The Life Essentials Study Bible
“1500 Bible Principles to Live by”
by Dr. Gene Getz
Most Study Bibles are designed to help us understand various verses and paragraphs within the biblical text. And most do that—in a magnificent way. They are excellent research tools, most often using footnotes and sidebars to explain particular texts. In fact, I used a number of these Study Bibles in preparing this “Principles to Live By” Study Bible.
However, my goal has been quite different. I wanted to design a Study Bible that gives every reader, not only a conceptual understanding of all chapters of the total biblical story, but to enable everyone to apply enduring biblical truths in a multitude of life situations.
To enable you to use this Bible in a variety of ways, I’ve included a very unique feature called the “Principle Finder” at the very beginning of the Bible. It’s a topical index that will enable you to quickly locate all of the Principles that relate to a particular subject. Once I completed the basic research and writing, I categorized all 1500 Principles under 241 major themes or topics which are arranged alphabetically.
For example, here are just a few of the topics from the “A” section:
If you move to the “D” section, you’ll find the topic of Depression. The following Principles are listed chronologically as they appear in the biblical story
- Exhaustion—Principle 28 in 1 Kings
- Physical Needs—Principle 29 in 1 Kings
- Mental Distortions—Principle 30 in 1 Kings
- Deliverance From—Principle 6 in Psalms
- Physical Causes—Principle 41 in Psalms
- A Distorted Reality—Principle 84 in Psalms
- Distorted Thinking—Principle 23 in Jeremiah.
Again, all 1,500 principles are categorized and cross-referenced under 241 topics in this “Principle Finder.”
At this point, I hope you can begin to imagine the various settings in which this Bible can be used. For example:
1. Personal reading and study. In fact, you’ll discover you can read through the entire Bible without losing focus or continuity. Remember that these 1,500 principles help you unfold the whole biblical story in an applicational way.
2. Family devotions. Parents can easily select any book of the Bible or topic that has particular relevance to various ages of their children. The Principles in Psalms and Proverbs can be easily used in this setting.
3. Small group study. Your group can choose any book of the Bible or any topic. The content associated with each Principle and the way people will respond to each question for “Reflection and Response” will determine your pace. In fact, with a little practice, each person in a small group can serve as a facilitator. The communication style in this Bible serves as an instructor. In other words, the Bible virtually teaches itself. And if you download a video with your smart phone, you can view it on many TV monitors.
4. Mentoring – in a small group or one-on-one. Imagine taking a new believer through the 40 Principles in the Gospel of John or imagine mentoring someone to fulfill a ministry role by going through the 27 Principles in 1 and 2 Timothy.
5. Personal counseling. In the “Principle Finder” you’ll quickly discover Principles that relate to:
6. Doctrinal studies—both in formal and informal settings. Again the “Principle Finder” will direct you to Principles that relate to basic doctrines in the Bible, such as:
- The Deity of Christ
- The Incarnation
- God’s Judgment
7. Formal settings such as Sunday school classes, mid-week Bible studies or adult education classes by viewing it on many TV monitors with a smart device. Again the “Principle Finder” will help you to teach on Principles that relate to:
- Will of God
8. Leadership training classes, looking at Principles that relate to:
- The church
- Spiritual growth
9. Sermon preparation. In fact, every Principle can become a sermon proposition that can be easily supported with biblical content and other supportive Principles. For example, suppose you would like to do a series of messages on “gratefulness.” In the “Principle Finder” you’ll discover 18 Principles that focus on gratefulness, such as being grateful:
- For answered prayer—Principle 35 in Genesis
- For other’s favors—Principle 63 in Genesis
- For material blessings—Principle 12 in Deuteronomy
- For special help—Principle 5 in 2 Samuel.
In other words, you can actually do 18 messages from these Principles or combine them, using various principles as sub-points in your message.
10. Higher education classes. When I reflect on my own Bible College and seminary education, I remember assignments when I had to read through the entire Bible. I also remember trying to concentrate and maintain continuity and make sense of what I was reading.
I’m confident this “Principles to Live By” approach will enable any serious student of the Scriptures to not only read and study the Bible, but to understand its basic meaning and apply its teaching in daily living.