Understanding Your Bible

No Ordinary Book

Learn to USE your Bible - Week Two - Part Two đź’•

Today let’s continue your project— building an index of: The Good New—The New Covenant.
Open your Bible to The New Testament and let’s begin at the beginning!

The Gospels

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John — The four Gospels as they are known — give us accounts of the life of Jesus Christ. In none of the books does the author identify himself by name, but the authorship was added later and represents the thinking of the early church.

Matthew

This Gospel was accepted and canonized as having for its author the Apostle Matthew, also called Levi, a former tax-collector, in Matthew 9:9, Mark 2:14-15 & Luke 5:27-29. If this authorship is correct, what we have is an eye-witness account of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Mark

The second Gospel was ascribed to John Mark, whose name does not appear in the Gospels. Some theologians think he was the young man present at the arrest of Jesus in Chapter 14: 51-52. While Mark himself was not one of the twelve, it may have been the first gospel written, and has all the earmarks of a firsthand witness who was, from all early accounts, none other than Simon Peter, from whom Mark obtained his information.

Luke

The third Gospel bears the name of Luke, “beloved physician” (Colossians 4:14) friend and companion of Paul. Luke is the only known Gentile author in the New Testament. Clearly the same author wrote this Gospel and Acts. The purpose of the books is explicitly stated: to present an “orderly account” of the beginning, growth and spread of the Christian movement.

John

This Gospel names “the disciple whom Jesus loved…who has written these things.” The Gospels reveal that the Apostle John, his father and brother were fishermen at the sea of Galilee. John left his fishing business to follow Christ and was with him in nearly every important moment of his ministry. So, again we have an eye-witness account of the Savior’s life

The Acts of the Apostles

As a companion volume to the Gospel of Luke Acts continues the story of the Christian movement from the ascension of Christ to Paul’s arrival in Rome some thirty years later. The book traces the development and spread of the church from the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost to Paul’s preaching the gospel in Rome, “openly and unhindered.”

CHOOSE A NEW COLOR AND PUT STICKIE TAB ON THE 1st PAGE OF EACH BOOK:

MATTHEW,

MARK,

LUKE,

JOHN,

ACTS

Letters to the Early Churches

Paul wrote many letters to the early Christian Churches in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Philippi, Colossae and Thessalonica. The Bible has preserved several of his letters. his personal correspondence to Timothy, Titus and Philemon have also survived. These letters, commonly known as “Epistles,” i. e. the First Epistle of Timothy, make up approximately two-thirds of the New Testament. Other authors include Simon Peter, James — the brother of Jesus, John — the beloved, and Jude.

We won’t take the time to TAB each letter today. We’ll come back to them in future studies. I’ve never been much on trying to “memorize” the sixty-six books of the Bible in order, or memorizing scriptures by chapter and verse. In my experience the best way to learn where something is in my Bible is to USE my Bible.

I’ve always adhered to the verses in John’s First Epistle that tell me:

“…But as for you, Christ has poured out his Spirit on you. As long as his Spirit remains in you, you do not need anyone to teach you. For his Spirit teaches you about everything, and what he teaches is true, not false. Obey the Spirit’s teaching, then, and remain in union with Christ.” 1 John 2:26-27

The Revelation

This strange and wonderful book of prophecy was written to the persecuted and harried Christians in the churches of the Roman province of Asia. The author, writing “in the Spirit” emphasizes the Lordship of Christ, the overruling sovereignty of God and his eventual, final victory over the forces of sin and evil For centuries the book has been misunderstood, misinterpreted and misquoted. Finally today, in the times of the end, when all other prophecies pointing to Christ as Messiah have been fulfilled scholars are presenting entire conferences on its meanings and relevance for Christians today.

PUT A STICKIE TAB AT THE BEGINNING OF THE REVELATION

and finally…

cross references and foot notes

Your Bible, at first glance, may seem very simple. But in most Bibles there are study aids if you understand where to look for them and how to use them.

One important step in learning to make use of your Bible is finding out about the various helps, maps, and cross-references. During your Quite Times use these cross references as often as you can. They will help you see how the Word agrees with itself and follows patterns and types. Always remember, the Word MUST agree with itself. Always. From Genesis to Revelation the Word must agree with itself. It is critical, for learning and doing God’s Word that you allow Bible to interpert Bible…not man’s doctrine, dogma or tradition to interpert Bible. Taking a single verse out of context and building a doctrine around it is the cradle where false teachers and false doctrines are born.

The foot notes are self explanatory. Learn to use them to expand you understanding of God’s Word

Concordance

Many Bibles provide a Concordance to aid in your study. If you Bible does have a Concordance, PUT A STICKIE TAB ON THE FIRST PAGE.

Using this Study Aid is invaluable in learning about practically any subject you may be interested in. For Example…scan down the page to ANGLES. Here we’re being told they are (a) messengers and agents of God. The first scripture reference may be Gn 19: 1 and 15. Part of the verse may be printed next to Chapter and verse. How easy is that?

So…let’s say you decide you want to do a subject study on ANGLES, or grace, or love, or peace. You can use this study method to learn more about any Bible subject. Just flip to your Concordance, and start working your way through the references. I guarantee you’ll learn something. And then, to continue your study, use the Concordance in any other Bible you have access to. Most Bibles have at least a rudimentary Concordance, maps and other study guides to help you learn.

This brings us to the end of the Bible and ends the indexing project for this week. You can, of course, expand on it in any way that makes sense to you. Hopefully you will take the time to expand on what we’ve done. The more you dig into this wonderful Book, The Word of God, the more you will want to know about Jesus. And the more you know about Jesus, the more your life, your nature and your circumstances will be blessed.