Getting to know God should be easy.

Studying God's Word: The Bible
Print E-mail

W
hat is the Bible and where did it come from?

The Bible is "God's word" to mankind. It is a collection of 66 books, written by 40 different authors, over a period of over 1,500 years. The books of the Bible were written by prophets and disciples who served God. These men were very different from one another. Some were shepherds. Some were kings. Some were well educated. Some had only a little education. Some were rich and some were poor. These men were separated from each other by centuries of time in many cases. And yet the Bible has a single thread which runs through the entire collection of books it contains. That thread is God's plan to save mankind. The unity of the Bible's message indicates that it had a single author, designer, or editor. But aside from this natural conclusion, the Bible also claims to be inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.

Why should you study the Bible?

Study His word because you love Him. When you love somebody you want to know everything about them. The way to know about God is to read and study His word (the Bible). The Bible is the way that God has revealed Himself to you directly. It tells you who He is and what He expects of you. The better you know His word, the better equipped you are for everything that happens in your life. You will know what His answer would be to most of the questions that you would want to ask Him. You won't have to ask Him if it's good for you to do something if you have already read in His word that it's not good. His answer to your question will never contradict, or disagree with, His written word. God also teaches you how to live through the Bible. It teaches you how to treat other people and what is right and what is wrong. It is truly the handbook, or "instruction manual", for you.

What do you believe and why do you believe it?

Somebody will eventually ask you, "Why do you believe it?". If you have not read and studied God's word then you will just have your own opinions and your own thoughts about God that are not based on the truth that He has revealed in His word. As you study God's word you create a solid foundation for the things you believe that you can share with others. Have you ever met somebody with an opinion about something but they can't tell you why they hold that opinion? They wouldn't be able to convince you of anything, would they? It's much better to talk with a person when they have reasons for the the things they believe. Every believer in Jesus is called, or instructed by Him, to share their faith with others. Scripture says that you should be able to handle the word of truth (The Bible) with skill.

Regular Feeding

Your body needs food. Your spirit also needs to be fed. The best food for the spirit is the word of God. You should read the Bible every day. You could read for 10 minutes when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed. You can read during your afternoon meal. You can listen to the Bible on cassette tape, CD, or an MP3 player.  Maybe Listen in your car on your way to work.  Regular Bible reading is important for your spiritual health. 

Study the Bible

Reading or listening to the Bible is one thing but studying the Bible is much different. When you study the Bible, you slow down and dig deeper. It's like taking the time to enjoy your favorite food, instead of eating fast. When you study the Bible, you will check cross-references, compare passages of text with other passages, and pray with God as you read. The Bible is a source of spiritual riches that can never be exhausted. You can study it throughout your whole life and still see something new even when you read a familiar passage of text.

Versions

If you visit a typical Christian bookstore in the U.S., you'll find several different translations (KJV, NASB, NIV, etc) of the Bible. There are study bibles (Scofield, MacArthur, Life Application, etc), Bibles targeted at certain readers (Children's Bibles, Student's Bible), and several other different types.  In the future, maybe a page of this site, or at least an article will be devoted to reviews. But, to give you a little immediate help, here's a few pointers. There are "word-for-word" translations (NKJV, NASB,..) and "thought-for-thought" translations (NLT, MSG). A "word-for-word" translation tries to accurately interpret the original text and words, as written. A "thought-for-thought" translation tries to translate the original author's message to make it easier to understand. It does not try to use the exact words. Both types of translation have value.  But, for Bible studies the "word-for-word" translations are recommended. You should get a study Bible if you can. The Scofield study bible has been around for a long time and is well respected. MacArthur is another respected name. Don't get a Bible that was produced for a particular religion (Catholic, Greek-Orthodox, Jewish, etc) because they may interpret the text to support their views or religious traditions.

Internet Bibles

There are internet & computer based bibles. There are many sites like blueletterbible.org and e-sword.net that give you free access to multiple translations of the Bible, commentaries, and Bible-related dictionaries.  You don't need to spend any money.  There are many many Bible resources available to you on the internet.  Check the Web Links page for more.

"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." -2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)

You can send a private comment to the author. Others will not see it.

 
The Bible says...
"For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
-Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
 
The Bible says...
“Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him."
-Proverbs 30:5 (NIV)
 
The Bible says...
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
-Romans 10:17 (NKJV)
 
The Bible says...
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
-2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
 
The Bible says...
"But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.’”
-Luke 4:4 (NKJV)