My friends, There are no short cuts to learning, And this fact comes from a "Slow Learner" (Me). Who Got kicked out of kindergarden, because I refused to play at recess, (Jim Doesnt Play) and Flunked the 3rd Grade, And drank the ink, from my pen, And received a "F" in my typing class, and in my Biology class, and in my chemistry class, and in my Math classes, And, And, And... You get my Point!
Whether a book of science, history or religion, it can only be comprehended by unyielding mental industry. The Bible is no exception!
Moses enjoined Israel: " And these words, which I command thee ths day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto they children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thy house, and when thy walkest by the way, and when thou liest down and when thou risest up" (Deut: 6:6,7).
God commanded Joshua: "This book of the law shall not depart out of they mouth, but thous shalt meditate there-on day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein" (Josh. 1:8)
For "A fourth part of the day Ezra read in the book, in the law of God distinctly: and they gave the sense so that they understood the reading" (Neh: 9:3; 8:8).
The Psalmist declared: "And on his aw doth he meditate day and night" (1:2); "Oh how love I thy law: it is my meditation all the day" (119:97); "I have more understanding than all my teachers for thy testimonies are my meditation" (119:99). Paul charge Timothy: "Til I come, give heed to reading, to exhortation, to teaching" (1 Tim: 4:13).
My friends, The Bible does not accomplish its purpose by its mere presence like an amulet, a charm, a fetish. It is not to be used as the supersitious use a horse-shoe, a rabbit's foot, a medicine bag, a relic or a rosary, or even a crucifix.
When a wanderer is in a desert, my friends, he locates a fountain of water, well he must drink of it as well as find it, right? if he is to quench his thirst. Even so, one who possesses a Bible must receive the implanted or engrafted Word if it is to save his soul. (James 1:21).
Only thru diligent study can this be achieved. Trust Me, I Know! Remember, this comes from the "Slow Leaner" "Me"!
My friends, I've found it, to be wise, to have a definite, workable, sound study plan, and stick to it. Avoid "Desultory Reading", a chapter or verse here or there. Study all of the Bible, not just your favorite book or verses.
It is best to begin with an overall survey of the Bible. Make an outline of prominent persons and events, from beginning to end, in a chronological order.. Be sure to keep in mind the scheme of redemption, which is the Bible's central theme, and notice how it gradually unfolds, thru out.
After obtaining a good bird's eye view of the Bible you will then be prepard to study each book chapter by chapter. Learn something of the author, time and circumstances of writing, and purpose of the book. Jot down the main points in each chapter. Refer to any accounts of the same events that may be recorded in another book.
When a thorough chapter by chapter study has been completed it is good to make a careful paragraph by paragraph, and then a verse by verse, study of each book. This is especially true of the New Testament. (Stay organized) !
Another method is to study subjects or topics. Gather all that the Bible says on a particular subject. It could be a person, command, principle or ordinance. Use a reference Bible or concordance. (They come in real handy)
Outline your findings, listing each item under its proper heading. This will give a comprenhensive analysis of each topic studied.
Underline key passages for easy reference. Memorize those verse that are most frequently used. Practice expressing in your own words(out loud) what you have just learned.
Regard The Divisions Of The Bible:
The major division of the Bible is between the Old Testament and the New Testament. There are 39 books in the Old Testament Begining with the book of Genesis, and ending with the book of Malachi. And there are 27 books in the New Testament Begining with the Book of Matthew, and ending with the Book of Revelation. There were 40 different writers, over a 1500 year period.
The Jews divided their Testament into the Pentateuch or (Law), (5 books of Moses); then the Prophets: (historic and prophetic books) and then the Psalms or simply the "writings". (5 poetical books, plus Ruth, Lamentations, Daniel, Esther , Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles). Jesus recognized this divison (Luke 24:44)
The Old Testament embraces two dispensations: The Patriarchal, and The Mosaic. The patriarchal age is so-called because in it family worship was conducted under the leadership of the Chief Father or patriarch.
During this period, which began at creation, God dealt "Directly" with man. He promised to bless all families of the earth through Abraham's seed (Gen. 12:3; 22:18). This was fulfilled in Christ (Gal: 3:8, 16).
