22nd May 2015

The Word - notes from the preaching series

I hope the recent preaching series on 'The Word' has freshly inspired you to read your Bible. If you missed either of the two talks you can listen here.

Here is a reminder of the four 'tips' for understanding your Bible, from the second talk:

TIP #1: Know if you are reading the Old Testament or New Testament
Not difficult! The New Testament often speaks more directly to our lives and builds on the Old Testament

TIP #2: The 'whole' sheds light on the 'part'
Read the whole Bible! Use a reading plan (suggestions here).

TIP #3: Common sense often makes sense
Understanding the literary genre (e.g. prophecy, narrative, etc.) helps understanding of the meaning.

TIP #4: Focus on the obvious not the obscure
Parts of the Bible are difficult to understand but the main messages are clear

For those who would like to go a little deeper at times in understanding the Bible the study resources mentioned below may be of interest.

1. NIV Study Bible: Having a few explanatory notes next to the Bible text as you are reading keeps things easy. A great way of digging a little deeper.

2. The Lion Handbook to the Bible: A classic! Commentary on each book of the Bible as well as plenty of background information with loads of diagrams, maps and pictures. Very helpful.

3. 'Bible Speaks Today' series: The aims of “The Bible speaks today” series is to expound the biblical text with accuracy, relate the text to life and be readable. They are very accessible and good value. There is a book on each Bible book (sometimes more than one) and even a Bible themes series. Phil Moore’s “Straight to the heart” series are also readable and accessible.

4. NICOT and NICNT series: These are read and used by scholars but still readable for others. If you want to ‘dig deep’ in Bible study then these are great commentaries to use. Not every Bible book has a commentary yet and be warned they are quite expensive! Worth the effort though. The NIV application commentary series is also a very good, scholarly but accessible series.

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