Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Effective Bible Study

The Bible is valid for guiding our relationship with God. It is not one book even though it is bound that way. Each book can stand on its own but as you say we need to understand who wrote it and when and under what circumstances. 

Within the text of the library we call the Bible are different types of information and styles of writing. Each author had his or her own story to tell and world view to tell it with. It helps us to understand the scriptures better if we are able to recognize what type of writing we are reading. 

In my opinion there are five types of writing in the Bible that we need to recognize in their order of importance. 

Type One: The Direct Word of God.  
These include:  
[A] the Ten Commandments,  
[B] where the writer say, "Thus says the Lord." and as a Christian I believe, 
[C] The words of Jesus the Son of God.  

Type Two:The Indirect Word of God.  
This is where the prophets interpret dreams and visions using their own words and giving directions according to their understanding of the meaning of the vision. Daniel and Revelation are good examples of this type of writing. 

Type Three: The response of the people.  
We recognize that the people who heard God's word sometimes obeyed and often failed to obey. We can learn from both actions and the results of the obedience and the sin. 

Type Four: The history of God's people.  
The Bible also records normal historical events of both the Hebrew people and the people they dealt with. This information may not be "God's Word" per say but it is interesting information about the culture they lived in and is relevant to our understanding the scriptures. 

Type Five: Inspired writings.  
One normal response to God is to lift our voices in praise. The inspired writings include the Book of Psalms [the hymn book for the Hebrews]. There is also "Prose" which include Esther, the Song of Solomon, and Job. Then we have the witty sayings called Proverbs. 

The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew, with a few sections written in Aramaic. The New Testament was written mostly in Greek. All "English" Bibles are translations from these languages. 

The word "Testament" can mean "Covenant" or an agreement. Testament can also mean that it is a personal witness of the people who had a relationship with God. The Old Testament has the Covenants God made with His people before the coming of Jesus the Christ. The New Testament is the witness of God's grace given to us and is about His relationship with all people after Christ came. 

We can learn more about the bible if we recognize the type of writing we are reading. 


  1. Thank you, Pastor Larry. I need to start reading more...Have a great day! :)

  2. Good Morning Pastor Larry and have a terrific day!
    ~Lori~ aka Karada

  3. Sally - the pastor says AMEN to that! ;-)
    Lori - Good to know where you landed. Welcome!
    I am not on your readers list :-(

  4. I gave the door man a talking to your in ;)