This is the last of articles that I will write for several days. Lord willing, I will return to writing on April 5.
I wish people were more devoted to studying their Bibles. I don't mean just read but a serious study. I was recently asked what to have for individual Bible study so I will address that from what I have learned over the many years.
First, you will need a Bible! Most people have their favorite versions. I hold to the New American Standard (NASB) and probably always will. It seems to hold true to the original in text and verbs while speaking in our language. I am not into bashing versions. We need to be aware that because a particular version is popular does not mean it is the best version. The New International Version (NIV) falls under this category because of it's ease of reading. However, I have found some of the translated passages off that changes the complete meaning of a verse. Those who know Hebrew and Greek much better than myself agree with me on this one. The New King James (NKJV) is fairly good. There are a few others too. Please, stay away from any paraphrase.
You need a couple of basic books for your study. First, get a good concordance to look up passages. (Young's or Strong's concordances are good.) Some concordances have the Hebrew and Greek words in the back which can be helpful. Second, get a good Bible Dictionary. I have found that a Vine's Dictionary of Biblical Words is helpful.
Take notes! Using a notebook to write down thoughts and questions you might have. As you come across truths from God's word, write them down so you won't forget.
Finally, you will need someone for guidance. This can be tricky, especially in our day and time. Always have a heart for the truth, seeking the truth and being humble and prayerful in your study. The Lord will help. Sometimes we need that person to help us understand something. We find that in Acts 8:30-31 where a man asked for guidance from another. The more you study, the more discerning you will become. The person who offers their help might hold to really strange views, views that may be fundamentally bad. If the person you seek help from is part of a little study group that is angry with everyone but themselves, please look for assistance elsewhere!
There you have it. The greatest part of study: a good and honest heart! With a good and honest heart along with the above, the Lord will grow you! I encourage you...study! I encourage you...pray! You won't be the same.