When it comes to bible study, having the right tools in place is important if you want to get the most from your study time. Whether you are studying on your own at home or have signed up for a bible study class at your local church, having a few essential items on hand will enhance your study time.
A study bible
Visit your local bookstore and compare several study bibles. The first thing you should look for is a bible in a translation you can understand easily. Once you choose a translation you feel comfortable with, you can compare the study bibles available in that translation.
Look for a bible that has cross references in the margins. These references allow you to find similar verses of scripture easily. You should also make sure the bible you choose has a thorough dictionary and concordance in the back. This will help you identify terms that may be difficult to understand in scripture.
Maps should also in included in the bible you select. These will help you plot important geographic movements in the bible. Choose a study bible that has detailed introductions to each book of the bible. These introductions should explain who wrote the book, the purpose of the book, and any key events that occurred during the time the book was written.
Character profiles are also helpful. They give you a detailed account of a specific biblical character and what role they played in biblical times.
A good study bible will have lots of notes on each page that will help you understand the context of most bible passages and how to apply that passage to your life today.
A bible marking kit
Establish a bible marking system before you shop for pens and markers. You can color coordinate similar verses of scripture to help you locate them quickly. For instance, you may use green for verses that relate to new life in Christ. You may want to use yellow to highlight commandments, and purple for God's promises. Choose colors you like. There are no specific color rules you need to follow.
Make sure you choose pens that are made specifically for marking bibles. Regular markers and highlighters are not suitable for bible study and are likely to bleed through the thin pages of your bible. You should select both fine and medium-point pens. Fine-point pens are good for underlining or taking notes in the margin of the bible. Medium-point pens can be used to highlight specific verses.
A small acrylic ruler is good to have with your marking pens. A ruler is helpful for keeping lines straight when underlining verses or for drawing a box in the margin to highlight specific points in scripture.
Bible reference books
Many helpful references can be found online. However, if you prefer traditional methods of study, you will want to purchase several reference books to have on hand. Some good ones to choose include an exhaustive concordance of the bible and a few bible commentaries.
These books can help you understand the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew terms used in scripture. Again, you should visit a local bookstore to compare the different reference books to see which one you find easy to understand.
Studying the bible can enrich your life and help you to grow in your faith. Having the right study bible, marking tools, and reference books on hand will help you gain the most from your time spent in bible study.
For more study tips, visit a local congregation, such as Church of Christ.