The Most Important Book in Your Library

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Your Bible is the most important book that you have in your library at home, or at work, or at the Library. The Bible is the word of God. It educates and teaches us in the ways that we should live and treat others. The Bible also tells how God is to be worshiped. The Bible tells us about prophetic events that are about us in our future as well as signs of those times. The Bible has scripture and details on about every walk of our lives.

As a suggestion here, it is a good idea to have more than one version of the Bible handy. This can add clarity to what you read. As for me, I have 20 different versions of the Bible. I don’t recommend this for the average person. But when you preach and teach, it does help to have more. For the average person I would recommend a King James Version, a New King James Version, and your choice of an Amplified version or a New American Standard Version.

For me, the King James Version is one I rarely use. The most frequently used versions for me are the New Living Translation Version and the New American Standard Version. The NASB is the official approved version used by the Assemblies of God. Many Spirit Filled ministers will preach from the NLT. There is a long list of different versions. If you don’t like my suggestions, then pick a couple from the long list that you like. Listed below are some names of versions that are beneficial to your study of God’s word:

  1. 21stCentury King James

  2. New Living Translation

  3. Amplified Version

  4. New American Standard Version

  5. Contemporary English Version

  6. New King James Version

  7. World English Bible

  8. English Standard Version

Stay away from versions of the Bible that are paraphrased versions of the Bible, or Bibles approved but Rick Warren. These would be Bibles like the Paraphrased Edition, The Reader’s Digest Bible, or The Message Bible. The Message has Rick Warren’s approval and blessing. So I would steer a wide circle around that one. Another one to avoid is the Queen James Edition. These Bibles are not versions, but perversions of the Bible.

You will find that in most good versions, you will see different wording of the same scripture, but in the end they all mean the same. But with some of us, the different wording will make the difference between completely understanding God’s word and missing the point. Using me for an example, I have always been a slow reader. All I had to read when I was a kid was the KJV. I really did not understand old English that well. So I only read when I was made to. I never really understood the Bible until I got much older and read other versions. Then my eyes were opened. The one I like best is the New Living Translation. It speaks to my spirit. About the only time I use the KJV is when I am looking up a passage that someone quoted in old English so that I can find it in another translation before talking about it or writing bout it.

If you have ever listened to any of my radio broadcasts, you always hear me say, “There are three things that you should do to help you in your walk with Christ. Read, pray, and fellowship are three things that we must do in order to help us not stray from God.” The first one says READ. Regular Bible study of the Word is essential to the Christian. Reading God’s word keeps it before us and in the front of our minds. This keeps us aware of what we are in Christ and that helps us to set the right examples in our daily walk. Also as we witness to others, it is always good to have God’s word handy in our memories so we can quickly refer to something or a verse when necessary.

Regular Bible reading and study also helps give us a better understanding of the way God wants us to live and act toward other. Keep in mind that sometimes we need to read something more than one time to get the meaning. Also, God speaks to us through His word. So we should spend time on a daily basis in studying God’s word.

Now what I say here is that the length of time in which you study is kind of up to you. I would do more than a bare minimum. Also, you need to do it on a regular basis. Don’t try to do it on an ‘as you have the time’ basis. Set aside a time and do it with no distractions to interrupt you. Devoting time in the study of His word will be time well spent. One thing you could do, is to combine your Bible study with prayer time. The two do go hand in hand. Reading the Word can get you in the mood to pray to God. You should probably figure on an hour to 90 minutes a day. Again this is only a suggestion. The important thing here is to find a time of day and a length of time that you can study (and pray) regularly and uninterrupted.

There is a lot of information and topics in the Bible to read and discuss. So as you read and study, it might be a good idea to make notes and even draw some charts to help you retain what you study. The more you remember the better and more effective witness you will become as you talk to others. Reviewing your notes can help jar your memory. This will help you remember various verses when needed. So make notes and such. They will be of help to you as you witness.

Now there are many Jewish books that are not in the canon of scripture, but have been mentioned in the Bible by some of the authors of the Bible. While these books are not in our Bibles, they are still good supplemental reading that will enhance your understanding of the scriptures. Some of these books include, the Book of Enoch, The Book of Adam and Eve, the Book of Jasher, the Book of Jubilees, and the Book of Barnabas. Now there are more than this, but this is a good cross section. The Books of Jasher and Enoch are mentioned in our Bibles. As far as I am concerned, if is is good enough to be mentioned in the Bible, then it’s good enough for us to read. The Book of Jasher, for example, gives us much more detail about the pre flood time as well as about the life of Abraham. I have read several of these books and learned quite a bit more of these times. I honestly recommend study in these books. Noah possibly lived long enough to spend much time with Abraham to tell him much detail about the pre-flood time. So now, spend some time reading and studying in your Bibles as well as some of the supplemental reading that we have talked about. You will be blessed by all of this.

So now let’s ask these questions for you to ponder to yourself. It never hurts to have a little fun in the process.

  1. What is your favorite version of the Bible?

  2. How many versions have you read?

  3. Who is your favorite author from the Bible?

  4. What is your favorite book or books from the Bible?

I sincerely hope that this lesson has been of help to you in how thorough you are with your Bible study. In the end, this will help you be a better Christian. And that will make God happy and pleased with you.

Questions for reflection and for you to ponder

  1. How many different versions of the Bible should you have?

  2. Name three different versions of the Bible.

  3. Is a paraphrased version of the Bible a good one to have?

  4. Of these three, which two can be combined into one study session? Read, Pray, and Fellowship.

  5. What are some of the benefits of regular Bible study?

  6. Name some good books to study along with the Bible.

  7. Name some things to consider when selecting a time and a place to study the Bible.

  8. Is it good to study the Bible with the television on?

  9. Which version of the Bible has Rick Warren’s blessing?

  10. State your favorite book of the Bible and why?

Well, that’s going to about to do it for this Bible study lesson. We will be back with another next week. Please always let me know what you think. Suggestions are always welcome.

Pastor Keith D. Hardin

Christ Life Fellowship Church, IPCC

kdh@thehardins.us

Listen to KDOV radio. www.kdov.us

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Rocky Veach

About the Author:

Rocky Veach is a respected leader, preacher, and pastor within the Christian community. He is best known for his passionate, people-building approach to ministry both in the United States and abroad. Read full biography.
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