I need help, please

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This post has 19 Replies | 4 Followers

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Posted: Thu, Aug 1 2013 4:18 PM

I am new to Bible study and I recently bought the Logos 5 starter in hopes it would get me going in a solid direction. 

I want to start reading the Bible but do so in a concise way that helps me understand what I am reading and perhaps guides me to other things of interest pertaining to the text/story at hand.

I am a little confused how to make Logos 5 starter work for me in that capacity.  Is there perhaps another set of on-line books that would help me on my journey through the Bible with the help of Logos 5?  If so which ones would be good for me?

I should add that I am a non-denominational Christian.

Thank you for any help,

Frank

Posts 1178
David Wilson | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 4:42 PM

Add this: it works in Logos 5.

http://vyrso.com/product/22017/the-story-niv-the-bible-as-one-continuing-story-of-god-and-his-people

'The Greatest Story Ever Told' is more than just a cliche. God has gone to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about: the story of the Bible, God's great love affair with humanity. Condensed into 31 accessible chapters---and using the clear, accessible text of the NIV---this rendering of the Bible allows its stories, poems, and teachings to come together in a single, compelling read. The Story sweeps you into the unfolding grand narrative of the Scriptures, and like any good story, it is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption. From the foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee: 'This book tells the grandest, most compelling story of all time: the story of a true God who loves his children, who established for them a way of salvation and provided a route to eternity. Each story in these 31 chapters reveals the God of grace---the God who speaks; the God who acts; the God who listens; the God whose love for his people culminated in his sacrifice of Jesus, his only Son, to atone for the sins of humanity.'

Posts 9947
George Somsel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 4:46 PM

Frank Eugene Booth III:

I am new to Bible study and I recently bought the Logos 5 starter in hopes it would get me going in a solid direction. 

I want to start reading the Bible but do so in a concise way that helps me understand what I am reading and perhaps guides me to other things of interest pertaining to the text/story at hand.

I am a little confused how to make Logos 5 starter work for me in that capacity.  Is there perhaps another set of on-line books that would help me on my journey through the Bible with the help of Logos 5?  If so which ones would be good for me?

I should add that I am a non-denominational Christian.

Thank you for any help,

Frank

You at least have a good beginning in stating that you are a Christian.  You fail, however, by being non-denominational.  You really need to become a member of a denomination with a strong position vis-à-vis other denominations.  How to you expect to be properly confrontational if you aren't a member of some denomination?  Wink  I'm just kidding, of course. 

Not knowing what your background in the faith might be makes it a bit difficult to make the best recommendations.  I see from the web page that you have Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's commentary.  I am generally rather loathe to recommend it since it is dated and attempts to cover the entire scripture in a small compass, but you work with what you have.  I would not recommend Matthew Henry.  Henry is all heart, but somewhat lacking in knowledge of critical studies (JFB is somewhat newer).  I would recommend that you begin reading of the scripture, and would recommend that you read a little about each book before you begin.  For that purpose you might consult the Holman Bible Handbook (I'm trying to select resources you have).  At some point sooner or later, depending upon where you're starting from, you will want to add other resources, but first get to know the scripture.

george
gfsomsel

יְמֵי־שְׁנוֹתֵינוּ בָהֶם שִׁבְעִים שָׁנָה וְאִם בִּגְבוּרֹת שְׁמוֹנִים שָׁנָה וְרָהְבָּם עָמָל וָאָוֶן

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 4:48 PM

Thank you for the reply.  I will add it.  I would like to say that I have, in my extremely limited knowledge of how to use Logos 5, found it to be very cool far.  Such as the easy to search library; I like it very much.  I just need a proper direction in using it.  Thank you for the help.

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 4:52 PM

Ok.  I will look at the Holman Bible Handbook.  Thank you!

Frank

Posts 737
Evan Boardman | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 4:58 PM

George Somsel:
  I would not recommend Matthew Henry.

And this is why I wouldnt follow his recommendation. Wink

Posts 654
David Bailey | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 5:10 PM

Frank Eugene Booth III:
I want to start reading the Bible

Awesome! There are many Christians who have never read the Bible in part or in whole.  To help pace yourself, learn how to set up a Reading Plan.  Sample reading plans are found here.

Edit: Here's a HD video that illustrates how to start a reading plan: Logos 5 Tutorial: How to Create a Bible Reading Plan.

Then, read the Scriptures according to that plan. The Bible is a commentary unto itself. Therefore, you can consider getting the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge for cross-references to the readings.

Frank Eugene Booth III:
do so in a concise way that helps me understand what I am reading and perhaps guides me to other things of interest pertaining to the text/story at hand.

Your base package has a couple of commentaries to start with.  If you need a resource or two that specialize in reading Scripture, take a look at How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth and maybe even How to Read the Bible Book by Book.

