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9. How can I study the Bible for myself ?
1. Most important of all, we must prepare ourselves for assimilating The Word of God by confessing all our known sin to God the Father according to 1 John 1:9. If we are not "in fellowship", led by the Spirit, all of our activities, including Bible Study and prayer, are futile works of the flesh.
2. Read your Bible every chance you get. Carry a small New Testament with you to read when you have quick opportunities.
3. Find a "Bible study buddy", or study group that has the same goal that you have.
4. Start keeping a topical notebook. As you study your Bible, you will become concerned about topics such as "salvation", "baptism", "election", "promises", "free will", "sovereignty of God", "prayer", "commands for us to obey", etc. It is most helpful as you read the Bible, to create a list of verses in the categories that concern you, as you run across them. Then you will know what the whole Bible says about each topic. This web site is the result of my personal topical notebook.
5. I recommend Strong's Exhaustive concordance as the most beneficial Bible study tool. Strong's lists every word in the King James Bible, where it occurs, and what Greek or Hebrew word is underneath the English word. Strong's assigns a reference number to each English word, and these numbers are used as standard reference numbers by many, many other reference books and computer Bible programs. Strong's Concordance can help you find all the verses on a particular topic. Using Strong's does not require any knowledge of the original languages.a. Use Strong's to look up a verse when you can only remember a key word.
b. Use Strong's to look up how a word is used in each context where it appears.c. Look up a basic definition of the Hebrew and Greek words in the back of the Concordance.
d. Look up an English word to see which Hebrew or Greek word is underneath it.e. Look up categories of verses such as "prayer", and find every verse where the word "prayer" occurs. This will help you fill out your personal topical notebook.
6. Many Bibles have a concordance or topical index either in the page margins or in the back. Learn to use these tools to help gain a knowledge of what the Bible teaches on each subject.
7. Look up the Greek or Hebrew words in a lexicon keyed to the Strong's index numbers, for a full and complete definition of the original language word in the context where it appears. The Thayer Greek-English Lexicon and the Gesenius Hebrew-English Lexicon are now referenced to Strong's numbers. These useful tools do not require any knowledge of the Greek or Hebrew to find a full definition of the original language words.
8. To begin to fully use the Greek in the New Testament, the following books are extremely valuable. These books are available from Christian Book stores and internet and mail order organizations:
--- Textus Receptus Greek Interlinear, by George Ricker Berry, pub by Zondervan, for the New Testament Greek Text beside the English New Testament.
--- Word Pictures in the New Testament, by A.T. Robertson, pub by Broadman Press. A six volume set, rich with comments on the Greek text. In teaching word by word & verse by verse, I usually check out Robertson's comments on my verse. Quite often, he will bring out some beauty that I missed, and also will help me verify my use of the Greek text.
--- Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon, pub by Baker, for New Testament Greek word definitions. Keyed to Strong's Concordance numbers.
--- Gesenius' Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon, pub by Baker, for Old Testament Hebrew word definitions. Keyed to Strong's Concordance numbers.
--- The Analytical Greek Lexicon, by Zondervan for gramatical analysis of every Greek word in the New Testament. All the word forms in the N.T. Greek text are listed in Greek alphabetical order. (Called "parsing" the Greek words, stating their tense mood, voice, gender, number, case, etc)
--- The Word Study Concordance, by Tyndale House, for the chapter and verse location of all the New Testament Greek words. Also keyed to Strong's Concordance numbers. Excellent! The opposite of Strongs Concordance, in that it lists all the GREEK words in the N.T. , the chapter and verse where they are where they are located, and how they are translated in the KJV. For example you want to study the word "power", and find that there are 7 different Greek words translated into our English word "power". Now you need to study these 7 Greek words, and where are they located in the Greek text and how are they translated in the English Bible? Continuing the example, one of the Greek words is "exucia", best translated "authority", but "exucia" is translated in the KJV not only as "power", but also as "authority", "jurisdiction", "liberty", "right", and "strength". This book is a must for Greek word study.
--- Beginner's Grammar of the Greek New Testament, by William Hersey Davis, pub by Harper & Row. Excellent introduction to the Greek basics.
--- A Grammar of the New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, by A.T. Robertson, pub by Hodder & Stoughton, for grammatical analysis of the Greek text. Excellent, but not necessary, unless you plan to master the Greek.
9. To begin interpreting the Greek for yourself, you will need to refer to the following lists of Greek synonyms, rules, and terms:
10. Using these tools, you can locate and define the Greek words, understand what the parsings (tenses, moods, and genders, etc) mean and discover the richness of the New Testament Greek for yourself. You will also be able to check behind any Bible teacher to see if their information is true to the Word of God. As Acts 17:11 states, "These (God's people at Berea) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."
11. If you master this information, you will have a wonderful working knowledge of the New Testament Greek. This will be very valuable in understanding God's Word.
12. It is also very important to remember that we live in the "Church Age", or "Age of Grace", which began in Acts Chapter 2, when every member of the body of Christ was sealed and indwelt by the Holy Spirit for the first time. The primary books we live by are the New Testament Epistles to the Church, from Romans to Jude. The Old Testament and the Gospels contain the history, pictures, shadows, covenants, prophecies, and types. The Acts of the Apostles is a transitional book recording the establishment of the Church by the 12 Apostles. The Book of Revelation is historical through chapter Three, and future from Chapter four through the end. In the Church Age, we live by the New Testament Epistles, and we must understand them first, before we can understand the Old Testament and Gospels. God's Eternal Word, from Genesis to Revelation is alive and powerful, but as Paul says in 2 Tim 2:15, we must "rightly divide the word of truth", for the Age we live in. (Example: In the previous Age, the "Jewish Age", which ended in Acts Chapter 2, the Spirit of God resided in the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem, and the Levitical priesthood maintained the Temple and offered sacrifices in the Temple for the people. In the Church Age, beginning in Acts Chapter 2, Jesus death on the Cross is the last sacrifice, every born again believer is a holy temple indwelt by the Spirit of God, and each believer is a priest able to offer spiritual sacrifices to our Jesus, our High Priest in heaven).