Bible Study for me has not been an easy thing to grasp. I was not one of those people who gave their life to Christ and automatically devoured the Word. For years Bible study and I had a bouncy relationship. At times I’ve been overcome by life’s cares and didn’t look at the Bible for weeks or even months at a time. I have started and stopped, restarted and forgotten. I have gotten frustrated and quit too many times to count! Unable to completely give up, the vicious cycle continued for years…until I had a change of heart about God and His Word.
Now that I know the Bible to be God’s message to me, and that its power to transform rests in one’s desire and willingness to obey its instruction, I no longer approach to the Word of God as an unprofitable chore. The time spent reading/studying the Bible is now something I desire and look forward to! Therefore, for this post, I thought I would give you a glimpse into my time in the Word. Let’s take a look at the tools and method I used for digging into Scripture.
**There are many methods one can use for Bible study; this is what I have chosen. Find what’s right for you because you’ll most likely stick with what you enjoy.
As a person who loves books, it should be no surprise that I have more than one Bible. I have a few translations; KJV, NKJV, NASB, AMP, and NLT. I also own a Recovery Version of the New Testament. I don’t mind looking at another translation from time to time. The KJV, however, is my foundation translation; it is the version that others are measured against. Another version may be somewhat easier to read; however, there are times when the meaning may be muddied or sacrificed altogether. This is why I suggest everyone have a formal equivalence translation as their foundation.
I am currently studying my way through The International Inductive Study Bible (NASB translation). I have not put a deadline on myself to accomplish this task. I am just taking it one book at a time. If you choose to do the same, I suggest starting with a short book – perhaps from the New Testament.
Inductive study is a method for Bible study that helps students of the Word discover what Scripture is saying, what it means, and how it applies to their life. I like marking the keywords because it helps significant things stand out. It also causes me to slow down and pay more attention to what’s being said. As I read and re-read I grasp much more of the Scriptures than I have in the past. Right now I love this method. I started this last year, and I have modified it to better suit me. I would recommend anyone at least give it a try. You may find it works well for you too!
More information on the Inductive Study Method
The above picture shows the pencils and pens that I used for marking key words and phrases in my Bible. It looks like a lot, but I happen to be a pen and paper addict. I promise you don’t need as much as you see pictured. I’ll explain what I have here, but it is personal preference that decides what’s best.
CRAYOLA TWISTABLES COLORED PENCILS
I like these because I don’t have to sharpen them. They mark well, with no bleed through. Used in conjunction with pens/markers, these are mostly for coloring in keywords.
PILOT FRIXION ERASABLE GEL PENS!
Aaaah, I absolutely love these pens for Bible Study! They do not bleed through. They have a nice point that works well for underlining, circling, or boxing in keywords. Sometimes I will write in the margin of my Bible, and these work great for that because they are erasable. They are a little expensive but worth the investment.
SAKURA MICRON 005 FINE LINE PEN SET Assorted Colors
I really like this set and use it regularly when marking my Bible. It does not bleed through. Because of the thin, ultra- fine point, it is sometimes the better choice when making certain markings in the Bible.
If you’re interested, I keep my pencils and pens in a high capacity pencil case. You can find them here
When studying the Bible you will need to write some things down; it’s inevitable. The paper or notebook you choose is entirely up to you. Some prefer loose sheets, others a small binder or inexpensive spiral notebook. I have used a small 3 ring binder before, but I’m now using the Rhodia Webnotebook pictured above. Rhodia notebooks contain wonderful paper that’s a joy to write on. This may or may not be important to you. I usually write with fountain pens; therefore, paper choice is key. In the Rhodia, ink does not bleed through. I also like the fact that it is a bound book that I can keep to thumb through in the future (plus it looks good on my bookshelf ;D ).
No matter what method of study you choose to use, there will be times when you may need to consult other sources to gain a better understanding. A computer comes in quite handy for this. You can purchase software, but there are a number of good free resources available.
I used a software program that is free to all — E-Sword.
E-sword is a packed software program where you can download various translations, dictionaries, and commentaries all for free. You will also have access to maps and other study resources. Resources (such as the NIV translation) that are not authorized for free distribution are available to purchase for use with the program.
www.biblesupport.com offers a plethora of free study materials for use with E-sword.
Some Online Resources that I use sometimes are
Well, that’s it; the overview of my method and tools of choice for Bible study. I hope this post was both a helpful and enjoyable read. If you like what you read here why not share it with others? I would appreciate it.
Until next time!
If you spend time studying the Bible, what tools and methods do you favor? I would love to hear from you!
2 thoughts on “Method and Tools of Choice for Bible Study”
With so many translations of the Bible out there today, one thing I would suggest to everyone would be to research how each translation can be in print, also. I even found one New Testament translated into RAP, back in the ’90s. ^_^
Some may be translated by one or two persons from a particular religion, while one or two went through the hands of linguists, historians, and scholars of many faiths to agree on the most accurate (according to all) translation.
I also compare scripture to scripture of different translations, and have one translated from Aramaic.
Knowledge is a never ending study when it comes to the Bible; especially if you expect to find those gems hidden within.
A rap translation of the New Testament??? Oooookay…. 😐 In my honest opinion I do not find these types of “bibles” to be appropriate; it seems disprespectful to me…lacks reverence for God’s Word.
Comparing Scripure to Scripture of different translations can be helpful; however, one should always have a solid word for word translation as their foundation. When I was in grad school I read some passages in a couple other Bibles from time to time. Some translations and paraphrases totally distort the meaning and weight of what the Bible actually says. This is why I never tell a Babe in Christ to just, “get yourself a Bible you like.” I have heard some preachers say that very thing, but I disagree because not all Bibles are the same.
I love how the Word of God never gets old. The more you study it, dig into it, the more you find 🙂
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts!
God bless you