Thankfully, you don't need those additional resources to read the Bible. God will speak to your heart - that's what makes the Bible special - it is a living book - God's own. 

It's all about reading the text - that comes first. Smile

David

Posts 525
Kent | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 6:33 PM

Frank Eugene Booth III:
I want to start reading the Bible but do so in a concise way that helps me understand what I am reading and perhaps guides me to other things of interest pertaining to the text/story at hand.

Frank, Start with the Bible and refer to commentaries only when you have questions about what you have read. Otherwise, I would not recommend you read both simultaneously. Develop you own thoughts and do not rely on others to think for you. Later when you want to explore other opinions, dive into the commentaries. Also, use a Bible that is in modern English. I like the poetic language of the KJV but if understanding Scripture is your goal it may not be the best version. I would recommend the ESV or NASB.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Jas 1:5–8.

Posts 397
John | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 6:49 PM

Frank Eugene Booth III:

I want to start reading the Bible but do so in a concise way that helps me understand what I am reading and perhaps guides me to other things of interest pertaining to the text/story at hand.

A very good ambition.

The most important thing is to choose a good Bible translation. The one you start reading early on will be the one you have memorized years (even decades) down the road. There are many good choices here. I recommend in this order (HCSB, NIV (1984), ESV). There are many others, and there is no right or wrong answer here. The ESV and HCSB are fairly new translations (or revision in the case of the ESV), and are among the most accurate English translations ever produced. The NIV (1984) was probably the most readable as far as English is concerned, but not as literal in the formal equivalence sense.

The NIV 2011 may be even better, but I rule out due to what I consider a misguided effort to "ungenderize" it.

In addition to a primary translation, It is also good to have a "thought for thought" translation, something less literal that attempts to convey thoughts as opposed to words. A great choice here would be the NLT. There are many others, but the NLT is hard to beat. If you read a verse that is hard to understand, looking at it in the NLT might shed some light on it.

To increase your knowledge as you read, a great way is simply to use a study Bible. The HCSB and the ESV both have outstanding study Bibles. The NIV does too, although I personally have never used it ... I know a lot of people have used it and benefit from it. God has blessed us so much today that we have such great options available. You can read through the Bible and also read the commentary. What is great about it is that it will be printed right on the same page as the Biblical text. You don't have to search or flip around (unless you want too).

Of course Logos has much more in-depth commentary material, and much more extensive commentaries. But if your intention is just to read through and learn as you read, a study Bible is the way to go. You could read through a certain number of chapters per day, and when you come across something interesting and want more information, then go to Logos and look at what the more extensive commentaries have to say.

With commentaries, I believe it is best to look at a variety of them. You will find a lot of redundant material in many of them. As you use them, you will get to know them and eventually will probably eliminate the ones you know are not usually helpful. Some commentaries just give the authors opinions, which isn't really that helpful. Eventually you will find which ones you like. I think the Holman Concise Bible Commentary and Ryrie material in your package will be very helpful. Ryrie is usually fairly objective, giving the facts without too much of his own opinions.

Someone mentioned JFB. I consider JFB to be an excellent commentary. It is not as in-depth as some of the professional scholars on here might like ... but possibly they forget what it was like to be a layman or a beginner. JFB will give a lot of helpful information without getting too "deep". If you decide you want more depth, Logos has many deeper commentaries. Unfortunately most of the REALLY deep ones are expensive and probably are not in your package.

Matthew Henry? I have always wondered why this one is always included in Bible software packages. Maybe some people like it. It never seemed to have any answers I was looking for.

Another thing I recommend to people new to the Bible is don't start in Genesis and read straight through. I would say read Matthew, skip Mark and Luke. Read John and continue reading through the rest of the New testament. The idea is to just avoid the most boring and least useful stuff, at least at first.

Once you have read through the New Testament a few times, you could then add a chapter or two per day of Old Testament. Some of the OT will be very interesting reading. But some parts will be very boring. Not to say that any of it is not valuable, but the New Testament is the really important stuff, but as far as number of pages the Old Testament could consume the majority of your time.

Some people also like to read through certain books regularly, such as Proverbs or Psalms. Both books are really amazing and very enlightening. There is no right or wrong way of course. Whichever way you feel God leading you is the right way. Some people might feel strongly that they start in Genesis and read straight through the entire Bible. Other people might think they should read it in Chronological order. I am sure Logos can help you with that if it is something you wanted to do. There are also Bible printed in Chronological order. The idea is that you read about events in the order they happened on the historical timeline, rather than the order of the books (which is not always chronological).

Me, I say learn the most important stuff first, learn it well, then you can fill in more of the background.

 

Posts 19216
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 7:05 PM

I would echo what others have said. I'd also like to recommend a Bible reading guide that I've been overjoyed to find. On my previous reads through the entire Bible, I often get bogged down on all the begats and chapter upon chapter of instructions for precisely how the temple should be constructed and furnished, and oracle after oracle of fairly similar sounding judgments against Israel's enemies in the prophetic books. Those are all important (everything in the Bible is there because it's important) but are better delved into when you're doing a particular study on the temple or a prophetic book. But if you're just trying to read through the whole thing in one year to see how it all coheres together, it's best to read faster over certain bits and spend more time over others.

