Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Notes From the Margin of My Bible, Wayne Jackson

Notes From the Margin of My Bible (Volumes One and Two), Wayne Jackson

A good friend of mine (unfortunately not a Christian) has a list of principles of sound Bible study in her Bible from when she was young. These principles were so valid that I copied them into my own Bible. These principles of sound Bible study include:

1) Praying for guidance.
2) Being able to accept correction.
3) Proving all things.
4) Realizing the Scriptures never contradict themselves.
5) Not changing the Scriptures to suit yourself.
6) Checking the contents (and contexts) carefully.
7) Gathering all relating Scriptures.
8) Accepting the Bible as its own best interpreter.
9) Not organizing poorly chosen scriptures to support an argument.
10) Using several translations.
11) Not trying to establish doctrine with Bible helps.
12) Marking your Bible.

All of these principles have merit. Marking your Bible is one practice which can help you learn more about the Bible, increase your retention, and teach the Bible more effectively. I used to consider my copy of the Bible as rather holy and writing on it as a form of desecration; however, it is not holy and sacred in that sense. I began making notes in my Bible which has increased my retention and made my copy of the Scriptures more precious to me.

Perhaps you are a novice as to what to write in your Bible. An excellent place to begin is with the two above books by Wayne Jackson which are now combined into a single volume. He deals with 191 difficult passages of the Old Testament and 187 of the New Testament. Suggested methods of markings are sometimes provided. Each book is indexed by the passages it deals with for easier reference to difficult texts you want more information on. I have finished with Volume One on the Old Testament myself and the notes are rich in material. For example, a difficult passage is Zechariah 11:12-13. Men with no regard for the inspiration of the Bible such as William Barclay claim Matthew made a mistake when attributing this passage to Jeremiah (Matthew 27:9). Brother Jackson points out that Matthew states this was spoken by Jeremiah and that Zechariah states part of his writings were the words of God “proclaimed by the former prophets” (Zechariah 7:7). So one can easily tell the inspiration of the Bible is valid and Mr. Barclay is the one who made the mistake, not Matthew. Additional “Notes From The Margin of My Bible” appear in the Christian Courier which he publishes, and in the Restorer, which are beneficial. You can also find Wayne Jackson’s materials on the Internet at http://www.christiancourier/.

The best pen I have found for writing in my Bible is called a Pigma Pen made by Micron. The pens are slightly difficult to find but are well worth the search. The ink does not bleed through to the other side of the page, interfering with the backside, and the ink is permanent so it prevents smudges. The pens also come in a variety of colors and tip sizes. Please be sure to test the pen to make sure it performs to your satisfaction prior to marking in your Bible.

Originally printed in West Virginia Christian, Vol. 9, No. 7, July 2002, p. 8. Reprinted by permission.

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