Friday, October 25, 2013

Bible Study Resources

Are you ready to dig into the book of James? Before we get started on our Bible study, I want to share as many of the resources that I can with you, so that you can start becoming familiar with them as well. Don't be alarmed, it won't be as hard as you might think... especially if you grew up as I did.

I can remember my mom preparing for her Sunday school lesson when I was little. She would have stacks of books laying around the bed: commentaries, Bible dictionaries, atlases, the lesson quarterly, etc. I wondered how in the world she could ever figure out how to use all those resources to get the information she needed. Thankfully, we live in the generation of the internet and instant access to a vast number of FREE tools.

The first tool I want you to become familiar with is This is an amazing site with vast resources. I tend to use only a couple of its benefits, but maybe some of you will be able to show me a thing or two and make it even more beneficial.

When you visit the site, now actually called to Bible Hub, you will see that it has  buttons for every kind of resource tool you can imagine. It can be a bit overwhelming, so I am going to slowly take you through my process. Since we will be starting with James, we'll begin there. 
  1. Enter "James 1:1" into the search bar at the top of the screen.
  2. Hit enter.
    A page with parallel verses will come up. You can see the verse in numerous versions, as well as see some context, cross references, and commentaries. I encourage you to read through this section for each verse of the Bible study. It's amazing what you can learn just by reading the information on this page.
  3. There are tabs along the top of this page. On the top right is a button named "Lexicon."
  4. Click that button.
    This takes you to the Lexicon which breaks down the verse word by word in the NASB and gives you a chart of the word, the Greek or Hebrew for the word, it's transliteration, the Strong's Concordance number for the word, it's definition, and origin.
  5. Choose a word you would like to better understand and click on the Strong's number for that word.
  6. Here you find the meaning of the word, it's phonetic spelling, and all the different interpretations/meanings that it could have in context. It also gives you examples of other scriptures where it is used, and a more detailed explanation of the word. You can click on any of the links to take you deeper and deeper into the meaning and origins of words, cross references, and other places the words have been used as well.
There are many other aspects of the site that can be utilized, but this is a good starting place for us to utilize this simple tool to help us understand each verse, word for word. Before we dig into the study, practice doing this with random verses. See what kind of information and insights you can get just by hanging around this site a little. If you have questions, be sure to post them. I'll try to help the best that I can. We will learn together. Isn't that the goal?

In the meantime, you can go ahead and start reading James, but don't get excited and think we are going to cover a huge quantity of the book in a short time. This isn't a read through the Bible in 90 days challenge. This is more like who can get the most information and insight out of the smallest amount of scripture. It's about the QUALITY of what we are learning, versus the quantity. We are about to start a feast! Who wants to rush around at a banquet and not get to enjoy the deliciousness of the food, the quality of the meat, or the satisfaction of the experience? Not me! I'm here to feast on some meat of the Word. Hopefully, so are you.

Next time I will share some more personal resources that I have designed to help me process through all the information we are going to be taking in. I will share a few more processes that help me break down the Word into morsels I can chew on a bit, rather that swallowing so much I get choked. I'm praying they will help you as much as they have taught me. Until next time...

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