Reading Footnotes

"Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart.” - 1 Peter 1:22

I grew up in Rancho Cucamonga, California with parents born and raised in Michigan, I have a brother that lives in California and one in Minnesota and I am married to a man from Pennsylvania. I’m sure you can only imagine the plethora of ways to say words. For instance, when one gets in a car accident and there are all the cars slowly driving by; my husband calls them gapers, my family calls them gaulkers. Or the ever so popular dilemma, is it coke, pop or soda? So many times in our lives when meeting someone new, when reading something, or while visiting a different state or country we have to step back and dissect what is being said.

It’s amazing how we can apply our everyday lives and stories to the bible and learn how to read it. I love it! Just like when you visit with someone from a  different area and they say, “that’s due to a gaper delay,” and you sit there staring blankly at them until we finally ask what in the world is a gaper. Just like this we need something to help us in the Bible. But I don’t encourage that you just sit there staring at it blankly, you most likely won’t accomplish much.

When reading your Bible you will come across a very important reference tool, the asterisk. I also encouraged my students when teaching to use context clues but sometimes that just isn’t enough. Sometimes we would have to break out our dictionaries and define the words to give us a deeper understanding. Well, our handy dandy Bibles have something built in for us to deepen our understanding of the Scriptures.

Alright so lets take a look, 1Peter 1:22; “Mutual Love.* Since you have purified yourselves by obedience to the truth for sincere mutual love, love one another intensely from a pure heart.”  When you look at the bottom of the page there is a list of verses such as 1, 13-25, 1:13, and so on. You have to look for the corresponding numbers of the verse you are reading. The asterisk is referring to 1, 22-25 and it says, “The new birth of Christians(23) derives from Christ, the imperishable seed or sowing that produces a new and lasting existence in those who accept the gospel (24-25), with the consequent duty of loving one another (22). So the numbers next to the words are referring to which verse it is talking about. As we get to the bottom of this small section of writing it talking about how we have the duty to love one another. With this little information it helps us have a deeper understanding of what we are called to once we have recognized and immersed ourselves in the truth. It is not just because we know the truth that we are to love but because it is our duty.

I mean we have to realize that the Bible was written in a different language originally and when translated a lot gets missed or there just isn’t a way to translate it to the fullest extent to get the full robust meaning. So when reading take the time to look down to the footnotes to get some more knowledge. Sometimes it is just some background information to clarify the topic, sometimes its because the verse is very vague and the footnotes give some specifics. The footnotes are our friends, even if they come from a different country.