Bible Study Plans: How to Study the Old Testament

One big hindrance to studying the Bible is the Old Testament. And this is one big hindrance considering there are 929 chapters in the Old Testament in 39 books. Below, we’ll examine how to study the Old Testament when you begin to study the Bible. Contact AtoZMomm today to learn more!

HOW TO STUDY THE OLD TESTAMENT

As with most large tasks, breaking it down into easy-to-manage parts makes the whole process doable and not overwhelming. Unlike the New Testament where we follow Jesus’s life from beginning to end and then the life of his apostles, the Old Testament is not in chronological order. Below is my recommendation for organizing the Old Testament for study.

  • Read Genesis. This is where it all began, so you have to start there. Some of the best stories of the Bible are in Genesis, including the fall of Adam and Eve, Abraham, Joseph, and Noah. Powerful stories with equally powerful lessons to teach.
  • Exodus through Deuteronomy. These books teach the Law, otherwise known as the Old Covenant, which is how God’s people where to live their lives before Jesus’s crucifixion.
  • Joshua through Esther. These books are known as the historical books of the Old Testament. It is here that we learn how God’s people survived after they inherited the Promised Land. You’ll learn the history of the period of the judges, the history of the kings, and the prophets Ezra, Nehemiah.
  • Next, read the books of wisdom and poetry.
    • Job. Job is the epitome of faith when all is seemingly lost in life. Said to be the oldest recorded book, Job follows his story of how he was tested by God, how he endured, what he learned, and what God expects of us.
    • The Psalms are writings by the various kings of Israel (including David and Solomon). These are full of life lessons of how to live a life following God.
    • The Song of Solomon, also known as the Song of Songs, was written by King Solomon in his youth before he fell into sin. This is one of the greatest love poems ever written.
    • Proverbs. Proverbs was written again by King Solomon, but written by him when he was on the throne of Israel. They show hard lessons of life to live by.
    • Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes is the opposite of Proverbs per se. This book teaches you how not to live your life. It was written by King Solomon when he was an old man as he looked back on his sinful life
  • Next, are the five major prophets of Old Testament times:  Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, & Daniel.
  • Finish up the Old Testament with the 12 minor prophets.

Reading three chapters per day of the Old Testament will take you 10 months to finish. Remember, everything in the Old Testament points to Jesus. Yes, there are exceedingly dense sections of the Old Testament that you’re just going to have to slug through. But remember, every word in the Old Testament is not there by accident. God is speaking; you just have to listen.

If you get bored, skip that section, save for later, and find an exciting story such as Esther or Joseph. The Old Testament is just as valuable as the New Testament and has many truths to teach us. Contact me if you have questions!

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Bible Study Plans: The Top 5 Advantages of Group Bible Study

Bible study groups can be very fun as well as informative. You meet in your small group Bible study, catch up on life’s events, and then study the Bible and learn the Bible from others. In this blog post in our continuing series of how to study the Bible, I’ll discuss the advantages to group bible study. Read more on AtoZMomm’s blog today!

TOP 5 BENEFITS OF GROUP BIBLE STUDY

  1. Accountability. Many of us struggle to actually make time to do our Bible study. When you join a group Bible study, you will be held accountable for actually reading the Bible. And when you skip out on your group Bible study, you will be missed. What you learn is valuable to the group, so don’t take that for granted.
  2. Community. Many of us struggle to maintain good quality friendships. When you join a group bible study, such as a women’s Bible study, a men’s Bible study, or a small group Bible study, you will form connections with other Christians that will only enhance your life and your spiritual life. You’ll be able to share what’s on your heart, what you’re struggling with, and the wins in your life with others who will pray for you along the way. Now that’s powerful.
  3. Encouragement. Satan and sin are of this world, and we can become dragged down in the muck of it all. When you join a Bible study group, you’ll be encouraged by others, and your life will be enriched because of it. Furthermore, you’ll have an opportunity to encourage others, blessing others lives’ in return.
  4. Learning. The fact of the matter is you’ll learn more in a small group Bible study than you will on your own. You’ll see the Bible passage you are studying in a different light, and you’ll be challenged on what you believe, fostering more in-depth Bible study on your part which you never would have done on your own.
  5. Inspiration. We all know our mission in life is to be more like Jesus, but in the daily mill of life, how many of us consciously strive for this? In a small group Bible study, you’ll be inspired by others’ journey with Christ to grow, learn, and develop into a better person.

“that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” Romans 1:12

Christians are called for community, and group Bible study not only affords community, but it also offers you an enriched life through Christ. Contact me for questions!

Bible and Coffee

Coffee and God: Solitude

Hey all!

I hope you all are having a fun, restful Memorial Day weekend!

In today’s coffee talk, solitude is on my heart.

I’ve been spending a lot of time alone lately, working out alone and in the house alone, since my kids are now older and spending more time with their friends. I’ve truly enjoyed these days (today is one of those days) where the house is silent, and it’s just me, the dogs, and the cats. And God. He’s always here.

