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The Rules of

Effective Bible Study

How can the Bible be the world’s all-time best seller, yet remain the most mis-
understood book ever? Because people refuse to believe that it means what it
says, it is misrepresented, twisted, and maligned. If your mind is opened to
the truth, apply these simple, basic rules to understand God’s Word!

ost who study the Bible “Some congregations might do bet- No one should feel secure at their
benefit little—or not at all. ter than that,” continued the reporter, level of understanding—neither could
Often, they become con- “but not many. The vast majority of anyone justify such a position in this
Americans today are Bible illiterates. struggle to grow and overcome.
fused, discouraged and give up, They simply have never read the book All in God’s Church need to examine
saying, “I just can’t understand.” which they profess to regard as the themselves and make their Bible study
If this is you, it need not continue. ‘Word of God.’” more productive—more edifying. With
Did you know there are fundamen- The reporter concluded, “A great this in mind, let’s review the basic rules
tal—basic—rules that govern proper many people have turned away from of Bible study.
Bible study? the Bible because when they do try to
There are! And most ignore, mis- read it, they find they cannot under- Rule #1: Ask God for Guidance
understand or know nothing of them. stand it… To the modern reader, it has Before beginning your Bible study, ask
Yet, when properly applied, these a remote and antiquarian flavor. It is God to open your mind to better under-
rules unlock the treasures of doctrine, likely to leave him with the impression stand the Bible’s spiritual principles.
instruction, knowledge, prophecy—and
the Bible is an ancient history book that Also pray for guidance and wisdom
more—contained in God’s Word.
has no real relevance to his life here as to what to study. Then focus on a
Here they are!
and now” (Louis Cassels, UPI Special particular topic, book or chapter. As God
Many Are Ignorant Correspondent on religious affairs). opens your understanding, what is con-
Another quote sheds light on how fusing to the world becomes interesting
Thirty years ago, a newspaper reporter
society considers Biblical knowledge and exciting to you.
exposed Christians’ ignorance of the
irrelevant. J.B. Phillips, author of the Review what King David recorded in
Bible. Since then, such ignorance has
worsened. It now includes many of the Phillips translation (The New Testament Psalms 119:33-40. Carefully digest each
scattered brethren of the Church of God in Modern English), reported in his verse and each word of this passage. We
who once diligently studied their Bibles. booklet, The Young Church in Action, must all come to view God’s Word in
The account begins, “Some months “It is one of the curious phenomena this light.
ago, a Protestant pastor administered a of modern times that it is considered Asking for and receiving under-
Bible quiz to the members of his congre- perfectly respectable to be abysmally standing from God is no small thing.
gation. The questions were very simple. ignorant of the Christian faith. Men and Many scholars and men of great intel-
Anyone with a general knowledge of the women who would be deeply ashamed ligence have mastered the Hebrew and
Bible should have been able to answer of having their ignorance exposed in Greek languages, and spent their lives
all of them easily. matters of poetry, music, or painting, translating and analyzing each verse
“The results staggered the pastor. for example, are not in the least per- of the Bible—yet they do not get its
“Only five percent of his flock made turbed to be found ignorant of the New message.
a commendable grade on the test. Fifteen Testament” (p. 6). One such individual was James
percent failed to give a single cor- A Christian should solidify his basic Moffatt. He translated a commendable
rect answer. Sixty percent were unable understanding of the Bible. Rather than version of the Bible. Yet the message
to name the four Gospels. Seventy- smugly comparing himself with people went completely over his head. He
five percent could not identify Calvary of the world, he should consider his own made the truth of God much more clear,
(Golgotha) as the place where Jesus was need to “…strengthen the things which but he—along with the whole world—
crucified. remain” (Rev. 3:2). remained blinded to its meaning.

Even in the preface to the revised Of course, this article, along with that there shall not be room enough to
and final edition of Moffatt’s The Bible, other articles and sermons, admonishes receive it” (Mal. 3:10).
A New Translation, he made the fol- us to seek correction from God’s Word. This is an excellent example of put-
lowing comments: “This is great litera- But that desire must ultimately come ting something to the test. Many have
ture and great religious literature, this from within. done this and have discovered that God
collection of ancient writings which You must earnestly seek and desire definitely keeps His part of the bargain.
we call the Bible, and any translator for God to straighten your path. Once Finally, consider the example of the
has a deep sense of responsibility as again, this request for correction should Bereans in Acts 17:11: “These were
he undertakes to transmit it to modern be part of the prayer before Bible study. more noble than those in Thessalonica,
readers.” Here was an individual of Read Isaiah 66:1-2: “Thus says the in that they received the word with all
great intelligence. Yet without God’s Lord, The heaven is My throne, and the readiness of mind, and searched the
Spirit and guidance, he considered the earth is My footstool: where is the house scriptures daily, whether those things
Bible mere literature. that you build unto Me? And where were so.”
