Jonah, Where Life and the Bible Meet . . .

1. Look at the outline (Ab), and read the Introduction (Ac) before starting on the commentary itself.

2. The DIG and REFLECT questions are in bolded royal gray, and will help to give you a deeper understanding of the book and make it more personal to you. Go slowly and give yourself time to answer these questions. They really strike at the heart of the commentary. What are the DIG questions for? To dig into the Scripture “story” to find out what’s going on, to figure out the main idea, the plot, the argument, the spiritual principle, and so on. What are the REFLECT questions for? To apply the “story” in the scripture to your own life; to take personal inventory and to decide what you are going to do about it! Most, but not all, of the DIG and REFLECT questions are taken from the Serendipity Bible.

3. I would strongly suggest that you look up the references that are given in each section. Many times this will greatly enhance the background, and hence, your understanding of the scriptures that you are reading on a particular day. Take your time, read only as much as you can digest.

There are times when I refer you to either another file in Isaiah, or a file in another book of the Bible, to give you more detail on a particular person, topic, concept or theology. An example might be something like the Great White Throne Judgment (see my commentary on Revelation Fo – The Great White Throne Judgment). If you feel you already know enough about the Great White Throne Judgment, you can skip the reference and continue reading. But if it interests you, or if you don't know what the rapture is, you can go to that file and read it first before continuing. It's your choice.

4. All scripture is in bold print. The NIV 2011 is used unless indicated otherwise. However, sometimes the purpose of the bold print is merely for emphasizing a certain point. When bolded maroon is used, it is for special emphasis. The words of Jesus are bolded in red.

5. When bolded teal is used, it is quoted from one of the two Jewish commentaries listed in the bibliography. This will give you the moderate Orthodox Jewish interpretation. It is useful for word studies, but its Christology is obviously entirely wrong. Where rabbinical interpretation is cited, I will add, “The rabbis teach. . .” in front of the passage. Although it is not a Christian interpretation, I think it is interesting to see how the rabbis interpret these passages.

6. Read the Scriptures for a particular day from your Bible, then skim the DIG and REFLECT questions, read the commentary and reflect on it; answer the DIG and REFLECT questions, then read your Bible again. Hopefully, it will have greater meaning and understanding for you the second time you read it. Then live it out.

7. You can download anything you want from this devotional commentary for bible study © 2015 but all rights are reserved by Jay D. Mack, M.Div.


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