Beware of Study Bibles?

I love Study Bibles. I have several different versions of Study Bibles. I will probably buy more in the future. Yes, I am sure I will buy at least one more. (Hint: ESV John MacArthur Study Bible coming out in August). The following article written by Steve Burchett makes good sense why we should beware of Study Bibles. As teachers we tend to depend on commentaries more than the inspired Word of God. We use the “read-n-take” (my terminology) approach. We read the commentaries or notes in the Study Bible and take it as if it is God’s Word. We spent more time reading commentaries and notes than the real inspired Word. I am guilty of it! We have to learn to wrestle with God’s Word before reaching out to other resources. Resources are great but nothing can compare to wrestling God’s Word with the help of the Holy Spirit. We need to be bold like Jacob when he wrestled with God, he said “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Here is the article:

I like resources that help me understand the Bible. My collection of commentaries grows yearly. The amount of books I own addressing various areas of theology numbers in the hundreds. There are a couple of websites that I visit regularly where numerous Bible study tools are offered. I also own four “Study Bibles,” which include not only the biblical text, but introductions and outlines for each book of the Bible, notes that explain verses, maps, articles about major concepts, and a large concordance at the back. I have been strengthened by all of these resources, and I’m confident others could testify likewise.

However, every good gift from God can be abused. Of all the study tools, perhaps in our day the Study Bible is the resource that is most often misused. For example, many who have taught the Bible have felt the frustration when, instead of meditating on the passage of Scripture being taught, several in the group were busy reading and then sharing from the study notes at the bottom of the page! continue reading ….

One more thing I want to leave you with about studying your Bible. There is no easy way. There is no instant steps for you to pursue holiness but I know for sure that if you read with your heart you will see the beauty of God in every pages of the Bible. Here is a smart counsel from Jean-Pierre de Caussade:

Read quietly, slowly, word for word to enter into the subject more with the heart than the mind.. From time to time make short pauses to allow these truths time to flow through all the recesses of the soul and to give occasion for the operation of the Holy Spirit who, during these peaceful pauses and times of silent attention, engraves and imprints these heavenly truths in the heart… Should this peace and rest last for a longer time it will be better. When you find that your mind wanders resume reading and continue thus, frequently renewing these same pauses.


About John
A follower of Christ and sinner who needs his grace everyday.

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