For guiding you through that, I can't think of a better resource than A Guide to Reading the Entire Bible in One Year. It has you read in chunks of on average about 3 chapters per day, but it has you skim faster through more chapters on days when you're covering stuff like genealogies or the Levitical laws, where a slow meditative read is not necessary. And it has you slow down to chew more thoroughly over parts that are likely to reveal more spiritual edification for your daily walk with Christ. The author also provides a couple of paragraphs of commentary for each day's reading, to direct you to notice the chief insights that are universal and prepare you for the Holy Spirit to stir your heart in a way unique to you.

Here's the Introduction (my bold and one added comment in red italics):

Eager and excited, now that months of anticipation had given way to the reality of a trip, a group of New Jersey tourists pulled off the highway. It hardly seemed possible that, at last, they were in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As they had done four times in the last five miles, they jumped out of the car and started taking pictures of everything in sight.

Two mountaineers, rattling down the incline in their old car, looked at one another and laughed, seeming to say: “Ha! Another first-time crowd! They’re hardly out of sight of Gatlinburg, but they’re using up their film mighty fast. It’ll all be gone before they get halfway to the top, and you can’t buy more in the park!”

On any journey through a land of wonders, it is a major problem to choose stopping places. Especially on his first half dozen trips through the Bible, a traveler may be so overwhelmed by the wealth of vistas that he devotes too much time to the foothills and is weary before he reaches the first peak.

This guide is unlike any other in existence. It proposes to lead you at a pace that is appropriate to the stretch of highway being traveled. In some instances, you will be encouraged to skim through many pages in half an hour. At other times, you will be asked to read slowly and to meditate at length upon the message of a few paragraphs.

In order that individuals, classes, and congregations may begin reading at any time during the year, the guide is divided into twelve months of thirty days each. In months that include thirty-one days, use the extra day to make a rapid review. In February, plan your reading to “catch up” with the outline during the last week of the month.

Whether covering little material or much in your daily reading, the goal is always your personal enlightenment.

This is not an academic or scholarly enterprise. Such questions as authorship and date of composition will not concern us. Throughout, we shall treat the Bible as a unique source of sacred light. Directed toward the path your feet are following, that light will transform your pilgrimage. Without exception, effects of such illumination are personal and practical.

As described in Revelation (chapters 6–8), a supernatural force breaks the seals on a book, and John’s eyes are flooded with visions of things never before seen. The imagery is especially valid today. Of the many books whose contents are “sealed” to the majority of folk, the Bible now heads the list. We revere it; we study it, after a fashion, in Sunday school; we quote a few verses from it; we do everything but read the whole Bible with eager attention to highway information it offers throughout.

When seals are removed from Scripture, new understanding comes. Men become capable of seeing things they never before glimpsed. Some of these things are in the Book itself, some are in life. Always, there must be a two-way flow between life and the Book. Each can shed light upon the other, so that there is a continuous increase in brilliance of the illumination.

It would be dishonest for me to pretend that you can claim the benefits of this light-bestowing process without paying the price. In order to win the prize, you must run the race. Without expenditure of time and attention and interest, you cannot hope to claim the benefits of systematic Bible reading.

Just as is the case with food for the body, food for the soul must be eaten by the person who expects to gain the calories involved. That sounds simple, but the simplicity is deceptive. For the gospel message that runs through the Bible from cover to cover is always proclaimed in the fashion of both/and. It is for everyone who will read it, yet it is also strictly personal. Its message is both universal and individual.

To make the Bible come alive, try to regard it as just off the press, with the ink still wet, having been prepared especially for your personal enlightenment. Do NOT read it for duty’s sake. Do NOT read it as a discipline. Try to see it as inseparably linked with everyday events of your life. Try to regard it (though this is hard, hard, hard) as an on-the-spot news report of world-shaking events.

In the rare hours that you succeed in entering the mood and spirit of this Book, you will find it so full of action, so absorbing, so vitally informing, so urgent for your life today that if you are called away from your reading to view a telecast of the launching of a space shuttle, you will tend to be nettled at the intrusion of the trivial upon the cosmic.

Scripture’s fundamental note is that of divine rescue. From the first page to the last, the Bible offers the incredible story of God’s great acts designed to enable folks like us to burst the shackles of humanity. God opens for us a door that no person or event can close (Rev. 3:7–8); victory is the keynote of the whole incredible story. That basic biblical note is sounded in as many fashions as air is expelled from the pipes of an organ—with its many different sizes and shapes of tubes. But there is unity in diversity. Each tube is like every other in emitting air in such a way that a musical note falls upon the human ear. Just so, every part of the Bible emits evidences pointing to rescue—suggested in a multiplicity of ways.

