Thursday, April 25, 2024

Five Bible Hub Tips for Beginners

Big Idea: Five tips on how someone new toBible study can use Bible Hub.

Five Bible Hub Tips for Beginners

When you are new to Bible Study you need something that makes the Bible meaningful and exploration exciting.

Using Bible Hub might be like a college student having a gourmet kitchen. It has way more available than you need right now! But it is still going to be very useful to you!

1. Find your Bible Passage

a. Start with the menu at the very top at

b. You can also put your book or reference in the search bar at the top.

When you read a verse or chapter you can quickly move to the next chapter or verse using the blue arrows.

c. You can choose a Bible translation by the top abbreviations. Here are some very good translations to use.

  • NIV- New International Version (used in many evangelical churches)
  • NLT- New Living Translation (very easy to read and understand)
  • ESV – English Standard Version (Considered very reliable to the original Bible)
  • NAS- New American Standard Bible (Considered very reliable to the original Bible)
d. Listen to the Audio Bible

Hit the word Audio on the home page. You can choose from 3 voices.

2. Use the BBB feature at

The BBB abbreviation means Book by Book, Wilmington’s Bible at a Glance. It will give you the Bottom Line introduction, the author of the book, key people places and events, etc.

You would also benefit from the OUT feature, which is the outline of a book. This too, is useful for your study to see the flow and ideas that you will be reading about in that book of the Bible.


3. Topical Information

a. Go to the menu from Topical on the right, or the tile mid page that says Topical.

b. There is a topical search in the center and you can enter a word like “peace.”

From the menu on this page you see the words Concordance, Dictionary, Encyclopedia, etc. These are all resources which are part of the topical search.

c. Always look at the concordance references that come up. Those are Bible verses that are connected to the subject. This called letting Scripture interpret Scripture. Always put what the Bible says first.

Another link from Bible Hub is the abbreviation TSK, which stands for the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge.  It is like a concordance.  It brings together other Bible verses to help your understanding of a verse you are studying.

4. Use the Atlas feature

On the same upper right drop down menu you will find Atlas as a choice, or on the tiles in the middle. Since all our Bible stories occurred in the Middle Eastern part of the world, it is useful to look at a map to see the geographic situation.

An example is when the Hebrews are slaves in Egypt and Moses leads them through the desert. This is a very different map from one about Jesus at Capernaum by the Sea of Galilee.

It is it's own webpage at 

5. The Parallel Bible

Though you may have a favorite Bible translation, sometimes it may not be clear to you. It is always useful to compare how other Bible translations explain the verse.

There are times when a word in the original language is complex or have more nuance to it. Looking at other translations may be enriching to your understanding.

In the third bar on top in the middle, PCH stands for parallel chapters. It will give you five Bible translations of the passage side-by-side.

Parallel will lead you to one verse in many translations.

The Word of God always comes first!

When you are new to the Bible, it is important to stay in the Bible, not read a lot of extra writings and commentaries. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read.

Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Psalm 119:34 NLT

There are many great Bible tools around! Just be sure studying them does not replace the primary importance of the Bible! The Word of God always comes first! Read it today!

This series is about Bible study tools. There are many types of Bibles and helpful resources like a concordance or Bible dictionary. Information about their book and their electronic version are included. Cost and “how to use” included.


Previous: Ten BibleProject Tips: Get the Most out of BibleProject
Up next: Five Advanced Bible Hub Tips



1. What role might prayer play in Bible study? 

2. Go to the Topical Page and type "Heart" into the mid-page search. When options come up, click on the first.  Look it over and think about what insight it gives you. 

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Ten BibleProject Tips: Get the most out of BibleProject

Big Idea: Ten tips to get the most out of the massive BibleProject resources.

Getting The Most out of The BibleProject

Our mission is to help people experience the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus. 
The BibleProject

The BibleProject creates beautiful videos and posters for understanding the Bible better. They have podcasts, classes and articles; all very well done and of practical use.

You've probably seen the informative videos. There’s a lot more! All are available on YouTube too! Here are some tips toward making use of them.

