Why Use a Study Bible?
If you get the right study bible, you’ll learn more than you ever could have by listening to a preacher. Reading the notes portion of a study bible is like reading the bible with a friend who helps answer your questions verse by verse, and it’s important to pick the right friend(s).
I’ve compared study bibles, and it’s interesting to see that the notes of 2 different study bibles can be complete opposite in opinion. That’s why it’s important to not just rely on one study bible for all your answers, but to compare different study notes.
How to Use a Study Bible
Study notes are designed to be read from the beginning of a book/chapter, to the end of that book/chapter, with every note being read. The author of the study notes certainly made the notes by going straight through a chapter or a book instead of hopping around, sporadically putting notes on certain verses. This became clear to me when I was reading a study bible and saw that notes format of one book was one way, while the format changed in another book. The author of the notes didn’t hop around from verse to verse, so we probably shouldn’t either.
How Not To Use a Study Bible
The average guy picks through a study bible for certain answers on certain questions. For example, if you had a question about why Jacob cut stripes into rods in order to make his sheep breed with spots, you’d probably just refer to Genesis 30:37 instead of reading all the notes in that chapter. However, the answer you might be looking for may not be on that verse; it may be written as a note to another verse earlier or later than Gen 30:37. The answer you’re looking for might have already been answered in a previous part of that chapter/book, and, I guess to save space, the author doesn’t repeat the note.
Another way that the average guy uses a study bible is by reading the bible portion of the study bible, but only referring to the study notes when they feel that they don’t understand something. Yes, I say “when they FEEL they don’t understand” because I have realized that I personally had many misconceptions and preconceived ideas, and when I read a study note of the verses that I thought I already understood, I learned through the provided reference verses that I actually did not understand them correctly.
Books VS. Tablets
I never imagined reading a whole book on an iphone, much less the bible, but it happened. Now, it is the only way that I will recommend reading a study bible. Tablets such as the iPhone, iPod, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, and other devices are now able to run software like Olive Tree Bible Reader, which allows a person to use study bibles on tablets. While reading a study bible, there are thousands of references that you can choose to see or ignore. On a tablet, all you need to do is touch the reference verse and it pops up. In a book, you’ve got to flip through thousands of pages just to prove a few reference verses.
My Pet Peeves with Some Study Notes
It annoys me when a study note has an explanation but no bible reference. I don’t care about the author’s opinion as much as I care about what the bible says. It’s not any better to give a reference that is irrelevant. However, the thing that gets to me the most is when there is a confusing passage of scripture with little or no explanation in the study notes.
Check The Study Bible Review Page for more information on which study bibles are the best to get!