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Why Do We Study The Bible

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Why Do We Study The Bible?

The free Bible study that has changed my life is Bible Study Fellowship. This is an international Bible study that is hosted all over the world and likely near you! It runs from September through May, however you can join at anytime throughout the year. The mission of BSF is to mature Gods people. They accomplished that in me. BSF involvement is the tool God used to teach me how to study His Word, renewing my mind and changing me from the inside out. He continues to do that daily in me as I study His flawless Word.

Another resource I have for youaccess to my resource library opens up the doors to Biblical guides, outlines and bible studies I have written to help people draw closer to God. It is all free for you, just sign up!

Name more benefits of Bible study in the comments below! Dont forget to share this article with someone who may not know what theyre missing in Bible Study.

Interpretation: What Does The Text Mean

The observation phase was all about observing what the text says, but the interpretation phase is the next step. And its in this phase we start to look at what the text means.

Your job at this stage is to discover what the author is trying to communicate. And to do this, you need to look at the context . Here are a few questions you can ask:

  • What is the cultural and/or historical context of this passage?
  • What else do I know about the book, author, and broader context of the passage?
  • What other Scripture passages might help me better interpret this one?
  • Have I overlooked anything or made any assumptions?
  • What is the clearest meaning of this text?

There are a few essential rules to remember when attempting to interpret a passage:

  • Dont twist Scripturemeaning, dont manipulate the text to get it to say something youd like for it to say. This is a dishonest way to interpret the text.
  • Look for the plainest interpretation first. Believe that the text means what it says. Sometimes there will be figurative language and confusing imagery, but dont start by looking for hidden meaning. Start with the obvious.
  • Scripture interprets Scripture. Allow the Bible to help you understand other passages of the Bible. Where similar words are used, explore the context of each of those instances.
  • Avoid basing important doctrines on obscure passages.
  • Connect each passage back to the gospel and the broader message of the Bible.

Stage : Read The Maps

Maps are vital to navigationyou must know where you are to understand how to get to where you want to go.

In Bible study, knowledge of the historical and literary contexts provides orientation. Like maps, they give us the layout of the biblical neighborhood. The historical context can give us a clearer backdrop in terms of historical events or cultural dynamics of the time, and the literary context can help us understand how these words function, given where the author placed them in the book.

The Broad Historical Context of the Book: In studying the historical context of a book, you want to understand the following facts:

  • Who authored the book?
  • Who were the original recipients?
  • Where were the author and the recipients located?
  • When was the book written?
  • What is the purpose of the book?

You can find this kind of information in the book introductions in this study Bible. You can also find it in Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and Bible handbooks. The Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook, for instance, gives general background information on the city of Philippi and the church there, including the following:

Philippi was an important city in the province of Macedonia.The city had a privileged status as a colony of Rome, so its citizens were considered citizens of Rome.According to Acts there were not enough Jews in the city to support a synagogue, so the city and the church were primarily Gentile.

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Observation: What Does The Text Say

This phase isnt about interpretation. Its about observing exactly what the text is saying. Pretend youre an investigator and youre just gathering the facts. Ask yourself the five Ws and H:

  • Who?

As you do, make note of:

  • Words repeated multiple times in a passage
  • Anything that can be put into a list
  • Words that indicate a change in topic or time
  • Words that contrast one thing against another
  • Words that indicate cause and effect

Its critical at this stage not to add anything to the text or take anything away. Avoid the temptation to try to make the text mean anything just yet. Observe whats there, and document it.

Write it all down , and once you feel like you have a good idea of whats happening in the text, its time to move on to the next step: interpretation.

To Gain Wisdom Learn Whats Right Correct Wrong Thinking And Receive Guidance

Why Do We Study the Bible?

Its tough to figure out what is right and wrong in this world, isnt it? Cultural understandings, other peoples views, and our own biases make it very difficult to know with certainty how to handle the questions and problems life brings us. Even with the immovable truth of the Bible, its not easy.

For certain questions, Bible study is more complicated than settling on a verse or two and figuring that youve got your answer. Often there are other passages that present a different perspective, and you must take it all in while asking for wisdom and depending on the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There are a few issues that Im still struggling over, but the Bible is my guide. Not my feelings not my friends not the news mediaGods Word.

