Ever wonder how pastors are able to connect several scriptures together from all over the Bible about a specific topic? Have you ever thought to yourself, “how’d they come up with that?” after listening to a sermon? Sure, part of the pastor’s job description is to study the Bible. They also went to school to basically study the Bible too. While there are popular verses that most ministers know, most don’t claim to have the Bible memorized. The secret is a good reference Bible.
When I wrote the upcoming book, Kingdom Driven Leader and posts like What it means to be a helpmeet I used the online reference guides on BibleGateway. Recently they sent me the Thompson Chain Reference Guide Bible to review (as part of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid) and when I got it I thought it was my Birthday. I love searching on the internet but having a book that you can see the scripture next to the references and be able to connect the dots is pretty amazing. To be honest I often want and buy Bibles that have a study element and while this guide is as good as any at helping you connect the dots on references.
For example, when Jesus utters His dying words on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” most good Bibles with any study elements will at least reference Psalm 22:1. The Thompson Chain Reference Guide starts the section with the cross-reference (pun!) of every instance that Jesus was crucified. In addition, it lays out over 14 possible references from the cries of Christ to references to the words. What makes this book even more special is that it’s not just references and a concordance, but there is in-depth content on a variety of topics.
Why Use A Reference Bible?
I’ll be honest I used to think studying the Bible was a bit boring. I believed in Jesus and His resurrection. I believed in the Bible for the most part but just found it incredibly boring. However, once I started studying it, my eyes were open. Here’s a book that consists of 66 different books, approximately 40 authors spanning almost 2,000 years of writings. That sounds impressive but still boring. What I found fascinating (and still do) is how the original and earliest texts of the Old Testament are present throughout the entire Bible. Even more impressive is all the hints and foreshadowing of Jesus’ coming. It’s easy to say the Bible is fabricated by man and just a collection of biased documents if you’ve never actually studied it. However, when you study it, there’s no mistaking that the Bible have is God’s word and a miracle.
Even if you’re not a pastor, understanding that Jesus fulfilled over 100 prophecies that were foretold in the old testament and being able to see it with your own eyes is really special and important. Reading the letters from Paul to the churches and seeing the respect and connection to the Old Testament scripture helps dispel the myth that the Old Testament was done away with. If you really want to dive into the archeological findings, maps and real history of the locations in the Bible, a reference guide like the Thompson Chain Reference Guide is pretty much the best way to experience this all in one book.