I’ve been an avid Bible Gateway user for years. But as I was preparing for the #deeperbiblestudy series, I realized that there are probably more features to Bible Gateway that I’m overlooking. So I did some digging, and I was impressed by what I found.
So for all of you who want to go deeper in your Bible study, here are 7 of my favorite Bible Gateway tricks. Enjoy!
1. Turn Off Reference Materials
Did you know that you can toggle on/off chapter and verse numbers, footnotes, passage headings, and cross-references? It’s true! And this is really helpful when you want to focus simply on the text.
Simply go to the gear icon and toggle them of/off, as seen in the image below. Find more information here.
Because these additions are not original to the text; they’re extra material that are meant to help our study of a passage. Sometimes, though, stripping a text of all the superfluous information helps us better focus on what’s right in front of us. Try it and see!
2. Use the Study Materials to Go Deeper
See that blue bar in the upper right corner of the image above? Yeah. For all the years I’ve used Bible Gateway, I’ve never clicked on that. *sheepish grin* But NOW I do!
Here’s what happens when you click on the “Study This” blue bar on a passage:
Umm… amazing. How did I not know this before? You can find study notes, read what Bible scholars say about this, look up a word in a theological dictionary, find maps and more. Seriously, I feel like a kid in a candy store!
What a blessing to have free access to such a wealth of Bible information!
3. Read a Verse of the Day
You know how I feel about reading a random Bible verse and calling it quits for the day. Not a great idea. BUT what is a good idea is getting nuggets of Scripture in your inbox that you can look up, study, memorize, and encourage others with. Bible Gateway makes this easy for you. Check out the Bible Gateway verse of the day service here.
(As a side note, how ironic is it that the #votd on the day I took this screenshot was Jeremiah 29:11, the exact verse I used to explain the dangers of reading verses out of context?! I had to chuckle. Use these services, friends, and then #digdeeper.)
It’s pretty simple, and it’s part of their other Bible-reading plans. If you’re looking for a verse-of-the-day service with more bells and whistles, find some of my favorites here.
4. Read Different Translations Side-by-Side
So yeah, I know how painful translation can be because I did A LOT of translations growing up. It’s hard to get both the meaning of the phrase and the rhythm of it down (more on that tomorrow). So I often find it helpful to look up a passage in various translations to get a better understanding of the nuances of a text in the original language. (Since, you know, I don’t speak Greek and Hebrew. They’re on my bucket list, folks. The millennial bucket list, that is.)
So in lieu of pulling out five Bibles and spreading them across the kitchen table, I can use Bible Gateway’s Parallel Passages view. Like this:
Pretty nifty, huh? And did you notice I snuck Romanian in there too? Yep, you can use translations from different languages. Thank you, God!
5. Listen to the Audio Bible
I’ve written before about how listening to the audioBible is a great way to get more Scripture into our hearts and minds during mindless tasks like washing dishes and driving places. But I didn’t know Bible Gateway offered this option too.
Here it is:
Simply click on the megaphone icon in the upper right corner (under the blue banner) and you’ll get the maroon pop-up with the audio player. Cool.
6. Embed Bible Texts on Your Website
If you’re a faith blogger, chances are you mention Bible verses in your posts. Am I right? Well, how amazing would it be to have an easy way to let readers lookup the text you’re talking about without every leaving your page?
Enter, the Bible Gateway Ref Tag Tool. This is pretty impressive, folks. With just a little bit of code, you can make a simple chapter and verse reference transform into a little pop-up with the passage, like this:
You may be seeing the Ref Tagger making an appearance on OneThingAlone.com in the coming weeks. Just sayin’.
7. Create an Account to Get Access to More Features
Bible Gateway has reserved certain bonus features for those who register for a free account. These extra options include highlighting, favoriting, and annotating passages. Here’s a short video tutorial that explains the Bible Gateway account better than I would:
If you’re more of a techy person than a paper person, then this would be a great way to keep all your study notes in one place and carry them with you wherever you go.
That’s it! I’m so glad I poked around Bible Gateway and learned of all the tools they offer for those of us who want to go deeper in our Bible study!
Which trick is your favorite? Or is there one I missed that you’re just dying to share? 🙂