1. Become familiar with videos by category.

Their baseline videos introduce every book of the Bible, telling the culture, theme, shape and main message. The final picture is available as a PDF that you can download for free.

Other categories are the How-To-Read-The-Bible series, Themes, Biblical word videos, and some called visual commentaries. Explore these by list. Try one out. Most are only 5-7 minutes long.

2. How-To-Read-The-Bible series: both basic and deep videos

This series is not just for a junior higher or a brand new Christian wondering what to do with the book. The first couple videos help the most basic need.

But various literary styles are treated such as poetry and apocalyptic literature, giving tips as to how to read them.

Check the list out here.

3. Pair the Book Introduction video with Bible Reading

BibleProject reading plans intersperse introductory videos with the reading of the corresponding book of the Bible.

Whether you are leading a Bible study or personally reading through a book of the Bible, taking time to watch the introductory video is useful.

4. Print/download PDF poster accompanying the Book video

The final sketch of each introductory book video becomes a PDF poster. It can be downloaded at their website for free and printed off. It is legal sized but can also fit on a regular 8”x11.5” paper.

Fold it and keep it in your Bible while you are studying the book, referring to it.

Book of Ephesians Sketched

5. Try one of their Bible Reading plans (30+)

Our church has encouraged the whole church to follow a BibleProject reading plan at YouVersion through the year. There are 365 day plans and much shorter plans. Check them out here.

6. Download the BibleProject App: videos and podcasts you can use anywhere

Like the website the app has all the videos, podcasts, articles and classes on it. You can download anything to your device and listen offline. A friend of mind listens to the podcasts while she rakes leaves, washes dishes, and drives the kids on errands around town. She’s listened to them all.

7. Practice Skill Studies on the App

The BibleProject App is not equal to the website. The website has some additional material like video scripts. But the app has something special. 

A Skill Studies section under the title “Explore” is at the bottom of the app. Some of it is almost like a game where you collect links to themes, and take quizzes when you’ve finished a section.

It has 3 categories: Pattern, Style and Structure. When you choose one they combine videos, recommended podcasts, articles, links and quizzes to walk you through a theme or section of the Bible.

8. Find podcasts by series

There are over 400 podcasts (most over an hour long) that cover books of the Bible, themes, Q&A from listeners, and all manner of questions about the Bible.

If you jump in now, you can subscribe to the one that comes out each week on a podcast app. You could use the search feature for a specific subject.

Or you can go to the podcasts by series and see what interests you. There are over 10 podcasts for each book of Moses, for instance. There are podcasts for themes, like the Character of God.

9. Take a Bible class for free

Tim Mackie, one of the founders of BibleProject, has a PhD in Semitic Languages and Biblical Studies. He is a seminary professor at Western Seminary and loves preaching. He has several 15 hour Bible Classes free online. There are a couple other well qualified teachers as well.

10. Recommend a video in another language (55+)

Imagine having a friend who is an immigrant, or a pen pal by email, somewhere in the world. They may have questions about the Bible and you can now refer them to a BibleProject video in their own language!

On the website, under the Resources tab, is the category Localization. This is where you start for finding which videos have been translated. Some have more translated so far than others because of the need for translators.

This series is about Bible study tools. There are many types of Bibles and helpful resources like a concordance or Bible dictionary. Information about their book and their electronic version are included. Cost and “how to use” is addressed.


Previous: How Read the Bible for All Its Worth
Up next: Five Bible Hub Tips for Beginners



1. If you have seen a BibleProject video before, what was your impression? Did you learn something new from it? 

2. Look over the theme videos and choose one to watch. Ask God to to give you insight. Reflect on what speaks to you through it.   Theme video link



Thursday, April 11, 2024

How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth: Coffee Pot Conversations

Picture of open book featured

Big Idea: The book "How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth" is extremely useful for understanding the Bible because it approaches the various sections of the Bible by genre, giving helpful tips for reading and interpretation.

Coffee Pot Conversations

Coffee pot in front of theological books
The joke goes like this. “Two Seminary Professors go up to a Barista…”

Seriously, though, it was in the Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary corridors that a New Testament scholar (Gordon Fee) ran into an Old Testament scholar (Douglas Stuart). 

