Thursday, December 6, 2012

Study Bibles and Commentaries

Is there a mid-Acts study bible out there?  If not, are there any study bibles you would recommend?  I am curious because the bible you use in the videos is huge and I thought maybe it was a study bible.

Is there a mid-Acts study bible?  Not that I know of.  I have heard saints say over the years that they wish we could have a Bible with commentary notes that are Pauline dispensational.  That would be a huge endeavor.  If the Lord tarries and he is willing and gives us the time and resources to do it, I would love to undertake that project.  I would love to have a Bible to recommend that has study notes from a Pauline dispensational viewpoint.  That would be awesome!  My passion is to give people an understanding of God’s word rightly divided.  That is my number one prayer.

I am assuming that you are referring to the recordings of our assembly’s meetings on Sundays and Wednesdays.  The large-print bible I am using was a gift from my beautiful wife Krista.  It is a Keystone Giant Print Deluxe Edition bible copyright 1997 by the National Publishing Company.  It does contain maps that are helpful.

I don’t study with or preach from any bible that contains commentary.  The bible I preach from is the same bible I use for study.  But I make my own notes.  Over the years I have written my own commentary on every page of my Bible as I read through the scriptures to refresh my mind in any free time that I have.  I would need at least a year to go through those notes in my bible and write commentary for a mid-Acts dispensational study bible.  My notes are made from my own understanding of the rightly divided, Pauline, mid-Acts, dispensational point of view. 

For example, if I am reading something in Genesis, I will read it with an understanding of the mystery, the dispensation of grace, and Pauline right division.

Ephesians 3:9
And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Ephesians 3:2
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Other commentaries and study bibles don’t do that.  They might give you a good explanation of a passage, but they won’t do it in light of the Pauline revelation.  That is what we need.  We need to rightly divide the word and understand it from that perspective.

2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:7
Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

So we need to know the bible from a Pauline, dispensational viewpoint.  Maybe one day I will be free to write a commentary from that perspective for a study bible.  I have learned over the years in ministry that I don’t like to have my mind affected by other peoples’ commentary – particularly by those who don’t rightly divide the word.  Most ‘study bibles’ are obviously not dispensational.  I like to keep my mind pure. 

Psalm 12:6
The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

Psalm 119:140
Thy word is very pure: therefore thy servant loveth it.

Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

I don’t want it affected by what some ‘scholar’ says.  Not that they are all bad.  Sometimes I will read them, but only after I have studied a passage or topic exhaustively and come to an understanding of it.  So the Bible I use for preaching and study has no study notes, no margin notes, no reference verses or anything other as a study aid.  It is just the pure King James Bible – the perfect word of God for English-speaking people.

Matthew 4:4
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Another bible that I use is a Zondervan KJB Study Bible.  It has study notes that I rarely look at; but it is small and easy to use as I answer questions by audio and video.  When I prepare for these Q&A’s, I use a King James Bible on the computer that has a search feature to find where a word is used in Scripture (such as  It is a helpful study tool.  But when I read and study I use the bible I teach and preach from that has no study notes or cross references.  I know right division; I know how to handle scripture now as a workman, so I gain more understanding by studying that way.

After I have exhausted a subject in my own understanding I can then read a commentary, and if it agrees with what I see, it is good; but if it doesn’t, I take it with a grain of salt and go with what I see from scripture.  With the Spirit of God and with a heart that desires to understand our Father’s word; through prayer, much study and built up understanding of doctrine in my soul over the past couple of decades, I trust my understanding of God’s word more than I do commentaries. 

1 Corinthians 2:13
which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

I have learned some things from them such as geography in the Middle East, But when it comes to doctrine, study notes and commentaries are not very helpful.

The best study bible that I have seen is the KJB Scofield Reference Bible.  Scofield introduces the Pauline epistles that follow the book of Acts (Romans through Philemon) by stating that they alone are exclusively for the body of Christ today for doctrine and for our walk, etc.  He says this but he doesn’t teach this way in his study notes.  He understands a little bit about Paul’s epistles being for the body of Christ in this present dispensation of grace.

Ephesians 3:2
If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Colossians 1:25-26
Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

I listen to other brothers and we have Q&A’s.  I am very edified by all the questions I receive from people.  Our assembly has at least an hour of Q&A on Wednesday nights as well as on Sunday mornings.  I am edified by all those things and they each play a part in my understanding. 

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