The more we study the Bible, the more we realize that it is not an outdated and irrelevant book, but the living Word of God.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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And We Study The Bible To Prepare For What Lies Ahead

The final book of the Bible describes what will happen at the end of time. There are other references to the so-called End Times such as those you will find in the book of Daniel, and in others too. But the Book of the Revelation details what is to happen. Note: there are many interpretations of this book, and the order of the events recorded. Until it actually happens we cannot be certain BUT one thing we can be sure of is that God spoke it.

It will happen one day.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the Lord Jesus Christ will return and every eye will see Him, and bow the knee before Him.

Why Should We Study The Old Testament

Even though this article can nowhere near cover the breadth of reasons why Christians should study the Old Testament, it can provide a handful of grounds to spend an equal amount of time in the Old Testament as we do the New Testament.

Although authors have dedicated entire books to this subject, the church sometimes doesnt follow their advice to study the first 39 books of the Bible. Many Christians can balk at some of the more difficult passages contained within or wonder if we should put as much stock into the first half of the Bible before Jesus appears in Matthew.

Even though this article can nowhere near cover the breadth of reasons why Christians should study the Old Testament, it can provide a handful of grounds to spend an equal amount of time in the Old Testament as we do the New Testament.

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Ready To Learn How To Study The Bible For Yourself

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  • Overcome 7 common obstacles preventing you from spending time in Scripture
  • Discover the personalized Bible-reading routine that works for YOU
  • Learn 15 easy ways to make studying the bible for beginners more meaningful and enjoyable
  • Use Scripture to conquer sin, false beliefs, and negative thought patterns
  • Experience fresh spiritual growth and passion for Gods Word.

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Defending Your Faith And Teaching Others

Why Do We Study the Bible?

One of the reasons why I began to study to the Bible, was because of my friends.

As a teenager, my friends and classmates would invite me to partake in certain activities or go to certain places that were not designed for a Christian.

When I would tell them no, they would ask me why, and I would usually just answer Well because Im a Christian.

This would be followed by even more questions, which could not answer.

I was brought up in the church but I was never taught to study the bible for myself.

I kind of just assumed what was right or wrong based on what the Pastor said.

One day, one of my friends asked me and I quote:

Why are you a Christian anyway if you dont even know what you believe?

I was shaken.

Why was I a Christian?

Was it just because I was brought up that way?

What about other religions?

Jesus says in John 8:32:

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
How can we calm to be believers in the truth, when we dont even know the truth?!

What are we going to say to people when they ask us questions?

We are living, breathing, walking testimonies of Jesus Christ.

We are his representatives on earth.

We might not be able to know everything. But we should know enough to defend our beliefs.

We CANNOT take the Pastors word only we must study the bible for ourselves, and ask God to guide us to the truth.

God has made us his disciples. Jesus commission to us in Matthew 28:19, 20 states:

You never know!

And thats it!

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Bible Study Illuminates Our Daily Reading

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

Bible study works together with our daily time in Scripture.

Daily Bible reading maintains our connection with God through his written Word. It reminds us of his character, promises, our dependence on him, and our future together. It familiarizes us with, and helps us grasp, the whole story of Scripture, and it keeps our souls energized.

But Bible study deepens and expands our understanding of specific Bible passages it helps us sort through hard concepts and gives insight into the context of the Bible. Ideally, our times in deeper study will result in more fulfilling times of daily reading, as what we have gleaned through in-depth study informs our regular time in the Word.

Stage : Learn To Speak Like A Local

One of the most interesting aspects of traveling has to do with learning how people in different places use words.

For instance, the German phrase Guten Tag literally means good day, yet it is normally used as a greeting only in the afternoon, and thus is equivalent to an English speaker saying, good afternoon.

To understand the biblical text, we need to have an accurate understanding of how words are used. Word meanings are determined by the contexts in which they are used. When studying a word in the biblical text we want to know the possible meanings for that word in the ancient world, determine, based on the context, which meaning the author most likely intended, and see whether insight on an authors use can be gained by noting how the same word is used elsewhere in the Bible.

