“Bible Study is Exciting”
©2013 James Dacey, Jr. OFS
Well I guess it's no secret that I enjoy bible study. But I will say that it's time for everybody to take out a pen and paper and begin to write. LOL. Why study the bible you ask? Yes I did hear you say that. There are so many reasons why, but today we will only reflect on just a few ideas. Here's a super powerful scripture that will help magnify the power of bible study for all of us. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17. See what I mean! It is so important that we fill our minds and hearts and conscious and sub-conscious with scriptures. There is so much evil and bad in the world today that we all deal with every day. It is so important to empty all that junk out so that we can be filled with what is good and meaningful - God's word.
For fun I'd like to share some interesting statistics about the bible with you. It's always nice to know fun interesting things about something we love and cherish. Some of the basic things are: 39 books in the Old Testament / 27 in the New Testament, (929 chapters in the OT / 260 NT), (23,214 verses in the OT / 7,959 NT), depending upon your translation there are about: (593,493 words in the OT / 181,253 NT). And here's a fun noteworthy things: A recent survey by Barna Research Group revealed that nearly 92% of American households own at least one Bible. The longest word in the Bible is "Mahershalalhashbaz" (18 letters), found in Isaiah 8:1. A man who lived to be 969 years old can be found in Genesis 5:27. Do you also know that both the Old and New Testaments are entwined with scripture all leading up to Jesus? That is why it is so important when you do study your bible, that you spend time in both the Old and New Testaments. "Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel." Isaiah 7:14
Throughout my 30 years of private personal bible study; many priests and fellow Christians have always said to me, and now I say to you: You can write in your bibles. I have many verses underlined, sections circled and dates at different points in my life. I have had to replace two bibles in the past 30 years, I am now officially on my third, though I own about four personally. They were replaced mostly from pages being so worn out, the covers were falling off and they were becoming so frail they were starting to fall apart. Our bibles need to be a place we can come to for wisdom and understanding of God, a place to more deeply know and love Jesus, a place to deepen our faith, a place to embrace hope in our eternity, etc. In my bible I have a blank page dedicated, where I write the names of all those people I pray for (ALL OF YOU). So when I say, I will pray for you, or I have you in my daily prayers. I really mean that. To me it makes the most sense to keep the names of all those I always think of close to the one person I cherish the most: Jesus.
Welcome to my world, here is a list. This list is a list of books I use when I spend two or three or four hours studying. Sometimes on my days off (I work nights), I will spend the entire evening researching and writing as I study scripture. See how simple my list is: My Bible NAB and I also have an NIV, The New Jerome Biblical Commentary (I have had this book for many years. Highly recommended to me by Fr. Mullally, it's a $100 book but it’s well worth the investment.), and The Catechism of the Catholic Church, is a very powerful teaching book/document. And I also use an on-line bible concordance, and I go to the library a lot and take out books that dig into all aspects of our Christianity. But please note that any secular books I use must have the "Imprimatur" in the front pages or I won't read them. The Imprimatur tells me that this writer is on the same page as me in my faith. A priest explained that to me way back in the early 1980's, Fr. Jeff Conway. Also take this advice: In the early years when Fr. Mullally was my Spiritual Director, back in the early 1990’s; I asked Father to allow me to see his collection of bible study books in his library. That knowledge has played a significant role in my bible study habits. My mind and heart are sort of that of a priest; back in the day I really wanted to be a priest. So now in my family life I try to have the study and prayer habits of one.
Bible study never has to be boring to anyone, it can be very exciting every single day.
Your brother in Christ Jesus
And His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS