (or Covenant) and the New Testament (or Covenant). The Old Testament is the first portion of the Bible. A covenant as used here is the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.

When we read a book we start at the beginning and read to the end. The Bible is set up differently. When I first read the Bible I did it this way. I soon was confused and discouraged. I recommend starting at the beginning of the New Testament, as that is the covenant we are living under today. Once you are a bit farther along, by all means, go back and drink in the Old Testament. It will greatly enrich your understanding and walk with God.

Near the front of your Bible you will find an index page listing the names of the 66 books that compose the Bible. Feel free to use it until you can find the books just by flipping. It comes with practice and familiarity. Look in the index for the book of Matthew, which is the first book of the New Testament, and start reading there.

Some people like to attach tabs to their pages to help them find each book. Long after being able to “flip” to the book I wanted, I was in a class that wanted us to use the tabs. I found that they changed how my Bible “flipped” and I could no longer find what I was looking for by “flipping”. I also found that I quickly started relying on the tabs and lost the ability to just “flip” to the book I wanted. I cut the tabs off and was then able to quickly flip again. To each his own. Do what works for you.

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