2Pe 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (KJV)
2Pe 3:18 Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen. (CEV)
Sixty-six years ago I was busy reading the New Testament seriously and constantly during every spare moment. I was discovering many helpful verses like 2 Peter 3:18 at what was to be the start of my new Christian life. Those verses are still important to me today.
As you get to know your Bible, these verses should become important to you too.
If such thoughts are strange or foreign to your experience, let me encourage you to do what I did back then: read the New Testament seriously, patiently, and repeatedly. On my third read through, I finally understood the message.
I have emphasized in many posts here the importance of starting out by reading a plain text Bible. It is important to start this way so your own ability to understand what the text of the New Testament actually says won’t be overly influenced by commentary written by others.
Once you have become quite familiar with the content of the New Testament, it is a good idea to begin to get more help from resources designed to help you understand the Bible better.
I found the following resources to be helpful to me:
- Milton S. Terry, Biblical Hermeneutics.
- The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.
- The New Topical Textbook.
The first resource was the first Christian book about the Bible that I remember buying from the Grand Bible and Bookstore in Highland Park, Michigan. I read it three times through before I finished high school. I will admit, though, that this book may be too difficult for many readers. There are other books that are easier to read but still helpful on this subject. This important book teaches the careful reader how to interpret the Bible correctly and how to know for sure that your interpretation is correct.
The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge was also one of the first books for Bible study that I bought. I learned about this helpful book while taking a vacation Bible school class for high school students about “How to Study the Bible” taught by Miss Ellen Groh, who was then a student at the Detroit Bible College, later renamed Tyndale Bible College. Miss Ellen Groh became a missionary to Africa. The last time I spoke to her she was planning to retire to Africa where she had served the Lord for many years. I am certainly thankful to her for pointing me to this very significant Bible study tool. It is a book of what are called cross references to nearly every verse in the Bible. Looking up the cross references given in the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge will lead you to other Bible verses that explain more about what the Bible says about the subjects mentioned in the verse you start from.
The New Topical Textbook is an alphabetical list of important Bible subjects that points the reader to where those subjects are found in the Bible. It has a very motivational introduction by R. A. Torrey which I found to be a great encouragement to study the Bible this way.
Making regular use of resources like these (all available in Bible software now) will help anyone who reads the Bible to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” as the very last words we have from the great Apostle Peter encourage us to do.
Thank you for bringing up the name “Ellen Groh”. She was my “Dorm Mother” (in 1969-1970) at Detroit Bible College, an RN retired from serving as a missionary in Zambia. She was a wise and patient example to me. God Bless You!
Thank you for your comment, Susan! I last spoke (by telephone) with Ellen Groh just before she was to leave for Africa where she planned to retire. She had a major impact on my Christian life. She taught a class on “How to Study the Bible” at Highland Park Baptist Church one summer to high school students during vacation Bible school.