The Easy Study Bible, is the result of my twenty-six years in the Gospel Ministry, and from being a high school English teacher before that.
Many times over my early years as a pastor, I would grow frustrated in my efforts to teach the Bible for understanding to church members who didn't understand the basics of Hebrew and Greek. True, some passages jump out at anyone reading them, no matter which translation they use. My goal has always been that all who read the Bible would not only understand it the way God intended for them to, but also to be able to apply each truth to their lives. That, I think, takes greater understanding.
When I began teaching a Pastor's Sunday School Class in the early 1990s, I searched for a way to help my class understand better. I felt this was important since the class started out as a "New Members Class." Too many new Christians become frustrated at their first attempts to study the Bible.
Well, the answer came to me from my English teacher background. Do you remember when you had to diagram sentences in your English classes? Please don't run away screaming yet! I know. They were usually painful experiences. I felt the same way when I was a student.
If you can get past the painful memories, please think about the finished product. Once you diagramed a long complicated sentence, it became much more clear to you. You could understand what was modifying what, and what the action was and what or who was causing it. In other words, it made the sentence much more understandable.
That is what I began to do with the Bible passages we studied in that class. I took the principles of the sentence diagram and adjusted it to fit verses of the Bible. Immediately, the whole class began to gain a better understanding of each passage we studied.
Over the years since then, I have used this method constantly, not only in small group studies, but also in church Bible studies with great success.
One benefit that I didn't expect is that this method helps tremendously in sermon preparation. When I begin to prepare a sermon, I take the focal passage and diagram it. This allows me to see how the verses naturally (the way I think God intended) fall into separate thoughts. Many times, this process will give me all the points of the outline without trying to make the passage say what it does not say.
Now, let's look at this project. Do we need another translation of the Bible? In a word, "No!"
I have long admired the Wycliffe Bible Translators whose goal is to translate the Bible into every language of the world so all will have the opportunity to read God's message to them. I've also admired the Gideons International whose goal is to place a Bible in every hand in the world.
My goal is a combination of the goals of the Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Gideons International. I want to take God's word and make it easier for everyone to read and understand.
Now, here is why we need a new translation of the Bible. Simply put, the major Bible publishers do not seem to be interested in a Bible version which is diagramed. Therefore, to avoid infringing on any existing copyrights, I had to start with my own translation.
You will find The Easy Study Bible translation to be as close to literal as possible while still preserving proper English grammatical structure. This is important to me. I find that many of the modern translations, especially ones that are more literal, are clumsy at best and grammatically inaccurate at worst.
How to Use the Easy Study Bible
You may read the Easy Study Bible it the same way you would any other Bible. Each of the releases will have a paragraph version in the back of the book.
The Easy Study Bible is most effective when used as a study tool. This is where the structure of the diagram allows for better understanding of each passage that you study.
I will use James 4:7-8 to illustrate how to do several of the actions that were mentioned in the introduction.
submit to God.
Resist the devil,
and he will flee from you.
8 Draw near to God
and He will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands,
and purify your hearts
First, if I were writing a sermon on this passage, I can immediately see the perfect three-point sermon in it.
I. Submit to God
II. Resist the Devil
III. Draw Near to God
Notice how easy that was. Next I would flesh out point II. a little.
II. Resist the Devil
He will flee from you
Next, point III.
III. Draw Near to God
He will draw near to you
How do we do this?
Cleanse our hands
Purify our hearts
You can easily see how to continue from there.
Second, for those who want to get to the full meaning of the passage, they can easily answer the following questions from the diagram:
1. What is the subject of this passage?
Submission to God
2. How do we do this?
Resist the Devil
Draw near to God
3. What will be the result of this action?
The devil will flee from you.
God will draw near to you.
Do you get the idea? It's easy and fun to study the Bible, especially when you understand it better each time you do.
Try it out, and if you discover new and different ways to use the Easy Study Bible, please let me know so I can share them with others.
My webpage will have a whole section devoted to the Easy Study Bible, and one page will be dedicated to reader feedback. There will also be a page of "Hints & Tips."