Study Bibles: 4 Thoughts

Do I Need One? How Do I Use One?

09 Mar Study Bibles: 4 Thoughts

Study Bibles - Word from the Pastor blog - Ben Mandrell - Storyline FellowshipAt our Discover Storyline seminar last week,* I was asked about the use of Study Bibles. This was an excellent question that sparked good discussion. Here are four thoughts I would like to share:

1. The best $50 you will spend this year is on a Study Bible.

I think the NIV Application Study Bible is the most helpful, but the ESV Study Bible gets really high marks also. If you don’t have one, you should save your dollars and get one. Just FYI: most people don’t carry these heavy bibles to church, but leave them in their home study.

2. Study Bibles are incredible tools.

They can help you to better understand the ancient writings, culture, and setting of the biblical world. Scholars who have given their entire lives to exploring a certain book have jotted footnotes at the bottom of the page for additional insight. It’s really interesting to see what they say.

3. Study Bibles can short-cut your learning process…

…if you become too dependent on the footnotes. We learn best when we wrestle with an idea. Having the “cheat sheet” at the bottom of the page is handy, but can end that wrestling match before any mental exertion. Allowing someone else to do your thinking can minimize your growth and retention.

4. The best way to use a Study Bible is…

to discipline yourself to think deeply on a passage of Scripture first. Life Journal that piece of Scripture. When you are finished, check your ideas against those in the footnotes. This will ensure your accuracy of interpretation as well as challenge your mind to grow.

Bottom line:

Study your Bible. And grab every tool that enhances your learning. But don’t rob yourself of the joy of finding a truth all by yourself.

It’s fun to find a piece of gold.

See you Sunday,

Pastor Ben

*Our Discover Storyline seminar takes place every 6 weeks. In this informal, 90-minute workshop, we discuss the bedrock beliefs and vision of our church. It’s the perfect next step for those who have enjoyed a worship service and would like to know more. If you’re interested in details, learn more on our events page.