In your reading, be continually alert for signals that will deepen or clarify or redirect your understanding of the grand themes of life—such issues as the meaning of the human race, the why of our existence on a planet prepared especially for us, how to win in the ceaseless rat race of existence, and ways of running the race with joy and victory.

Read also with specific interest in the problems, triumphs, burdens, and joys of your everyday life. Do not read as an exercise in piety—but read as a bewildered (or elated or weary or lost or triumphant) traveler who must study his guidebook to get the most from today’s journey.

If possible, secure a copy of the Bible (or individual books from it) that you will feel free to mark and underscore. Even slight notations, such as exclamation points and question marks in the margins, will help you to conserve your discoveries and turn to them again and again.  [Logos has a Notes feature that will allow you to do this.]

Because the Bible comes out of life and is directed to life, it will speak most directly and clearly when used during normal activities of your daily life. Do some of your reading at intervals between periods of work (regardless of whether you work at home, in a factory, shop, or office.) Keep your Bible or Testament or individual Scripture portion conveniently at hand, so that you can turn to it as naturally as you would pick up the newspaper, turn on the television or go online.

Probably you will find it fruitful to jot down some of your major insights. If so, follow whatever fashion is appropriate to your interest and experience. You may wish to keep a notebook, in which you will record the flood of new understanding that is certain to come during these months. Perhaps you will wish to write comments about questions that trouble you as well as discoveries that excite you.

If you become a part of a weekly or monthly discussion group, you will find that insights of others will both supplement your own and raise the level of your private reading. If you read alone, you will have the special joy of knowing that a substantial number of others are reading with you, day by day, and entering with you into a spiritual comradeship that overcomes all barriers.

During the exciting year that is ahead of us as we read and listen and rejoice together, I shall try to point out major landmarks. But the glory of the journey is such that you can see many a mountain peak from your own perspective, and with these as points of reference, you will make every day—every hour—an exciting, joyful, victorious time of discovery.

A special reward grows out of the fact that hosts of other persons in many places are reading along with you. Every day, you can rejoice that you are not alone. You are part of a wide fellowship of kindred spirits—persons whom you will never know, but who are your companions along the daily journey.

At any earlier period, I would have used the beloved King James Version for my quotations. No other English translation is likely ever to challenge this classic one in terms of world influence or literary excellence. However, the inevitable evolution of the language, discoveries of more ancient texts, and increased biblical scholarship have resulted in many other translations better suited for study. For this guide I cite the New International Version (NIV) copyrighted 1973, 1978, and 1984.

Webb Garrison, A Guide to Reading the Entire Bible in One Year (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999).

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 7:17 PM

David J. Wilson:

Add this: it works in Logos 5.

http://vyrso.com/product/22017/the-story-niv-the-bible-as-one-continuing-story-of-god-and-his-people

'The Greatest Story Ever Told' is more than just a cliche. God has gone to great lengths to rescue lost and hurting people. That is what The Story is all about: the story of the Bible, God's great love affair with humanity. Condensed into 31 accessible chapters---and using the clear, accessible text of the NIV---this rendering of the Bible allows its stories, poems, and teachings to come together in a single, compelling read. The Story sweeps you into the unfolding grand narrative of the Scriptures, and like any good story, it is filled with intrigue, drama, conflict, romance, and redemption. From the foreword by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee: 'This book tells the grandest, most compelling story of all time: the story of a true God who loves his children, who established for them a way of salvation and provided a route to eternity. Each story in these 31 chapters reveals the God of grace---the God who speaks; the God who acts; the God who listens; the God whose love for his people culminated in his sacrifice of Jesus, his only Son, to atone for the sins of humanity.'

I bought this title and now I cant find it?  Do I need to download the phone app to make it work?  I figured it out.  Thank you. :)

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 7:20 PM

David Bailey:

Frank Eugene Booth III:
I want to start reading the Bible

Awesome! There are many Christians who have never read the Bible in part or in whole.  To help pace yourself, learn how to set up a Reading Plan.  Sample reading plans are found here.

Edit: Here's a HD video that illustrates how to start a reading plan: Logos 5 Tutorial: How to Create a Bible Reading Plan.

Then, read the Scriptures according to that plan. The Bible is a commentary unto itself. Therefore, you can consider getting the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge for cross-references to the readings.

Frank Eugene Booth III:
do so in a concise way that helps me understand what I am reading and perhaps guides me to other things of interest pertaining to the text/story at hand.

Your base package has a couple of commentaries to start with.  If you need a resource or two that specialize in reading Scripture, take a look at How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth and maybe even How to Read the Bible Book by Book.

Thankfully, you don't need those additional resources to read the Bible. God will speak to your heart - that's what makes the Bible special - it is a living book - God's own. 

