Better Bible Study

Below is a list of hyperlinks to short articles filled with practical advice for better Bible study. The purpose of these articles is not to teach a particular Bible study method, nor to develop a hermeneutical system, but simply to offer several “tips” that hopefully will help others grow in their ability to study the Bible.

The truth is, I find myself frustrated with the shallowness of Bible discussions I’ve often encountered in churches. Often my frustration isn’t that churches are teaching error. In nearly every church I’ve been associated with, teaching the truth is of upmost importance, and for that I am thankful. But even still, it seems that Bible knowledge seems to be lacking in many congregations. When Christians don’t have their mind filled with Scripture, their minds become filled with the values of the culture they live in. That concerns me. Although there are certainly many notable exceptions, many Christians just don’t study their Bible on a regular basis.

The reason is simple. The Bible is a strange book, and at first glance, Bible study can be really boring. When we’re studying the parts of the Bible we are familiar with, we think “this is good, but I already know what this says.” For the parts of the Bible we aren’t as familiar with, we think “why am I wasting my time reading about Levitical purity laws or long genealogies?” We’re all busy people. It’s hard to continually invest time in something we’re easily bored with.

But I am a firm believer that Bible study isn’t supposed to be boring. The key to exciting and worthwhile Bible study is to learn to think carefully about what you are reading. Learning to think more deeply about the Bible is a skill that can be developed. We have to learn how to ask better questions. We have to learn how to detect and avoid flawed ideas. We can’t simply settle for explanations that aren’t comprehensive enough to satisfy a critical thinker. Learning to think deeply about the Bible is far more exciting and rewarding than simply trying to restart the habit of daily Bible reading. Careful thinking is what allows us to responsibly apply Scripture (even the obscure and strange Scriptures) to whatever circumstances we may be facing in our churches today, rather than simply giving the same prepackaged answers over and over.

These are simply Bible study tips. They are suggestions for things to try. They are words of caution for mistakes to avoid. If another Christian were to ask me for advice on how to become a better Bible student, these are the things I would say. Some tips will be more obvious than others. I hope that you will find at least some of these suggestions helpful as you try to get more out of your Bible study.

Better Bible Study Tip #1: Ask The Hard Questions

Better Bible Study Tip #2: Don’t Just Read – Memorize

Better Bible Study Tip #3: Don’t Just Read – Think

Better Bible Study Tip #4: Don’t Just Read – Study

Better Bible Study Tip #5: Daily Bible Reading is NOT the Key

Better Bible Study Tip #6: Insist on Following the Text Wherever It Leads, No Matter What

Better Bible Study Tip #7: Getting an Emotional Buzz is Not the Goal of Bible Study

Better Bible Study Tip#8: Study to Understand the Meaning of the Text, Not to Defend Your Views

Better Bible Study Tip #9: Observe, Then Interpret, Then Apply, In That Order

Better Bible Study Tip #10: Insist on Getting It Right

Better Bible Study Tip #11: Don’t Be Discouraged By Your Lack of Omniscience

Better Bible Study Tip #12: Draw Conclusions

Better Bible Study Tip #13: Think About the Big Picture

Better Bible Study Tip #14: Pay Attention to the Details

Better Bible Study Tip #15: The Holy Spirit is Not an Excuse for Lazy Bible Study

Better Bible Study Tip #16: Clear Thinking is Not Antithetical to Love

Better Bible Study Tip #17: “Study” is a Verb

Better Bible Study Tip #18: Read Books of the Bible In Their Entirety

Better Bible Study Tip #19: Study With a Pen In Hand

Better Bible Study Tip #20: Use a Variety of Methods

Better Bible Study Tip #21: Get Into Debates

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