Studying the Bible Guidelines
STUDYING THE BIBLE
PURPOSE: To help Students learn to study the Bible.
It is an unfortunate reality that Bible Study has declined over the past 50 years. With the advent of Television, the Internet, electronic games and mobile telephone communications, the culture changed radically. The family suffered a loss of the sense of togetherness that had been enjoyed for generations. Bible study suffered as well.
Today, we must rekindle the interest in Bible Study among our Youth. Under any system, there are enormous challenges to overcome. The alternative is the possible loss of the most valuable element of personal development, knowledge of God’s word.
Following are some general guidelines to use in Bible Study:
In all things, view the Bible as the inspired word of God. The Bible is the roadmap for the Christians journey through life. (Remember, the Authorized King James Version of the Bible is used exclusively on this Site.)
1. A serious study of the Bible needs preparatory studies of the Bible itself. Learn about the 66 Books on the "Bible Structure" page that make up the Bible and how it is constructed. Each book is like a piece of the puzzle and has its place. Refer to the "History of the Bible" as a part of this program.
2. Prepare your mind and heart to understand by praying that the Holy Spirit will guide you through your study. Try to leave your mind open to understanding. Start with the New Testament first, then broaden your study to include the entire Bible.
3. Study by subject matter. You can read the Bible from cover to cover and still not understand it. There are many commentaries available to guide you to the subject matter you are studying. This Website publishes an Online Bible with commentary reference. You can access it at the Home Page and click on the Holy Bible tab. You can search for any word or verse or book in the Bible
4. Always ask and answer the 6 “W” questions. Who said What to Whom, When, Why and Where. This provides the necessary context you need for understanding. Choose a scripture from the New Testament to apply this process.
5. Use the microscopic or telescopic method to understand some things better. Sometimes a single word impacts the entire verse (microscopic). Other times the entire verse (or even chapter) must be considered (telescopic). Each piece of a puzzle is not clear and defined until it is made a part of the complete puzzle. So it is with much of the process of Bible Study. While it is not Biblical, the sentence “I saw a man-eating fish is quite different from “I saw a man eating fish”. One describes seeing a Shark the other is observing someone eating a fish”. So it can be when reading anything.
6. Recognize "symbolic" and "literal" language and interpret it properly. I.E. Luke 13:32 " And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox (Herod), Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third [day] I shall be perfected. Obviously, King Herod was not a four legged animal with sharp ears and long tail but he was crafty, wise and tricky. Find other scripture that uses this type language.
7. Attend Bible Study classes all possible and exchange ideas, ask questions but evaluate the answers you get. Keeping notes is very helpful. Write down things that sound interesting or answer a question you have. A notebook is good for this.
8. Bible Study is a life long effort. The Bible is a dynamic book and seems to offer new understandings with every reading. It is not sequentially arranged like a novel. It takes time and effort to learn the ageless lessons.
9. Seek wisdom where wisdom can be found. An excellent resource is the older generation. Even though this is true, accept as a part of human nature that people may and often will have different interpretations and opinions colored by their individual experiences and understanding. Your Pastor and Church Elders are ideal sources for reliable support and guidance.
1. Discuss the structure of the Bible.
2. Discuss why it is important to pray for guidance in Bible Study?
3. Discuss why the study by subject is a good method?
4. Discuss why it is important to understand symbolic vs literal interpretations.
5. Discuss why it is important to establish context in Bible Study.