Dead Mentors. Do you have one?

Keight

Active Member
I found this youtube video interesting. The pastor says that everyone should have a dead mentor. What do you think about that? Do you have one?

He chose Jonathan Edwards and posted this very interesting video about Jonathan Edwards notetaking system is that is as relevant today as it was almost 300 years ago.

If you have a dead mentor, can you share something like the above notetaking system? Does SwordSearcher have many books by your mentor? How do you study the work of your mentor?
 
Interesting videos. But did you know that you can get a text file of the entire authorized verson for printing out, from an Australian website: www.bibleprotector.com. If you are handy with setting up a file in a word processor (I use LibreOffice as it is open source and free--trying to avoid Microsoft), -- you can re-format it and print it out as you wish with wide margins or whatever you can think of that would suit your needs, such as enlarging the font, etc. And instead of punching holes along the edge using a regular hole punch you can get a hole puncher that punches the rectangular slots for a comb binding (but that gets pricey if you are on a shoestring budget). I'm told Staples can punch it for you and put a comb binding (for a fee of course) but I have never used their service. I suppose for one book it wouldn't be too bad. If you are brave you can (with some combs) slide the comb binding off and insert blank pages and slide the pages back on if you need to. Of course there is the price of the ink cartridge but it's probably still cheaper than buying an expensive Bible to mark up. You might want to test your brand of Bible highlighters on the pen and ink with a couple of test pages.
 
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wsbones

Beta Tester
I watched the videos, and I think that a SwordSearcher User Book does all that is suggested and much, much more, and it's all automatic. The drop-down control at the top of a book gives you the table of contents, and it's searchable just by typing a small portion of a title. Everything shows that matches that portion. You can easily link one topic to another by inserting a link. Best of all every verse reference links back to the Bible margin. Then there is the topic and verse guide and full library search. You can easily link verse notes to topic notes and vice versa and add pictures, charts, tables. I have a bookshelf full of books that I rarely use.

As you get older and handwriting and eyesight deteriorate, it's nice to be able to type and also increase the font size for reading. It's handy to listen to sermons with the narrator feature of Windows. Even though the pronunciation is not perfect, it's pretty good and it tracks with the words.

There is a benefit to paper and pen to create neuron links in the brain and fingers and keeping your mind focused on the task rather than on computer stuff. Whatever works best ... is best.
 

marty

Beta Tester
I have a user commentary called "My Margin Notes" that is linked to a widget. I can see my notes on a verse by hovering over the widget, add a new note to a verse by clicking on the widget or add to existing notes with a shift-click, enter references to other verses or passages in other books and commentaries, and have scripture references automatically typed out by using ctrl+t on a reference.

The thing I like best about having this in SwordSearcher is that making notes is about the verses rather than focusing on updating a journal - I don't lose my line of thought or have to worry about running out of room, and the computer is much better at finding specific notes.

There is something to be said for the familiar and comfortable weight of my worn printed Bible (regular margins) in my hands. I love the feel of that Bible and I miss holding it sometimes, but its print and my notes were written for younger eyes and are hard to read now.
 

Keight

Active Member
The part of the video I like best is the idea of using a regular Bible, and just using a pencil to write the number of the journal page in the regular margin. I like the set up for a journal with a table of contents, and the reminder to place two zeros before the single-digit numbers. Pens and highlighters bleed through Bible pages, especially over time, and as I learn and grow, I outgrow old notes. I like to take notes by hand, but not in a BIble.

Mairi, thank you for the link to a good place to print from! I have printed out a short portion of scripture to really mark it up, just as you suggested. It can be a very helpful method., especially for the epistles. I have also ripped up a cheap paperback Bible into more manageable portions. The individual pages can be placed in pocket protectors and then pages of handwritten notes on regular paper filed after each page. I have also used a heavy duty stapler to bind pages. The stapler works fine to hold together pages of different sizes and paper types. A new heavy duty stapler is on my wishlist.

I like to learn about journal methods of famous men. Not a Bible journal, but Ben Franklin's method of keeping track of his progress with 13 virtues and his daily calendar is interesting.

I'm thinking that a lot of these Christian writers had habits and documenting methods that are as applicable today as they were hundreds of years ago. Simple ideas that don't cost a lot of money or require technology.

I found the idea of choosing and specializing in a mentor interesting.

Machen's beginner Greek textbook just went back into public domain this January, and it has always been my favorite beginner textbook. For years, the first edition has been OOP as the copyright holders have been pushing the 2nd edition; I am so thankful that this book is now free to be published and shared in its original edition. I am interested in looking more closely at what else he has written, since I like his Greek textbook so much. I discovered a Bible survey course and a teacher training course that I knew nothing about.

I also have been trying to see what John Brown of Haddington wrote. I am impressed by his creative methods of teaching himself Greek as a teenager.

