3 Key Tools For Bible Study
Biblical Studies Tips & Tools
3 Key Tools For Bible Study:
The Bible, Eyes, plus Pen & Paper
The Bible was not written with the intention of just being owned, respected or occasionally read or referred to. It is to be read, re-read, scrutinized and even memorized. It is the final and ultimate authority in matters of belief and practice.
The Bible is something therefore, that needs to be understood and its content learned and remembered. In order to understand, learn and remember the contents of the Bible, it needs to be studied.
Involved in the concept of Bible study are 3 essential elements for conducting meaningful studies of the Biblical texts. Those three elements are
1. The Bible
2. Your eyes
3. Pen & paper
Let’s take a closer look at each of these in some detail.
There is an appalling lack of Bible study among Christians today. The lack of Bible study among Christians has been developing now for several decades. In the middle of the 20th Century, many churches in America routinely conducted studies of the Bible. In fact many Protestant churches focused heavily, if not exclusively on studying the Bible.
Over the years, the focus on studying has diminished to the point that it is now hard to find a church where any Bible study is conducted. A Christian who wants to study the Bible is almost forced to do so individually, apart from any church activities.
Another reason for the lack of Bible study among Christians today is due to home and family issues. So many people are hard pressed to find time for even family activities together due to working one or two jobs along with school activities of the children. Family reading of the Bible is for the most part, a thing of the past. Children, therefore, do not see the Bible as a springboard of life or worthy of a lifetime of study.
One would do well to list the activities of the week and ask: “What time is left for reading the Word of God?” In your busy life today, has Bible study been left out?
While the physical eyes are essential in the reading of the text, much more is involved than just physical sight. Physical sight and spiritual sight, though companions, are not the same. Physical eyes provide the sight, but the aid of the Holy Spirit is needed for insight.
The difference between “seeing” and “seeing” is illustrated by John 20:1-10. Mary Magdalene, Peter and John all arrive at the tomb of Jesus; and three different Greek words in the text express the idea of what each one saw.
John outruns Peter, stands outside the tomb and looks in and “saw” (the Greek word is “blepo”) the linen wrappings lying there. (20:5). This refers to a viewing of the facts from without and affirms what Mary had already told him.
Peter, on the other hand, went into the tomb and “beheld” (the Greek term theoreo) the linen wrappings. (20:6). Peter’s seeing was different than John’s. It was direct, intensely observant, and perceptive. Peter saw the impossible – the separation of a body from its wrappings with the latter undisturbed.
John then entered and “saw” ( Greek term eiden) and believed. (20:8) John’s sight was accompanied by faith.
True insight into the Word of God is affected by our attitude toward it (faith) and our relationship to the Holy Spirit, its author.
The Pen and Paper
The pen and paper are the Bible student’s other set of eyes. Faded ink is always superior to a good memory. Writing one’s observations down on paper not only aids memory, but it also forces one to transfer thoughts into words which enables the learning process to be maximized to its fullest extent.