Understanding the Bible Part 1

A number of you sent me messages about last week’s post and we seem to be in agreement that a knowledge of the Bible is essential for a serious disciple. With today’s post I will begin the journey of how we can study the Bible on our own. Listening to sound Biblical preaching or podcasts are important ways to learn what the Bible teaches. Right Now Media is full of video Bible studies by some of the best Bible teachers in North America, but it is important that we learn how to study the Word of God on our own. Please let me introduce you to some methods I have learned in my nearly forty years of vocational ministry.

It is extremely important for a follower of Jesus to have a good knowledge of the Bible, but no one ever gets to the point where they feel like they have the Bible completely mastered. It has been said that the Bible is like a puddle that is shallow enough for a small child to wade in, but also deep enough for an elephant to swim in. No matter how long we have studied it, we will continually be surprised by new insights. With that in mind I won’t try to compress what I have learned of the Bible into a few hundred words, rather I want to give you a couple tools to help you better interact with the Word of God. The first is word study. In this we will look at how a specific word is used in the scripture and then summarize those findings into a working definition. There are some words that are used hundreds of times and are difficult survey and summarize.

So, where and how do we start? If you have a Bible program on your computer, you can check to see how often a specific word is used. I want to start with the first word study I did as a Bible College student. I chose the Greek word koinonia which often, but not always is translated as fellowship. This will take a while but will yield some worthwhile results. In the table that follows are the nine instances in the New Testament where the word koinonia appears. Read each passage in a couple of different translations and note how the word was translated and then summarize what you understand the word to mean in that passage.

PassageHow word was translatedSummary of meaning
Acts 2:42        
1 Cor. 10:16        
2 Cor. 6:14        
2 Cor. 13:13        
Gal. 2:9        
Phil. 1:4,5        
Phil. 2:1      
Philemon 1:6        
1 John 1:3        

Now, write out your working definition of the word koinonia as it is used in the New Testament. Please share that in the comments section. Also let me know if this was at all helpful to you.

Until next week, Keep the Son in Your Eyes.

2 thoughts on “Understanding the Bible Part 1

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for your post of March 30. I had never paid much attention to the word Koinonia even though all our grandchildren have attended the Koinonia Christian School in Red Deer, Alberta. It is a K-12 school and is instrumental in keeping kids in the faith during their school years and when they go on after graduation. It is a place of fellowship for sure and I’m glad you included the Bible verses. 1John1:3-4 really captures the inspiration of koinonia for the school in Red Deer. John states that we have fellowship with each other and our fellowship is also with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. I would say that koinonia fellowship is a vital component of any Christian School.

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  2. Mary Ens

    Koinenia Most of the time,in my translations,this referrs to fellowship. When I think of fellowship, I think of feeling at home with friends. Sharing about things that are good and not good, and knowing that we’re heard. It is often a time of eating together, but not a priority.

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