by: Bill Bratt
The Bible is consistently on the best-seller list.
Yet for many who have a copy it is one of the least read and most often misunderstood of books.
Why don't people read the Bible?
There are probably as many reasons as there are people.
Most people do not read the Bible because they do not understand the Bible.
If people would read the Bible they would be SHOCKED at the truth in their own Bible.
I often tell people that when they do Bible Study, to pretend that they have been shipwrecked on an island and that they have a case of amnesia. Beside them on the island they have a Bible. They should study their Bibles with an open mind without preconceived ideas of religion or worldly traditions.
The Bible is a book that tells you not to accept what you hear preached just because you heard a preacher preach it.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NKJV)
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
The King James Version says: "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."
1 Thes. 5:21 (KJV) says: "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
Revelation 1:3 says:
"Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near."
God wants us to READ and STUDY and prove all things.
As you read You will have questions.
You may say, well Acts 12:4 mentions Easter.
Acts 12:4 (KJV) "And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."
This is one of the few errors in the King James Version of the Bible. The Greek word here for Easter is "pascha" which means "Passover". If we check any other modern translation, the word will be translated correctly. Let's notice the New King James Version:
(Acts 12:4 NKJV) "So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after
You will find:
(Request our free article: "Read the Book" and find out seven reasons why you should read the Bible).
Set a Goal: Read the Bible in a year
Do Subject Studies:
Check out the seven major doctrines of the Catholic/Protestant Church.
See if you can find Bible verses to support these doctrines.
Chain Reference Subjects in your Bible.
After you do a Subject Study, go to a blank page in your Bible and draw four vertical lines equally spaced and two horizontal lines equally spaced, making 15 rectangles. Put a heading at the top of each rectangle and then write the scriptures of the Subject Study in the rectangle. This will help you later in doing a review of that study or finding a particular verse relating to the Subject Study. Example: Love, Joy, Peace, etc.at the top of a rectangle.
Do a study on Bible Characters:
Moses, David, Mary, Deborah, Priscilla, Paul, Peter, Melchizededk, etc.
Keep Bible Study interesting.
Do different kinds of Bible Study for variety. Remember, Bible Study is life long project. Every day you read, you should learn something new.
Years ago, there was a story about a woman who told her friend: "If the King James Version of the Bible was good enough for the Apostles, then it was good enough for her".
Let's think about this for a minute. The Apostles lived in the first century and the Kings James Version was written in 1611. That is about 15 centuries later. Actually the Apostles used the Old Testament scrolls. The New Testament was not written yet.
The King James Version does make for a good study Bible, but there is nothing wrong in having other Bible translations.
Choose a good STUDY BIBLE.
It is never wise to use just one translation.
Begin your reading or studying with a minimum of two versions as a safeguard.
The most carefully worded Bible should be used for study.
One controlling factor of Bible library is the cost.
Check the yard sales or used book stores for Bible helps.
We are fortunate to live in a time where there are an enormous amount of Bible helps available.
You can do a lot of Bible Study by way of the internet. There are
many web sites with good sources of Bible Study materials and
articles. An example: http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/main.html
When you run into a question, WRITE IT DOWN on a piece of paper.
The apostle Peter wrote that in Paul's epistles there were things that were hard to understand.
2 Peter 3:16
"as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to
understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the
rest of the Scriptures."
Many people try to twist Paul's statements about the law.
Trying to put your own ideas into the Bible is the surest way of misunderstanding it entirely.
Reserve your judgment about any difficulties in understanding the Bible that you come across.
Don't reject truth or the Bible because you don't understand certain parts at the moment.
The more you study the Bible, the more of your questions will he answered.
LET'S READ:Acts 17:11
"These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with
all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."
As your knowledge increases, more and more difficulties will disappear.
You will find many of the answers to the questions that you have written down as you continue to read and study your Bible.
Why are there apparent contradictions and discrepancies in the Bible?
EXAMPLE: The parables of Christ were for this purpose of hiding the true meaning of Christ's teaching. (Mat. 13:13-15).
Matthew 13:13 (KJV) "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. "