“Study” is a verb. It is an action. It takes effort. It takes work. It takes intentionality. It takes focus. Sometimes it should make your brain feel tired.
If you’ve ever been to college, you probably know what real “study” is. When I was in high school, the subject material was so easy, I could grasp it by simply showing up and taking the test. But when I got to college, I had to put in some work. I had to spend time intentionally learning the material. I had to spend time memorizing, asking questions, and really trying to grasp the concept I was studying. “Study” is a verb. It takes work.
Think about most group Bible “studies” (i.e. Bible classes) you have attended. How often can we really call those classes Bible “study”? In many instances, the only real “study” in Bible classes is being done by the one who has prepared the lesson, while the rest are passive listeners. And in some instances, when the Bible class teacher lazily shows up and just sort of “wings it”, Bible “studies” can become little more than conversations loosely revolving around the Bible (that it, a “pooling of ignorance”).
Don’t misunderstand me. I love listening to Bible class teachers share what they have studied. I’m 100% in favor of Bible classes. I’m even okay with just sitting around in a room and casually talking about the Bible. But let’s not call it Bible study unless we’re actually putting in the work to learn our Bibles better.
Dedicate some time. Ask questions. Research. Memorize. Consult resources. Consider different points of view. Think. Don’t just passively take in the Bible study of others. Study your Bible.