INQUIRY ABOUT BIBLE STUDY
By R. L. DeWitt
A wise and profitable way to study the Holy Bible, friend, is to first ask God to teach you and lead you in the study, for it is His Word speaking to man, and we need to first of all be
ACKNOWLEDGING GOD (note Isa. 45:18-22). The Bible is to be read as a holy text book of truth and information, and not simply read as a common story book, for it is God speaking to readers therein; and thus one ought to make the reading a DAILY PRACTICE.
If the seeker is not yet a true and devoted "born again" believer in Jesus, "the Christ of God" (Luke 9:20), and assured of Heaven (as John 3, John 14, Rom. 8; 1 Jn. 5:10-13; etc.), that one needs to FIRST be reading the four Gospel books: MATTHEW; MARK; LUKE; JOHN; and see the personal message God has for the reader ---the Lord Jesus being presented there in four descriptive ways. Ask God for understanding as you read ---and one might well make a quick side reading in Hebrews 9 & 10 to see the overall picture for earnest seekers after God. ALL THESE SCRIPTURE REFERENCES QUOTED HEREIN SHOULD BE CAREFULLY READ AND PRAYED ABOUT if the reader truly wants to know the mind and ways of God.
The seeker might also ALTERNATE READING EACH WEEK in the Old Testament to learn about the Creator-God and creation; history of man; God's covenant people of Israel; and the prophecy for Israel and their Messiah ---the Lord Jesus. The book of Acts and the Epistles follow the Gospels, and teach about the universal Church and our need to know that for our present day as a Godly walk and testimony.
Some modern versions of God's Word by men are aimed to please readers, so they often omit or change wordings to try and make things as modern language and simple, rather than what God has recorded for us by such as the venerable KING JAMES VERSION ---much studied by scholars over 300-400 years. Bibles printed in other languages need to be prayerfully studied to conform to the KJV of circa 1800 and not the many new Bible versions men are promoting.
I recommend students possess the proven KJV Scofield Study Bible, or the KJV Parallel Edition which holds to the given text, and gives helps then in margin notes and commentaries by esteemed scholars, and also shows some errors and where writers in these later years have sometimes used poor wording to make it more simple. There is no perfection in man, so there will be some errors in all versions, and we want to be able to see those. BIBLE TRUTH PUBLISHERS, Addison, IL --USA is a most helpful source for Bibles and biblical ministry and materials; and the valuable Bible Dictionary: Concise Bible Dictionary which is much recommended.
It seems that a reader would do well to have an outline for study such as follows, to see the several sections of the Bible: The four GOSPELS should be read first ---showing several views of God's grace and hope for mankind in His "...beloved Son" ---the Lord Jesus, the Christ of God. That gives the foundation for the Bible study, and the REAL REASON for the study. Apart from that a quick and simple reading might only result in a history lesson of people of the world, and miss the lesson from God.
In essence this message says that there are inter-related parts to God's Word:
Bible General ---an overview of deity, creation, the trinity, history, and God's care and dealing first with His covenant people of Israel, as showing blessings to those who are obedient and faithful, such as Abraham and his blessed descendants, etc.; and purpose and mind of God in general in the books of Old Testament and New Testament ---showing the change from OT times to NT.
Redemption Way ---Seeing how the Old Testament books are fortelling the New Testament way, and expectations for mankind, the coming and sacrifice of Jesus, the Christ of God, salvation and judgments, heaven and eternity, etc.;
Church Truth ---Formation of the "bride" (the Church), God's testimony and expectations for His saints here in this world to obey and honor God, etc.;
Spiritual Life ---living for God and devotions, worship, testimony before all mankind, service, etc. Summation as in Revelation showing the future for this world, etc.
I believe that defining the study thus might help in preparations and discussions; and avoid confusion, and even debates, which should not be allowed to develop. Please read the verses shown above, friend, and write me anytime. These are just some thoughts here to consider for the good of seekers! -RLD: Gd-B; 06/17.