Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Learn to Study the Bible

Reading the Bible and studying the Bible are two entirely different things.

I think that if you're going to be serious in your spiritual journey, if you're going to really try to find answers about God and about Jesus, if you're honestly desiring to grow in your faith or explore what it is all about in the first place, you need to study the Bible -- not just read it.

The Bible is important. Reading it is one thing, but the value comes in the understanding and the application. If you're just going to read and not be able to take ownership of what you read (anything, not just the Bible) then what's the point of reading it?

Learning how to study the Bible could be one of the more important spiritual disciplines for a follower of Jesus that I can think of. Why? Because it will change and influence nearly all other spiritual disciplines that you could pursue. It provides a starting point for gathering information, it will help to personalize the information, it will help to show you how to live out your faith in a tangible way. It's not to beat others over the head with your knowledge, but to use faithfully what you learn to help others.

The book Learn to Study the Bible is a great way to...well...learn to study the Bible. Granted, there are many places where I disagree with the author on some theological points...but the methods presented are incredibly thorough and beneficial.

Learn to Study the Bible presents 40 different methods ranging in time, intensity, and focus. There are some techniques that take just a few minutes, and others that require a larger time investment, and really spread out over several sessions instead of being so self contained. The variety of the techniques is quite large, and I thought several of them were incredibly good ideas. Ways that I use personally and recommend that others do to help gain understanding of Biblical passages.

There are a few common themes that make their way to every study method, one of which is this: Have a plan!

No matter what technique or combination of techniques you're going to employ you need to have a plan. Just flipping open the Bible and reading it and hoping to get something out of it won't be nearly as beneficial as being intentional with your study. You need a plan of action. This book provides plans of action.

Another great thing is that the book provides a fairly detailed example of every technique presented, so you get an idea of what it would "look" like as opposed to just instruction. Studying involves writing. Studying is about repetition, internalization, and application. Studying the Bible is about taking a large, vague, impersonal concept and personalizing it in such a way that you would then be able to explain it in a way that makes sense.

Most are unable to do that simply by reading. I know I'm not. So I can appreciate a resource like this that provides practical systems and techniques to help internalize very important information.

If you're serious about wanting to study the Bible, find out what it says, try to figure things out, or grow further in your walk. You should consider getting this book. It could turn out to be very helpful, and will no doubt at least give you plenty of options to find some tactics that would work best for you.

For more information on the book, check out their official website.

Or order the book from amazon.