Choose Key Words to Study: Identify key words in the passage. These may be terms that are repeated, terms that are unclear or puzzling, or terms that seem to be theologically important.

This is also an excellent point in your Bible study to consult good commentaries. They will discuss the key words of the passage against the backdrop of literary context, background issues, the authors theology, and other factors.

Word studies can be very helpful, but they can also be abused, and there are word study fallacies we want to avoid. A few of the most common fallacies include:

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Whats So Important About Studying The Bible

Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someones own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

The Bible isnt an easy book. It was written by God in an ancient time through people of different languages and cultures than our own, whose immediate audiences were different from us in many ways. Its also a book written by God about God and the work hes doing in the world.

A work by such a divine Author, on such an immense topic, should be difficult to fully comprehend. So well need to study and wrestle with Gods wordsbut its worth it, and here are five reasons why:

The Bible Leads Us To Gods Heart

Bible Basics

Thomas Goodwin wrote that the Scriptures were written to bring down and lay before us the heart of God.2 The whole of Scripture puts Gods multifaceted glory on display. It shows Gods heart that we might trust him with ours.

Paul wrote, whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope . God aims to instruct us not as an end itself, but to encourage our hearts with hope. He gave us the Bible because he loves us, and he wants us to feel loved by him. He wants us to hope in him and know, deep down, with an unshakable confidence, that we are his.

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How To Read And Study The Bible

Think for a moment about a trip you have taken. You left home, traveled to your destination, and had various memorable experiences. Perhaps you experienced a culture different from your own and found that the greater the cultural differences between home and destination, the greater the effort needed to communicate and to learn in your new environment. Yet you persevered, experienced new people and places, and were enriched by it all.

The Bible is Gods Word to us we are not simply reading someone elses mail. Yet, Bible study can be like taking a trip to another culture. The language at times seems foreign. You might have difficulty finding your way around the history or the literature. You see new things that are beautiful or even strange. You then gather up what you have gained from your study time and hopefully you grow by the experience.

Since reading the Bible is a crosscultural experience, we need a vehicle that can take us to where we can hear what God is saying to us through those experiences, and I suggest that the right vehicle is a sound process of listening to the text of Scripture. Through a sound process of Bible reading, we see the sights God wants us to see. We learn to navigate the unfamiliar territories of biblical history and literature, read the road signs that mark the main points to which we must pay attention, and understand the language of the Bible.

Studying The Bible Leads To True Flourishing

What can we expect from studying the Bible? We can expect to flourish in the ways that matter most. Psalm 1 speaks of the blessed, or happy, person who meditates onnot just reads throughGods word. The one who meditatively studies Gods word is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not whither .

Who doesnt want to be truly happy? Who doesnt want live a life of flourishing? The God who made us shows us the way: from morning to night, meditating on his word with great delight.

Notes:

  • Arnold Dallimore, George Whitefield, 1:81.
  • Goodwin, Works, 4:208
  • Drew Hunter is the teaching pastor at Zionsville Fellowship in Zionsville, Indiana. He is the author of Made for Friendship and the Isaiah and Matthew volumes in the Knowing the Bible series. Drew and his wife, Christina, live in Zionsville, Indiana, and have four children.

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    Bible Study Is Essential To Spiritual Maturity

    The second passage we need to look at is Hebrews 5:1114:

    Concerning we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.

    This is an instructive passage in terms of studying Scripture. The writer says hes got a lot to say, but it is hard to explain. Why? Is it the difficulty of the revelation? No, its the density of the reception. Peter says, You have become dull of hearing, meaning you are slow to learn.

    The Bible is the divine means of developing spiritual maturity.

    The key word in this passage is time. Underline it in your Bible. The writer tells his readers, when by virtue of the passing of time you ought to be entering college, youve got to go back to kindergarten and learn your ABCs all over again. When you should be communicating the truth to others as teachers, you need to have someone communicate the truth to you.

    So that is a second reason Bible study is essential. The Bible is the divine means of developing spiritual maturity. There is no other way.

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