THE WORKMAN'S GUIDE TO SCRIPTURE STUDY
by Dallas E. James
In education the use of repetition as a teaching tool is one of the primary ways of learning. This is the most abandoned principle in regard to the study of the Bible. The reading of the Bible on a DAILY and consistent basis is the best method that will impress IT'S WORDS on the mind of the reader. This principle is referred to in a variety of ways in the Scriptures themselves.
The entirety of the Mosaic system ordained by God in the Old Testament for the Israelites was one of repetition based on the ancient yearly calendar (see Leviticus 23). King David wrote in the Psalms that he kept God's precepts by DAILY Scripture study. He wrote in chapter One, verse one of the Psalms, "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate DAY AND NIGHT. (see also Psalms 119:97,100 and 88:9) The prophet Isaiah wrote, "Seek you out the book of the Lord, AND READ..." (Isaiah 34:16) And as we progress into the New Testament we find Jesus Christ teaching on a Daily basis (see Matthew 26:55 and 16:11). The evangelist Luke wrote in the book of Acts that daily teaching and preaching was taking place by the apostle Paul in the school of Tyrannus (Acts 19:9) Special mention was made about a group of Christians in the ancient city of Berea who were better educated in the Scriptures because of their consistent DAILY BIBLE READING. To quote this important account we read, "And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word of God with all readiness of mind, AND SEARCHED THE SCRIPTURES DAILY, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:10,11)
There is an analogy that has been used throughout the Bible that is relative to this principle. The process of eating and drinking for our physical nourishment is analogous to the receiving of God's Word to the mind for our Spiritual nourishment. I am reminded what has been a personal request of mine over the years. There are lots of things we have need to ask God of but one request has been important to me. It is simply, "God, give me the thirst and hunger for your Word." This is important because if the thirst and hunger stops, then the eating and drinking will stop also. The process of receiving nourishment is ongoing and in like manner DAILY BIBLE READING is the Spiritual food and drink for the mind and spirit. It must not cease for our spiritual health to be maintained. This thirst and hunger prompts us to eat the Spiritual life-giving food and it is a gift that must be given of God. "No man can come to me, except the Father DRAW HIM: and I will raise him up in the last day." John 6:44. "Blessed are they which do thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." Matthew 5:6. See also Jeremiah 15:16, Ezekiel 2:8-10, 3:1-4, Psalms 119:103, John 7:37-39, and Revelation 10:9,10. So you see, being filled with God's Word comes thru His inspiration and spending time with it by reading.
Beginning your Bible Reading project is one of the most rewarding of lifelong goals and habits. It should become as natural a habit as eating or sleeping. It should be something that is the highlight of each day you live. And certainly this is something that should not be made into a tedious routine. Everyone has an occasional day when something takes away all your time be it emergency, work etc. Just ask yourself which habit is more important, reading it or not reading it. How much you read is an individual matter. I have read the Bible in about eight months reading four to six pages a day. It works very much like the "Piggy Bank", you get into the habit of putting pennies in and before you know it you have gained alot. The principle of the wise steward applies here. To maintain continuity the Bible should be read in the proper story flow order as indicated in the original manuscripts. I use a double marker system being one marker placed at the end of a given section and my main marker used in my daily reading. I also like to wrap a piece of paper around my main marker which I use to mark off which chapter I stop reading at because more than one chapter may be on any one page. It is also good to place a copy of the proper order of the books of the Bible in the back to refer to as you read. In addition I also carry a small notebook and pen to write down my inspirations because things can be forgotten easily without a record.
A Bible reading plan as the one indicated can be one of the most inspiring relationships a Christian can form. You will find your knowledge gaining and your spiritual talents growing as you become better acquainted with the mind of God. And God will certainly reward you with inspiration that will keep you reading that Book anew time after time. Try reading a new translation for variety when you begin again or better yet buy a new one if it can be afforded. There is something said about opening up a new book for the first time. At any rate it is God who will keep your mind fresh and new for His Word.
I&II Samuel-I&II Kings I&II Peter
Isaiah I&II&III John
Hosea thru Malachi
Proverbs I&II Corinthians
Song of Solomon Ephesians
Ecclesiastes I&II Thessalonians
Daniel I&II Timothy
I&II Chronicles Philemon
For anyone interested there is a Bible under production that will be a new and very accurate translation which will reflect the most advanced scholarship including the new research of the Dead Sea scrolls. It will also reflect the original order of the Biblical books placed into seven divisions. This Bible will not be available for another five or so years at this writing in July 1992 but to receive updates on this important project please send all inquiries to,
The Original Bible Project
408 S. Pasadena Ave. #4
Pasadena, CA 91105 USA.
To conclude then, the reading of the Bible is the way to gain knowledge of the mind of God. By reading the Scriptures you will be listening to God speak, aided by His Holy Spirit which will allow you to comprehend His Love and plan for all of humanity. Mankind lives not by bread alone but by what proceeds from God Himself.(see Deuteronomy 8:3) "And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:12
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