Thursday, July 5, 2012

Navigating the Bible

Start with prayer---

Over the next few weeks we are going to learn the different parts of our Bibles and how to use them.  We are going to learn some interesting facts about the content of different books and the writers of those books. 

Although you all probably know most of this stuff, it’s always good to refresh your memory.

Remember when we talked about the Bible containing hidden treasure?  Well it does but we need to learn how to find that hidden treasure.  We are going to learn how to navigate the Bible so that we can search it for the hidden treasure buried within it’s pages.

Print and enlarge this chart to either hang on
the classroom wall or give a copy to each student

The Bible is a very complex tool.

I not only contains the hidden treasure but it is also the map by which to find the treasure?  You say “huh?”.    It’s kind of hard to explain but over the next few weeks hopefully you will understand this riddle so to speak.

Let’s start with the basics.

Does everyone here know all the books of the bible in order, or at least for the most part?
This is very important.  If not, we will have to learn them soon.

Print and enlarge to hang on classroom wall or give a
copy to each student
—The bible is one large book that is made up of how many small books?  66
It is like a whole library contained in one book!

—It is divided into 2 sections?  What are they?   The Old Testament and The New Testament.

The Old testament contains how many books?  39
The New Testament contains how many books? 27

How do you know where the Old Testament ends and the New Testament begins?

Well lets take a look at the table of contents in the front of your bible.  It lists the 2 different sections (Old and New Testaments) then it lists each book contained in that section.  It also has the beginning page number for each book listed.  Page numbers are usually found at the top of each page in the middle of the page.  However some bibles are different so lets look at your particular bibles to find the page numbers.

Okay now let’s all of us find the Book of Luke.  Now each books is set out in (book) chapter and verse format so that particular passages of scripture are made easier to find.  It makes it easier also to tell others where to find a particular reading.  So now that we are in the Book of Luke lets see if we can find chapter 10.  The chapters are usually marked by a large bold number at the beginning of each.  Okay now that you have found chapter ten lets look for verse 41.  Verses are usually marked by smaller numbers next to each.

Okay now that’s the easy stuff and I’m sure you probably already knew, but’s let’s look a little deeper so we can learn where to find particular words or passages.

Each bible has a small condensed version of a concordance.  A concordance has a list of the different words in the bible and then shows a portion of the different scriptures that word is found.  Most condensed versions like the ones found in your Bible has a small list of some of the most important words used.  The concordance is usually found in the very back of bibles.  See if you can find yours.  They are usually in alphabetical order.  Let’s look up a word.  What word do you think we should look up?  Not sure?  How about—Scripture!  Can any of you think of a verse right off the top of your head that uses the word scripture?  How about our memory verse?  Let’s see if either of our concordances can show us where to find our memory verse.

Memory Verse:

2 Timothy 3:16—

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

Also maybe there is a particular parable or passage of scripture that you would like to read but you don’t know exactly where it is found in the bible.  Most bibles now days have a section either before or after the concordance that has a listing of some of the most popular or most read stories in the bible and shows where to find them.  It’s kind of like an index.  Maybe you want to read the story of Samson and Delilah.  Do you know where to find it?  Let’s see if we can find it in your bible index.

If your bible does not have one I will show you another way to find it.  There is usually a subheading at the top of each page that tells what is contained on a part of that page.  If you know that the story of Samson is found in the book of Judges you can turn to Judges and start looking at the top of each page until you find a subheading with the story of Samson and Delilah.  Maybe you aren’t looking for a particular story but are just thumbing through a book.  You can determine what topics or subjects in the book by the page subheadings.

Your bible also might have a listing of the miracles & parables of Jesus which are found in the 4 gospels (which are Matthew, Mark, Luke & John).  Some of the same parables or stories of Jesus were recorded in more than of the gospels and they are listed so that you can find each version of a particular story.  Maybe you want to compare each story of The Last Supper.  This index will show you every where that particular story is.

I think that’s enough for today.

Next week we are going to take a deeper look into some of the books, who wrote them and what is contained in them.

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This blog is dedicated to all things inspirational, with it's basis solely from the infallible, inerrant word of God. Unless otherwise posted all scripture references will be taken from the Kings James version of the Holy Bible. Some biblical material and docrinal views on this blog may be controversial in content. I ask when viewing this type of material that you open your heart solely to the word of God and allow his truth, as written in his word, to teach and guide you.
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