How to Study the Bible and Live It

I just read a disturbing article claiming “the Jews” want anti-Semitic disclaimers added to the New Testament of the Bible and to the Qur’an. I’m not noting the source, because I have no idea if it is true or not. The only reason I mention it, it is a good start to an article on How to Study the Bible and Live It.The claim in the article is that Christians blame Jews for Jesus’ death. Any Christian who blames Jews for Jesus’ death has not read or understood the entirety of the Bible. God, Jesus Himself, is responsible for His death. It was God’s plan all along to redeem mankind from the fall into sin and death. God is Omniscient, All-knowing. He knew before creating anything the end of the story and everything in between. Yet, He created the universe, earth, all creatures, and rebellious “us” anyway.8And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the coolc of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”d 10And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14The LORD God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspringe and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
16To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary tof your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”
17And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.
Genesis 3:8-25 ESV [Emphasis added.]Right from the beginning of sin, God revealed the first inkling of His plan for redemption. The first Messianic prophecy, and the first animal “blood” sacrifice to forgive sins.Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
Hebrews 9:22 ESV [Emphasis added.]We must never take a single verse or worse, part of a verse, and turn it into a theological statement. Always study a verse in the context of the chapter and in light of all of Scripture to make sure you are understanding the meaning correctly. It is too easy to take one sentence and phrase and make it fit whatever you want it to say, without further research.In the case of Jesus’ crucifixion, reading the text or watching a movie about it, is heart wrenching for sure. On this side of the story it’s hard to understand why the high priests did not recognize Jesus for who He is, and why so many people, who had, just days before, praised Him with shouts and waving palms as He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, now joined the high priests in shouting, “crucify Him!”. But, we cannot blame and hate the Jews then or their descendants now for Jesus’ death. Without His death and resurrection, we would not have the freedom from slavery to sin which we enjoy or have eternal life. It was not the nails that held Jesus to the cross, it was love. The same love that forgave those who crucified Him.32Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
39One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Luke 23:32-43 ESV [Emphasis added.]Many taunted Jesus with the idea of saving Himself–the devil’s final temptations–but Jesus’ love for us kept Him on that cross. His mission was clear, redemption of the relationship with mankind. No thought of self could sway Him, though the pain be beyond anything we could begin to imagine. Thank You Jesus!!To properly study the Bible we need the right tools. A good concordance is of utmost importance! Or at least a Thompson Chain Reference Bible, which also has a decent concordance. That was what I used for decades before the Internet. Now I mostly use biblehub.com. It gives me many translations to read, context, cross references, Greek and Hebrew meanings (Strong’s and other dictionary/ references), and commentaries. Plus you can search the Bible by word and phrases.Always pray for Holy Spirit to be your teacher when you read and study the Word of God. Those two words should always go together. I would rather go slowly through the Word and savor it, than read quickly through it and not remember the taste of it. How can I apply what I am reading to my life if I zip through it like a comic strip.If you’re used to reading a specific translation try reading one or two other translations as well. Sometimes we get so used to reading a passage that we aren’t really seeing it, just skimming over it. A new translation can bring new life to a familiar passage. Also looking at the meaning of the original language can help, especially when different translations are using what seem to be very different words.There is a method I’ve found helpful, called verse mapping, that you may find useful as well. Verse mapping can really help with life application by personalizing the verse. Below are some instructional and sample images I gleaned from a Google search.There are many “methods” of studying the Bible. You can Google or search Pinterest for others. The main thing is to prayerfully be in the Word, daily, letting Holy Spirit teach you and guide you in applying the Word to your living. Without application there is not much point in studying.22But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
James 1:22-25 ESV [Emphasis added.]Father God, in Jesus’ name we thank You for the precious gifts of salvation and eternal life purchased through Jesus’ death and resurrection! May our lives always reflect our gratitude in all we say and do, bringing glory and honor to Your name. Teach us through the Word, Holy Spirit, to walk in step with You, to hear and heed Your voice, and make us always aware of Your presence in us. Thank You, Lord, amen.Blessings and peace,Julia©2019 Julia Melatis, Hope & Joy Ministries. All rights reserved.

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