Lanny's Bible Study
Bible study is a joy to me. The Holy Ghost brings so many things alive, as I meditate on the Word of God. I am thankful for the gift of a vivid imagination that helps me picture the setting, the people, and the action. It's like being right there as a silent bystander, watching and listening, and feeling with my heart something of the emotions of those saints of old.
As I read the Bible, I cry sometimes over the sad parts, get angry at injustices, rejoice over the victories, am enraptured by the romances, and I laugh at the funny parts, such as how Haman's evil plans backfired on him in his wrangles with Mordecai. I participate, and I think that this is what the Lord wants Bible study to be for us, rather than merely an intellectual exercise. As a Christian, I consider the Bible to be the record of the history of our people. Our Daddy wants us to engage with it, to feel it, and to take it into our heart. This helps us to obey Him, to remember the lessons in it when we are in the heat of battle.
I am offering to take whoever wants to along with me on my journeys through the Bible. The notes are probably not like any that have been published in a Bible study before. They include my personal reflections as I read, with the hope that they will be read by my children and grandchildren. Some of the notes are the things that came to my mind as I closed my eyes and put myself at the scene. The Lord tells us to love Him with all our mind, and the Greek word means imagination. Imagine that! God tells us to use our imagination. It's not an evil thing, if it isn't used for an evil purpose.
I've also included some references from Strong's Concordance. I like to look up what the words mean in the original Hebrew or Greek, to gain more clarity. I keep in mind, though, that Hebrew and Greek were not James Strong's native tongues, and that those who grew up speaking those languages have a deeper knowledge of them. For this reason, others might have a more accurate understanding of the meaning of various words, particularly people who participated in restoring Hebrew as a spoken language. Sometimes I come across a jewel of meaning that is not in James Strong's concordance.
One of the wonderful things about doing a Bible study in this manner is that, with a view to possibly offering insights, I think even more deeply than before about each verse. It slows me down a lot, but that's good. Sheep not only need to graze, but also to remuninate.
It sure is handy to be hooked up to the Internet. When I am puzzled about various verses, or if I feel that I need to confirm my understanding, I do a search online. It's great to not have to heft books around and have them piling up on the floor beside me, or even to have to turn pages looking for things. What a blessing the Internet is to Bible study, but we need to consider if the source is credible. Some people go on the Internet and say all sorts of nonsense, just for the heck of seeing if they can get people to believe it. In other cases, the person might have made an honest mistake, or they might have hangups that distort their understanding. I feel my way along when I read what they have to say, looking for the things that ring true, based on what I know to be true, and dismiss the dross.
I found it interesting that some of the famous commentators whose remarks I read sometimes made conjectures about various things they supposed could have happened, trying to read between the lines. Throughout my forty plus years as a Christian, I have heard pastors cautioning against reading between the lines, adjuring believers to stick strictly to what is written on the lines. Interestingly, many of them made assumptions about various aspects of the stories they related in their sermons, but that seemed to escape their notice, and a good many pastors consult these commentaries when preparing sermons, yet they do not seem to think that there was anything amiss in the commentators making conjectures. Perhaps they object only to conjectures that they or their respected teachers have not come up with.
I've had doubts about some of the conjectures in the commentaries I read, and even scorn for some of their surmisings, due to the scholar's lack of logic or faith, but some of their musings had merit. I don't care how famous or respected a person is as to whether or not I accept their ideas; the thing that counts with me is that their ideas make sense and are in tune with the Bible as a whole. I have made references throughout my notes to commentaries that were consulted.
I have copied the Bible out by hand a couple of times. What a blessing! Copying it out neatly slows down my reading and helps me notice things that I didn't see before when I was only reading it. I intend to copy the Bible again, with my notes printed off for my children and their children, when I am satisfied with my notes.
In the meantime, I have bolded the Scripture for this online copy of my notes. I have used the Jubilee Bible, which is an excellent translation, better than the King James. The STORY OF THE JUBILEE BIBLE is fascinating. This Bible was taken from a Spanish translation that was compiled when Hebrew was still a spoken language. This enabled the translator to consult with Jews of exceptional understanding as to the meanings of their words to increase the accuracy of the translation. I extend grateful thanks to the publisher for allowing me to copy and paste the Jubilee Bible into this study.
I am also inserting into the text the current Hebrew way of spelling and pronouncing names, to familiarize myself with them. These are taken from The Complete Jewish Bible, which was translated by David H. Stern and published by Messianic Jewish Publishers, Clarksville, Maryland, USA. The current spelling of the names is in brackets.
As I journey through the Bible, I will be making charts to help clarify the information I glean, but it will probably be a long time before I can share the charts. There are all sorts of excellent charts already published, and I might consult them to improve the accuracy of my own, but doing my own will help me fix the information more firmly in my mind.
I am not starting with Genesis. I feel the Lord's leading to begin with the books of Samuel and continue on through Kings and Chronicles, because of certain things that I have in mind to do possibly in the near future. I might not get to finish this study; I can see it going on for many years. Jesus might return before then, or I might be in situations where I can not haul my laptop or my Bible around. As I do my study, I will share it in a pdf copy, updating frequently.
Before I read the Bible, I always pray that the Holy Spirit will open my eyes to what He wants me to see. I recommend this to everyone. It always makes me come away with something burning in my heart that I can apply in my life, as opposed to reading the Bible just being a daily exercise that makes me feel that I have done my Christian duty. Blessings on you in Yehoshua's Name as you graze in His green pastures.
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