Have you ever had a Bible you loved? I’ve had a few over the years. I have a Thompson Chain Reference Bible that I used for years and cherished. About four years ago I purchased a new Translation called The Voice and I still love the poetic touch the interpreters put into this translation. I wanted it because I had reached a point in my previous Bible where I was skimming rather than reading because the translation was so familiar to me. Reading a new translation caused me to really read again. I’m sure you know what I mean. But, I really didn’t love my last two Bibles and, for a woman of the Word, it’s important to love the Bible you’re reading. So, here are 8 Study Bibles for Women in the Word.
I’ve owned the King James Version, New King James Version, New Life, The Message, New American Standard, Amplified, Living Bible, New International Version, and The Voice. I’ve had various forms of Study Bibles like the Thompson Chain Reference, ones with huge Concordance’s, some with no Concordance, maps and no maps, Word Studies and no studies, and extra-large to pocket size.
I just bought a new Bible that is an updated version of one I had before. It’s the Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Third Edition. I have fallen in love with a Bible all over again! That prompted this blog and, while I will feature some Bibles from a prior blog. I am focusing on the Spirit-Filled Life Bible, Third Edition, and using it as an example to help you get started with in-depth Bible Study and be one of those wise women in the Word!
Study Bibles for Women In The Word
I’ve studied the Bible for years and firmly believe that every Christian should be doing the same. Because I’ve taught the Word in many different capacities throughout my life, I’ve been compelled to do my best to teach the truth and to know the truth of the Word.
Not long after I was first saved, I came across the teachings of Pastor Jack Hayford, founder of the Church On the Way in Van Nuys, California. He was funny and a world-respected teacher from whom I learned more about the Word in a way I could understand and use. I discovered the first edition of the Spirit-Filled Life Bible at that time. It was a great Study Bible then and is even better now. Pastor Jack Hayford is the Executive Director, with a multitude of contributors.
In 2018, the Third Edition produced wonderful upgrades and, as I said, caused me to love my Bible again!
I wrote a blog in January – 7 Best Study Bibles for 2020. So, why am I talking about Study Bibles again? Because, if you want to be a Woman of the Word, you need a Study Bible and I want to tell you why this one is great. There are many others that are wonderful also and I will list them below.
The Importance of Bible Study
The kind of study I am talking about is more than reading a verse each day. While that is an excellent practice, you need more. Why? Because the Bible itself tells us that we need to know, understand, apply, and handle it with wisdom and expertise.
I read a lot. I read some books and then immediately forget what they said because their content was simply entertaining and I had no need to retain information from the book. There are other books that have helped to change my life and my viewpoint in various areas of life like Watchman Nee’s book, The Normal Christian Life. The Bible should be the most life-changing book you will ever read, but it can only change your life when it becomes part of you – when you live it.
Paul told Timothy this, “Be diligent to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV While most of us are not called to do what Timothy was called to do, this exhortation still applies to us because all of us have a responsibility to handle the Word of God correctly. The only way to do that is through study.
Jesus said this, “Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed in Him, If you abide in my Word, you are my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:31-32 NKJV Abiding in the Word indicates the need to occupy, remain, abide, stay, or wait. We are to live in the Word. The promise of Jesus is that we will then know the truth and the truth will make us free! What better reason could we find to engage in in-depth Bible Study?
There are lots of Scriptures telling of the benefits of studying the Word:
“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever. The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned; in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 NIV
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11 NIV
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1:23 NIV
“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV
“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV
There are many more Scriptures telling you of the authority of the Word and the necessity of making it part of your life. Also, there are many methods of Bible Study and I will list just a few of them here.
- Word Study – researching a word (grace, mercy, peace, etc.).
- Character Analysis – learning about 1 character in the Bible.
- Topical Bible Study – take a topic (salvation by grace, creation, atonement, blood) and do extensive research using the Word, Concordances, books, Commentaries, and more.
- Chapter Summary – write your own outline and summary of a chapter in the Bible.
- S.O.A.P. – Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.
- R.E.A.P – Read, Examine, Apply, Pray.
- A.P.P.L.E. – Attributes of God, Promises of God, Principles for Life, Lesson Learned, Example to Follow
- W.O.R.D. – Write, Observe, Relevant, Declare.
- A.C.T. – Ask, Chapter, Think.
- Inductive – Observation (what did God say?), Interpretation (what did God mean?), Application (what is God saying to me?).
- C.O.M.A. – Context, Observation, Meaning, Application.
- P.O.W.E.R. – Prayer, Observe, Write, Envision, Response.
- R.E.S.T. – Read, Engage, Savor, Take Charge.
- F.E.A.S.T. – Focus, Engage, Assess, Spark, Turn.
As you can see, there are many methods of Bible Study. Bible Study Tools are also abundant. The Internet provides all of them and many are free. You can go to BibleGateway.com and read almost every version of the Bible. Same for You Version. BibleHub.com offers Commentaries, Concordances, and various versions. Blue Letter Bible offers many of the same resources. Each of these tools are important and useful to you in having a full understanding of what you are reading.
