this is a supplemental note to week 1 of our DOXA series at westwinds.
in an effort to help people study the bible for themselves, i've included some quick resources and suggestions both in my sermon and here online.
Q. what is the bible?
A. the bible is our ultimate authority in all manner of belief and behavior.
Q. how do we use the bible?
A. we use it for teaching, rebuking, correcting, & training in righteousness
Q. where do i start studying the bible?
A. in the old testament, i suggest you begin with 1 & 2 samuel which tells the story of king david; then i suggest you move on to isaiah, which is largely concerned with prophecies regarding jesus christ. in the new testament, i suggest you begin with the gospel of john - which many people find to be the easiest gospel to understand and digest - and then move on to paul's letters - first philippians, colossians and/or ephesians, then on to romans which is the hallmark of christian theology.
Q. what do i need to get started?
A. everyone needs a good bible. i suggest an NIV study bible for this kind of approach. in addition, you'll want to grab hold of a lexicon [i.e. a greek/hebrew/aramaic to english dictionary], a concordance [which lists all of the instances of each particular word in the bible], and a bible/theological dictionary [which helps you quickly remember all of the obscure words you'll learn in the course of your study]
Q. how do i go a little deeper in my studies?
A. the low-fi approach is through books and tapes. i recommend getting the following books to start you off:
how to read the bible for all its worth, by gordon fee and douglas stuart
how to read the bible book-by-book, by gordon fee and douglas stuart
the pocket dictionary of theological terms, by stan grenz
_____ [book of the bible, i.e. "John"] for everyone, by tom wright [a series of books]
manners and customs of bible times, by ralph gower
the hi-fi approach is through the web and through podcasts
if your a podcaster, i suggest the following two fellows in addition to the westwinds podcast
1. mark driscoll, at mars hill church in seattle
2. rob bell, at mars hill bible church in grand rapids
both are excellent bible teachers, focusing almost exlcusively on the bible and not on a bunch of other issues. mark is pretty agressive, rob is pretty emo.
you'll want to download e-sword, found at e-sword.net, and download all of the various versions, dictionaries, commentaries, and lexical works you can. most of these are free, some require an additional fee.
you'll also want to add the following websites to your favorite links
this, of course, is merely a beginner's list at studying the bible
but i think it's pretty accessible for most people and provides a great starting point for those who newly believe, or are newly interested