How to Use a Study Bible

by Albert Mohler

One of the most memorable purchases I made as a teenager was The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible in its original King James Version edition, complete with blue leather cover. I still have it, of course, though it now finds itself surrounded by a host of other Bibles on the shelf nearest to my desk. That study Bible opened the Word of God to me in a whole new way, helping me to make connections in the text and to see how subjects and themes run throughout the Bible.

That was my introduction to a study Bible. The chain-reference notes in that Bible took me throughout the Scriptures, reading text alongside text. I recognized this as a great improvement on Bibles that contained only a minimal index and a few maps in the back.

Today, there are several significant study Bibles, ranging from the most minimal, offering only cross-references, to others that offer the equivalent of several hundred pages of supplemental helps.

How should a study Bible be used?

1. Read the text of the Bible first. Meditate upon the text and read it with care. Apply your own knowledge of the Bible in order to understand the particular text within its context and place in the biblical story-line. Consider and note other texts that come to your mind as directly related to this text. Read the text with full attention and conviction…

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RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:  The ESV Study Bible / The Archaeological Study Bible: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture / The Chronological Study Bible: New King James Version / More suggestions…