Why Study the Bible?

Many Christians today have access to a Bible. We live in the great and glorious world of the internet, and there are many version available for free online. There are a great many Christians that own at least one version of the Bible in print, and several that own many copies. Many of us know the books of the Bible, and can even recite a few verses from memory. Many of us know how to read our Bibles, but how many of us actually know how to or what it means to study our Bibles?

So what does it mean to study our Bibles? For many people, the very word “study” seems to conjure up two ideas: taking a ridiculous amount of notes or reading material over and over again. However studying the Bible is, in my opinion, nothing like studying for school. Studying the Bible is the intentional process of wrestling with Scripture in order for it to teach you, or change you, in some way.

“Nothing less than the whole Biblical make a whole Christian.”
— A W Tozer

Simply reading Scripture is not enough. I have heard many pastors and teachers give the advice of simply starting with reading your Bible for five minutes if you are not in the habit of studying. This is where apps like YouVersion can come in handy. You get a small devotion (short reading of scripture, sometimes with quick application to daily living), and that is where many Christians leave it. It almost feels, to me, like doing the bare minimum and then checking off your to-do list item. If your only source of God’s word is this form of reading, you are sadly missing out. Unfortunately, for me, I would say that even reading my Thursday posts fit in this category too. Studying is deeper than reading someone else’s opinions of Scripture; it is allowing yourself to find God in the Bible.

“To get the full flavor of an herb, it must be pressed between the fingers, so it is the same with the Scriptures; the more familiar they become, the more they reveal their hidden treasures and yield their indescribable riches.”
— John Chrysostom

So if Bible study is so important and getting a quick read in is not enough, what do you do? There are certainly many different techniques you can use in order to study the Bible, including an almost never-ending supply of materials and resources. Below is my process. This is in no way authoritative, it is simply the path that seems to work best for me. Take it, use it, adapt it for yourself, or better yet come up with your own method! Leave a comment below about your own practice, and maybe we can help each other out in our study practice.

My Method

  • Pray
  • Read my passage of Scripture
  • Write down any questions along the way, no matter how crazy
  • Read my passage again in another translation
  • Write down any more questions
  • Seek to answer the questions within the Bible, if possible
    • I will also likely consult a concordance (a list of words within the Bible and how they are used elsewhere) and a dictionary to wrestle with text-specific ideas.
  • Do research to answer questions about the world, or material that cannot be found within the Bible
  • If questions of theology arise, attempt to wrestle with the idea on my own first
  • If questions persist, consult a commentary

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