Adam Clarke, writer of the famous is the place of My rest? For all those The Bereans were searching to prove
six-volume commentary of the entire things has Mine hand made, and all that Paul was right. Their attitude was
Bible, also did not get the message. those things have been, says the Lord: not one of anger and bitterness, but one
Some of the Pharisees were individuals but to this man will I look, even to him of proving the truth. This is consistent
of great intellect who studied Scripture that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and with I Corinthians 13:6-7, which shows
for endless hours—yet all in vain. If trembles at My word.” that love “rejoices not in iniquity, but
these and other such men of great intel- Humility and trembling at God’s rejoices in the truth; bears all things,
lect failed to get the message, we should Word go hand-in-hand with the attitude believes all things [in God’s Word],
never assume that we could study the of seeking correction from His Word. hopes all things, endures all things.”
Bible and, on our own, automatically Remember: We should concentrate on To prove all things means to get to
understand it. correcting ourselves, not others (Matt. the truth of the matter—and to accept
Only by asking God to open our 7:3-5). that truth with positive assurance. This is
minds can we understand the Bible— the foundation of hope and endurance.
receive the message within. If we think Rule #3: “Prove All Things”
we no longer need to ask for His guid- The word prove means to “put to the Rule #4: God’s Word Never
ance, then our understanding will dimin- test.” Scientists and design engineers Contradicts Itself
ish—unless we wake up and realize that prove their finished products by test- Most theologians and Bible crit-
true understanding comes from God. ing them. Read I Thessalonians 5:21: ics believe that the Bible started from
“Prove all things; hold fast that which “primitive and child-like origins.” They
Rule #2: Study the Bible is good.” say that it “contradicts itself.” There are
for Correction The first thing that should be proven others who say that the Bible is not to be
The second rule is closely related to is the existence of the Creator God. The taken literally.
the first. It should also be part of the fallacy of evolution, which attempts to Ironically, these observations are
prayer for guidance and understanding. explain away the existence of an all- made by professing Christians. Such
Sincerely petition God to correct you powerful Creator, has made it difficult statements expose the ignorance of the
through your Bible study. for some to completely dismiss linger- Bible found in minds lacking God’s
The Bible shows us when and where ing doubts. There exists an abundance Holy Spirit.
we err and what to do about it—the of well-written literature proving that What does the Bible reveal about
diagnosis along with the prescription— creation is the only explanation for the God’s consistency and rationality? “For
free of charge. existence of life and the universe. One I am the Lord, I change not; therefore
Notice II Timothy 3:16-17: “All example is our own booklet Does God you sons of Jacob are not consumed”
scripture is given by inspiration of Exist? (Mal. 3:6). Also see Hebrews 13:8:
God, and is profitable for doctrine, for Creation must be proven by everyone “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and
reproof, for correction, for instruction in the Church of God. Through the care- today, and for ever.” We can trust
in righteousness: That the man of God ful reading of that literature, one will in these sound statements. The proofs
may be perfect, thoroughly furnished see it proven—and effectively will have of archeology and fulfilled prophecy
unto all good works.” proven it to himself—by weighing the merely add to the already overwhelming
A key scripture on the subject of overwhelming evidence now available. evidence of the Bible’s consistency.
correction that we should read often is God commands us to prove Him One such “contradiction” is Proverbs
Jeremiah 10:23-24: “O Lord, I know and His tithing laws: “Bring you all the 26:4-5: “Answer not a fool according to
that the way of man is not in himself: tithes into the storehouse, that there may his folly, lest you also be like unto him.
it is not in man that walks to direct his be meat in Mine house, and prove Me Answer a fool according to his folly, lest
steps. O Lord, correct me, but with now herewith, says the Lord of hosts, he be wise in his own conceit.”
