The following article was written by Kevin O’Brien, Brand & Product Manager for Bibles at Tyndale House Publishers.
Why do we study the Bible?
Are we trying to master a subject?
Are we afraid that when we die God is going to give us a test, and we will need the correct answers?
Sometimes I am convinced that most of us have somehow decided that belief means knowing the right answers to questions. We buy books and Bibles, especially study Bibles so we can get the information correct—as if getting the information right would solve our problems or fix us, make us happy, or whatever.
Don’t get me wrong, having the right information is important. Understanding the ins and outs of the Bible is critical for Christians. But the Bible, study Bibles in particular, are about much more than the transfer of information.
Why do we study the Bible? Because we want to know God. Because it is in the pages of the Bible that the Holy Spirit speaks to us. In those pages we see and hear, we taste and touch, the very God of the universe.
The God who is active, not a spectator; the God who is with us, not standing back, above, or somewhere else.
We want to know God, but somehow we forget how we come to know everyone else. We spend time with them. We find out what makes them tick, why they like what they like and hate what they hate.
The way that God has chosen for us to get to know him is through the pages of his word—in the stories of the people before us who have followed him, in their songs and in their laws, in what they believed, and in their failures, large and small.
We see God because he pursues us—as broken, obstinate, and reckless as we are. We see him in the words and the actions of Jesus—the one who gave up everything to be one of us, to suffer for us, and to save us all.
Spending time with God means spending time in the Bible.
There is learning involved. The world of the Bible is different from our own world. A few of those differences include culture, language, and technology.
Very often, we are left scratching our heads wondering what on earth is going on in a passage.
Why did that happen?
What is the significance of that event?
We miss things along the way.
A study Bible, any study Bible, should help us understand what’s going on in the world of the Bible. It should help us to answer the questions that arise when we read. In short, a study Bible should get rid of the excess noise that keeps us from hearing what God is saying.
This is the purpose of the NLT Study Bible.
Matthew 7:7-8 reads, “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”
That is the heart behind the NLT Study Bible.
It’s not a textbook.
It’s a tool to help you hear from God.
He wants to be heard.
He promises answers.
We want to help you hear what he is saying.
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