Friday, August 14, 2009

A Study Guide to Greater Bible Knowledge, Wayne Jackson

A Study Guide to Greater Bible Knowledge, Wayne Jackson

Some of us have been richly blessed with godly parents who have made it a priority to take us to Bible classes, worship services, gospel meetings, etc. They taught us the Bible at home and made sure we had excellent reading materials to instruct us in the way of the Lord. They lovingly and patiently answered our questions and followed up to make sure we had a sound understanding of God’s word (Prov. 22:6; Eph. 6:1-4). If you have been blessed with godly parents, possibly this article will be an occasion to thank your parents (and God) again. (If they are no longer with you, you can still thank God for them.) However, not all of us have had this blessing. Some of us may be new Christians striving to get a grasp of the Bible, ideas on how to study it effectively, and tools that can assist. Learning God’s Word is critical for not only the church but the survival of our nation. In Amos 8:10-12 there is mention of a famine of the word of God in the land, and the problems it created. In the United States, there is such a famine--not in the lack of Bibles but in the lack of reading, respect and serious study of it. But where do we begin trying to remedy the situation for someone who may not have the foundation of instruction we often take for granted? How can we help new Christians begin the life journey of drinking more and more deeply from the living fountain found in God’s Word?

This is where Wayne Jackson’s book A Study Guide to Greater Bible Knowledge can be of assistance. In chapter 8 on “Tools for Bible Study”, brother Jackson opens the chapter with one of my favorite quotes by T. W. Brents:
“If you will show us a man who reads nothing but the Bible,
we will show you one who reads and understands very little of it.”

There are reference materials available that can help others learn more about the Bible. Of course some books are better than others, but one should not ignore many of the great aids available by those who have devoted much of their lives to just one facet of Bible study. In hours we can learn what others have spent years investigating. This book helps provide not only foundation information but also guidance on how to dig deeper.

The book provides an overview of Bible History and an analysis of the books in the Bible. It discusses principles in sound interpretation of the Scriptures and various approaches one can use in study the Scriptures. It includes a chapter on the study of Bible words (etymology), grammar or syntax, and the equally important topic of context. Some do not like to study vocabulary…and it shows. Jesus used the very tense of verbs in the Old Testament to refute the critics of His day. Surely if Jesus focused on the very tense of the verb and criticized the Sadducees for not doing so, our scholarship should be no less precise.

All these subjects and more are covered in this volume in a concise manner and written on a level that new Christians can read and begin their journey to greater Bible knowledge. It would be an excellent guide for the new Christian to read and then come back with follow-up questions. Each chapter includes discussion questions that would be of assistance for a new converts class. Brother Jackson is a first rate scholar who recognizes that scholarship veiled in unnecessary complexity is of little value. In fact, words that do not teach are in direct contradiction to the meaning of “scholarship”. This is not to exempt one from working at their study. Brother Jackson is an excellent researcher who writes to be understood. I have profited from his writings in the Christian Courier and his books for several years. I have always appreciated his commitment to write to be understood by new or average Bible students seeking to advance and grow. In Hebrews 5:12-14, the writer admonishes his audience that their lack of study has inhibited his ability to communicate to them fully. Brother Jackson’s work provides an effective guide to transition from the milk of the Word to its meat. Jesus said “Blessed our those who hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6, NKJV) Use this book to help yourself and others gain access to the eternal food and drink of God’s Word.

1 comment:

Betty said...

David,

This is the best review I have read by you. I'm sorry, I have been on this blog before. I did not know what you were talking about last night concerning your blog. Wayne Jackson's book is needed by anyone, because there is within the church those who do not study .