How Do You Study or Teach The Bible?

bobinfaith

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Dear brothers and sisters;

I was sharing with my church family the importance of reading the Word daily. I also asked how do they apply what they read.

At first some were intimidated because they began to compare their study with another who had been studying for years.

I shared that when I first started reading the Bible I didn't know the difference between Genesis and Revelation, or that the Psalms was in the middle of the book, and got confused over the names of the books of Chronicles and Corinthians.

I wanted to ask if we all can join in this topic and what you share may encourage another in our academic discipline.

Romans 15:4, For 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 bless you all and your families.
 
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My advice to someone who wants to study the Bible would be regularity (study often, with a daily cycle and a weekly cycle), and to be varied.

By varied, I mean that some time should be spent in light reading wherever you are led. Sometimes studied more deeply, for example examining by topic or following cross-references. Make use of additional materials such as devotional materials and commentaries. Some study should be done with other believers, sharing insights. A weekly group Bible study is often great. Meditate about your studies through the day.

Keep a journal about what you find and think and how it relates to your life and the world around you. The Journal is also helpful in putting the scriptures into action. Make and record goals and how with Gods help to obtain them. Review that journal weeks and years later and see what God has done with and for you over time.

When I first accepted Christ, a family took me ‘under their wing’. We had a weekly Bible study and saw each other at Sunday services and mid-week prayer meetings. After about 9 months the mother asked me to help teach 4th & 5th graders in Sunday School, under supervision, using prepared materials. I can tell you that taking the responsibility to teach requires commitment to study well. A teacher often learns more than the Students.
 

bobinfaith

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My advice to someone who wants to study the Bible would be regularity (study often, with a daily cycle and a weekly cycle), and to be varied. A weekly group Bible study is often great. Keep a journal about what you find and think and how it relates to your life and the world around you. After about 9 months the mother asked me to help teach 4th & 5th graders in Sunday School, under supervision, using prepared materials. I can tell you that taking the responsibility to teach requires commitment to study well. A teacher often learns more than the Students.
Hello brother Siloam;

I highlighted some great advice in your experience of studying the Bible. Years ago my wife and I was hesitant to go to Bible studies in the new church we started attending. It was new to us to go weekly. But when we did the group was loving and welcoming. Soon we looked forward to attending weekly, being with our new church family and studying together. Praise God our Pastor was very knowledge and made us feel comfortable when asking questions.

I have a couple of church members who keep a journal. It blessed me because they've kept it consistently through the years and you're right. They apply the Scriptures daily but also have good memorization.

God bless you, Siloam, and thank you for sharing.
 

AtomicSnowflake

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This is a good question... thank you bobinfaith for asking it. As for me personally, I think I could use a little lot more discipline when it comes to "how" I read/study... so I look forward to the advice that will be shared.

I enjoy reading and studying the Bible. And I do make use of other books in order to gain more understanding of culture, customs, history, events, and other background so I can better grasp a fuller context of what I read. I do tend to read a bit, then stop to do some research, cross-reference, check some commentaries, or look up some articles or sermons... then go back to continue reading. That's just what seems to work for me.
As far as applying what I read... it seems that I am best able to "get it" when I am challenged by something in life. For example if a person or situation is negative and I get angry about something... instead of feeding the emotion of anger, I will stop & focus on how/why I allowed myself to fall into the trap of letting this emotion affect me. I will try to find out what the scriptures have to say about it. I view these situations as growth because it allows me the opportunity to identify weaknesses in myself that need to be addressed. It does not matter if I "think" that I may be right and someone else is wrong... if I am allowing a negative response about anything- then that is my problem, my flaw, my weakness.
If I find myself being critical of others in some way, that is a huge red flag to me... I have to stop those negative thoughts and look to God and find out what it is that I need to learn!

As far as group studies go, I do enjoy them. However, I sometimes have a hard time with the structured, "curriculum" type of workbook studying, but that's just me. I tend to get more personal benefit with a more in-depth type of study than what many of them offer.
Our church has Sunday school, and also a Wednesday night group study. We are able to go more in-depth with our group study because there is more individual input from the group members... so there is much more discussion. I really like studying the Bible more than answering a workbook...lol I find that I spend more time reading, praying, and studying throughout the week for the Wednesday night group than I do for the "Sunday school" workbooks. So for me, the group study keeps me more engaged and allows me to have better study habits and learn better.

One thing we do at our house, is ALOT of reading. My husband and I both like to read... so we spend hours reading & studying together at home. We will spend the evenings/nights together, while he will read out loud to me. This is something that is very special to me and creates beautiful moments that I will dearly treasure forever. Both our dog and our cat will will even sit and listen while he reads!

(I can't say anything on teaching... as I do not "teach"... but my husband does.)

Siloam
The journal seems like a great idea, and one that I would like to try, (and have tried)... but one problem I have is that it's hard to me to "simplify"... what I mean is that everything in the Bible is just so connected to everything else.. like a spiderweb. (Or like the Thompson Chain Reference.) It's like me trying to just single out one individual thread of the web, and none of the rest. I supposed that just means that keeping a journal may be something I NEED to do.

bobinfaith
Thanks again for the thread... I do need to improve my study habits/techniques, and look forward to more good advice & tips.
 
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I have been studying the bible for a long time. I have taken and also led many biblical studies. Lately I have been exploring parts of the bible I have not spent quite as much time studying in the past. Like the book of Job last summer and fall. Besides reading and reflecting on the scriptures I do check commentaries and sometime books written on the particular part of the bible I am studying. And I often use a concordance to check out the meaning of the Words as they were written in the original languages. I also enjoy watching documentaries on biblical archaeology.
In my daily reading I chose either one Psalm or one Proverb (or part of either) to reflect upon, pray about, and apply to my life and any situation I am experiences. Then I pick a chapter or story from the OT. usually in the first 5 books. Also I usually chose one chapter or part of one in the gospels. I may focus on just a few verses at a time and see how they speak to me. And finally I chose either something from Acts or else one of the letters or something from Revelation.

I write down daily significant passages and keep a journal on all. Have been journaling like this since the mid 1970's.

This all precludes reading the entire bible in bible in a year processes four years in a row some years back. I try to listen to what the scriptures are saying to me trusting that the Holy Spirit is guiding me. And I also endeavor never to take a particular passage out of context. The best thing I have found in all of my years of studying is that the bible interprets the bible. You have to work at getting the entire message which rings consistently throughout all of it. In a word, God loves and cares for His people.
 

bobinfaith

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I also enjoy watching documentaries on biblical archaeology. You have to work at getting the entire message which rings consistently throughout all of it. In a word, God loves and cares for His people.
Hello Sandpiper;

Your interest in Biblical archaeology caught my attention. In my Old Testament I and II classes one of the texts we study is the Holman Bible Atlas. It has very detailed maps and archaeology and gave me an idea to provide copies of Israel to our Bible studies.

I noticed that when teaching the Bible the map helps recognize where parts of Israel is located, especially when studying the Gospels and Paul's missions.


Growing up I was never an avid student so I struggled more than most, even today. But when my teachers provided tools such as maps, video documentaries or visits to history museums helped me improve my study of history and the Bible. So I pass these tools on when I teach.

God bless you, Sandpiper and your family.
 
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