Should we study the Bible like a textbook?
Bible study is worth every effort we once gave school work. It's certainly more worthwhile than reading Shakespeare. Yet many of us don't approach the Bible as we did Shakespeare. So the questions remains: Should we study the Bible like a textbook? Here is my answer.
So, should we study the Bible like a textbook? My answer is YES and NO.
Let me explain...
Yes, we should study the Bible like a textbook!
The Bible is worth studying like a textbook. If we put effort into school work, we should study the Bible with all the more fervor and skill. What we learn in Scripture is certainly as important, if not more, than what we learned in school.
In school, we learn the basic life skills we need every day - basic math, reading, writing, critical thinking etc. In Scripture, we learn everything we need for a life of honoring God with our thoughts and actions. We learn about who God is and who we are. We gain encouragement and strength for each day.
It's way to easy to misinterpret Scripture when we just read a verse here and there. It may sound more idyllic to sit in a cozy spot and digest a quick, heart-warming verse, but there are times when we should sit at a table with a clear head and study.
Yup, study like we did in school!
We should put in the effort, dust off those old text analysis skills, and study the Bible like a textbook. It's the best way to ensure that we understand and apply it correctly, and thereby actually follow God rather than a false interpretation.
Ask those "who, what, when, where, why, and how" questions that you learned in high school. Check the context. Look for cross-references. Consult commentaries. Do the work! You won't regret it.
When we dig deep into Scripture and study it like a textbook, we learn so much more than we did at a cursory glance. You'll love this way of studying Scripture.
But there is a flip side...
No, you should not JUST study the Bible like a textbook!
We study a textbook mainly for head knowledge. We feel we need this head knowledge to pass a test and move on in our educational journey.
The Bible is different. There will be no test and studying is not about head knowledge. It's about heart knowledge and life change. God gave us His Word so we could get to know Him better and live a life that honors Him.
The word "textbook" also has a negative connotation to most of us. We remember unwanted homework and the drudgery of reading a dry textbook because we had to.
That's not what the Bible should ever become for us. It's the living Word of God and it's a privilege to study it. Keep your excitement for Bible study high! Focus on learning about God and finding guidance and daily soul nourishment in Scripture. Bible study is invigorating. It's a fresh of breath air... nothing like those school textbooks you remember.
So how can you study the Bible like a textbook without the visual image of the stuffy textbooks?
I've created a Bible study series that will teach you to study the Bible like a textbook while growing your excitement over Bible study. You'll learn inductive Bible study in small, manageable steps, allowing you to slowly transition from a guided Bible study to independent time in God's Word.
You will practice these new skills on select passages that string together to show you the storyline of the Bible so that you can truly study any passage in context.
Find it all in the Scripture Confident through the Bible series. Learn more here.
This learning system is all inclusive!
- Learn how to study the Bible.
- Journey through the Bible’s story on select passages.
- Do it all in just 15-20 minutes a day!
Here is what others had to say:
"I have learned so much about the Bible because of the way you have taught us how to study Scripture. I'm starting to automatically ask the questions and interpret the information so much better - especially with the use of outside resources. This course has definitely helped me to deepen my Bible study and time with God!" ~ Wendi
"You taught me how to use a commentary and interpret Scripture in a way that deepens my understanding of it and also my love for God and my faith." ~ Courtney
We are studying through the first two modules together in our community Facebook group, My Scripture Confident Life, starting September 10th. I hope you join us!