It's all about reading the text - that comes first. Smile

David

Thank you, David for helping to make it clearer.

Posts 825
JRS | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 7:42 PM

I think Don Carson's The God Who Is There is probably one of the finest summaries of the Bible to be found anywhere.  In essence, Carson hops, skips, and jumps through Bible touching on most of the books.  Of particular value to beginners because it lays out central biblical themes centering on Christ and His efficacious redemptive effort for the people of God.  But it is also of great edification to those who are many years into the faith.  Although originally given at Jn Piper's Baptist church in Minneapolis, Carson is certainly not plugging any denomination or cadgering for money.  Just the story - wonderfully told. 

In Logos format it can be found in this collection http://www.logos.com/product/21263/the-select-works-of-d-a-carson.

The **free** audio/video series is available from the Gospel Coalition at http://thegospelcoalition.org/thegodwhoisthere.  It is a 14 part series that, if I remember correctly, runs 11 hours (but feels like three at the most Wink).

 

JRS has left the building.

Posts 808
Kevin Maples | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 8:26 PM

I would start with this book. It is the best concise overview help I've ever used. There are many other works with more information, but you need the big picture first. 

http://www.logos.com/product/7297/holman-quick-source-guide-to-understanding-the-bible 

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 11:47 PM

Kent:

Frank Eugene Booth III:
I want to start reading the Bible but do so in a concise way that helps me understand what I am reading and perhaps guides me to other things of interest pertaining to the text/story at hand.

Frank, Start with the Bible and refer to commentaries only when you have questions about what you have read. Otherwise, I would not recommend you read both simultaneously. Develop you own thoughts and do not rely on others to think for you. Later when you want to explore other opinions, dive into the commentaries. Also, use a Bible that is in modern English. I like the poetic language of the KJV but if understanding Scripture is your goal it may not be the best version. I would recommend the ESV or NASB.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Jas 1:5–8.

Thank you Kent.  I very much appreciate the direction.

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Aug 1 2013 11:53 PM

John:

Frank Eugene Booth III:

I want to start reading the Bible but do so in a concise way that helps me understand what I am reading and perhaps guides me to other things of interest pertaining to the text/story at hand.

A very good ambition.

The most important thing is to choose a good Bible translation. The one you start reading early on will be the one you have memorized years (even decades) down the road. There are many good choices here. I recommend in this order (HCSB, NIV (1984), ESV). There are many others, and there is no right or wrong answer here. The ESV and HCSB are fairly new translations (or revision in the case of the ESV), and are among the most accurate English translations ever produced. The NIV (1984) was probably the most readable as far as English is concerned, but not as literal in the formal equivalence sense.

The NIV 2011 may be even better, but I rule out due to what I consider a misguided effort to "ungenderize" it.

In addition to a primary translation, It is also good to have a "thought for thought" translation, something less literal that attempts to convey thoughts as opposed to words. A great choice here would be the NLT. There are many others, but the NLT is hard to beat. If you read a verse that is hard to understand, looking at it in the NLT might shed some light on it.

To increase your knowledge as you read, a great way is simply to use a study Bible. The HCSB and the ESV both have outstanding study Bibles. The NIV does too, although I personally have never used it ... I know a lot of people have used it and benefit from it. God has blessed us so much today that we have such great options available. You can read through the Bible and also read the commentary. What is great about it is that it will be printed right on the same page as the Biblical text. You don't have to search or flip around (unless you want too).

Of course Logos has much more in-depth commentary material, and much more extensive commentaries. But if your intention is just to read through and learn as you read, a study Bible is the way to go. You could read through a certain number of chapters per day, and when you come across something interesting and want more information, then go to Logos and look at what the more extensive commentaries have to say.

With commentaries, I believe it is best to look at a variety of them. You will find a lot of redundant material in many of them. As you use them, you will get to know them and eventually will probably eliminate the ones you know are not usually helpful. Some commentaries just give the authors opinions, which isn't really that helpful. Eventually you will find which ones you like. I think the Holman Concise Bible Commentary and Ryrie material in your package will be very helpful. Ryrie is usually fairly objective, giving the facts without too much of his own opinions.

Someone mentioned JFB. I consider JFB to be an excellent commentary. It is not as in-depth as some of the professional scholars on here might like ... but possibly they forget what it was like to be a layman or a beginner. JFB will give a lot of helpful information without getting too "deep". If you decide you want more depth, Logos has many deeper commentaries. Unfortunately most of the REALLY deep ones are expensive and probably are not in your package.

Matthew Henry? I have always wondered why this one is always included in Bible software packages. Maybe some people like it. It never seemed to have any answers I was looking for.

Another thing I recommend to people new to the Bible is don't start in Genesis and read straight through. I would say read Matthew, skip Mark and Luke. Read John and continue reading through the rest of the New testament. The idea is to just avoid the most boring and least useful stuff, at least at first.

