By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Scripture Study

I read the scriptures and feel that we can gain a lot by reading them on a regular basis. I know that the more I read, the more familiar I become with words and phrases and how they are used, so the meaning becomes more clear to me. Still, there are difficult passages, archaic language, and other barriers to a complete understanding. I find it helpful to read commentaries, use dictionaries, and refer to other books to help me find the meanings. Using more than one source can help keep me from being led astray, too.

Some books I have found helpful include Scripture Study: Tools and Suggestions by James Faulconer (of Times & Seasons blog fame), the LDS church's institute/seminary manuals, plus various well-known commentaries and dictionaries such as Smith's Bible Dictionary and the Matthew Henry Complete Commentary. The latter two, plus many more, can be found online at Crosswalk Bible Study Tools.

I bought a CD at Wal-Mart called The Bible Collection - Deluxe that has a number of English and foreign language translations of the Bible itself, plus a number of the commentaries and dictionaries. There are also books you can buy such as Harper's Study Bible and various translations and the study tools already mentioned. In addition, if you have GospeLink and/or Infobase and/or other LDS CDs and programs, past and present, you will find commentaries in them for the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. Church manuals and magazines are at www.lds.org and are searchable, for even more help.

The point of all this being that sometimes we need some help figuring out obscure references or terms, the meanings of which were obvious when written, but now are hidden in history. If you have any favorite links to study tools or books you would like to recommend, feel free to do so in the comments. I would be interested and others would be, also.

I'd also suggest a trip over to Scribal Scratchings as that is a blog that discusses the Bible and its history and translation. Scott includes footnotes, too.

It's always important to read the scriptures themselves, but it can help immensely to use study tools. I realize this is old hat to some of you, but there are always new people coming along who could use some tips and links!

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6 Comments:

Blogger s'mee said...

Thanks Mary, great information and as always a great post! I am headed over to the links now!

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

Great thoughts, Mary! I have decided that I really want to study the scriptures more systematically. Also, I want them to be more a natural extension of me. I read in the recent Ensign yesterday that President Hinckley weaves scriptures in every day conversation in such a normal way as scriptures have become so internalized for him.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Barb said...

I think reading the Book of Mormon really helps me cope in life. Well, as I write this all is well with me. At any given moment, I am more likely to be very happy. I am glad to have the scriptures that teach us that we are here to find joy and happiness.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Mary A said...

Thanks, s'mee and Barb! I find great comfort in the scriptures and it helps me to have an eternal viewpoint and sort out what's important in life. Glad you're doing well, Barb. Life has its ups and downs, but it is nice to be happy most of the time!

2:46 AM  
Blogger Lisa M. said...

Mary what a wonderful post. Thank you for the time and effort.

This is something near and dear to my heart, it is very nice to know that I am not the only one who uses other things in order to help me find the answers I am looking for.

I appreciate the links!

Thanks again,
Lis

7:49 AM  
Blogger MJ said...

Thank you for this post. I enjoy scripture study when I seem to have something to focus on - there is so much more to learn of ourselves, our communities, and our world as a whole through the lives and civilizations of others.

I just re-read 2 Nephi along with Isaiah over the last two weeks - analyzing each and every verse. I'm bursting with pride. Note to self: work on overcoming pride through scripture reading...It's a chapter I tend to gloss over or skip to move onto easier reading. But I made my goal of putting out an effort to understand the "basics".

The July Ensign article about scripture study was a gem. I love the idea of purchasing an inexpensive BoM for each calling and marking it up as we find things that relate to that calling. This could also be done for any major trial in life.

8:44 PM  

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