I find earlier generations of Bible believing Christians, in the main, knew their Bible a lot better than this current one, despite having fewer resources and less Bible versions available (and probably less distractions). Yet, reading the Bible and gaining an in-depth understanding of its contents is necessary for Christian growth.
In more recent years, my approach to studying the Bible has changed significantly with the advent of the Internet. While I still refer to books on biblical themes, including commentaries, and the large selection of Bible versions now available, including when needed dictionaries to get word meanings and commentaries, devotions and whatever material that is around to give appropriate context and understanding, I am increasing being drawn to the Internet, which is full of lots of good stuff! While I don’t use these much myself, there are many good daily Bible reading guides available (on and offline, ranging from light to heavy).
When it comes to online Bible reading, Bible Gateway is superb – and I have any number of versions to choose from. Not only can I read chosen passages, I can do word searches. If in the mood, I can read from the screen while listening to something like the King James Version Audio Bible. If I really wanted to, I could also access resources that give the meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words used as well as maps and charts and other data so I can truly read what I read in its correct meaning and context. While certain online resources you need to pay for (not unreasonable given the effort spent making them), the resources I use are generally free.
One resource I can’t speak highly enough of is “David Pawson Unlocking the Bible” – just type that phrase in upon entering YouTube and select the Book of the Bible you are interested in – and you will get an audio visual presentation that invariably provides a clear and accurate 30 minute introduction to that book along with its all important context. There is much else I have found helpful and some that is not helpful (making discernment necessary) that will assist in one’s Bible study. One that recently came my way comes under the title “The Bible Project”. If you type that into YouTube, you will get a 5-10 minute graphical presentation of the book you are interested in. I find this and Pawson’s presentation great aids in understanding the books of the Bible, especially at this time, given I am leading Bible studies on the different books of the Bible and want to give a truthful and balanced presentation.
There is as I say a huge amount of material “out there” and if you type in the subject you are interested in (including phrases that might seem quite obscure) into Google or YouTube, you are likely to be returned hits to the preaching / teaching of this or that person (but remember the warning – there is a wide range of differences in helpfulness of what you find, especially when the preacher is unfamiliar). But like many of “my ilk” there are preachers I love to listen to and some I wouldn’t touch at all. There is no excuse for not studying the Bible (and you are the poorer if you don’t), especially given you are spoilt for choice of appropriate resources, both online and in written format, to come to your assistance when you need it.
The important thing is to study the Bible regularly, systematically, contextually and prayerfully. While it is worth starting with the easier parts e.g. the Gospels, there is much to be said for covering all of the Bible since all of it is God inspired, there is treasure to be found therein and to do so is profitable. God, the Holy Spirit, not only inspired the Bible but He is also its interpreter in order to understand it. Finally, be blessed and be a blessing as a result!