First Things First

We’re ready to start having fun! You’ll need a few supplies to begin because all experts have their equipment.

You’ll need a set of colored pencils. My recommendation is that you get a box of no more than 12 pencils. Any more than 12 and you will spend a lot of time searching for the same shade of green that you used yesterday, and you’ll waste time. The cadillac of colored pencil is a brand called Prismacolor. They average about a dollar per pencil, which may seem spendy, but they really are worth it. You also need a small set of markers. You’ll be happiest with the finest tip marker you can find – I use Prismacolor or those sold at scrapbooking stores.

You’ll also need a Strong’s concordance. They run about $23.00 at www.amazon.com or at a Christian book store. You need to be careful in buying a Stong’s, though. Strongs come in several Bible translations – King James, New American Standard and NIV. You want to have the Strong’s that matches the Bible translation that you are studying. I’m going to suggest that you study from a word-for-word translation, which are King James, New American Standard, or English Standard Version. Therefore, if you choose to study from New American Standard, the Strong’s you buy would say “Strongest NASB.” If you already own a Strong’s – one you’ve had for years, it’s most likely a King James Strong’s.

Inductive study is most easily accomplished on type-written standard sheets of paper. In other words, you won’t be using the markers or colored pencils in your Bible. I use http://unbound.biola.edu for getting whole books of the Bible off the internet.  On that site choose the version you’d like to study (I always use New American Standard) and enter the book into the site’s search fields. Then cut and paste the entire book into a Word document. You then should double space the entire document, which you do by highlighting the document then clicking on “file, paragraph, double space.” There are many sites that offer you the ability to copy and paste Bible text – I like unbound.biola because each verse begins on a new line and there are no added marks in the text, like cross-reference notations. I also manipulate the spacing so that each chapter begins at the top of a new page. My experience has found that I’m much happier and less confused when I print on only one side of the page. Even though I at first felt that I was “wasting” paper, the time I save by never having to look on the back of the paper was worth it.

So now you’ve got a book of the Bible typed out on regular paper, you’ve got a Strong’s to match it, and you’ve got colored pencils and markers. The only other things you need are a lot of blank paper and your Bible! You are ready to go!

We are going to begin by studying the book of Titus. Why? For several reasons. One is that it’s the book that I learned to study on. Another is that it’s chock full of rich theology, and the third is that it’s really short! All fine attributes for a book of the Bible!

Go to http://unbound.biola.edu and get your Titus sheets, double space them, make sure that each chapter begins a new page, and print it off. Round up your colored pencils, fine tip markers, extra paper and pens. Purchase your Strongest NASB (or your choice) and check back in for how to proceed!

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