As Christians, you know that the bible is one of the ways that God opens up and speaks to us. But like me, many believers do sometimes still dread it when the word “bible study” is mentioned to them.
Why the fear of studying one of the most important aspects of being a Christian? I think one of the reason is many do not know how to do it effectively. Just like a craftsman without his tools, a Christian without the knowledge of “how” to go about studying the bible will be just like a “tool-less” craftsman.
Want to learn how to enjoy the word of God? Here’s 4 simple ways to kick start your wonderful journey:
1. Look at how three or four different Bible translations have the word rendered in the passage you are studying (you can look at many translations at Biblegateway.com). Perhaps the same English word or phrase is used uniformly. If not, you will learn something by noting how different translators rendered it.
2. Use a concordance (or an online tool like BibleGateway.com where you can use “keyword search”) to glance through a list of verses using the word you are curious about. Just remember that the word in English may be the translation of several different Hebrew or Greek words. (There are concordance functions that allow you to focus on only one specific Hebrew or Greek word.)
3. Look up the word in a Bible dictionary or encyclopedia. If “baptize” is in your passage, you’ll learn a lot from the article in the tool. There are not many uses of the word in the New Testament, so you can go and look them up yourself as well. Just make sure you do not assume that the entire semantic range of meaning of the word is included in the intended thought of a biblical author in any one passage. Note that some dictionaries specialize in theological words.
4. If the word is really pivotal, a detailed commentary will explain the meaning of the word (more about commentaries later). The commentator is leaning on the research of linguists and lexicographers, and giving us summary meanings. You are not likely to find word studies in one-volume commentaries, but in commentaries devoted to single biblical books.
Continue to read the full original article and other great stories at biblegateway.com
Photo Credit: the_ewan