Home Bible Study

"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

How to Study Your Bible


Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)


This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4

 The Communication of the Remnant (Part 6)

How to Study Your Bible - a few basics

Hello and welcome to those who are visiting our Home Bible Study for the first time.

If you are a regular attendee, thanks for taking the time to study the Word of Truth along with us.   

So, get yourself a drink, a light snack (we certainly do), along with your Bible, as we prepare to get down to business. 

FYI: I always use Bible texts in my Bible lessons but I prefer that you have a Bible in your hand as we go through this information so that you can:

a)      See for yourself what the book says.  Please do not go by what I say or what anyone else says for that matter.  Always go by what the book says.
b)     Learn to find your way around the Bible.  Don’t get discouraged.
It’s not an overwhelming task.  If I can do it, anyone can.

If you don’t have a Bible, that’s o.k.  There are plenty to choose from on the internet.
I use this website often and it has all the tools you’ll ever need for a Bible study:

You don’t need a seminary degree from some college to understand the Bible. 
Don’t let people sway you with their beliefs on this subject.  It’s simply not true.

If you want to know what the Bible really says, you are going to have to study it.
There is a big difference between Bible reading and Bible study.

Every sincere Believer wants to have a more meaningful personal Bible study, to understand the Bible better.  I'd like to offer several suggestions that can improve your Bible studies.  In order to grow, and develop your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, you need to read the Bible every day.  This is called your Quiet Time.

During this daily activity, I recommend prayer, and Bible reading.
But Bible reading as part of your daily devotions should be separate from your times of Bible study.   Let me explain.  Bible study, as opposed to reading, concentrates on a single topic, Bible character, or book of the Bible for closer study. 

Bible study takes a longer block of uninterrupted time.  
Perhaps you'll set aside 30 to 45 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday nights for in-depth Bible study, or an hour on Saturday mornings before the family is up -- or perhaps longer.

Blocks of time are important to Bible study.

Learn to Ask Questions

The real key to Bible study is being inquisitive, learning to ask questions of the text. First, read the passage. Then be a detective; look for clues. What's going on? What stands out to you? What don't you understand?

Who wrote or said this?
When was it written or said?
Where did this happen?
To whom was it written or said?  (Very important)

Take Notes on What You’ve Learned

One main difference between reading and studying is writing down what you learn. This isn't just so you'll remember it later.  The very act of writing requires you to formulate your thoughts clearly.  Writing forces you to recognize fuzzy thinking for what it is and push beyond it.  Write down what you’re learning because it helps you understand it better.

Get a Good Translation

One of the keys to learning the Bible is to get a good translation.  You know, of course, that the Bible wasn't written in English, but in Hebrew (and a bit of Aramaic) in the Old Testament and Greek in the New Testament.  A translation tries to render the original language into clear, accurate English.  There are two types of translations:

Literal word-for-word translation
This makes for accuracy, but can be pretty wooden to read out loud.  A good example of this type is the New American Standard Bible.

Dynamic thought-for-thought correspondence  

Here the translator takes a thought in the original language and tries to translate it into the same concept in good English, without being tied to the exact words in the original.
A good example of this might be Today's English Version (TEV).

The best study Bible contains a balance of both.  You want a careful, accurate translation, but one that reads easily and clearly for family devotions or public worship.

Another issue is the underlying Greek and Hebrew text.  The KJV translators worked with the best texts available to them in 1611, but in the last 150 years we have gained a much more accurate understanding of what the original text must have been.  Nearly all modern translations are enriched by the translators working from the most accurate Greek and Hebrew texts possible.

Here are some of the most popular English translations.  Your church or tradition may have a particular preference, but any one of these might be a good choice for you:

The King James Version (KJV, 1611) is, of course, the granddaddy of our English Bibles.  For its day it was a very accurate translation and is still used in many congregations today.  

In 1984, the New King James Version (NKJV) was published as a whole Bible by Thomas Nelson.  Translators modernized the language of archaic words substantially and removed most of the "thees" and "thous," though the original language basis remained the same as the KJV of 1611.  For churches with a strong King James tradition, the NKJV is a popular alternative.

The New International Version (NIV) was first translated as a whole Bible by evangelical scholars in 1973, with revisions in 1983 and 1988.  It is an excellent balance between readability and accuracy of translation.  For years it has been the most popular newer translation in the United States, especially among evangelical churches.

New American Standard Bible (NASB or NASV), translated by the Lockman Foundation, was published in the whole Bible in 1971 and revised in 1977.  Its big strength is its consistency in literally translating words and tenses.   It is known as a very accurate translation, though perhaps not as easy to read aloud as some others.

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV, 1989) and its predecessor the Revised Standard Version (RSV, 1952) are careful translations in the King James tradition.
Several Protestant denominations prefer the NRSV.  It is both accurate and readable.
Of course there are many other modern translations, many of them good for serious Bible study, too numerous to list here.  The original Living Bible and The Message are not translations, but paraphrases.  They can be refreshing to read but aren't good Bibles for careful study.

Note: I’m not introducing or teaching the principle of applying the teachings of Scripture to your life.  Biblical application should be automatic from my perspective.  Once you understand what the book says, “Rightly Divided of course,” you comply.   
You believe God; simple as that.

In other words when the book says “Do not lie,” as a Believer, this becomes your goal in life.  God also said, “Don’t covet your neighbor’s stuff,” and that’s what He means. 
You don’t need a PHD to figure out the meaning of that sentence.  You don't "desire" to have his home, his car, his wife, his daughter, his stereo, his bank account, his lawn, or his good looks.   

By the way did you know that it's imposible to break any one of the Ten Commandments without first commiting the sin of "coveting?"  It's true.  Check it out.
 
So, once God reveals Truth to you, you accept God’s Word.  It’s a matter of faith.

Faith is simply taking God at His Word. 
If God said it, I believe it.  And that’s that!
It’s not rocket science.

But far too many people struggle with the concept of believing God.
I’m not reporting on a brand new revelation.  It’s always been this way.

And this is the reason I’m writing and teaching this new Bible series called The Communication of the Remnant.

Believing God or taking God at His Word on faith is the “narrow path.”

Matthew 7

13: “Enter through the narrow gate: for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to (what) destruction, and there are (what’s the next word folks) many who enter through it.

14: “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are (how many) few who find it.” 

*****
This has been a brief interruption in our teaching series to help those who may need assistance getting started in their Bible study. 

We’ll pick up where we left off in this teaching series at the next posting.
I hope you’ll come back and visit us.


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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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