judgment; not in your anger, lest you if I will not open you the windows of These verses are often cited to prove
bring me to nothing.” heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that the Bible contradicts itself. But after

examining them, we will see that this A good example of this was Paul’s reac- has not, from him shall be taken away
is not true. These verses contain great tion to the Corinthians, who were being even that he has. Therefore speak I to
wisdom. led astray by false apostles. them in parables: because they seeing
The two principles stated above are This was not a time for silence. see not; and hearing they hear not, nei-
complementary, not contradictory. The Notice Paul’s answer in II Corinthians ther do they understand. And in them is
principle to use in any given situation 11:23-27: “Are they ministers of Christ? fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which
would depend upon the circumstances. (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors says, By hearing you shall hear, and
Verse 4 states, “Answer not a fool more abundant, in stripes above mea- shall not understand; and seeing you
according to his folly, lest you also be sure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths shall see, and shall not perceive: For this
like unto him.” oft. Of the Jews five times received people’s heart is waxed gross, and their
This verse explains that we are not I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes
to degrade ourselves by petty bickering beaten with rods, once was I stoned, they have closed; lest at any time they
and arguing. We are not to debate with thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and should see with their eyes, and hear with
someone who is obviously trying to stir a day I have been in the deep; In jour- their ears, and should understand with
up contention. neyings often, in perils of waters, in their heart, and should be converted, and
The example cited for this reaction perils of robbers, in perils by mine own I should heal them” (vs. 12-15).
was Luke 20:1-8. As Christ was teach- countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in Verses 16-17 refer only to Christ’s
ing in the temple, the chief priest, elders perils in the city, in perils in the wilder- disciples and His Church—not to the
and scribes came to Him, “And spoke ness, in perils in the sea, in perils among world or churchianity: “But blessed are
unto Him, saying, Tell us, by what false brethren; In weariness and pain- your eyes, for they see: and your ears,
authority do You these things? Or who is fulness, in watchings often, in hunger for they hear. For verily I say unto you,
He that gave You this authority?” and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and That many prophets and righteous men
The temple authorities were not nakedness.” have desired to see those things which
seeking advice or understanding from Paul made his point. These false you see, and have not seen them; and to
Christ. They sought a response that teachers were inclined to boast. But hear those things which you hear, and
could amount to Christ condemning Paul’s credentials and sacrifices over- have not heard them.”
Himself. whelmed their puny claims. Most of the world cannot be faulted
Verses 3 through 8 show the dilemma Proverbs 26:4 and 5 do not contradict for their blindness. Their opportunity
that Christ presented to them by answer- each other. Rather, there is much wis- for salvation will come when God calls
ing their question with a question: “And dom contained in these verses—wisdom them at a later time. The fact that blind-
He answered and said unto them, I will we should employ in our daily lives. ness has been lifted from our eyes
also ask you one thing; and answer should humble us. It is the only reason
Me: The baptism of John, was it from Rule #5: Find Out What the that we can now understand the Bible.
heaven, or of men? And they reasoned Bible Really Says Notice Luke 17:20-21: “…The king-
with themselves, saying, If we shall say, Applying this rule of Bible study often dom of God comes not with observa-
From heaven; He will say, Why then resolves misunderstandings. Many mis- tion: Neither shall they say, Lo here! Or,
believed you him not? But and if we conceptions result because the world is lo there! For, behold, the kingdom of
say, Of men; all the people will stone blind to the plain truth of God’s Word. God is within you.” To say that God’s
us: for they be persuaded that John was For example, professing Christianity kingdom is within people goes against
a prophet. And they answered, that they universally teaches that Christ used par- many detailed prophecies in the Bible.
could not tell whence it was. And Jesus ables to make His meaning clearer for Why this apparent contradiction?
said unto them, Neither tell I you by the “simple minds” of the first century. First of all, the word “within” occurs
what authority I do these things.” Not so! “Simplemindedness” was not only in the King James Version. The
Had Christ answered them in any limited to the first century—there is an next rule helps solve this dilemma.
other way, a “war of words” would abundance of it today.
have taken place. But Christ saw their Why did Christ speak in parables? Rule #6: Examine the Context
motive and did not stoop to their level. The Bible says, “And the disciples came, Context simply means “with text.”
