Last week I shared way to improve your Bible IQ and why it is important. This week we continue with more of my favorite Bible study resources. Let's begin with two commentators that I didn't get to list last week.
Matthew Henry. Here's an oldie, but goodie! Several years ago I won his Commentary in One Volume in a Christian book store grand opening giveaway. I had never heard of him, but quickly fell in love with his amazing late 1600 and early 1700 writings. His teaching is not only solid, but his insights have stood the test of time.
For those who want to explore prophecy I think John F. Walvoord's books on Daniel and Revelation are noteworthy. One word of caution if prophecy interests you: do not get so entrenched in this subject that you forget the here and now. Many reputable scholars have different points of view when it comes to prophecy. Although prophecy has its place in any Christian's education, I've seen people become so consumed it is unhealthy. They tend to study only prophecy and argued with other believers who do not agree with them. God is saddened when His children allow His Word to cause unnecessary divisions, but He smiles on any believer who seeks to understand any part of His Word.
Although the list of commentators I've shared in this series are some of my favorites, it is by no means comprehensive. However, if you are hungry for more knowledge of the Bible, I highly recommend any of the commentators I have mentioned.
I also enjoy listening to Christian talk radio and there a many wonderful Bible teachers heard over the airwaves. A couple of my favorites are on the same station that carries my weekly radio show; that's how I know abut them. Visit KKIM's programming guide if you would like to check out what they have to offer (on the radio and via internet). In the meantime, I want to share a couple that I really enjoy.
Pastor Paul Shepperd. Pastor Paul's approach the Bible is fun and practical; he helps listeners understand what being a Christian looks like in word and deed. He is funny, relevant, and biblical. He has a ministry called Enduring Truth. If you enjoy solid teaching sprinkled with a little fun and levity, check this guy out. He is one of my favorites! I just received his six-part series titled "I've Got a New Attitude." I plan to go through it with my teen-age boys this summer.
Another radio show that is worth investigating comes from the pastor of an Albuquerque, New Mexico church. Pastor Steve Smotherland of Legacy Church broadcasts his Sunday sermons on KKIM. Much like Pastor Paul, his message is practical and timely. I try to listen to him every Saturday morning and I often end up with a brick between my eyes because he challenges Christians to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk! He serves up a feast of godly food for thought.
The last resource I would like to share with you is an interdenominational women's Bible study I have attended for years, Community Bible Study based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. They take a comprehensive approach to the Bible and provide weekly study guides, small group interactions, and large group teachings. They also have weekly devotions provided by leaders and attendees, as well as monthly fellowship time in the form of bruncheons or luncheons in member's homes. They encourage attendees to study the Bible without using commentaries and answer the study questions from their own hearts. The large group teaching, lead by the teaching director at the close of each session, then shares insights from reputable scholars. If there is a Community Bible Study in your area, you should visit and see if their approach is what you are looking for.
As we strive to mature as Christians, studying and understanding God's Word is crucial. Hosea 4:6 reminds us that God's "people are destroyed from lack of knowledge" (NIV). The Christian life has so much to offer when we seek God and His ways; it seems a waste to risk being "destroyed" because we fail to educate ourselves. One way to avoid being destroyed is to pursue a knowledge of the Bible in the same manner of the Bereans in Act 17: "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true" (Acts 17:11 NIV). These noble seekers even tested what the great Apostle Paul taught them! We need to do the same. There is a lot of great teaching out there, but there is also plenty of bad. Practical Christianity takes ownership of overseeing our own Christian education. Seek, listen, but also confirm anything you hear, read, or watch with the infallible Word of God. (c)2009 Shona Neff