These notes are intended to help the Bible student study chapter by chapter through books of the Bible. For many Bible books, study questions can be found on our web site at classbooks site. The questions are designed to help the student study the material in a Bible class, family study, or personal study. I encourage the student to study the questions carefully and develop your own answers to the questions before reading our study notes. After you have studied the Bible passage and answered the questions for yourself, our notes may add helpful additional material.
I also encourage each student to keep a notebook on each book of the Bible and save your notes for future reference (use of a loose-leaf notebook will allow you to add new pages as needed). As you study, you can write your answers to the questions in the notebook, then you can add other helpful thoughts as your study continues.
Note: Our abbreviation "b/c/v" means "book, chapter, and verse."
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Understanding a book of the Bible may often be aided by relating it to the period of Bible history in which it was written. Please remember that books are not placed in chronological order in our Bibles.
In order to help the student relate Bible books to Bible history, we have included a Bible Timeline. It can be accessed at our commentary site. The timeline divides all of Bible history into three ages. Those ages are divided further, resulting in fifteen Bible periods. Our introductory notes on each book of the Bible generally encourage the student to consult the timeline to help put the book into historical perspective.
The following tools should help in studying the Bible and answering the questions in our material. Most of these tools can be obtained from a good religious bookstore.
We recommend the following features in a good study Bible:
* Suggested translations are NKJV, KJV, ASV, or NASB. We do not recommend using a loose translation or one-man translation.
* Good cross-references.
* A good binding, preferably genuine leather.
Good Bible maps are also useful in a Bible, if you do not have maps available in some other source.
You may also wish to have more than one translation for purposes of comparison.
We recommend one of the following:
* Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, or
* Young's Analytical Concordance
Alternatively, many computer programs are available that provide good Bible concordance and search routines.
A shorter abridged concordance may work, but will not contain all the words or all the references you may need.
The following materials may be helpful, but are not as essential as the previous materials. Being human works, they are also subject to error.
* Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, by W. E. Vine - This dictionary actually defines Bible words, but is somewhat detailed.
* Bible Dictionary, such as New International Dictionary of the Bible by Zondervan's or New Smith's Bible Dictionary. These Bible "dictionaries" typically do not define words (as might be expected), but give information about people, places, and things found in the Bible.
* Maps of Bible lands - These may be found in the back of some Bibles or Bible dictionaries.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the proper use of each of the above tools in order to use them effectively.
Sometimes our study notes on specific sections of Scripture will suggest other books that we have found useful in our study.
For further information about proper Bible study, we urge you to study our free
How to Study the Bible. It contains information about use
of the tools we have mentioned above, along with Scriptural guidance in proper
attitudes in study and proper understanding of Bible authority. To study this
article, see the links below or go to our Bible Instruct web site at
Note: We generally do not have the capacity to answer questions from students about our Bible commentaries. We encourage you to study on your own and answer questions for yourself from Scripture. If you need help on specific Bible subjects, please see our Gospel Way site for topic studies.
We hope that our study materials will challenge you to deeper and more practical study of God's word. And above all we hope you will apply God's word to practical obedience in your own life and in teaching others. To God be the glory.
Copyright 2005, David E. Pratte
Local churches and individuals may, within limits, distribute this Bible study guide for free, but not for sale. Web sites may link to this page but not reproduce it. For details click here for our copyright guidelines.
to Study the Bible
The Importance of Bible Knowledge
Why So Much Religious Confusion and Disagreement?
The Preservation of the Bible
The Bible vs. Denominational Creeds
Divine Authority vs. Human Authority in Religion
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.