His question stopped them cold—as He and said unto Him, Why speak You unto Checking the context involves reading
knew it would. Thus, He avoided need- them in parables? He answered and said the text before and after the issue in
less strife by not answering the foolish unto them, Because it is given unto you question. In order to answer the ques-
authorities according to their folly. to know the mysteries of the kingdom tions pertaining to Luke 17:21, we need
Now notice Proverbs 26:5: “Answer of heaven, but to them it is not given” to determine to whom Christ was speak-
a fool according to his folly, lest he be (Matt. 13:10-11). Why can’t the world ing.
wise in his own conceit.” In this case, understand this? Verse 20: “And when He was demand-
one should answer according to the folly Spiritual blindness! ed of the Pharisees, when the kingdom
in which the question was presented. Christ continues, “For whosoever of God should come, He answered them
Not to answer the challenge will cause has, to him shall be given, and he shall and said, The kingdom of God comes
the questioner to feel he has prevailed. have more abundance: but whosoever not with observation:”

Christ was speaking to the Pharisees. The Bible is written in a way that Together, these verses show that
Obviously, the kingdom of God did defies understanding on the physical Pilate did the writing, and that three
not reside within these carnal, hostile level. With this in mind, read Isaiah 28:9- versions were written in three different
Pharisees. This, together with the fact 10: “Whom shall He teach knowledge? languages.
that only the KJV used the word “with- And whom shall He make to understand These four contributions from four
in” in this verse, tells us that “within” is doctrine? Them that are weaned from the different authors give us a complete
not the correct translation. Most trans- milk, and drawn from the breasts. For account of what was written. Rather
lations use the term “among.” Christ precept must be upon precept, precept than these four scriptures contradicting
was telling the Pharisees that He was upon precept; line upon line, line upon each other, as we assemble the “precept
the Representative of the kingdom of line; here a little, and there a little.” upon precept and line upon line,” we can
God that was temporarily “among” We must diligently examine verses see the full picture.
them. throughout the Bible to gain knowledge By comparing the four gospels, one
Understanding the context is vital and understand doctrine. This requires can see how these accounts work in
to understanding the meaning of scrip- being led by God’s Spirit. harmony to present a complete under-
tures. Context points to the intent of the Continue in Isaiah 28: “For with standing.
scripture in question. It answers what, stammering lips and another tongue
who, when, where, why and how. will he speak to this people. To whom Rule #8: The Bible Interprets Itself
It is careless to read scriptures out of He said, This is the rest wherewith you During Herbert W. Armstrong’s minis-
context, because there are statements in may cause the weary to rest; and this try, many people said they admired his
the Bible such as “You shall not surely is the refreshing: yet they would not interpretation of the Bible or of proph-
die” (Gen. 3:4). In order to determine hear” (vs. 11-12). These verses show ecy. But he would adamantly respond
whether this is true, the context must an intentional hiding of the meaning (as that he had no private interpretation, but
be read. In this case, Satan the devil if it were a foreign language). But they always let the Bible interpret itself.
is deceiving Eve. Checking the entire also show a willful rejection of the truth: Consider one example where men
context of this verse takes us back to “they would not hear.” have blatantly misinterpreted the plain
Genesis 2:17, where God told Adam, Verse 13 continues, “But the word of meaning of the Bible—the title of the
“But of the tree of the knowledge of the Lord was unto them precept upon book of Revelation.
good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for precept, precept upon precept; line upon Worldly Christians believe that the
in the day that you eat thereof you shall line, line upon line; here a little, and book of Revelation was “The Revelation
surely die.” there a little; that they might go, and fall of Saint John the Divine.” However, the
False teachers deceive people who backward, and be broken, and snared, real title is found in the first verse of
do not investigate such deceptive prac- and taken.” the text.
tices, like taking verses out of context Again, we see the unmistakable hid- Revelation 1:1 states, “The Revelation
and misapplying their meaning. One of ing of the meaning. of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto
the many benefits of taking verses in The next example shows the need to Him, to show unto His servants things
proper context is building up resistance draw from precept upon precept and line which must shortly come to pass; and
against deception. upon line. It shows that verses people He sent and signified it by His angel
call contradictory actually supplement unto His servant John:”
Rule #7: “Here a little, there a little” each other. This is the case with what So, the real title is “The Revelation
No single scripture can be used to estab- was written on the stake where Christ of Jesus Christ.” It originated from God
lish doctrine. We must take all the scrip- was crucified. the Father and was given to Jesus Christ.
tures on a given subject and weigh them Let’s read four different verses that Then Christ signified it by His angel,
in order to grasp the overall doctrine. critics say are contradictions. We will who revealed it to John. Men credit
There is great value in gathering all the find them to be otherwise. John, ignoring God and Christ—typical
scriptures on a single subject, as we are Matthew 27:37: “And set up over of interpretations by false Christians.
