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Hear God.

The Bible
Initiative

Read It.

Learn it.

Hear God.

We want you to learn how to read the Bible and we want to help you with this.  This is your one-stop place for Bible resources, tools and short coaching sessions that will teach you about God's Word and how to interact with it. 

 

Use this as a guide--a place to go to learn more about the Bible and a place to go to receive inspiration if you cannot pull yourself to read the Bible.  We are here with you; we want to help you experience God's Word.  

Reading on a Bench

Introduction

Welcome to the Bible Initiative.  This is the beginning of your journey in how to interact with God's Holy Word.  The bible has a perception of being intimidating and hard to understand--its not.  Yes, it is an ancient book that demands study, preparation and proper reading disciplines but it is possible for everyone to read scripture and understand it.  It just takes some tools, work, and time.  

This is the heart of of The Bible Initiative; to walk alongside of your faith journey with Jesus Christ and help you read your Bible every single day. 

"All Scripture is inpired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training and righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work."

--1 Timothy 3:16-17

Scripture

The Five SOLAS of (the) Faith

These are the five cornerstones of the Christian faith.   

We are saved by a gift of 
Grace Alone (Sola gratia) by our Faith Alone (Sola fida) in Christ Alone (Sola Christus) to the Glory of God Alone (soli Deo Gloria).  We have a relationship with Christ through Scripture Alone (Sola Scriptura).  God's word is inerrant, infallible and is the authority for all Christians including the modern church.  

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Sola christus

 

 

Christ alone

Bible

 

 

sola 

scriptura

 

 

Scripture alone

Stained Glass

 

 

Sola

Fide

 

 

Faith alone

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Sola 

Gratia

 

 

Grace Alone

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soli deo

gloria

 

 

glory to god

alone

Our Authority (Scripture)
How to start reading Scripture

If the bible is our inerrant, infallible authority of God's word then how do we study it properly?  Where do we start when it comes to reading our bible on our own?

1. You start by simply reading it, pick a few translations (there are such things as bad translations). 

 

We recommend NASB 1995, ESV, NIV before the year 2000, NLT, CSB and The Legacy Bible.  The first two translations are the most accurate to the original languages (Greek and Hebrew) and the other two translations make good accompaniments to these translations.  When you are reading scripture, you should always compare the text you are focusing on to other translations.

 

*please note that all of these translations rely both on the Masoretic (Hebrew, Aramaic language for Old Testament and koine (common) Greek for the New Testament). The Old Testament has been translated into common Greek during New Testament / Early church times—this translation is called the Septuagint.  These translations we recommend use most of the Masoretic text and Septuagint to interpret the Old and New Testaments back to their original languages more than other translations.  For instance, The KJV, uses more of the Latin vulgate and Septuagint more than the Masoretic text whereas the NASB 1995 uses more of the Masoretic text and Septuagint for than the Latin vulgate.  It reflects in the syntax and collection of thoughts/ words etc.)

 

​2. Read scripture like you would a novel or fictional story (the bible isn’t a fictional story, it is true, authoritative, inerrant and infallible). 

 

Focus on the plot, characters, break down the chapters like you would as you read something like Lord of the Rings of Hunger Games.  Create a daily reading habit by saying “I am going to read chapter 1 today and chapter 2 tomorrow.”  Don’t analyze every little thing, focus on what is happening from the big picture and who it is happening to.  Who are the characters? What is the inciting incident? Who is the bad guy? What are the motives?  Who wrote this piece of scripture? Who is the audience of this scripture (in its ancient context).  Doing this will allow your imagination to flow and for you to start picturing the characters, settings and plot. 

 

3. Once you the know the basic picture of scripture you are reading; use free tools on the internet to help you go deeper.   

We have included all of the site links in this little document if you want to take it home.  Use things like the “Literal Word App” (both on google play and apple app store). This is an app that give you 4 bible translations to pick from.  You can then highlight words directly from the text to see their original root word in either the Greek or Hebrew language.  This helps us find out ancient definitions rather than our modern definitions to get the truest meaning out of the text.

 

Free Bible Study Resources (You can Use Right Now):

 

Literal word bible app

Strong’s Concordance:  https://www.biblehub.com/strongs.htm

Enduring Word Commentary :  https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/

YouVersion bible study app

The Bible Project:  https://bibleproject.com/

Glorify Bible App

 

Once you are done reading the bible as a story;  then you can start to analyze what the scripture is saying. These tools will help you figure that out.

 

4. Context. Context. Context. 

Never take a singular verse out of it’s given context to make it mean something that it doesn’t mean.  Always read the scriptures within the given context of what is written.  The best way to study your bible is to do Inductive Bible Study.  This form of Bible study will help you pull the truth out of what the text is saying rather than creating a new truth for yourself by reading yourself (and biases) into the text. 

 

Here are the three simple steps to Inductive bible Study:

 

  1. Observation:  What is happening in the given text? What is happening before and after this passage (context)?  What is happening in the overall part of the bible or book?

  2. Interpretation:  Now that we know what is happening, what does it mean? Is there symbolism? Repetition? What is the point of the text or major theme? What are the character motivations?

  3. Application:  Now that we know the truth found within the text (what the text is saying) how can it apply to our lives today?  What is the truth found within this text that will help me live today?

 

  1. When we read God’s word we must always ask The Holy Spirit to help us.  This one is straight forward as Jesus reminds His disciples to call upon the person of the Holy Spirit in John 14

 

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.  After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.  In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him…

 

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.  Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

 

--John 14:18-21, 26-27

 

We must call upon the Person of The Holy Spirit daily especially in our times of reading God’s Holy Word.  The Holy Spirit helps us in our time of study and reveals truths about God’s word as we do our study.  He will tell you when something is off about your interpretation, and He will also give you peace knowing that you have just read the truth.  This is how God works and Jesus reminds His disciples how the Holy Spirit will function once He goes back up into Heaven.

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Free Bible  Resources

Here are some FREE biblical resources that you can access right now.  These videos, apps and websites teach sound, biblical theology and will help you understand the proper intrepration of the Bible

(click on the image to go to the website)

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