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What is best way to study Paul's writings ?

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#1
Biscuit

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I have never really studied the Bible in depth, and am trying to put more time into reading and actually trying to understand what I have read (meditating). Most of it seems basic, except that I find Paul's writings verbose and overly complex. We use NKJV. We can read several chapters and then look at each other scratching our heads, wondering what it is he was trying to say. Is a study Bible necessary to comprehend his writings? What is the best way to "tackle" his writings? I have a college degree, but feel like a first grader reading Shakespeare.

#2
desi2007

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I believe a big portion of the New Testament is Apostle Paul's letters. We benefited from Paul's loneliness while he was in prison writing the letters. He talks about the transitions in life or passages of life, transitions in a persons life can bring loneliness. When Paul was writing to Timothy in 2Timothy:4 He is talking about sitting in prison waiting to be executed by Niro, struggling with loneliness. He talks about Separations and Oppositions too. One of the oppositions was Alexander this metal worker, he was attacking Paul and Paul feels a bit slighted. Broken emotions takes years to heal. Sometimes we carry scars from opposition. God wired us to be accepted by people, when we don't get that, it hurts. This emptiness can make us want to fulfill it with maybe working alot, or materialistic things, drugs, sex, alcohol. Just Self Defeating ways and it all cascades into depression. Paul utilized his time in this bad situation. He would minimize the hurt, sometimes we can play it up in our minds make it a big deal, or you can play it down and pray it up. The bitterness leads to loneliness and a person can dry up on the inside. Paul recognised Gods presence. Paul writes about his experiences and describes loneliness in so many ways.

blessings,

desi

#3
nChrist

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I highly recommend the freeware Bible Study package called e-Sword. There are literally thousands of free add-ons for it, including excellent commentaries that might help you in your studies. Thomas Constable's Commentary is excellent and written in a non-technical way. It's free for the download at BibleSupport.

e-Sword Freeware Bible Study Program
http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html

BibleSupport - AKA: e-Sword Users Group
Thousands of Additional Free Modules to Download For e-Sword
http://www.biblesupport.com


#4
Biscuit

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I highly recommend the freeware Bible Study package called e-Sword. There are literally thousands of free add-ons for it, including excellent commentaries that might help you in your studies. Thomas Constable's Commentary is excellent and written in a non-technical way. It's free for the download at BibleSupport.

e-Sword Freeware Bible Study Program
http://www.e-sword.net/downloads.html

BibleSupport - AKA: e-Sword Users Group
Thousands of Additional Free Modules to Download For e-Sword
http://www.biblesupport.com


Thanks a lot. I will check those out. :)

#5
gdemoss

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I have never really studied the Bible in depth, and am trying to put more time into reading and actually trying to understand what I have read (meditating). Most of it seems basic, except that I find Paul's writings verbose and overly complex. We use NKJV. We can read several chapters and then look at each other scratching our heads, wondering what it is he was trying to say. Is a study Bible necessary to comprehend his writings? What is the best way to "tackle" his writings? I have a college degree, but feel like a first grader reading Shakespeare.


I too found Paul's writings to be overly complex. My greatest asset has been openly confessing unto our Father every time I did not 'get it' and then sit back and watch with amazement as he chose how to enlighten me.

#6
Leonard

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Two steps:

1. Pray
2. Read

#7
Butero

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I have never really studied the Bible in depth, and am trying to put more time into reading and actually trying to understand what I have read (meditating). Most of it seems basic, except that I find Paul's writings verbose and overly complex. We use NKJV. We can read several chapters and then look at each other scratching our heads, wondering what it is he was trying to say. Is a study Bible necessary to comprehend his writings? What is the best way to "tackle" his writings? I have a college degree, but feel like a first grader reading Shakespeare.

Keep at it, and as an aid, get an Abington-Strongs Exhaustive Concordance with a Greek and Hebrew Dictionary to help you better understand the words. I personally use the original KJV Bible, and that is what the concordance corresponds to. Whenever you have difficulty understanding something, stop where you are and ask God to give you the wisdom to understand it. Don't give up, and no, you don't need a study Bible or commentaries. You have no way of knowing that the authors of the commentary are accurate in their interpretation?

#8
Butero

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I have never really studied the Bible in depth, and am trying to put more time into reading and actually trying to understand what I have read (meditating). Most of it seems basic, except that I find Paul's writings verbose and overly complex. We use NKJV. We can read several chapters and then look at each other scratching our heads, wondering what it is he was trying to say. Is a study Bible necessary to comprehend his writings? What is the best way to "tackle" his writings? I have a college degree, but feel like a first grader reading Shakespeare.


I too found Paul's writings to be overly complex. My greatest asset has been openly confessing unto our Father every time I did not 'get it' and then sit back and watch with amazement as he chose how to enlighten me.

It sounds simple, but it works. :thumbsup:

#9
Diatheosis

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The complexity truly gets to its place once one tries reading Paul in Greek, being a classic language the placing of words is pretty free so you need to to through the sentences throughly to get what it says. The translators sure get my respect.

 

This is something you can try too: find out the chronological order of Paul's writings and start from the earliest proceeding onwards. In this way, one gets to see in what kind of way Paul is maturing in knowing God through all that he is being led into. His story really is inspirational, beginning from persecuting the believers and ending up as an apostle and martyr. There certainly are some transitions in his walk.

 

Also, becoming familiar with the relations between the Hebrew and the Greek world helps to understand where much their way of perception comes from. Sure, a lot of revelation from God's part, but in what kind of way it's being expressed and what kind of linguistic symbols are being used open up the text. Understanding the context is refreshing really.


Edited by Diatheosis, 04 July 2013 - 08:25 AM.


#10
Adsy86

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From my experience, it's less hard reading it in chronological order (since they were written even before the gospels, not sure if all of them but most anyway if so), and definitely knowing the context of the culture back then helps a lot. I recommend the Zondervan TNIV bible, it gives you a brief summary of the context but it gives you a good idea of what was happening




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