instructed to do in Isaiah 28. His head His accusation written, this is Note two types of symbols used in
We previously mentioned that Jesus the king of the Jews.” the first chapter of Revelation. One is
renowned scholars such as James Mark 15:26: “And the superscription mentioned in verse 12, where John saw
Moffatt and Adam Clark could study the of His accusation was written over, the seven golden candlesticks. In verse 16,
Bible for a lifetime and still not under- king of the Jews.” he saw seven stars in the hand of the
stand the truth. Those called to the truth Luke 23:38: “And a superscription Son of Man.
realize that, without God’s Spirit leading also was written over Him in letters of How can we understand their mean-
them, the door to scriptural understand- Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, this is ing? By continuing to read within the
ing is shut. the king of the Jews.” context. Notice the explanation found
We also covered how Christ used John 19:19: “And Pilate wrote a in verse 20: “The mystery of the seven
parables to hide the real meaning from title, and put it on the cross. And the stars which you saw in My right hand,
the world. This principle applies to writing was, Jesus of Nazareth the and the seven golden candlesticks. The
understanding of the entire Bible. king of the Jews.” seven stars are the angels of the seven

churches: and the seven candlesticks God has shown me that I should not call Ages. Those individuals are subject to
which you saw are the seven churches.” any man common or unclean.” the punishment recorded in Revelation
The Bible has interpreted itself! Of and by itself, this vision would 22:18-19.
Another good example of letting not be of value in establishing sound An example of this would be
the Bible interpret itself is found in doctrine. Only after reading the full Matthew 27:49. Part of the verse was
Revelation 17. Verse 1 states, “And account does its real meaning become deleted in order to promote the false
there came one of the seven angels apparent—that Peter was speaking of idea that Christ “died of a broken heart.”
which had the seven vials, and talked men, not unclean animals. In the KJV, Matthew 27:49 states, “The
with me, saying unto me, Come here; rest said, Let be, let us see whether
I will show unto you the judgment of Rule #10: Use More Than Elijah will come to save Him.” Yet, in
the great whore that sits upon many One Translation the Moffatt, this same verse states, “But
waters.” There are advantages to using two the others said, ‘Stop, let us see if Elijah
What does the Bible mean by the or more Bible translations. Although the does come to save Him!’ (Seizing a
term “many waters”? Is this talking King James Version is a reliable transla- lance, another pricked His side, and out
about some woman “sailing the seven tion, a few things are difficult to under- came water and blood.)”
seas”? Is it the Queen Mary on a round- stand, because the translation is almost The parenthetical expression in verse
the-world voyage? Or is it, as many 400 years old. 49 was left out of the KJV, but appears
conclude, “something you just can’t These can be clarified by using a in the Moffatt and all other transla-
know”? more modern translation, such as the tions that reference the older Greek
However if we read on, fourteen New King James Version. The origi- manuscripts. This shows exactly how
verses later, the term “many waters” is nal KJV does offer a particular advan- Christ died. Again, consulting two or
explained: “And he said unto me, The tage—words supplied by the translators more translations usually solves such
waters which you saw, where the whore are italicized. This helps the reader to problems. Referencing multiple transla-
sits, are peoples, and multitudes, and discern between translated words and tions is an effective way to get to the
nations, and tongues” (vs. 15). implied words. Because some italicized truth of the matter. Remaining questions
In this case, the term is not immedi- words can be in error, caution is needed. can usually be answered by referencing
ately explained. But it is explained later The Moffatt is a good study transla- Bible helps.
in the chapter. tion, because it is directly translated Bible dictionaries and Strong’s
Again, the Bible interpreted itself! from the original Hebrew and Greek Concordance are among the best tools
manuscripts—not Latin transcrip- available to find the original meaning
Rule #9: Start with Clear Scriptures tions. Some modern translations are so of words.
The ninth rule of Bible study is: Never watered down by liberal interpretations One must carefully distinguish
attempt to establish doctrine by unclear that it is best to avoid them except for a words whose meanings have changed
scriptures. rare comparison. The New International over the years. One example would be
An example of a vague scripture is Version is one of the most notorious the word translated as “conversation.”
found in Acts 10, where the Apostle liberal versions, which accommodate It means “conduct” in modern usage.
