Why Study the Bible
It's important to disclaim all the reasons why you couldn't possibly achieve this goal!
Not enough time
Don't know enough
Not Enough Time A dear friend always told me to substitute "love" for the word "time." It's not a question of, "Do I have enough time?" but, "Do I have enough love?" Do I love God enough to learn more about Him and my relationship to Him? Do I love myself enough to discover more about myself in God's Word? Actually, you can reach the goal by reading for less than 30 minutes a day. Take ten to fifteen minutes in the morning and ten to fifteen minutes at night. Once you get started, you'll be amazed at how you won't let anything interfere with your study.
Don't Know Enough When you're getting started, it's not a question of knowing enough, but of being teachable and willing to learn. Try reading different translations. I recommend Eugene Peterson's, The Message. This paraphrase is written in everyday language and takes the guesswork out of obscure passages. There are many others worth reading, too:
Holy Bible in Modern English
NIV Study Bible
The Bible by James Moffatt
King James Version
Keep a good Bible dictionary and Bible commentary handy. The New Westminster Dictionary of the Bible is good. The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible (five volumes) is excellent. Start with a one-volume commentary such as:
The Abingdon Bible Commentary
The One Volume Bible Commentary
The Interpreter's One-Volume Commentary on the Bible: Introduction and Commentary for Each Book Including the Apocrypha (used or in libraries)
Matthew Henry's Commentary
or try a three-volume set: A Commentary by Jamison, Fausset, and Brown
Boring What could be boring about a book of solutions to all problems? Is there anything boring about discovering your relationship with God? The Bible is a rich treasure-trove of information, history, laws, literature, poetry, and letters. If you like mystery, adventure, romance, history, biography, drama, poetry, and war stories, you'll find all of that and much more in the Bible. Impractical Couldn't we all use more inspiration, comfort, strength, enlightenment, encouragement, love, or support in our lives? That's in there, too. "The Bible is the learned man's masterpiece, the ignorant man's dictionary, the wise man's directory." M.B. Eddy Why should you read the Bible from beginning to end?
It provides practical lessons for today.
It's a road map for living.
It solves identity crises.
It puts the world in perspective.
It reveals the timeless nature of God and man.
It is a stress reliever.
Your life will never be the same.
The world needs your spiritual grit.
In his book, The Heart of Hebrew History, H.I. Hester gives several reasons why we should study the Bible:
No one can claim to be an educated person without knowledge of the Bible.
laws are indispensable in human society;
history is authentic;
poetry is unsurpassed in quality and beauty; and
stories and parables are among the greatest masterpieces in literature.
The quality of our character is determined by our response to the Bible.
The Bible is the one authentic record of God's effort to reveal Himself to men. [pp. 12-13]
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