Once you have read through the New Testament a few times, you could then add a chapter or two per day of Old Testament. Some of the OT will be very interesting reading. But some parts will be very boring. Not to say that any of it is not valuable, but the New Testament is the really important stuff, but as far as number of pages the Old Testament could consume the majority of your time.

Some people also like to read through certain books regularly, such as Proverbs or Psalms. Both books are really amazing and very enlightening. There is no right or wrong way of course. Whichever way you feel God leading you is the right way. Some people might feel strongly that they start in Genesis and read straight through the entire Bible. Other people might think they should read it in Chronological order. I am sure Logos can help you with that if it is something you wanted to do. There are also Bible printed in Chronological order. The idea is that you read about events in the order they happened on the historical timeline, rather than the order of the books (which is not always chronological).

Me, I say learn the most important stuff first, learn it well, then you can fill in more of the background.

 

Thank you for the advice.  You guys have all been so helpful.  I will save this page so I can decide a direction. 

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 12:01 AM

Rosie Perera:

I would echo what others have said. I'd also like to recommend a Bible reading guide that I've been overjoyed to find. On my previous reads through the entire Bible, I often get bogged down on all the begats and chapter upon chapter of instructions for precisely how the temple should be constructed and furnished, and oracle after oracle of fairly similar sounding judgments against Israel's enemies in the prophetic books. Those are all important (everything in the Bible is there because it's important) but are better delved into when you're doing a particular study on the temple or a prophetic book. But if you're just trying to read through the whole thing in one year to see how it all coheres together, it's best to read faster over certain bits and spend more time over others.

For guiding you through that, I can't think of a better resource than A Guide to Reading the Entire Bible in One Year. It has you read in chunks of on average about 3 chapters per day, but it has you skim faster through more chapters on days when you're covering stuff like genealogies or the Levitical laws, where a slow meditative read is not necessary. And it has you slow down to chew more thoroughly over parts that are likely to reveal more spiritual edification for your daily walk with Christ. The author also provides a couple of paragraphs of commentary for each day's reading, to direct you to notice the chief insights that are universal and prepare you for the Holy Spirit to stir your heart in a way unique to you.

Here's the Introduction (my bold and one added comment in red italics):

Eager and excited, now that months of anticipation had given way to the reality of a trip, a group of New Jersey tourists pulled off the highway. It hardly seemed possible that, at last, they were in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As they had done four times in the last five miles, they jumped out of the car and started taking pictures of everything in sight.

Two mountaineers, rattling down the incline in their old car, looked at one another and laughed, seeming to say: “Ha! Another first-time crowd! They’re hardly out of sight of Gatlinburg, but they’re using up their film mighty fast. It’ll all be gone before they get halfway to the top, and you can’t buy more in the park!”

On any journey through a land of wonders, it is a major problem to choose stopping places. Especially on his first half dozen trips through the Bible, a traveler may be so overwhelmed by the wealth of vistas that he devotes too much time to the foothills and is weary before he reaches the first peak.

This guide is unlike any other in existence. It proposes to lead you at a pace that is appropriate to the stretch of highway being traveled. In some instances, you will be encouraged to skim through many pages in half an hour. At other times, you will be asked to read slowly and to meditate at length upon the message of a few paragraphs.

In order that individuals, classes, and congregations may begin reading at any time during the year, the guide is divided into twelve months of thirty days each. In months that include thirty-one days, use the extra day to make a rapid review. In February, plan your reading to “catch up” with the outline during the last week of the month.

Whether covering little material or much in your daily reading, the goal is always your personal enlightenment.

This is not an academic or scholarly enterprise. Such questions as authorship and date of composition will not concern us. Throughout, we shall treat the Bible as a unique source of sacred light. Directed toward the path your feet are following, that light will transform your pilgrimage. Without exception, effects of such illumination are personal and practical.

As described in Revelation (chapters 6–8), a supernatural force breaks the seals on a book, and John’s eyes are flooded with visions of things never before seen. The imagery is especially valid today. Of the many books whose contents are “sealed” to the majority of folk, the Bible now heads the list. We revere it; we study it, after a fashion, in Sunday school; we quote a few verses from it; we do everything but read the whole Bible with eager attention to highway information it offers throughout.

When seals are removed from Scripture, new understanding comes. Men become capable of seeing things they never before glimpsed. Some of these things are in the Book itself, some are in life. Always, there must be a two-way flow between life and the Book. Each can shed light upon the other, so that there is a continuous increase in brilliance of the illumination.

It would be dishonest for me to pretend that you can claim the benefits of this light-bestowing process without paying the price. In order to win the prize, you must run the race. Without expenditure of time and attention and interest, you cannot hope to claim the benefits of systematic Bible reading.

