Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tools For Studying The Bible

Edited To Reflect My Growth in the Understanding of the Mystery of Elohim: April 29, 2015.

To study the Bible is no different than studying any other subjects. One would still use the same study tools. The Bible however is very unique book.

I trust that the reader already knows the rules of learning.  For a quick review please browse quickly *Learning How To Learn* ~ *Barriers To Learning* ~ *How To Clear A Word* -- In that order.

Here are several attributes of the Bible that I thought of:

  • It is an ancient book;
  • It teaches that there is a Supreme being that exists;
  • that has a memorial name
  • with no beginnings
  • and no ending
  • and created all things,
  • and chosen a people -- the Jews
  • to manifest His image in the flesh -- in the Human being, in order to reveal the perfecting creation of Elohim, through this man;
  • so that all of mankind may believe and may gain eternal life by choice;
  • by believing on Him (the Father) that sent and on Him (the Son of man) that was sent (became the Son of Elohim) and;
  • choosing to obey His (the Father's) instructions;
  • It is divinely expounded by the Prophets -- the men of Elohim, and became the Son of man's testimony which He called The Spirit Of Prophecy;
  • It contains instruction,
  • which has blessings to those who follow it,
  • and curses to those who don't follow it;
  • It records the history of the Ancient Israelites and then later the Jews;
  • It has prophecies;
  • It reveals the controversy between Elohim and His rebel creation;
  • It proposes absolute truths;
  • It teaches that men can become Sons of Elohim and may have eternal life;
  • or eternal death by choice;
  • It teaches that originally, man was an immortal being
  • until man sinned and became mortal
  • and has both good and evil propensities;
  • It teaches heavenly things;
  • It foretells of a Saviour -- a Messiah, or Elohim's Anointed, from the Seed of Abraham, David and the seed of the High Priest combined,
  • the anointed man, the Messiah who came to earth, is a 100% human being from the Bloodline of King David and the High Priest Zadok, His father has both King David's and High Priest's Zadok's blood, and His mother has the High Priest's Zadok's blood also,
  • and died on a stake, as the Passover Lamb of Elohim, for all of mankind who would believe on the Father and on Him who died on the Stake,
  • so that mankind can get a chance to regain eternal life and the inheritance of "Godhood/Godhead" by choice
  • and this is also recorded in history as a testimony to the whole world,
  • and fulfilled what was foretold in the Bible about this man (100% human being);
  • It foretells of future events
  • some had already happened as foretold
  • and were recorded in history
  • some are yet to happen in our future;
  • It foretells the end of the world;
  • and a new world to come;
  • It gives hope to the oppressed;
  • It teaches that all of mankind will be judged in the end of the world;
  • whether man is worthy of eternal life or of eternal damnation;
  • It's prophecies are written in symbolic language, and in parables;
  • and it also interprets itself, providing check and balance, revealing false doctrines and restoring the truths;
  • It was originally written in the ancient Hebrew -- Paleo-Hebrew, and then in other prominent languages of the day in history, such as Aramaic, and then Greek languages, then to Roman Latin, then to English and finally to other languages of today;
  • It is the most controversial book;
  • It is different from any other books;
  • It is the bestest selling ever book in the world today;

But these are not reasons that it require special set of tools. It requires a specific study method for understanding what it says. Simply because it is different than any other books by a huge margin. And it is fun studying when you have the right mindset and the right tools.

So studying it requires all the necessary tools available for our learning. Fortunately for us, some of the brightest people before us have already thought of this.  Here are some of the tools that I found useful for me.

An electronic reader or just simply reader is the very first tool you need. This is the single most important tool you must have. This is the holder of all the other tools you need: your Bible versions, commentaries, dictionaries, concordance, and maps. Fortunately, there are many that are free. Three is recommended here.

e-Sword ~ http://www.e-sword.net/ ~ is a software application, basically an electronic reader specially dedicated to the Study of the Bible. This is where we load all our study materials for reading, referencing and cross-referencing. There is a version for Windows, Mac and Linux. Now on version 9 and 10.  This is what I have been using ever since.

Another application like this is theWord ~ http://www.theword.net/ ~ I have downloaded version 2 of this software to see the differences but haven't really used it extensively to know if there is any major advantages to e-Sword. It functions very similar to e-Sword with a few special features that I have not found on e-Sword but they are not so important for me at the moment so I did not switch, also because I already have most of my resources installed in e-Sword. I would suggest though, that you look into both of these to see which fits your needs better. e-Sword though, has more resources available to it than this one considering that this one is a new comer. But I keep my eye on this one from time to time. Simply because I want the best that can do what is required to do, not because of the additional features it has. Today, version 4 is available for download. Unfortunately this one is only available for Windows users.

Bible+ is another application that some of my friends are using in their phones by OliveTree ~ http://www.olivetree.com/ ~ it has versions for iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac and Windows. The interface is very clean and simple. It looks like theWord and e-Sword put together, but simplified. I have not really use it that much so I cannot say much. Most of its resources that are really useful for my study are not free and are not cheap either. But this might change so check this often. I would still say this application is worth using. One thing I like about this is the ability that I can use the same resources in my phone or tablet. So, this is huge advantage if you move a lot. It's very intuitive and easy on the eyes. It's great for reading. Do check this one. For the same reason also that I have most of my resources installed in e-Sword already, it does not make sense for me at the moment to be switching, so I was not able to use this tool extensively to give it a fair review.

There are many other Bible readers available, most are free. A reader is useful only if you can load all the resources to it that you require. To this end, I use e-Sword and I recommend using it because it has most resources available and most of them are free.

Then you need all the Bible versions that you want, Strong's Dictionary and Concordance, all Bible Commentaries you want, and all the Bible Maps you want. Most of these are free, but some are not. But the free resources are excellent for our purposes already. A quick google search will lead you to some of these that are available for your reader (e-Sword or theWord or Bible+, or whatever). Please note: A resource can only work with a certain reader, either e-Sword or theWord or whatever you are using, so you must also specify it in your search keywords. You can do this directly in e-Sword with just a click, e-Sword downloads it for you and installs it. You just need to restart your e-Sword to see your new downloaded resource. These three readers I mentioned here can actually download resources directly.

Be blessed and have fun studying the Bible!

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