Context Is Important
Years ago, I sat under the teaching of Pastor Dick Iverson. One of his favorite sayings in regard to study and teaching was this – A text without a context is a pretext. What did that mean? I’ve had many experiences where I heard someone tell me the meaning of a particular verse, or quote the Bible and interpret it. Yet, when I read what came before and after the verse that was being used, it was clear that, to me, the verse had nothing to do with what the teacher was talking about because it had been taken completely out of context.
The ‘before’ and ‘after’ of a verse makes a difference. This is the context. With no context, the text can become a pretext – “a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs” – Webster’s Dictionary. A pretext is an imposter. It looks and sounds good but it’s not the real thing. It’s a form of deception.
Context also involves the situation, the time, the place, and the people involved. Where you live, what year it is, what your life-situation is, and the other people involved in your life are all part of the context of your life at any given time. It’s important to understand context in relationship to the Word.
Below is another Bible Study Method I use because I am a ‘why’ person and, when I’m doing in-depth study, I have questions I want to ask about what I’m reading so that I can put a verse, a section, a chapter, or a Book into its proper context.
The 6W’s & 1H simple Bible Study Method:
- W – Write. Write out the Scripture you’re studying. Of course, if you are studying a Book of the Bible, this won’t be practical. But, if you’re studying one verse, a section of verses, or even a Chapter, write out what you are reading. If the Chapter is particularly long, write out just the verses that speak to you.
- W – Who? Identify the people involved. The author and the audience to begin with. Do some reading about the author. Google the author and the audience. When we put a person’s words into the context of their life, it often changes our attitudes toward them and what they have said or written.
- W – When? When was this written? This matters because, as you study the full context of the verse(s), when is important. It helps you understand the author and the audience.
- W – Where? Where does this take place? If you’re reading the book of Philippians, it will help you to understand more about Paul (the author), the Philippians (the audience), the conditions people were living in at the time, and what the city of Phillipi was like. What struggles were the people facing? Can you identify with them?
- W – What? What is the author trying to communicate? What is God saying to you right now? What does this have to do with your life? What can you apply to yourself?
- W – Why? Why does this matter? Why did God send this message through this author? Why does it matter to you right now at this moment?
- H – How? How does this apply to you right now? How can this verse become part of you? How can you use it to grow, change, mature, and help others?
All of this may sound overwhelming but it really isn’t. A good Study Bible will cover a lot of the things you are looking for and help you get started easily. One more thing I do is color-coding, underlining, or highlighting. I created my own color code and you can do the same. Also, just go to the Internet and search for Bible Color Coding. There are lots of examples – here is mine:
- Pink – Worship and praise
- Orange – Growth, commands, laws, fruitfulness, precepts, obedience
- Blue – Prayer and the Holy Spirit
- Purple – Attributes of God, names of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit
- Red – Christ’s work, salvation, the heart
- Green – Promises, who I am in Him
- Brown – Names, times, locations, places, numbers
- Yellow – Things that are special to me, eternity, and heaven
I underline and here is the pen I use. It’s the Pentel Arts 8 Color Automatic Pencil and you can buy it here on Amazon. You can also purchase it from other places. It’s a crayon pen and I love it because I can underline with no bleed-through or tearing the page. I’m not an Amazon affiliate. Here is a picture of it and it.s also available in The Shoppe.
Here’s a link to purchase the Spirit Filled Living Bible, Third Edition. Just click on the picture.
Get Started Being a Woman Of the Word
When I first started in-depth Bible Study, there was no internet – just lots of books, paper, and pencils along with a typewriter! I kept a variety of translations, a Strong’s Concordance, and 2-3 sets of Commentaries. Some of the commentaries included maps and historical information that helped put the verse, chapter, or Book of the Bible in context. Strong’s Concordance and a Dictionary helped me understand the meaning of words as used in context.
Today, you can buy a Bible like the Spirit-Filled Life Bible that incorporates parts of all these tools. If you still don’t understand or you need more clarity – go to Google but verify everything you read!
I want to interject this – read for enjoyment also. Find a translation you like and just read. Right now, I’m reading The Passion Translation and very much enjoying the emphasis on our passion for God. I quote it in my blogs because of that emphasis.
Prayer – I am assuming that you know that prayer is the ingredient that blends everything else together! Everything starts, continues, and ends with it. It’s part of your life everyday and prayer should be an integral part of all your Bible Study and reading.
Go On A Treasure Hunt Through the Word
Now, add in-depth study to your pleasure reading and look at it like a Treasure Hunt! The gems of insight you gather, will enrich your life and make the Word come alive. Knowing that Paul wrote the book of Philippians from a jail cell rather than a fancy house, changes your understanding of his words and sacrifice!
