Encouraging God’s People to Study the Bible Better!

May 2009
Volume #002
Issue #005

Hello <>!

Welcome to the May edition of the Bible-Student-Online.org e-zine, The Encourager.

Though the seasons are changing, we can put our hope in one thing...

God never does!

And we can apply that promise to His Word as well. But even though God's Word never changes, our knowledge of it should continually change. That's what Bible study is all about...learning God's Word.

And that's what we hope to accomplish...

...to help you study the Bible better. So...

...without further ado...

Here are some of the useful little tidbits we’re offering in this issue…

1. Tip of the Month – Supercharge your Bible study time with these great ideas.

2. Starters of the Month – Can’t find anything to study? Look here for “starter” ideas.

3. Study of the Month – We’ve posed a question that we would like you to answer by making a thorough study of the Bible. Feel free to use resources. But the applications need to be your own.

4. What’s New? – We have several projects going (and are we busy!) Find out the "new news" here at Bible-Student-Online.org!

Alright…let’s get to it!


Bible Study Tip of the Month

This month's Bible study tip focuses on Old Testament studies. Now I have to confess that, personally, I concentrate more on the New Testament in my preaching and Bible teaching than I do on the Old Testament.

The reason for this is that I find it easier to exegete doctrine (Bible teaching) than I do narrative passages (stories about people's lives.) To me it's easier to teach "teaching" than stories.

But over the years in my ministry, I've discovered a few principles that aid in studying and teaching Old Testament characters. Let me share a few of these with you...

1. Parallel - This could better be expressed "put yourself in their shoes." Figure out how the person you study has reacted to a certain situation. Would you have reacted that way?

That person had reasons why they reacted to that situation in that way. Why? Were their cultural differences that may have influenced them that may not apply today? What similarities existed in their world that you see in yours?

See if you can think of any other questions to ask that may help you put yourself in that person's shoes. The point is try to live their lives again through your imagination. Imagination can make all the difference in studying Old Testament people.

2. Probe - Next you'll want to discover any character traits the person might have displayed and analyze them. Don't just focus on the good ones. Study the person's character flaws as well. This will give you a much better idea what kind of character this person has.

3. Paraphrase - Finally you need to put everything together in a few concise paragraphs. In this step you rewrite the person's life and apply it. Write down what you've discovered about why your Bible character did what he or she did. Elaborate and give reasons why you believe this.

Give a complete sketch of that person's personality and character. Be detailed here. Give some reasons how that person might have improved their ability to cope with their situations. Note some important traits that you admire in that person as well.

Lastly apply that person's life to your own. Did that person face similar trials that you did? If so, write them down. How did they deal with it? How did you deal with your similar trial? Would you have done anything differently now that you have studied this person's life?

Anytime you study the Old Testament, study its people. People's lives lived in conjunction with God's laws is what makes the Old Testament so intriguing. So keep the above principles in mind when you study Old Testment people. These principles work for New Testament people as well as Old Testament narratives.

Well...that's all for this month. We'll see you next month. But until then...

Keep up the good work. And...

Keep the Faith!

God bless!
WJB


Bible Study Starters of the Month

Here are a couple ideas to jump-start your brain for your personal Bible study…

1. Choose one psalm from the Book of Psalms. Discover its major theme. What does the psalmist say about life? How does it apply to your own life?

2. The book of Jonah contains many interesting concepts. Study the book, being careful to note what happened to the prophet at each step along his path to Ninevah.

Bible Study Project of the Month

Put on your thinking caps this month...

We want you to take what you've learned and apply it this month. We talked about studying the lives of Old Testament characters in our article above. Taking those priciples we discussed, study a character from the Old Testament that has always intrigued you. Don't forget to...

1. Parallel
2. Probe
3. Paraphrase

Contact us through our “Contact Page” and tell us what you found. We're interested to hear what your studies turn up!


What’s New?

We have several projects planned for this summer and upcoming fall. We hope you'll stick around and see what we're planning.

And of course...

Please continue to pray for the ministry here. We can't do any of this without your prayer support. Thanks everyone!

That about wraps it up for this month. We hope you enjoyed this e-zine provided by Bible-Student-Online.org.

God bless!