how to study the Bible Archives - Big Dream Ministries
Big Dream Ministries exists to help people understand the Bible as God's amazing Word and help them apply Biblical truth to their daily lives. We do this by offering studies that drive people to the Scriptures for answers and equipping leaders with excellent resources to reinforce learning.
The Amazing Collection, Bible study, Know the Word, Biblical Truth, Bible history, Christian Ministry, Christian Living, Bible teaching, How to study the Bible, Jesus Christ
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how to study the Bible Tag

Since Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden and sin began to reign in their hearts, God has promised a Messiah, someone who He would send to save us…from ourselves. And from then on man has been waiting, longing for the help that was promised so long ago. Prophet after prophet kept that dream alive for the people of Israel and then, after Malachi, there was silence for four hundred years, broken only by the cry of a baby, sent from heaven. The New Testament Historical books are filled with eyewitness accounts of the man, the work, and the ministry of Jesus Christ the Messiah, Son of God from His virgin birth to His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. The fifth book in the series follows the birth and expansion of His church into the known world.

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The Amazing Collection: The New Testament Historical Books

These beloved books (Matthew-Acts) will spark joy as you marvel at the sovereignty of our loving God. They begin with the birth of Jesus Christ and conclude with the first imprisonment of the apostle Paul about six decades later.  Workbook on Amazon

The Amazing Collection takes you on a unique journey through the Bible – the story of God, of who He is and how He works with mankind. The complete collection contains eleven workbooks and 66 free teaching videos. Each workbook covers 4-11 books of the Bible and are grouped into eleven sections.   

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A prophet is one who speaks for God. Stepping into the Major Prophets is like stepping into a war. There is a nation heading in a direction away from God whose people are bent on moral and spiritual depravity and ultimately destruction. On the other side is the prophet, a courageous, dynamic man who is trying desperately though powerful messages and examples to turn the people back to safety, to spiritual vitality, to peace and joy. Throughout the pages one can sense the prophet’s deep love for the people, a love that is willing to sacrifice reputation, time, energy… sometimes his own life.

The five Major Prophets consist of four books written by some pretty impressive men: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. These men lived in different periods and wrote from different places yet their messages all cry out from the heart of God. The little book of Lamentations is a book of laments, of poetry written by Jeremiah as he witnessed the horrific destruction of Jerusalem. It is included in the Major Prophets immediately following the Book of Jeremiah. These prophets clearly disclose man’s sin (then and now) but also paint in vivid detail the gracious, loving and longsuffering God who will not allow sin to go unpunished, for He is a God of justice, tenderly wrapped with strands of grace and forgiveness. These five books are called “major” simply because they are considerably longer than the remaining twelve prophetical books.

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The Amazing Collection: The Major Prophets 

The five books of the Major Prophets cover a significant time span and present a wide array of messages – from warnings 150 years before the exile into Babylonia, encouragement during the exile, and eventual restoration.   Workbook on Amazon

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God’s Word is His love letter to His people. It is the source of knowledge God has given us to really know Him as He is and abide in Him fully. The Amazing Collection: The Poetical Books beautifully displays not only the great love of God for His people but also the great love of His people for Him. Some of the most extravagant, exquisite, beautiful words toward and about God are revealed in the poetical books.

Here, in these five books, men such as Job, King David, and King Solomon lift our eyes to our God…

whose help we can rely on
whose promises are true
who will never leave us or forsake us
who is the true light, our Savior and true Love.
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The Amazing Collection: The Poetical Books 

The Poetical Books reveal the heart of the nation of Israel and are considered some of the finest literature ever written. Pain is not minimized, nor is man’s struggle to understand God downplayed. Questions of suffering are boldly asked, worship is gloriously displayed, wisdom is held in highest esteem, married sexual love is unashamedly portrayed, and philosophy is openly debated.  Workbook on Amazon

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Not long ago, Crawford Lorritts offered the opening address for the Moody Bible Institute’s Founder’s Week Celebration. In his message, he explained that the Bible must be the context from which Christians live, not the culture. The emotions that the culture stirs up in individuals must be set aside to look at the truth. Truth doesn’t change, but our emotions change how we respond to it. I couldn’t agree more.

But how is the Bible supposed to be the context of our lives when our current culture is so far removed from when the Scriptures were written? We have a 21st century understanding of the world and reading even the New Testament with a modern point of view can be difficult to fully grasp. After all, why are hair and hats worth discussing in 1 Corinthians 11? How is it that slavery still exists after the resurrection (Colossians 3:22-25)? And what’s the harm of having a replica of a statue (Ephesians 19:26)?

There are realities of the early church that are vastly different from the realities of today.

We cannot assume that we can fully understand the core of what is being communicated unless we know the circumstances of the original message. Who was delivering the message and to whom was the message delivered? Were there any specific situations or issues that were being addressed? If so, why?

These are important questions, especially when reading the epistles. The Apostle Paul delivered his message to be received by the audience he was addressing. He used images and examples that they would understand and relate to in their own lives. By his second missionary journey, he had developed a pattern of sharing the gospel in his ministry journeys. Upon entering a new city, Paul and his traveling companions would enter the synagogue to share with the Jews that the Scriptures had been fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 17:2-3). As a “Jew of Jews,” Paul had a heart first for his own people to know that Jesus was the promised Messiah. His message was rejected by most of the Jews and he was banned from the synagogue. Paul would then take the good news to the Gentiles of the city (Acts 13:46-47).

In Acts 17, Paul arrived in Athens and was “provoked” in his spirit by the sheer number of idols in the city. When the opportunity presented itself to speak with some of the thought leaders of the day, he gave a culturally-specific sermon that was tailormade for the listeners on Mars Hill. For those who can remember learning about ancient Greece in history class, you may remember the pictures of all the temples and altars to the numerous gods that provides a backdrop of what was taking place while Paul was there. The historical context lends richness to our current understanding of the message.

The gospel may have been contextualized for the Athenians, but the good news is just as relevant for our culture. The ancient idols may have been carved from stone, but today’s idols are just as numerous. And the sneering response of the philosophers to the resurrection of Christ is no different from the reactions given today.

There is much we can learn from the cultures of another era that applies to our own culture.

Reading the epistles, you sense how Paul was equally intentional with each letter he wrote to the different churches. If we are observant, we will discover the specific issues and challenges that Paul was addressing in each letter. When we learn more about the context and the culture of the original recipient of the letters, we realize the essential truth that Paul is conveying. Paul was teaching the early church how to live a life worthy of the gospel. Because the letters were written many years ago, it is crucial to understand Biblical context, because the practices may have changed over time, but the principles have not.

The timeless principles can be then be contextualized for today’s culture.

When the norms of today are the foundation of a person’s life, it will be difficult for him or her to see the biblical truth through that “lens.” It will be hard for him or her to live biblically, much less have the Bible be the foundation for living. As Bible teachers, we can help broaden students’ perspective of the Scriptures by helping them discover the biblical context first, and then they will be able to accurately discern the truth that is being portrayed.

Jesus said to those who believed in Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32).

The word “continue” is the root word for “abide.” This is ongoing remaining; never departing. What truth! John wrote the words Jesus spoke, so the original hearers would be free from the cultural norms and so can we!

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the truth of the Bible can be the foundation of Christians of every era.