The coffee pot was where most theological discussions took place at the seminary where my husband and I studied.

“Hey I’ve got an idea for a book on understanding the Bible. Could you look it over and give your thoughts?”

After reading it, Douglas Stuart suggested, “Let’s call it 'How to Read the Bible For All Its Worth'.”


Fee at Gordon Conwell

Gordon Fee, son of a Pentecostal minister with serious respect for the Word of God and its life application, became a preacher and seminary professor.

He got the idea for this book from speaking in churches. He often taught seminars or Sunday School classes on reading the Bible by understanding the genre in which it was written.

“Why has no one ever told us how helpful this is to Bible study?” people said over and over to him.

The rest is not history

It did not sell well immediately till an astute editor at Zondervan Publishing sent hundreds of copies across America to church teachers, and it took off like crazy!

Over a million copies are now in print.

There have been 4 updated editions and a couple of sequels.

Some have indicated this book is for seminary students. NOT TRUE! It’s for all who want to read and understand the Bible better!

holding up book

Also of note. The first edition 1981, Second edition 1993, Third edition 2003, Fourth 2014. It is useful to read any of them. Most of the updates have to do with updating newer, more reliable Bible translations and how they help. Some clarify things that were not understood in earlier editions. Gordon Fee died recently in 2022. Douglas Stuart is still a Biblical Scholar teaching at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary.

If you find an older edition at a thrift shop or used bookstore, feel free to grab it and glean from its wisdom. They still give a ton of great advice.

Why is it so helpful?

It teaches you to pay attention to the genre (style) of the Bible section you are reading. It is best to read for instance Psalmist poetry differently from Gospel parables. Your approach, understanding and application would vary greatly between the two.

This is not rocket science but most people never think of this, nor how helpful it can be.

The tips offered in each section are insightful. They unlock great keys to correctly discern the purpose and lessons.

It is great to know that both Fee and Stuart deeply love God, the Bible, and want it to be applied to people’s daily lives. They are not dusty old professors in a high tower of oblivion.

How the chapters work

Note this is my quick digest of the book. You will find someone has posted a very good outline (55 pages worth) on squarespace (click here) that you can read that is more thorough.

There is a PDF of the entire book second edition if you click here.

My digest of what the chapters address

1. Introduction: the Need to Interpret

What is the nature of Scripture, and what is Exegesis and Hermeneutics and why do we need to learn to do them?

2. The Basic Tool: A Good Translation

Since most of us don’t know the original languages of the Bible, we rely on good English translations. What is important to a good Bible translation?

3. The Epistles: Learning to Think Contextually

Each one of these are written for a specific audience and occasion. We should look at the historical and literary context of these passages to understand what they say to us today.

4. The Epistles: The Hermeneutical Questions

The two basic rules for interpretation are established. Guidelines are given for what is indifferent and matters that are vital. The cultural contextual guidelines specific to the New Testament are discussed.

5. The Old Testament Narratives: Their Proper Use

What narrative stories are all about, what they do for us and how we should not use them. Principles they present for interpretation are very valuable. Caution guardrails suggested are immensely useful.

6. Acts: The Question of Historical Precedent

The key focus and model that emerges through the stories of Acts give perspective. Three helpful principles are given to apply to these historical narratives.

7. The Gospel: One Story, Many Dimensions

There are four Gospels; none are written by Jesus. They give sayings and stories; each author with their own emphasis. The historical context and literary context are reminders how to examine them in this time period.

8. The Parables: Do You Get the Point?

Look at the audience to whom it was given, notice what kind of parable it is (story, similitude, metaphor or simile, epigram), how it functions for the original audience. Suggestions where to begin with interpretation.

9. The Law(s) Covenant : Stipulations for Israel

What the Old Testament law is, how to handle the Old Covenant in light of the New Covenant, what we can learn from the old laws even for those non-applicable for us today. Laws categorized; apadictic, casuistic, food, about blood, unusual prohibitions and blessings. Helpful list of do’s and don’t’s.

10. The Prophets: Enforcing the Covenant in Israel

The nature of prophecy, the function of prophecy, the task of understanding, forms of utterance (lawsuit, woe, promise), poetry and suggestions for interpretation with a caution, a concern and a benefit.

