One of our readers recently sent an email to the Association asking several questions and asked us to elaborate on these things that were troubling his mind. This reader had in fact six questions, and they are in the order that he asked them as follows. (1) When I read my Bible, I don’t understand what I am reading, what am I doing wrong? (2) How in this busy world with a business to run can I make time to read or study the Bible? (3) What Bible should I use? (4) Should I read in the morning or at night? (5) What is the difference between reading and studying? And lastly, (6) Should I use a concordance or some other guideline? These questions, although not unique in themselves, are valid questions that have been asked by babes in Christ for many a year. Most of us have probably gone through this phase of uncertainty at some time in our early walk with our Lord until we, by His grace, matured in His Word. With this said let me try and answer our friend’s request in a way that may benefit all of us.

In order for us to fully understand the Bible, we must first of all learn for ourselves who the Bible is talking about. In the Book of Genesis, we read in the first chapter the story of the creation of the Earth in general, but already in the second chapter we get an inkling of God’s overall plan with the creation of Adam, which is a distinction between Adam, the son of God, as per Luke 3:38 and pre-Adamic man of Gen. 1. From there we get the story of the Fall and the Flood and through Noah’s son Shem to Abraham. Starting in chapter twelve of Genesis we find the story of one man’s family, from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob-Israel, culminating in Ex. 19 in God forming the Israelites into a nation unto Himself at Mt. Sinai, and there putting the newly formed nation of Israel under contract, so to say, the Mosaic Covenant, to be a servant nation under God, for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom here on the Earth. Even though Israel fell into sin and idolatry and at a later date, was banned from the land of Palestine for their sins, God never forsook them or went back on His promise to be a God unto His people. In Jer. 31:35-36 we read that God proclaimed that as long as the Sun and the Moon and the stars stayed in their orbits in the Heavens, Israel would remain a nation before Him. In today’s modern churches a lot of emphasis is placed on personal Salvation, which, in itself, is not wrong, but the Biblical emphasis is by and large on National Redemption. Israel as a people returning to God is the overlying message throughout the Prophets. Israel is here and now, and when we come to understand and accept that fact, then and only then will the Bible become the Book with a personal message for all of Adam’s progeny, showing that Israel will be a perpetual Kingdom before God on the planet. Knowing your heritage will go a long way to understanding the Bible, when you realize that the Book is talking to you and about your ancestors and not about a distant people long lost in time.

For the prudent Bible student, it will take a strong commitment both in time and effort to diligently search the Scriptures in order to come to a full and satisfactory understanding of God’s Word. In this busy world people often find it very hard to find time for Bible study or even casual Bible reading. Jesus tells us in Matt. 6:33-34, “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Be therefore not anxious about tomorrow; for tomorrow will be anxious for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is its own trouble.” So, dear reader, make the effort either in early morning or late in the evening, it does not matter, God will reward your diligence with blessings of joy and of a peaceful heart. Those that study in the morning will then face the days labors filled with God’s spirit to strengthen them, whereas those that meditate in the evening will find God’s peace and rest after a stressful day. Both options are rewarding to soul and spirit.

When we contemplate on starting any task or project it is always prudent to have the proper equipment for the task at hand. The same is true when we contemplate on studying Scripture. I would recommend a good cross-reference Bible with extended footnotes or a good Study Bible, there are many available. I personally prefer the King James, but there are others that are equally good. Each Bible student should choose for him or herself. One Bible that I would not recommend is the NIV, it is a trans-literation that can often give distorted interpretation of the Sacred Scriptures. A good Concordance such as Strongs will also be helpful at times, and a Bible handbook like Haley’s also will give short and concise explanations on any subject in the Bible. May the Almighty God bless all of us in our endeavor to come to a full understanding and knowledge of Him who created us for His own glory. Amen!

From Genesis to Revelation the Bible tells the story of one God and of one people, His chosen, Israel, not Israeli {Jews}, but Israel, a people to be His servant for all time, a people whose descendants are today found among the Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, Germanic and Scandinavian peoples of North-West Europe, now scattered all over the globe. They are the people of the Book and the people with the Book. All who hold this Book in derision and contempt do so at their own peril unto death. Those who hold this Book, the Bible dear, will have a treasure without price forever.