Wow! After a couple of weeks of looking through several Bible study series, trying to find a good one to get into... Looking through several Bible reading "plans" on my YouVersion Bible app...I realized that the kind of study I am looking for is simple Bible study. There are lots of commentaries and opinions and disputes about the Bible. But what is the best book to study if you are wanting to learn about the Bible? Any guesses? THE HOLY BIBLE!
A friend introduced me to "inductive study" which is basically studying the Bible by studying it against itself, using cross-references, etc. Also inductive study involves asking about the passage you are studying the 5 Ws and an H...
WHO are the main characters?
WHAT is the passage about?
WHEN does this event or teaching take place?
WHERE does this occur?
WHY is this being done or said?
HOW did this happen?
Also I know that studying the Bible verse by verse, in context is highly recommended. For this I have a study Bible that is a keyword study Bible and includes a Greek and Hebrew dictionary in it to study what the original words in that language mean fully, before translated into English.
And lastly, my own pastor has taught a method in of studying out a passage of Scripture by asking what the passages says about God, man, sins to avoid, and promises from God or ways of life to follow.
Also, I found a "read through the Bible" plan on my Bible app. but I am quickly realizing that I will not get through 3 chapters a day by studying it....just reading it? Yes. But really studying it? No.
So I am amazed at how a combination of these ways to study the Bible in combination with prayer have lit up my understanding of the Scriptures! Thank You, God!!
Sharing just an example from tonight in case anyone wants to implement these wonderful study tools with asking the Lord to open our eyes as we read His Word and show us His truths. The passage is Genesis chapter 3, verses 1-3. Get your Bible out and read it....I use the New King James Version.
Words studied...the word for "serpent" in Hebrew is nachash and can mean a literal snake, or a figurative representation of satan. It also can means "whisper or hiss , like a snake, a magic spell" or to practice divination, use witchcraft, interpret omens, pagan practice of seeking knowledge through divination.
Studied the word "said" (curious about talking snakes :)) ...the word "amar" is used here and is a verb that can refer to both vocal speech or thoughts as internal speech. Found this fascinating as our thoughts are to be "taken captive to Christ". How often have we had internal dialogue that led to our sinning? That was satan "speaking".
Now what does this passage say about God? (my thoughts)
God created all the beasts of the field.
God created the serpent (whether the actual snake or the representation of satan for He created all the angels too and satan is a fallen angel).
God told Adam and Eve what not to do.
What does this passage say about man?
Man (and woman) can hear the whisper of the snake satan inside our heads.
Man can respond to satan.
Man tends to exaggerate, add on to what God has said, in other words....man lies.
What does this passage say about sins to avoid?
Avoid getting into any discussions with satan - vocal or internal thought dialogue.
Avoid listening to anyone , or thing, or thought you have that lies about God and what He has said. In order to know this, you must know the Bible by reading or listening to it regularly.
Avoid adding or taking away from what God has said.
Do not disobey God.
What does this passage say regarding promises from God or ways we should live our lives?
God tells us not to do certain things for our own good (ex. "or you will die") just like parents do for their children.
GOD: God knows what will happen as a result of our actions.
God knew and knows what is good and what is evil and totally understands it.
You can be in the presence of God and know your shame.
Man is able to be deceived by words of others, internal thoughts, the cares of life (hunger), the visual appeal of something, wanting more than what God has given.
Man sins and disobeys God, not heeding His warnings.
Man wants others to sin with him/her.
Man knows he is a sinner (naked).
Man knows now what evil is and is ashamed of his evil doings and tries to "cover them up" (ex. fig leaves)
If God says "if...then" believe Him; don't just believe what you want to believe because God is truth and tells truth.
Avoid listening to lies about God.
Avoid wanting to be God or godlike. Satan fell because of this and this is the first thing he used to try to bring others into his fallen state...a desire to "be like God", to be "as wise" as God is. We never will be but are to depend on the Holy Spirit to provide the wisdom God shares with us; not on our own pursuit of "becoming a god".
Avoid rationalizing sin..."well, he got me upset", "well, she had it coming", "well, it was his fault", " well they should not have dressed so immodestly".
Don't disobey God.
Don't pull someone down into sin with you.
Resist temptation to sin.
Remind yourself always of what God has shown you and said in His Word.
Remind yourself every day of the blessings of being able through Christ to walk with Him once again unashamed.
Now for the 5Ws and an H :)
WHO were the main characters? God, serpent (satan), Eve, Adam
WHAT? Serpent trying to get Eve to disobey God; Adam and Eve's disobedience
WHEN? In the beginning of the world before the fall of man. According to the Jewish calendar we are living in the year 5777 (how many years it has been since God created the world). The Bible says that Adam lived to be 930 years old. Also it says Adam was 130 when Seth was born. Seth was born outside the garden so Adam could not have been in the garden any longer than 130 years. So it would seem it happened within the first 130 years of the creation of the earth.
WHERE? In the Garden of Eden on earth.
WHY? To explain the temptation and the fall of man.
HOW? Satan cast doubt into Eve's mind on what God had said to her. He tempted her by enticing her with being wise, being like God, and directly contradicting what God has said about the consequences of disobedience. He lied to her and deceived her. He also got her to rationalize her sin and get Adam to participate too.
I LOVE the way the Spirit reveals Himself through this way of studying the Scriptures!
Adding to this praying with Scripture about what we have studied...
"Lord God, when You asked the woman in the Garden, "What is this you have done?" her response was, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Gen. 3:13) Just as Eve was deceived by the serpent's cunning, the minds of even those with a sincere and pure devotion to Christ can be led astray. (2 Cor. 11:3) Please help me always to be aware that the enemy will be up to his old tricks. Even the devout believer can be led astray if not held continually on the path by Your Word and keenly aware of satan's schemes. Help me not to be deceived by the serpent's cunning.
Dear Lord God, You have told us in Your Word that the devil was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44) Please help me discern that wherever deception exists, the devil is at work.
Father God, You have adamantly warned Your children not to be deceived (James 1:16). Am I presently being deceived in any way? If I am, please reveal it to me and give me the courage to cease cooperating with deceptive schemes.
Father, You have warned me for my own good not to trust anything about my heart unless it is fully surrendered to You. My heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. I will never be able to understand it. You the Lord search the heart and examine the mind. (Jer. 17:9-10) Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (PS 51:10) Help me, Lord, above all else to guard my heart, for it is the wellspring of life. (Prov. 4:23) Please help me to recognize that the primary target of deception is my heart. In other words, I must be careful not to trust feelings and emotions on their own. I must wear the breastplate of righteousness so that I will do the right thing even when I don't feel the right thing. In the meantime, I ask You, Lord, to knead the right kind of feelings into my heart. Amen"
(Beth Moore, Praying God's Word)