How To Read and Study the Bible
How to Read Bible.

Quite often in the experience of sincere seekers after Bible truth,
there comes the time when a desire exists to really get into the
Bible.  The number one mistake, unless there has been much
previous experience like in Sunday School and even Bible courses,
is to start in Genesis; and once into the endless genealogies of
Bible history, more often than not, the reader quits.  2
recommendations are made here to prevent that, or stated more
positively to enhance to completion any new found enthusiasm for
Bible:  (1) Since the end goal of the Bible anway is to clarify the life
and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ, get into that life and
teachings as soon as possible with the short and painless book of
Mark; and (2) Simultaneously read a good guide like “Top 12
Topics of the Bible” to give yourself a good subjective feel for the
prime subjects meanings, and messages of the Bible.

1-1:  Sincere Seekers after Bible Truth.

A word of caution that this preliminary advice from one who has
read and studied the Bible for a lifetime, this successful completion
and maintenance of enhanced enthusiasm only works if your desire
is for sincere seeking after Bible truth.  Seeking after Bible truth is
closely akin to seeking after God.

1.  “...for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that
He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  (He is the
brews 11:6b)

The only way to get the rewards of Bible reading and study is to
believe:  (a) God exists {atheists and agnostices are relying on a
prejudcied assumption which denies the exsistence of God and
hence the possiblitiy of seeking and finding God}; (b) that you are
coming to God the Holy Spirit when you come to Bible; (c) that
God through the Holy Spirit will reward this seeking and study; and
(d) the author of the Bible Himself, the LORD and Creator of this
Universe including man requires “due diligence” of effort in that
seeking after truth.
Yes, it is somewhat of a dilemma:  you must believe some in God
to even seek more faith in God.  Or stated more tersely, “You must
believe in order to believe.”

2.  Pastor James in James 2:19, takes this from theory to practical
reality.

“You believe that thre is one God.  You do well.  Even the demons
believe--and tremble.”  (James 2:19)

Obviously there is believe and then there is believe, degrees of
belief or faith if you would; and obviously what you want in your
seeking after God and Bible truth is the kind that leads not to fear
like Satan and his followers destined for hell, but for a kind of belief
in Bible reading and study where you experience the spiritual
rewards of due diligence {you might call it a warm glow or subject
feeling or experience of the inward person}.
Scientists, like the Nobel prize winning physcists Dr. R.A.Millikan,
find the same principle to be true in science as in the seeking of
specialized Bible truth:  a theory is an assumption, and if you go
into any experiment with a presupposition that the theory is not true,
it becomes impossible to prove.
Of course, like all else, there is a string attached:  You must “please
God” before you can start reaping the benefits of diligent and
spiritual Bible study and reading.

3.  The very beginning of Hebrews 11:6b above is 11:6a with the
words “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him...”  
(Hebrews 11:6a)

Much of the Old Testament struggles of the Hebrew nation, indeed
the struggle of man to seek after the supernatural, has been with a
substitute method of pleasing God by works, thereby earning divine
truth.  Not so!  The way you please God  in order to receive the
rewards of Bible is the same way you do to get the salvation of
God, not of works but by faith.  Faith before initial salvation and the
new birth, and faith after initial salvation and the new birth.

1-2:  Does this Mean that you have to first experience the 9 month
new birth before you can experience the rewards from God of due
diligence in Bible reading and study?  

Yes, and no!  You can never really come into the “full stature” of the
knowledge and experience of maturity in Christ {often called
“sanctification” or the process after initial faith and new birth of
becoming more Christ-like}, until well after the initial 9 months of the
new birth process {new and spiritual birth is just like the very
common physical birth process where 9 months of incubation and
growth is required before the historical moment of the first
birthday}; but a little faith, God rewards a little, more faith, God  
rewards more; and on and on until the boundless riches of the Bibe
unfold before you in your reading and study.  In fact, what you will
find is that your faith in God, and in the Bible, will increase with
Bible reading and study.  This is the meaning of the Scripture:
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of
God.”  (Romans 10:17)
However certain spiritual realities must be faced up to such as even
as the human spirit of this world  is drastically different from the
human spirit of one born again, so being a natural person {one only
born physcially but not spiritually} is not enough, even if that natural
person is extreme smart of the highest IQ type.
“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of
God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.”  (I Corinthians 2:14)
Just jump into Bible study and reading, after a prayer for faith and
wisdom; and like the Roman Centurion who asked  for Jesus help in
the healing of his son; and to whom Jesus said, it is possible if you
believe, then Jesus and the disciples heard the reply:  “I believe,
help thou my unbelief.”   There is no better time and place to
increase your faith than at the same time you are increasing your
Bible knowledge and skill than while you are engaged in diligent
Bible reading and study.

1-3:  Honestly, was all this previously written said just in order to
say, “Study to Show Yourself Approved Unto God, a Workman that
needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  (II
Timothy 2:15)

Yes, and why not!  

NOTE:  The original recommendations at the beginning of this
short Bible report has grown from 2 to 3, each of this 3 below in red
is a specific implementation of the Bible teaching to "Study".

1.  Study Bible for the Approval of God.

You must realize that God has put a lot of time and effort over a
period of a thousand years and through the writing of over 40
scripture writers to bring up the communication level to you of Bible
truth.  And beyond that God, through the Holy Spirit, put in internal
safeguards to assure that all readers would get the same meaning;
which means, in short that the Bible is self-interpretative.  

Put that internal safeguard to work for you by reading through the
outline of the Old Testament according to the New Testament.  
Look at the outline, on the left is the location in the Old Testament
of the original quote and to the right is the New Testament
location.  Carefully go through the Bible reading each location, and
read more than the quote itself, read also the verses on either side;
and you will be amazed at your increased Bible perspective.

a.  Download now the OT according to the NT outline in PDF.

{this is for you who have Internet Explorer 6.0 or below, or
other than an Internet Explorer Browser}

b.  Download now
in MIcrosoft RTF.  {this is for constituents
with Internet Explorer higher than 6.x:  it will open in WordPad
automatically, then do a SAVE AS}

2.   Work at Bible Study and Reading as if your life depended on it,
it does!

Jesus hardly said anything in vain, especially statements like "I am
the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except
through me."  You really must start serious Bible study with this
bottom line of life, salvation, and beginnings of spiritual insight.

a.  So right now download in PDF, "A Condensed Version of
Mark with comments".  Yes, it is a free ebook.

b.  Or download CUP OF WATER in Microsoft RTF.

3.   Accept the challenge of a Workman that is a Bible Scholar, not
scholastically like those of the hideous Jesus Seminary but like the
American Scholar of Ralph Waldo Emerson where he made the
plea of long ago for facets of scholarship based on far more than
pieces of paper.

The practical and long range implementation here is to enhance
your experience with the outline of the OT according to the NT
of recommendation #1 by more prolonged study of the same
outline in a course format entitled
"Top 12 Topics of the Bible".  
These 12 topics are actually derived from the same Old
Testament quotes in the New Testament with a topic actually
superimposed on sequential groupings of those quotes.  Well,
when you experience it you will understand better!

Happy new experiences in Bible reading and Study, just stick
with it!