There are so MANY books available. They are like trying to swallow the stream from a fire hose. Choosing a single mentor is a way to focus on a manageable stream of information. Instead of looking for the best Bible study method, and the best memory system, and the best prayer book, and the best theology book, just sticking to a single author for a little while sounds effectual.

wsbones, I too can see a computer screen SOOOOOO much easier than a hardcopy book. As my eyesight continues to deteriorate, I am becoming more and more dependant on my large screen monitors. I still like to write my notes by hand, though, for as long as I can. It is grounding to touch real things. Too much time spent interacting digitally leaves me feeling disconnected and unfocused and jsut not ... good in a vague way that is hard to describe.
 

Keight

Active Member
Marty, yes, the WEIGHT of things. I saw a weighted blanket being sold in a department store recently.
 
I watched the videos, and I think that a SwordSearcher User Book does all that is suggested and much, much more, and it's all automatic. The drop-down control at the top of a book gives you the table of contents, and it's searchable just by typing a small portion of a title. Everything shows that matches that portion. You can easily link one topic to another by inserting a link. Best of all every verse reference links back to the Bible margin. Then there is the topic and verse guide and full library search. You can easily link verse notes to topic notes and vice versa and add pictures, charts, tables. I have a bookshelf full of books that I rarely use.

As you get older and handwriting and eyesight deteriorate, it's nice to be able to type and also increase the font size for reading. It's handy to listen to sermons with the narrator feature of Windows. Even though the pronunciation is not perfect, it's pretty good and it tracks with the words.

There is a benefit to paper and pen to create neuron links in the brain and fingers and keeping your mind focused on the task rather than on computer stuff. Whatever works best ... is best.
Transitioning to the new computer age, sometimes we have to continue for awhile doing things the long way. It can be unbelievably hard. I find I have to go over and over computer steps and if I don't do something for a long time, I may still have to look it up. I keep a notebook by my computer to write down every time I find out some new step or shortcut. Because if it's not something I do all the time I may need a reminder. Like when I got my tablet and tried to turn off Cortana, it's not something you do every day. (But you never know when they'll turn it back on again, lol.) It's taken me about 15 years to get to the point where I can think in terms of doing it on the computer first. It's like all of a sudden things started to click. I sometimes come on the site here and just watch the training videos. The first thing you have to do with any computer endeavor is to learn where to find the information on how to use it! Like, where is the page to download the training manuals. You have to simply read everything. Take the time to memorize what the menu bars are called. Sometimes you have to go over and over something. It takes a LOT of time to get in this groove and some people don't have a lot of time. And patience doesn't come easy for some of us. But one can learn. For instance, the last three weeks I have been trying to figure out how to change the instructions on my keyboard shortcut list to work with my tablet, which uses a function key with the arrows. I wanted to start in the middle of a file and select everything down to the bottom. I tried everything and looked on the internet. So I set it aside and prayed about it, and I suddenly realized what I had to change to get it to work. I wrote it down in my notebook. If you only learn how to do one thing every day it does start to pay off. Maybe kids should have to learn how to do things both ways.
 
The part of the video I like best is the idea of using a regular Bible, and just using a pencil to write the number of the journal page in the regular margin. I like the set up for a journal with a table of contents, and the reminder to place two zeros before the single-digit numbers. Pens and highlighters bleed through Bible pages, especially over time, and as I learn and grow, I outgrow old notes. I like to take notes by hand, but not in a BIble.

Mairi, thank you for the link to a good place to print from! I have printed out a short portion of scripture to really mark it up, just as you suggested. It can be a very helpful method., especially for the epistles. I have also ripped up a cheap paperback Bible into more manageable portions. The individual pages can be placed in pocket protectors and then pages of handwritten notes on regular paper filed after each page. I have also used a heavy duty stapler to bind pages. The stapler works fine to hold together pages of different sizes and paper types. A new heavy duty stapler is on my wishlist.

I like to learn about journal methods of famous men. Not a Bible journal, but Ben Franklin's method of keeping track of his progress with 13 virtues and his daily calendar is interesting.

I'm thinking that a lot of these Christian writers had habits and documenting methods that are as applicable today as they were hundreds of years ago. Simple ideas that don't cost a lot of money or require technology.

I found the idea of choosing and specializing in a mentor interesting.

Machen's beginner Greek textbook just went back into public domain this January, and it has always been my favorite beginner textbook. For years, the first edition has been OOP as the copyright holders have been pushing the 2nd edition; I am so thankful that this book is now free to be published and shared in its original edition. I am interested in looking more closely at what else he has written, since I like his Greek textbook so much. I discovered a Bible survey course and a teacher training course that I knew nothing about.

I also have been trying to see what John Brown of Haddington wrote. I am impressed by his creative methods of teaching himself Greek as a teenager.

