These Bible study recommendations for young adults are for Bible study on a personal, individual level, not for a group. I have two reasons for choosing this level, the personal, individual level. The first is that I noticed that there is so much literature already on Bible study on a group level, either in Sunday school or in catechism classes or in other formal and informal groups, but there is so little on the personal, individual level. My second reason is that in my opinion there are more benefits to be derived from a Bible study on an individual level than on a group level. Very many who attend a group Bible study do not really develop their Christian life. They just go and grow with the group. At least this has been my personal experience, both in participating and in leading Bible study groups.
My Experience of Bible Study
I began to read and study the Bible on my own (without any human teacher or parent telling me to do it) when I was 8 years old but it was only when I was 49 years old that I got the full benefit of studying the Bible. I am now 65 years old.
If somebody guided me correctly when I was a young adult of 20 to 40 years old on how to study the Bible maybe I would have gotten this full benefit from studying the Scriptures earlier and I would have more years of enjoying this benefit. As it happened I have enjoyed this benefit for 16 years only as of now, instead of a possible 45 years, missing some 29 years when I could have enjoyed the full benefit of studying God's written Word.
When I was 26 years old I enrolled in a subject on studying the Bible. But this was for preaching purposes. It was basically a course on how to get to the real meaning of a Biblical passage in order to share this with the church members by preaching. I learned a lot in this course but it did not give me the full benefit of Bible study. It was only 23 years later that I got the full benefit.
It is my hope and fervent desire that young adults who read these recommendations and do them will get the full benefit of Bible study while they are still young and strong and thus enjoy this full benefit many, many years before they leave physically this planet Earth. It is understood and presumed that they do have the motivation to study the Bible on their own. After knowing through this article what this full benefit of Bible study is they may be encouraged to study the Bible on their own and not depend on a group leader or pastor or priest or catechist to teach them about the Word of God.
One: Get a Good Translation of the Bible
In the English language the translation that I recommend is the so-called King James or Authorized version. I am a Catholic and yet I recommend this translation for personal study of the Bible. I know some of the words there are foreign to a present day reader. They are called archaic words which belong to the English language in the 16th century but are no longer used now. But there are copies of this version where at the back of the Bible there is a Bible word list where these words are given equivalents in our time. Get a copy of such a King James version Bible. Many groups of Christians are giving out this copy free. Avail of one.
The reason why I recommend this translation of the Bible is because it is the one I consider done by the translators with the utmost reverence and so the unction of the Spirit can be felt most from this translation than from other translations. In my opinion it is the version that is most congenial for praying. And it has produced more holy men and women than any of the other translations.
From the point of scholarship and readability there are other better translations. The New International Version Bible may be better from the point of scholarship. The New Living Bible is far better from the point of view of readability. But from the perspective of a genuine, reverential, loving study of the Bible, I recommend the King James version. It is only a recommendation. You can use another version if you want.
Two: Have a Conversational Mode of Relationship with the Holy Spirit
As you begin to set yourself to study the Bible have a conversational mode of relationship with the Holy Spirit. Look up to him as your teacher, for he is indeed the best teacher of the Scriptures. After all he was the one who wrote them. Thank him for writing these and ask him to help you understand their content. Anytime that you think you need to know about the meaning of a passage, ask him first. He will be the one to direct you to a Bible dictionary or a commentary if needed. Be attentive to him always as you set about to study the Bible.
Third: Begin Studying with the First Book of the New Testament
Do not begin with Genesis or any other book of the Old Testament. Begin with the New Testament and begin with Matthew. The reason for this is because it is easier to understand the Old Testament after you have read the New Testament. There is a saying that the Old is in the New explained and the New is hidden in the Old. This means that the New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament and it explains the meanings of the words in the Old Testament. So, if you know the explanation of the Old Testament passages by reading the New Testament, it is easier to understand them later.
Another reason for beginning with the New Testament is because using the method that I am going to show you you can use this method more easily and with more profit if you use it first with the New Testament and only later with the Old Testament.
Fourth: Your Main Guide Question Is What Does This Passage Tell Me about Jesus?
Read only a small portion of the Bible. Maybe it is only a verse or few verses. Sometimes it may just be a phrase, a part of a verse. As you read this passage ask the Holy Spirit, What does this passage tell me about Jesus? Pause and listen for the answer. Then stop. Think about the answer given you. This may take only a minute or two or about 5 minutes. Sometimes it may be longer. But focus only on one character or description of Jesus.
The reason why I recommend this method is because our real life is hidden in Jesus and the more we know him the more we know ourselves and what we are supposed to be and do to be happy.
Almost all Bible study guides will tell you to reflect upon your life in the light of the passage read. In my experience this method does not really lead you to the full benefit of a Bible study. It will get you stuck thinking about your life, eventually forgetting about Jesus.
Five: Keep a Record of the Bible Verses You Have Read and the Descriptions or Insights about Jesus Given You by the Holy Spirit
This record is brief. It has the day and date when you studied the passage and the book, chapter and verse number or numbers you have studied for that day. Then you write in a sentence or two what the passage tells you about Jesus. Here is an example.
May 31 Thursday 2012. Matthew 1:1. Jesus descended from Abraham through David.
That's all. The next day you proceed to verse 2, doing the same thing. And you continue until you get to the end of the New Testament. Then after the last verse of Revelation proceed to the Old Testament. Begin with Genesis. After you finish with the Old Testament you can go back to the New Testament. From time to time read your record of your Bible study. Sooner or later you will be given the full benefit of Bible study.
The Full Benefit of Bible Study
Throughout this article you may have noticed that I mention the words “full benefit of Bible Study”. If you follow this method prayerfully you will learn more and more of Jesus. Sooner or later you will come upon a passage where your spirit begins to understand all the mysteries of God. The conviction comes upon you that now you understand the Truth. When this happens keep a special record of this event in your life. This is the moment when you begin to see God face to face but darkly, like in a Roman mirror at the time of Paul the Apostle which was made of polished metal unlike today when our mirror is made of glass.
When you see God face to face while you are still on earth, you get the full benefit of Bible study because you are going to possess God himself. There is nothing greater than God. There is a sense in which you can say that your joy and happiness are full. That is why I call this full benefit.
Then you continue enjoying God for the rest of your life. This does not mean that you will no longer have problems or that you will no longer suffer. But in the midst of all these problems and sufferings you know you have God and with him you enjoy the full benefit of your salvation, the vision of God. And this happens while you are still living physically on earth.
Those are my Bible study recommendations for young adults so that while they are still young they can begin to enjoy the blessings of God himself, not just the blessings of the things God created for us, but he himself, the source of all blessings.Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you:
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Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website http://bit.ly/anewchrist. To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website http://bit.ly/ebookanewearth. I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.