11. The Psalms: Israel’s Prayer and Ours

Notation that the Psalms were often not God’s spoken words to people, but words spoken to God or about Him (inspired by Him of course). Look at the Psalms as poetry, as literature, and how it was used in ancient Israel. Types of Psalms; Lament, thanksgiving, hymns of praise, salvation history, celebration or affirmation, wisdom, and trust. Three benefits of the Psalms explained.

12. Wisdom: Then and Now

The nature of wisdom, its’ abuse, limits, and who is considered wise. Ecclesiastes, Job and Proverbs addressed differently as well as the Song of Songs.

13. The Revelation: Images of Judgment and Hope

The nature of Revelation (as Apocalyptic, Prophecy and Epistle). Principles to apply to understanding it and helpful tips for interpretation give insight.

I highly recommend referring to this book when you are studying specific sections of the Bible.

The Word of God always comes first!

There are many great Bible tools around! Just be sure studying them does not replace the primary importance of the Bible! The Word of God always comes first! Read it today!

This series is about Bible study tools. There are many types of Bibles and helpful resources like a concordance or Bible dictionary. Information about their book and their electronic version are included. Cost and “how to use” are addressed.


Previous: What the Bible is All About: by the Amazing Henrietta Mears
Up next: Ten BibleProject Tips: Get the most out of BibleProject 



1. Have you ever felt afraid to try to interpret the Bible from reading it on your own?

2. Do you get much out of reading it? Why do you think that is or is not? What helps or what do you think might help? 

If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5 NLT

Thursday, April 4, 2024

What the Bible is All About: by the amazing Henrietta Mears

 Holding a book

Big Idea: Check out the classic book What the Bible is All About by the amazing Henrietta Mears.

Amazing Bible Influencer

Imagine being in charge of Christian education in your church and growing the program to 4200 people in two years’ time! This was Henrietta Mears’ story.

Henrietta Mears (1890-1963) was a super duper Scripture Spy. Not only did she dig into the Bible passionately, she wanted everyone to become passionate about it too!

Big names she influenced

Here is a starting list of those she impacted:

1. Bill Bright who wrote the well known Four Spiritual Laws tract and started the program now called CRU

2. Dawson Trotman who started the Navigators Ministry.

3. Billy Graham. She prodded him to have the Los Angelas Crusade in 1949 which launched his career as an Evangelist.

4. She started her own publishing company for her Sunday School materials, The Gospel Light (now part of David C. Cook Publishing)

Check out a review of the book about her, Mother of Modern Evangelicalism by Arlin Migliazzo.

Here is a one minute video from the Museum of the Bible on Henrietta Mears.

Her legacy: a book with over 4 million printed copies

Probably her most influential legacy was a thick book entitled, “What the Bible is All About.” It has sold over 4 million copies since published in 1953.

The book is a great resource for someone brand new to the Bible and for anyone serious about Bible study. It has great summaries and excellent background information. It pulls things together.

Here is the publisher’s summary of what the book presents:

· Provide a complete guide to the Scriptures
· Explain how Jesus is revealed in the Old and New Testaments
· Show why the Bible is one book, one history, one story
· Introduce key people in biblical history
· Give historical background for every major event
· Highlight recurring biblical themes
· Provide helpful reading plans, maps, and charts, and other study helps

I never knew of this book growing up. I wish I had! There have been so many printed editions. It is easy reading and very insightful. Find a copy and see for yourself!

The Word of God always comes first!

There are many great Bible tools around! Just be sure studying them does not replace the primary importance of the Bible! The Word of God always comes first!


This series is about Bible study tools. There are many types of Bibles and helpful resources like a concordance or Bible dictionary. Information about their book and their electronic version are included. Cost and “how to use” will be addressed.


Previous: Jesus in Real Life: Resources about everyday life in Bible Times
Up next: How to read the Bible for all its worth: Coffee pot conversations



1. The third bullet point indicates it shows why the Bible is one book, one history, one story. What would that one story be? Reflect on this. Wrestle with it. Pray on it.