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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
A: What is the shortest verse in the Old Testament?
B: Where in the Bible do you find a father who had 88 children?
C: Saul was the first king of Israel. Who was the second? (It wasn’t David)
D: Who is the only person in the Old Testament mentioned as being buried in a coffin?
E: How many times does Eve’s name appear in Genesis?
F: Who are the only three angels mentioned in the Bible by name? …More Questions!
David Murray has a list of 20 tips on how to use Bible Commentaries. Here are just 5 of them:
1. Use them
“It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others. My chat this afternoon is not for these great originals, but for you who are content to learn of holy men, taught of God, and mighty in the Scriptures. It has been the fashion of late years to speak against the use of commentaries…A respectable acquaintance with the opinions of the giants of the past, might have saved many an erratic thinker from wild interpretations and outrageous inferences” (C H Spurgeon).
2. Use them for appropriate tasks
Commentaries vary in size, detail, level, and theological basis; they also have different roles in the exegetical process. The following classification is partly chronological – the first books are used earlier in the process than the latter books. (The books in brackets are OT focused and are merely exemplary not exhaustive).
- Critical: Emphasis on technical matters like the composition of the text rather than its meaning (e.g. International Critical Commentary, some Word commentaries).
- Expository (Original Language): Close and detailed exposition of the text, usually requiring some knowledge of the original languages (e.g. some Word commentaries, New International Commentary on the OT, Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Mentor series by Christian Focus).
- Expository (English): Stay close to the text but do not usually deal with critical issues and do not require original language knowledge (Focus on the Bible series by Christian Focus, Evangelical Press Study Commentaries).
- Summary: Do not explain everything but focus on main points and present conclusions rather than extensive arguments. Excellent summaries of a verse or passage’s teaching. Big is not always better. (e.g. Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries, Bible Speaks Today).
- Classical: Reputable commentaries from the past that usually do not deal with technical issues, but rather the theological meaning of the text (Banner of Truth Geneva series, John Gill, John Calvin).
- Applicatory: Suitable for lay-people, usually with more of an applicatory focus (NIV Application Commentary).
- Homiletical: Tend to be the result of sermon series or at least more sermonic in style (e.g. Welwyn, Dale Ralph Davis).
- Devotional: Extensive comments on spiritually rich texts. Focus on edification rather than critical or controversial issues (e.g. Matthew Henry). …Read More!
I have come to appreciate the value of good vigilant clinical scholarship after reading history of the bible and how we have the texts that make up our Old and New Testaments. The Jewish Masorete scribes made copies of the Old Testament with precision and profound accuracy. They set down detailed rules to govern the copying of the Scriptures. It was considered unacceptable to do such work with half a mind. The Masoretes counted the number of words and letters of each book of the Old Testament and fixed the middle letter of each line. Everything countable was counted. The manuscript was then submitted for checking and if it was in error at any point then it was ordered to be destroyed; and the scribe would start all over again.
My good friend Jim on the other hand recently realised that a good bulk of the students today are lazy and do not read their bibles enough. Take this excerpt from a recent paper for example:
“After killing a Hebrew slave, Moses fleas Egypt to live in the Sinai dessert.”
Obviously you can imagine how bewildered my friend Jim became. He actually turned purple! Well, okay almost. You see:
1- Moses didn’t kill a Hebrew slave, he killed an Egyptian.
2- He didn’t ‘fleas’ he ‘fled’.
3- The Sinai isn’t a ‘dessert’, it’s a desert.
4- Moses fled to Midian, the text says nothing about his fleeing to Sinai. …Read More!
A: What is the shortest verse in the Old Testament? (1Chronicles 1:25)
B: Where in the Bible do you find a father who had 88 children? (2Chron. 11:21)
C: Saul was the first king of Israel. Who was the second? (Ishbosheth 2 Sam. 2:10)
D: Who is the only person in the Old Testament mentioned as being buried in a coffin? (Joseph)
E: How many times does Eve’s name appear in Genesis? (Twice)
F: Who are the only three angels mentioned in the Bible by name? (Michael, Gabriel and Lucifer)
G: Who had a vision of one angel running to meet another? (Zechariah Zechariah 2: 3)
H: The word “God” appears in every book of the Bible except in which two books? (Esther and Song of Solomon)
I: Where is the longest verse in the bible? (Esther 8:9)
J: Which verse in the Bible contains all letters of the alphabet except Q? (Daniel 4:37)
Well here is a bonus set of easy Bible questions. I know you will do well now 🙂
A: Where is the only place in the Bible where “Hats” are mentioned?
B: What king had the first birthday party in the Bible?
C: What group of people in the Bible died because they could not pronounce the letter “H”?
D: Whose hair weight from about 5 to 6 pounds at his annual haircut? (check here for answers)