My grandmother Minnie Whisnant offered me $5.00 if I would read the Bible through in one year. I did not know at the time, what that meant. I only saw $5.00 in my mind. This is in 1960. I was too young to understand this.
It was like the time I said to Eric my son and Shawn Barnhart I would give them a dollar for every chapter in the Bible they would write down. That didn’t get past one chapter.
I did take my grandmother’s offer, and I did in 1960 read though the old Bible in a year. And for the next many years that was my daily reading, reading the Bible.
In Seminary my first year we had to read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy I believe three times in our class with Dr. Earl K. Oldham. Now there was a challenge to be sure. I believe the test at the end of the year was over 200 questions.
In Seminary 99% of all the classes were Bible.. They taught us the Bible. They didn’t teach us how they knew what the Bible said. (which would have helped). It was more like preaching than teaching, but it was good nevertheless.
But the Bible was foremost in my training. Of course Fundamentalists say, preachers and teachers only need the Bible to preach and teach. Well that is good if you know your Bible and you need to know how to interpret your Bible.
My first bible was a Scofield Bible. And I used it to teach for years. I loved marking my Bible, not a page in the Bible was not marked in pencil, pen or colored red or blue.
When I went to Seminary I was introduced to the Dickson Bible, a great study bible for students. That was my source of study for years, and yet even today.
Then in the 1980's I bought a Zodhiates’ original and complete system Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible. I have used two of them.
Then in 2006 my children bought me my first MacArthur’s Study Bible. Chad and Eric drove up from Lexington to bring it for my fifty-ninth birthday. (Also, we got to see Chad’s new car and went out for dinner with them.)
I have to preach or teach with my Bible open, of course I have my notes beside the Bible..
I was glad when I finally learned that the best way to preach was chapter by chapter. I felt that this method was much easier to do. You knew each week what you were going to preach. You didn’t have to think very hard on a topic, because you knew what book you were going to be in.
I remember when peaching in Altoona, Kansas, I started with the Gospel of Matthew. And 255 sermons later I finally finished. Each week, verse by verse, and Eric said, "Yes, word by word, and periods and commas. "
Bible reading has always been a challenge. John MacArthur had a method of reading the New Testament. Reading a section for a month, and in three years you would have read the NT in this manner. I thought that was very good.
From my middle teens, the Word became a part of my daily activity. As a Christian I was taught that a Christian was one who believed God and obeyed Him, and wanted to learn about Jesus Christ. I was taught that the Bible was where we discovered the ways of God for the believer. We would know all that Jesus Christ has done, and will do.
Reading the Scriptures was like knowing the mind of Christ. To know the Word was to know the Lord. Philippians 2: says "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ." We are to have the mind of Christ if we are going to be like Christ.
From early in my life, wanting to know what the Scriptures meant was a major part of my life. I would spend hours reading and studying the Bible the best I knew how.
My first study was in Galatians. I used my dad’s Bible and study notes and books in his library to study verse by verse. I still have the spiral notebook of printed notes. Reading and studying the Word gives you a wonderful foundation for the Christian life. It gives you a Biblical world view. You discern what is around you by what you understand about the Scriptures.
When I was asked to teach the teenagers in our church, dad said "Charles take a book in the Bible and study and teach the Word." Good advice. I still today have notes from Psalms, and Revelation. Dad believed that the Bible was the book we studied from.
The Bible was always to be visible while teaching, but dad would say you need to study the scriptures diligently. Use the resources available to you, and then take notes., Then when you teach, teach from the Word, so that your students will learn that the Bible is the resources of learning about Christ. But he would say "Your students need to know that you study to know the Word."
Too often preachers want you to think they don’t need to study, that they just get the sermon from the Lord. That is a false idea to begin with. You need to study the Word. The Bible is written in a way that requires study. The Bible is given for us to know Him and what He is saying
Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 12 06 06 Proof Read by Charity 12 07 06