SELF REFLECTION

I’ve found these days are great days to reflect on where you’re at in your life, where you want to go, what your goals and aspirations are, are you heading in the right direction, do you need to pivot, and what do you need to do in order to create where you want to be. Self-reflection is something we all need to do regularly in order to check in with ourselves and our goals.

For me, I’ve been thinking about leaving my job and putting my whole efforts into this blog, my other blogs, and a blogging business. I like my job; it’s good. But I am still tied down to a chair for 8 hours a day, and it’s starting to get to me. I like to be able to go on hikes with the kids when I want to, go to the gym when I want to, go to doctor’s appointments during the day, and go to the grocery store when it’s empty.

Furthermore, I work hard at my job, but I’m building someone else’s business. I want to build my business for the next 20 years; I want to do God’s work for me, not for someone else.

That’s been what I’ve been reflecting on lately.

What about you? Where are you at with life, with God, with your family, and with your purpose?

Bible Study Plans: How to Study the Bible with Others

Sitting down and studying the Bible on your own can be daunting, especially if you’re a new Christian and have never done it before. In our previous posts, I discussed how to study the Bible and where to begin. In this post, I’ll discuss how to study the Bible with others. Visit AtoZMomm for more Bible study tips!

HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE WITH OTHERS: TOP 3 TIPS FOR BIBLE STUDY GROUPS

  1. Find a Bible study group. This can be challenging; however, there are excellent Bible study groups out there, such as Bible Study Fellowship, that offer amazing, in-depth Bible study with others. Often, your local church will offer small group bible studies that you can join. A lot of these small group Bible studies are centered around a particular interest, such as sewing, outdoors, or moms with small kids, which makes it easier to connect with people and share what you’ve learned in the Bible when you have something in common already.
  2. Share what you’ve learned. Group Bible studies are all about sharing what you’ve learned with others. Don’t be afraid to share even if you think it’s wrong. You’ll be surprised to learn that many others are thinking the same thing you are.
  3. The Bible is the definitive answer. When in a group Bible study, you’ll have to take what others say with a grain of salt. Since none of us are God, we can’t know exactly what God is trying to convey. Bible scholars have dedicated their lives to trying to determine this, and there are passages that are very clear. However, remember you are learning and so are others and that the Bible can speak to others differently than you.

There are many advantages to Group Bible Study, which we will discuss in a future blog post. For now, ask your local church for small group bible studies, such as women’s bible studies, men’s bible studies, or bible studies for kids, look at national bible studies, such as Bible Study Fellowship, or even look online for an online Bible study or for a group in your area. Contact me with questions!

bible study tools

Bible Study Plans: Bible Study Techniques and Tools

In part three of our series on how to study the Bible, I’ll review some tips on some Bible study techniques you can use to get the most out of your time with God in His Word. Contact me today!

BIBLE STUDY TECHNIQUES

  • Come with an open heart. Bible study is not to be rushed through or done just for the sake of doing it and then checking Bible study off your checklist. Bible study is your time alone with God, which gives you a chance to grow closer to God and get to know Him. Prepare your heart and your mind to receive what He has for you.
  • Pray. Always pray before opening the Bible. Pray for God to reveal to you what He needs you to know.

BIBLE STUDY TOOLS

  • Bible dictionary. You’ll want to invest in a good Bible dictionary that will not only define words such as redemption, but will also tell you what it means in the Bible and where you’ll see it. I use Zondervan’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary by J D Douglas and Merrill C Tenney.
  • Bible atlas. Although this one is not necessary and most study Bibles have maps in the back, but a good Bible Atlas that will show you maps of where all the events you are are reading about in the Bible are happening is a great tool to have on hand, especially if you’re a visual learner. I use Zondervan’s Atlas of the Bible by Carl G Rasmussen.
  • Keep a Bible journal. This is important to record all you are learning throughout your Bible study and to jot down any thing God is saying to you in the moment. While you’re reading, ask yourself the common questions of discovery: who, what, where, when, and why to learn more about what you are reading.
  • Highlight or write in your Bible. Jotting down thoughts as you read the Bible can be a powerful learning tool, especially when you re-visit that same verse years later and see how far you’ve grown with Jesus.
  • Study Bible. A study Bible will offer up notes as you’re reading, which will provide guidance, context, and other useful information, such as where else this person appears in the Bible. A good study Bible is essential in my opinion to understanding the Bible.
  • Different versions of the Bible. Invest in different versions of the Bible. Since the Bible came to us in the Hebrew, through Ancient Greek, into Latin, and now whatever language you are reading in, context, meaning, and even whole parts got mistranslated or missing in the Bible. Different versions of the Bible will give you a deeper and richer understanding of what you’re reading as you hear the same thing said in a different way for your Bible study.
  • Pay attention to the footnotes. The footnotes in the Bible will give you another great way to learn more about where else these events may have happened as well as an explanation on what’s going on.

Ultimately, you only need a willing heart and a Bible to study God’s Word. Those items listed above are nice to have to enhance your learning of the Bible, but don’t let having them stop you from beginning to study God’s Word. Dive in, and being. Contact me with any questions!