November 26, 2020 –
The first graduate course test I took was from the Author, Dr. David Schwartz, a disaster. The exam had five questions: The first question was, “What is your professor’s name”? The second and third questions came from material in the preface, and the fourth question had to do with the information in the Introduction. The last question dealt with a footnote on page 3 of the first chapter of the class book.
I knew this wasn’t a good start. I misspelled the professor’s name, and, up to then, I had never read a Preface, Introduction, or looked at a footnote.
Over the past fifty-plus years, I have taught several Sunday school classes. My first lesson begins with a question: “When was the last time you looked at the maps in your Bible?” The answers are always the same. Many Bible students don’t know there are maps in the back of their Bible. Those that do can’t remember the last time they looked at or referenced the maps.
Many people use the Bible’s Table of Contents when they need to reference a particular Book. They arrange many Bible Table of Contents in the order the book appears in the Bible. A few Bibles organize the Books in alphabet order. I suppose that is to help those with little or no Bible knowledge.
Spiritual growth results from knowing the Author, reading, and learning the 66 Books material. To understand better where events happened, studying the maps, and learning the sixty-six books’ names and order.
The next time you read the Bible, don’t overlook the footnotes, maps, topical indexes, charts, dictionaries, and more. For the sake of the church, we can only hope more of its members open their Bible. The growing Christian is a Bible student.