Thursday, October 24, 2019

Bible Study 101: Online Resources

I often get questions regarding what Bible I use and how I go about studying the Bible. 
I decided to do a couple of blog posts regarding this topic so 
when someone asks, I can easily reference this list and send them a link.

Previous posts on the topic are listed below: 


Today I am going to share a little detail about the online resources that I use and LOVE!
Now these are not the only resources out there, 
there are TONS of resources out there online that are fabulous- 
these just happen to be my favorite! 

Two quick things regarding Bible study and tools: 

1. We should never rely solely on other's knowledge of the Bible. 
We MUST read it ourselves! 
Bible studies and commentaries are great 
but we need to learn God's word firsthand, not secondhand!

2. We need to be sure not to read verses in isolation. 
For context, reading the whole chapter 
(sometimes the whole book) is so important
in order to truly understand it.

Resource #1: Bible Gateway
Bible Gateway is a site I use all the time for reading different
 translations as well as reading commentaries. 
They also have some fabulous devotionals and reading plans! 

I use Bible Gateway to read various translations when I don't have my Bible handy 
and when I'm working on a scripture writing plan. 

Here's how that works: 
When you search for and find a verse in one translation, click on the Add Parallel icon (looks like two pieces of paper siting side by side) at the right side of the passage. 

Doing so adds a second translation that you can select from the drop down menu
and you can see the translations side by side!

If you click the icon again, you'll see a third translation. 

You can also click on the listen to icon (speaker icon) to have the scripture read to you. 

There are lots of other great things to check out on the site, 
especially those under the Study tab. 

There's also a great  Bible Gateway app that you can use- 
although I usually just use it in the browser, even on my phone. 

Resource #2: Blue Letter Bible

Blue Letter Bible has some incredible resources including some of my favorite commentaries.

    Just like Bible Gateway, you can search and read any Bible verse/chapter. 
    But what I love to use is the text commentary feature. 

    Search for the verse and click Go. 

    To the right of the verse click the Tools icon to reveal a bunch of options. 

    My favorites are Interlinear and Commentaries with Cross Refs as a close third. 
    Interlinear is the first tab and is a list of all the words from the scripture in Greek and Hebrew. 
    (The definition of Interlinear is written or printed between the lines of a text)
    You can even click on the icon on the right to listen to the pronunciation. 

    Learn more about how to use Interlinear  HERE

    Cross-Refs lists words that are in the scripture and used in other places in the Bible. 

    Commentaries lists audio, video and text commentaries. 
    Commentaries are a series of comments, background, 
    historical details, etc by biblical scholars. 
    I typically use the Text Commentaries. There are lots of great ones
     but my favorites are Matthew Henry and David Guzik.

    Clicking on one takes you to the commentary for that verse. 
    Each is set up like an outline. 
    It starts with a short summary and is followed by the text in dark red. 
    Below that are thoughts, details, and historical facts related to the scripture. 
    I like to think of reading a commentary as sitting down with a Biblical scholar 
    who is explaining the scriptures and giving me additional background. 
    If you are ever struggling to understand a scripture or 
    want more information or context, 
    a commentary is for you!

    I will warn you that reading commentaries is a little addicting. 
    The more I read them the more I want to read them and learn more!
    Learn more about reading commentaries on BLB  HERE

    The Dictionaries tab shows different words from the scripture 
    and their definitions in different dictionaries. 
    Learn more about the Dictionaries HERE

    There is a ton more to learn about on BLB and you can check out their 
    Help section HERE or check out their awesome video tutorials  HERE