Just as is the case with food for the body, food for the soul must be eaten by the person who expects to gain the calories involved. That sounds simple, but the simplicity is deceptive. For the gospel message that runs through the Bible from cover to cover is always proclaimed in the fashion of both/and. It is for everyone who will read it, yet it is also strictly personal. Its message is both universal and individual.

To make the Bible come alive, try to regard it as just off the press, with the ink still wet, having been prepared especially for your personal enlightenment. Do NOT read it for duty’s sake. Do NOT read it as a discipline. Try to see it as inseparably linked with everyday events of your life. Try to regard it (though this is hard, hard, hard) as an on-the-spot news report of world-shaking events.

In the rare hours that you succeed in entering the mood and spirit of this Book, you will find it so full of action, so absorbing, so vitally informing, so urgent for your life today that if you are called away from your reading to view a telecast of the launching of a space shuttle, you will tend to be nettled at the intrusion of the trivial upon the cosmic.

Scripture’s fundamental note is that of divine rescue. From the first page to the last, the Bible offers the incredible story of God’s great acts designed to enable folks like us to burst the shackles of humanity. God opens for us a door that no person or event can close (Rev. 3:7–8); victory is the keynote of the whole incredible story. That basic biblical note is sounded in as many fashions as air is expelled from the pipes of an organ—with its many different sizes and shapes of tubes. But there is unity in diversity. Each tube is like every other in emitting air in such a way that a musical note falls upon the human ear. Just so, every part of the Bible emits evidences pointing to rescue—suggested in a multiplicity of ways.

In your reading, be continually alert for signals that will deepen or clarify or redirect your understanding of the grand themes of life—such issues as the meaning of the human race, the why of our existence on a planet prepared especially for us, how to win in the ceaseless rat race of existence, and ways of running the race with joy and victory.

Read also with specific interest in the problems, triumphs, burdens, and joys of your everyday life. Do not read as an exercise in piety—but read as a bewildered (or elated or weary or lost or triumphant) traveler who must study his guidebook to get the most from today’s journey.

If possible, secure a copy of the Bible (or individual books from it) that you will feel free to mark and underscore. Even slight notations, such as exclamation points and question marks in the margins, will help you to conserve your discoveries and turn to them again and again.  [Logos has a Notes feature that will allow you to do this.]

Because the Bible comes out of life and is directed to life, it will speak most directly and clearly when used during normal activities of your daily life. Do some of your reading at intervals between periods of work (regardless of whether you work at home, in a factory, shop, or office.) Keep your Bible or Testament or individual Scripture portion conveniently at hand, so that you can turn to it as naturally as you would pick up the newspaper, turn on the television or go online.

Probably you will find it fruitful to jot down some of your major insights. If so, follow whatever fashion is appropriate to your interest and experience. You may wish to keep a notebook, in which you will record the flood of new understanding that is certain to come during these months. Perhaps you will wish to write comments about questions that trouble you as well as discoveries that excite you.

If you become a part of a weekly or monthly discussion group, you will find that insights of others will both supplement your own and raise the level of your private reading. If you read alone, you will have the special joy of knowing that a substantial number of others are reading with you, day by day, and entering with you into a spiritual comradeship that overcomes all barriers.

During the exciting year that is ahead of us as we read and listen and rejoice together, I shall try to point out major landmarks. But the glory of the journey is such that you can see many a mountain peak from your own perspective, and with these as points of reference, you will make every day—every hour—an exciting, joyful, victorious time of discovery.

A special reward grows out of the fact that hosts of other persons in many places are reading along with you. Every day, you can rejoice that you are not alone. You are part of a wide fellowship of kindred spirits—persons whom you will never know, but who are your companions along the daily journey.

At any earlier period, I would have used the beloved King James Version for my quotations. No other English translation is likely ever to challenge this classic one in terms of world influence or literary excellence. However, the inevitable evolution of the language, discoveries of more ancient texts, and increased biblical scholarship have resulted in many other translations better suited for study. For this guide I cite the New International Version (NIV) copyrighted 1973, 1978, and 1984.

Webb Garrison, A Guide to Reading the Entire Bible in One Year (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1999).

Thank you so much for taking your time to give me this :)

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 12:03 AM

Kevin Maples:

I would start with this book. It is the best concise overview help I've ever used. There are many other works with more information, but you need the big picture first. 

http://www.logos.com/product/7297/holman-quick-source-guide-to-understanding-the-bible 

Thank you, Kevin.  I will check it out.  Whew.  You guys have been awesome! 

Posts 10
Frank Eugene Booth III | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 12:04 AM

JRS:

I think Don Carson's The God Who Is There is probably one of the finest summaries of the Bible to be found anywhere.  In essence, Carson hops, skips, and jumps through Bible touching on most of the books.  Of particular value to beginners because it lays out central biblical themes centering on Christ and His efficacious redemptive effort for the people of God.  But it is also of great edification to those who are many years into the faith.  Although originally given at Jn Piper's Baptist church in Minneapolis, Carson is certainly not plugging any denomination or cadgering for money.  Just the story - wonderfully told. 

