Best Advice

The Best Advice I Ever Got

When Lisa and I moved to Colorado in 1997, we found a church we liked and attended a new members' meeting. At the meeting one of the new members asked the pastor if he could recommend a bible translation to purchase. The pastor mentioned several translations that he thought were good. Then he also casually mentioned that a good study bible would be much more beneficial for your nightly-before-bed bible reading. I remember thinking, “what’s a study bible?” and “do people actually read the bible regularly, much less on a nightly basis?”

At the time, the only bible I owned was a King James version that I received as a kid in the early 1970’s. Dealing with all of the old pronouns (thee, thine and thou) along with the old verbs like “doest”, “wouldest” and “hadst” made it all but inaccessible. A present-day translation fixes all these barriers.

However, a study bible in a present-day translation is what really makes the difference. Study bibles have footnotes on most verses that add incredible context to the passages. This context such as historical and socioeconomic background and customs of the times add a tremendous amount of meaning and understanding. The maps and the prefaces to every book outlining the theme, purpose, importance, author, date and literary characteristics are also incredibly helpful.

After I purchased a study bible, I found it to more of a”page turner” than all the Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy novels I had ever read. Before I got a study bible I thought of reading the bible as some kind of duty or penance (albeit a very rare duty or penance). Now I cherish my time spent reading and studying God’s Word.
I don’t think there is any substitute for Christians personally reading and studying the very words of God. The bible provides the key to understanding the body of beliefs, principles, and teachings that are foundational to the Christian Faith. Beyond that, the peace, comfort, joy and wisdom than come from it are indescribable. Getting a good study bible is definitely the best advice I’ve ever received.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2 Timothy 3:16)

“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105)

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (1 Peter 3:15)

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11)

Brad Gauen

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