Peter was being taught a principle from liberal modern theology. Bible dictionaries help with these kinds
God. It is incredible how the world has One particular verse found only in of issues.
twisted and perverted this scripture. At the KJV is I John 5:7. It is not found
first, the meaning is ambiguous, but in any older Greek manuscripts. It was Rule #11: Do Not Use Bible Helps
later becomes unmistakably clear: “And most likely added by a monk scribe who to Establish Doctrine
the voice spoke unto him again the sec- injected the theology of the counterfeit Some of the more well-known and help-
ond time, What God has cleansed, that church during the middle Ages. ful reference works include Clarke’s
call not you common” (vs. 15). It states, “For there are three that bear Commentary, Jamieson, Fausset and
Many “Christians” presume that this record in heaven, the Father, the Word, Brown Commentary and Halley’s Bible
verse permits them to eat unclean ani- and the Holy Ghost: and these three are Handbook. These and other Bible helps
mals that are supposedly, now and for- one.” This heretical verse was injected can be of value in increasing one’s
ever, “cleansed.” Some people special- to promote the false doctrine of the trin- understanding.
ize in quoting and creatively interpreting ity—in spite of the fact that Revelation Other useful helps are the margin
vague scriptures. They do this because it 22:18-19 gives a dire warning to any references in some bibles and helps
gives them room to speculate and invent who would add to or take away from at the end of certain other bibles. Be
new doctrines. that book or Scripture in general. cautious in using these helps, because
Peter did not understand the mean- Anytime you come to a questionable much of the information is misleading.
ing of this vision until later. Acts 10:28 or vague scripture, cross-referencing The scholars who wrote them lacked
states, “And he said unto them, You other translations usually clears up God’s Spirit. Therefore, error is inevi-
know how that it is an unlawful thing questions. table.
for a man that is a Jew to keep company, Deletions of scriptures by scribes and These works can help to supplement
or come unto one of another nation; but monks also occurred during the Middle our understanding of historical and

grammatical details. But they should tained within should be revered. The of urgency keeps pace with accelerating
never be relied upon to establish doc- paper, ink, and leather that make up events.
trine. We are not to lean upon their the physical Bible are not holy. What is Remember that our understanding is
interpretation of the Bible. holy about the Bible is the truth it con- never complete. The “old” established
Most of these scholars echo the doc- tains—the words of spiritual instruc- truths are still being taught by The
trines of false Christianity. An example tion. Restored Church of God. Certain pro-
is their distorted interpretation of the Making notations in your Bible helps phetic understandings that were not as
meaning of the Lord’s day, referenced amplify and reinforce God’s message, apparent before the prophesied apostasy
in Revelation 1:10: “I was in the Spirit and is acceptable to Him. are now significantly more obvious.
on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me The information contained in the Marking the Bible helps us internal-
a great voice, as of a trumpet.” Bible is priceless. How we react to those ize the precious truth that so many have
These scholars almost unanimous- words is God’s primary focus—not how taken for granted.
ly believe that the Lord’s day means reverently we treat the paper and ink. It may also be helpful to set aside
Sunday. Those with any knowledge Wide-margin bibles are ideal for special Bible studies to review your per-
of the truth recognize that this could inserting valuable notes. These notes sonal margin notes. You may find that
only mean the coming prophesied Day can come from sermons, Church Bible many notes were incomplete and find
of God’s wrath, the Day of the Lord, studies, technical details from reference others that need expanding. Besides pro-
covered in detail in Revelation. Other works and many other sources. viding an excellent review, this exercise
references to this unmistakable term It is satisfying to open the Bible to a should help you make more effective
are found in Joel 2:31, Amos 5:18 and difficult scripture and understand it by margin notes in the future.
Zephaniah 1:14-16. looking at your notes.
Remember, reference works are If you have neglected this, now is a Bible Study is Rewarding
ideal for filling in technical details of good time to get back into it. Some who By diligently applying these basic rules,
Scripture, but never for interpreting the have been in the Church for awhile mis- you will find that personal Bible study
meaning or to establish doctrine. takenly assume that they have already is far more interesting and challeng-
heard it all. The turbulence of these last ing. When you find it more difficult to
Rule #12: Make Notes in Your Bible days makes it necessary to understand break off rather than to get started, you
Many believe that the Bible is to be prophecy as it is being fulfilled. can safely say that your Bible study
treated with reverence and should never Excitement about the truth should has become exciting and rewarding—as
be marked in. Only the message con- become more contagious as the sense God would have it! 


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