In Logos format it can be found in this collection http://www.logos.com/product/21263/the-select-works-of-d-a-carson.

The **free** audio/video series is available from the Gospel Coalition at http://thegospelcoalition.org/thegodwhoisthere.  It is a 14 part series that, if I remember correctly, runs 11 hours (but feels like three at the most Wink).

 

I will check it out.  Thank you.

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Keep Smiling 4 Jesus :) | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Aug 3 2013 8:02 PM

Frank Eugene Booth III:
I want to start reading the Bible but do so in a concise way that helps me understand what I am reading and perhaps guides me to other things of interest pertaining to the text/story at hand.

Welcome Big Smile

Noticed Logos Starter => http://www.logos.com/comparison has 14 English Bibles.  Wiki => http://wiki.logos.com/User_Contributed_Personal_Books includes link to thread => American Standard Version 1901 - Personal Bible without Chapter and Verse #'s that has a free Personal Book bible with text compared to Logos 1901 ASV.  Note: original language manuscripts did not have chapter and verse numbers.

Different people have different English preferences.

Starter includes Ryrie's Concise Guide to the Bible => http://www.logos.com/product/9080/ryries-concise-guide-to-the-bible that has:

HOW TO BEGIN

START SLOWLY

Some time ago I took up jogging. It was not the first time, but this time I succeeded. Why?
For one thing, I started slowly. In fact, I was in such poor shape I could scarcely jog at all but had to walk most of the time. The first day I walked about half a mile and was tired and somewhat dizzy at the end. But the next day I ran one of the six laps that made up my half-mile stint. Pretty soon I was slowly running that half mile. Some days I would not even go that far, and some days just a little farther. I did just enough to feel good results, but not so much that I did not want to continue.
People who need to start studying the Bible fall into two groups: those who are bursting with enthusiasm and can hardly wait to begin, and those who can hardly make themselves get going. My advice to both groups: Start slowly. Restrain your enthusiasm, or overcome your lethargy, but do not bite off too much at the beginning. Read enough to do you some good, but not so much that it becomes a chore.

CHOOSE FREELY

“What book of the Bible shall I read first?” people often ask. Whatever you would like to read, is my answer. Each of us has our own likes and dislikes, so choose freely. If you do not know much about the Bible, you probably will want to read in the New Testament first. By no means should you feel that you must start with Genesis, or even Matthew, and read consecutively. Try reading a short book in the New Testament first, say, Ephesians or James or 1 John. If you like action, try the book of Acts. If you want to read about the life of Christ, read any one of the four gospels, perhaps Mark first, because it is fast moving. I would only suggest that after you pick a book you stick with it, so that you are not just reading a chapter here and a chapter there without any continuity.

READ REGULARLY

You cannot jog successfully every other month. You cannot learn the Bible by reading it intermittently. You will have to schedule time to read so you will do it regularly. It does not have to be the same time each day. There is no special merit in reading in the morning rather than the afternoon or evening. You could even skip a day of personal reading, for instance on Sunday, when you will open the Bible in church. Regularity, not rigidity is the key.

ENJOY VARIETY

Some days you may want to read rapidly; other times slowly. No rule exists that says you must read a chapter a day. Some year you may want to try to read the Bible completely through. But at the beginning it is probably better to read more slowly. Indeed, some find it helpful to take a short book and read it, say, a dozen times before going on to another book. But if you get bored with that much rereading, by all means start another book right away. If you are tired some day and do not think you can concentrate, read a psalm or some of the proverbs. Variety, not formula, is the key.


Ryrie, Charles Caldwell. (1983). Ryrie’s Concise guide to the Bible (pp. 54–55). San Bernardino, CA: Here’s Life Publishers.

logosres:ryriecncgdbbl;ref=Page.p_54;off=483

Rosie Perera:
If possible, secure a copy of the Bible (or individual books from it) that you will feel free to mark and underscore. Even slight notations, such as exclamation points and question marks in the margins, will help you to conserve your discoveries and turn to them again and again.  [Logos has a Notes feature that will allow you to do this.]

Thankful for a printed Bible with many colorful highlights and a note: digging for treasure can take a lot of effort.  Thankful for Logos note(s) and highlighting that can be turned on or off.

English is not Greek; lacks range of verbal expression.  My favorite Logos feature is highlighting original language morphological usage so can see range of verbal expression in a passage; wiki has => http://wiki.logos.com/Extended_Tips_for_Highlighting_and_Visual_Filters#Examples_of_visual_filters

Frank Eugene Booth III:
Is there perhaps another set of on-line books that would help me on my journey through the Bible with the help of Logos 5?

When want more encyclopedia articles in Logos, may want to consider => http://www.logos.com/product/8588/the-essential-ivp-reference-collection-version-3

Keep Smiling Smile

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