There are so MANY books available. They are like trying to swallow the stream from a fire hose. Choosing a single mentor is a way to focus on a manageable stream of information. Instead of looking for the best Bible study method, and the best memory system, and the best prayer book, and the best theology book, just sticking to a single author for a little while sounds effectual.

wsbones, I too can see a computer screen SOOOOOO much easier than a hardcopy book. As my eyesight continues to deteriorate, I am becoming more and more dependant on my large screen monitors. I still like to write my notes by hand, though, for as long as I can. It is grounding to touch real things. Too much time spent interacting digitally leaves me feeling disconnected and unfocused and jsut not ... good in a vague way that is hard to describe.
Thanks for posting. I wish I could learn Greek! Yes, it's good to keep alive the knowledge of how to function without so much technology.
 

Keight

Active Member
It does take a LOT of time to learn computers, and then they CHANGE and you have to learn something new. One of my main frustrations is how quickly things CHANGE. I crave some familiarity. Newer is seldom better or worse, but just different. Different, different, all the time, with little deep benefit to all the changes.

I do not mind hard work, but I have wasted so much time working to learn something that gets updated away. Time that could have been spent on something else. It is hard to know what to spend time on and what not to; I am not very creative about imagining the future. I try to find balance and I try to be wise. I fail, but I try.
 

Keight

Active Member
Greek takes a LOT of time. Rushing it is what makes it so hard. The older books are easier for me, because they expected the student to spend more time studying. They guide me through long hours of study, without distracting me with shortcuts that don't work.

Running up steps is easier and faster, one step at a time, instead of skipping steps.

Schools used to allow more time for the classical languages by not teaching all the things that we teach now. We are drowning in information.

Right or wrong, one of the places I carve out time to study Greek is by NOT even trying to do some things on a computer that can be done the old-fashioned way, or can be just skipped altogether.

I love love love modern video lessons, but there is no replacement for old-fashioned chanting endings and writing out exercises by hand.
 

Keight

Active Member
I have been looking around. I am choosing two mentors: John Gresham Machen and John Brown of Haddington. It is interesting to dig out their works that are not their most famous ones.

I thought it was John Brown that had written psalm singing instructions. Matthew Henry also included singing instructions in his commentary. John Brown also wrote a study guide with subquestions for the Westminster Shorter Catechism.

Both of these men's writings include works that are useful for teaching children, remedial adults, and new believers. One of things that draws me to the Presbyterian writings is their focus on home worship and training.

I think I will accomplish more by just focusing on these two authors for a while. Sometimes less is more. I think there is something to this idea of choosing a mentor.
 

chuck in md

Active Member
No I actually don't have a mentor from history. I do have a mentor that has graduated from the earth he was my best friend and first pastor. Please don't get me wrong I read biographies and I believe they are great as devotional reading, don't get me started about church history, I love it. But understand you are getting the what either the person themselves thought about themselves or you are getting what someone else thought about them, as far as history goes the majority of it was written by the catholic church, and has been written from it's perspective.
I understand you are also proposing that we study their writings. I agree in a lot of cases by studying someone else you don't have to reinvent the wheel. You can see a lot further by standing on the shoulders of great scholars. I'm all for that but don't use that to replace getting the water directly from the source, your bible is irreplaceable for study. It is only my opinion by it should be studied much more 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 as much as you are looking at others material.
 

chuck in md

Active Member
Ok, I just got finished with the video on the note taking, I started doing something similar with a blank journal 25 years ago. The exception is instead of TOC using numbers I used letters, so the first 25 pages were labeled A,B,C and so on. I found this an easier system at least for me. So under A might be angels, abortion, apocalypse, after death, and so on. When I put a note that was either in part or whole devoted to the word I would label what page it on in the journal. Angel might have page 5, 15, 46, 125 (so on, you get the drift). That worked for a few years and I went and had a wide margin KJV bible inter-leafed. Much like I envision Mr. Edwards blank bible, from your description. Any way it has 2 blank pages in front of each book, 50 blank pages in the front, 126 pages in the middle between the testaments and 50 blank pages in the rear after the concordance and maps. Also I interleafed all of the New Testament and about one third of the Old Testament. So I took the first 13 pages at the middle pages and labeled them A, B, C and so on (front and back) I have used this for a number of years and it has worked very well for me.

Imo if you go this route get 100 blank pages loose, from your bindery, so you can add them latter in places where you want more notes later, or if you want to add a lesson at a certain spot, for instance I found I wanted to add some pre drawn pictures of the tabernacle furniture to my notes on Exodus, I just used to bible paper in a photo copier and reduced the picture to fit the page and then copied and inserted it with glue at later date.

I'm sure everyone has there own system that works for them, this one works for me.
 
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