Here are some of the tools included in the Spirit Filled Life Study Bible:
- Truth in Action: Letting the life of the Holy Spirit bring faith’s works alive in you! These helpful thematic charts summarize the foundations and teachings of each book and then invite you to act upon the summons the Holy Spirit is issuing in the Word. Challenging you to take the Truth and put it in to action.
- Guided Prayer Prompts tied to key Scriptures throughout the Bible. Praying the Word offers close to 200 brief, potent prayers within the Bible acting as a prompt to respond to specific passages of Scripture.
- Kingdom Dynamics focus on hundreds of challenging Bible topics in-line with the Scripture text. New and leading Spirit-filled voices present the “power points” of a Spirit-filled life from 1. Foundational Precepts, 2. Life-Releasing Promises, 3. Relational Priorities, and 4. Practical Power Principles.
- Word Wealth notes help illuminate scripture for a more intimate knowledge of God’s Word. Over 650 word studies shed light on key terms, drawing important meaning from the original Greek & Hebrew.
- Easy to read type using the exclusive, custom designed NKJV Comfort Print® typeface. Thomas Nelson NKJV Comfort Print® Typeface blends tradition with the best advances in modern typography. The result is a font that’s traditional—reflecting the Christian church’s rooting in ancient spiritual truths and practices—but also entirely relevant and fresh, with modern design flourishes geared toward beauty and readability for readers today.
- Revised, detailed book introductions and outlines help you to understand each book’s historical background to provide context for deeper understanding.
- Verse-by-verse study notes explain and illuminate your understanding of specific passages.
- Charts featured throughout provide a big picture perspective on topics such as feasts, history, visions, and missionary travels.
- In-text maps help you visualize and more deeply understand biblical events, journeys, people and places.
There are other Study Bibles that have similar features and they are all great. Here are the ones I noted in my previous blog:
- NIV Life Application Study Bible
- MacArthur Study Bible
- Thompson Chain Reference NKJV
- The Amplified Bible
- NLT Spirit-Filled Life Bible
- NASB New Inductive Study Bible
- Interlinear Hebrew-Greek English Bible
This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full affiliate disclosure here.
Whenever I read any commentary, I verify. I read other translations and Commentaries comparing viewpoints In this way, I can then make my own decision about what I believe God is saying to me and to the world in general. I know that God can take a verse completely out-of-context and teach me from it. However, I also understand the necessity of ‘knowing’ the Word in such a way as to be able to discern truth from lies and be set free as Jesus promised.
Be like the Bereans (These), “These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11 NKJV
The Importance of Bible Study
We need to know the Word well enough to recognize deception and to use the Word to defeat our enemy. This is the importance of Bible Study.
I can say I know certain people. However, the truth, I simply know some facts about them but don’t really ‘know’ them. I don’t know their innermost being. We can do the same thing with the Word. I might even have some Scripture memorized yet not really know the Word to the point that I could use it effectively against the enemy or protect myself from deception. Matthew 24:24 says that, in the last days, even the ‘elect’ could be deceived! But, a firm foundation built on a deep and intimate knowledge of the Word and the God of the Word will keep you safe.
The Word of God is your best weapon against the enemy and his lies. It’s what Jesus when He went into the wilderness. Where the children of Israel had failed during their time in the wilderness, Jesus conquered. First, the enemy tempted (tested) Jesus to turn stones into bread. Yes, He could have done that but, He chose to quote the Word, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.;”
In the next test, the devil challenged Him – if you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from this pinnacle. And the devil even quoted Psalm 91:11-12, NKJV, “He shall give His angels charge over you, and, in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone‘” But Jesus knew that this would simply amount to testing God. Jesus only did what the Father told Him to do. No twisted use of the Word was going to work. He replied: “It is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'” Deuteronomy 6:16 NKJV
The last test was to see if Jesus would bow down and worship the devil in exchange for all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. Again, Jesus used the Word of God, Matthew 4:10, NKJV, “Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”
That same wisdom and ability to discern the truth, even when Scripture is being used by the enemy, and to quote the Word of God instantly, is meant to be ours!
Women In The Word
What a wonderful privilege we have as women in the Word and of the Word. As you go deeper and deeper into the Word of God, you will find strength, peace, and a settled faith living inside you. The Word bears fruit, fills, refines, and changes each of us as we spend more and more time making it a part of us in every way.
Check out the various types of Bible Study Methods and look up each of the Study Bibles I’ve recommended here. Then – get started on your Treasure Hunt in the Word of God! Find new revelation, hope, information, and inspiration in the Word of God.
To help you out, I have created some Bible Study Sheets for you to print out and use for the 6W’s & 1H Bible Study Method. Click on the image below and download the free Study Sheets. Have some fun, try it out, then try out some of the other methods till you find one that works for you.
Be blessed and inspired to flourish in the Word of God! Next week we will look at how to use the insights you have gained from your study!
**WM uses verses from different Bible translations. To see more information about the copyright for each one, please visit this page – Scripture Citations.
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