I'm always learning something new but this one was another big lesson for me, an eye opener and of course it took me a while to find my way as usual.
My sister Jean has shown so much patience helping with every step I take and answering questions and guiding me to sites and books to help me study.
I didn't know in my whole life that I needed other material to study the Bible. I want to say up front that reading the Holy Word of God and following the scripture in-sinc with other reference material has opened my eyes to an understanding that I didn't even know I needed.
My DIL and I were talking recently and I found myself explaining what I was learning and finding out that I knew more than I realized I did. It was revealing to me that I myself could explain to her. I was stepping out of my little box and for the first time was very comfortable with it. Yeah, me!
We are raised in the church and taught to memorize tons of scripture and what they refer to in our choices to be made as we grow. But we aren't taught to understand, just to accept. OK, I see the need for that but, at some point in time and I am now thinking 12-13 we should be taught to research what we are reading.
I now have my Holy Bible KJV, my study Bible, my Bible Dictionary, my Concordance, Where to find it in the Bible A-Z and a few other study books. When I first sat down with all these books I just looked at them, "OK, where do I begin and what do I look for?" Children should be given a set a books to go with their Holy Bible and should grow up learning how to learn, that's what I think.
I have learned that the Bible was written during three different eras, why is that important? Because the original or root word that a word was translated from had changed (sort of evolved) like a colloquialism. Really good was "cool man cool" in the 50's, "rad" in the 60's and "tough" in the 70's and so on. But they meant the same thing.
A really good example for me is the word Sela!. In the Bible it is spelled Sela and Selah. The first meaning "the rock" and the second (to my surprise) meant "a pause". Today our pastor was reading in I Samuel 17 about David and Goliath and when one of the verses ended, the last word was Selah. I was so excited that I knew the correct ending for that verse was "a pause". I have been affected greatly in that I can honestly say that reading the Bible is a whole new experience for me and I get so much more from the Word of God than I did before.
Understand that I am not talking about interpretation, we don't interpret the Bible but I am talking about translation of words.
As sometimes in the Bible the words day and the night refer to the time period when the sun comes up till the sun goes down and comes up again, sometimes it is life and death as in John 9:4 when Christ was speaking about doing the works of "Him who sent me" while healing the blind man. The day is our time here on this earth to do God's bidding and the night is when that time has ended here on earth.
It's important to understand what you are reading.
I'm rambling aren't I? I have gained more understanding since using study books in the past few years than simply reading the Bible only and "accepting" what I was told. Get yourself a Bible library started, learn to use it.
My first book the "Bible dictionary" is a pretty old one but I got it from a pastor who had updated his library through the years and gave away all the books he had replaced. "Pretty cool of him I think."