How do you “see” the Bible?
We wear “colored glasses”—we see things a certain way; we filter everything by our personal predisposition (events, experiences, what we read). We have been molded by numerous factors (background, upbringing, culture, training) so that our theological preferences cause us to see certain things better than other things. Example: Buy a new car and suddenly you start noticing all the other cars on the road like yours.
Repeated reading of Scripture will bring new insights up to the surface...like dredging the depths of the ocean.What are primary themes that we can find running through the Bible? What are the key subjects you can follow through your personal Bible study? My top seven:
1. God: Creation, his work in the world, his involvement in human affairs, his revelation (Word)
2. Sin: The Fall, good vs. evil, Satan, judgment, Law, suffering and pain
3. Salvation: Savior, grace, redemption, forgiveness, faith, mercy, healing
4. History: record of events, lessons, prophecy, promise, End Times
5. People: chosen by God, election
6. Relationships: community, family, marriage, government
7. Life lessons: how to live, advice, success
• Specialized Study Bibles—each
emphasizing a certain theme that it traces through the Scriptures:
• Topical Bibles—some are color coded to track primary themes throughout the Scripture.
o Standard Full Color Bible (Twelve themes: God, Discipleship, History, Salvation, Evil, Prophecy, Commandments, Sin, Love, Family, Outreach, Faith).
o Rainbow Study Bible (Twelve themes: God, Discipleship, Love, Faith, Sin, History, Satan, Salvation, Family, Witnessing, Commandments, Prophecy)
o Nave’s Topical Bible
o NIV Topical Bible—about 250 major topics… Examples: Abortion, Abraham, Adam, Adam (second), Adoption, Adultery, Alcohol, Alien, Altar, Ancestry, Angel, Angel of the Lord, Anger, Anointing, Antichrist, Anxiety, Apostle, Ark of the Testimony, Ascension, Assurance, Atonement, Authority.
o Thompson Chain Link Reference Bible
• Everyman a Bible Student. God, Man, Sin, Christ, Repentance, Atonement, Sacrifice, Redemption, Justification, Gospel, Forgiveness, Eternal Life, Kingdom of Heaven, Assurance, Temptation, Satan, Salvation, Prayer, Compromise, Holy Spirit, Sanctification, Love, Law, Grace, Pain, Healing, Death, Resurrection, After-Life (and others).
• Basic Bible Texts. Scripture, God, Creation, Providence, Man, Person of Christ, Work of Christ, Savation and the Christian Life, The Church, Sacraments, Individual Eschatology, General Eschatology.
Continue general overview (Genesis 12 – 50)