Four hundred and thirty years(430) after this promise God gave unto the children of Israel at Mount Sinai, a law through Moses, or also known, and the "Law" of Moses: (Gal:3:17). Because of transgressions it was added to the promise "Til the seed should come" (v 19). None are any longer under the Law of Moses. (v.24, 25; Eph. 2:14-18; Col: 2:14ff-17; Rom.7:4, 6; Heb. 7:12; 10:9) It was never given to Gentiles as such, only fleshy Israel (Deut. 4:8; 5: 1-3; Neh. 9:13, 14; Rom:2:14).
The New Testament is not like the Old Testament. (Jer. 31:31ff-34). It was not added to anything. (John 1:17). Under it we have not only a new covenant (Heb: 8: 6-13) but also a new mediator (Christ) (1 Tim. 2:15), A New Church, (Matt: 16:18) called the Church of Christ Rom: 16:16, and a New promise (Acts 2:38) Christ only Built One Church..HIS!
For there are nearly over 1500 Man Made denominational churches in the world today. None authorize or approve by God or Christ, in there Written Word to Man. For Foolish Man, chose to "Add too, and Take Away" God's Word. For God's Word Was Not enough for them, they needed to create there own creed books/by-laws, and other Man Made Books, and so-forth, thus rebelling against God, and Christ Himself. (sad) For No Where in God's Word are they authorized to exists. But Man being Man, continues to rebel against God's Word. Oh Foolish Man. Good news to that, Heaven Wont Be to Crowded.
Although we are not under The Law, of Moses, we may profit much from studying it and encourage to do so in the New Testament: For Paul declared that "These things happened unto them by way of example; and they were written for our learning" (1 Cor: 10:6, 11) (Rom. 15:4). It foreshadow Christ and the New Covenant (Luke 24:44; John 5:39; Col: 2:17; Heb. 10:1).
My friends, One cannot fully appreciate and comprehend the New Testament with some knowledge of the Old Testament. When One observes scriptures quoted, as thru my writing, what you are seeing: ie.. Matt: 6: 33, That is the name of the book then the chapter, then the verse.
Consider The Context
Webster. New 20th Cen Dictionary, defines Context: as to weave together. 1. The parts of a sentence, paragraph, discourse, etc. that occur just before and after a specified word or passage, and determine its exact meaning; as it is unfair to quote this remark out of its context. 2. The whole situation, background, or environment relevant to some happening or personality".
My friends, each book, chapter and verse should be studied in view of its own surroundings. A word, phrase or sentence taken out of its setting may appear to have a very different meaning. When examinded in it context the meaning should be evident.
Observe who is speaking. Was it God or Satan? If a man, was he inspired? If an uninspired person was he unbiased and truthful?
The Bible records the words of the devil and his agents as well as those of God and His messenger. The serpent said to Eve, "Ye shall not surely die" (Gen 3:4) Rabshakeh asserted that God could not deliver Jerusalem out of the hand of Assyria (2 Kings 18:19-35); and the Pharisees blasphemously accused Jesus of casting out demons "by Beelzebub the prince of the demons" (Matt: 12:24). What these said was untrue but it is a fact that they said it.
Next, see who is addressed. Did they live under the Law of Moses or the Law of Christ? Were they Jews or Gentiles; saints or sinners? Was the command or promise given to a particular persons or to all mankind?
God charged Israel, whom he had brought out of Egypt, to "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy (Ex. 20:2, 8). They were to keep it thru out their generation as signs between them and God (Ex. 31: 12ff-17) This IS NOT a New Testament command. But some men/man even today doesnt Believe That! Oh Foolish Man.
Peter ordered Simon to "Repent" and pray for forgiveness (Acts 8:22). A careful study of the context will show that Simon like others in Samaria, had already Believed and were Baptized (v. 13, Mark 16:16). Peter's words, then, were directed to an "Erring Saint" rather than the "Alien Sinner".
God commanded Noah to build "An Ark of gopher wood" (Gen 6:14). No ones else was enjoined to do this. Jesus promised His apostles that they would "Be baptized in the Holy Spirit not many days hence" (Acts: 1:5). This promise does not apply to all disciples.
Next; Find out what is being discussed. What is the topic under consideration? The Roman letter will be more easily comprehended by one who is aware that Paul is seeking to show that salvaton for both Jew and Gentile is by the gospel of Christ, or by the "Law of Christ" and Not by the Law of Moses. ( Romans 1:16:17).
In Part IV: How To Study The Bible:
Accept All That is Given On Each Subject
Accept Only What is Given On Each Subject
Take The Bible For What It Says. (Dont "Add To" His Word, Nor "Take Away")
Use Common Sense
Grow In Understanding
Stay Tuned My Friends !