"Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." –Acts 17:11 (NIV)
Were the Bereans of Acts 17 one of the earliest examples of an in-depth Christian Bible study group? Probably not in the sense of what we consider in-depth Bible study today, but they did indeed dig into God's Word deeply, examining it and making sure that what they read corresponded to the message Paul shared with them. Today, of course, we have a lot more in the way of resources to help us study the Bible in great depth. Not only do we have access to sophisticated Bible software, we also have the Internet and its many resources, not to mention almost 2,000 years of Christian history and wisdom we can incorporate into our studies.
The question, "How do I study the Bible?" is not just for new Christians. Anyone interested in studying the Bible will benefit from thinking about how to study it. In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Apostle Paul wrote, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth" (NIV). The Greek phrase translated "correctly handle" (orthotomeo) also means to "guide on a straight path." As we study the Bible, it's important we do our best to stay on the straight path when it comes to interpreting and understanding it.
by Robert Velarde
Most articles about studying the Bible jump right into the topic at hand. This article will take a different approach by first asking the question, Why study the Bible? This is both practical and foundational. It is practical because we will learn real reasons why studying the Bible is important, but it is also foundational because it will prepare us for future discussions on the importance of Bible study.
While not an exhaustive list, below are eight reasons for studying the Bible:
To learn what it says firsthand
To help others
Because it is God's Word to us
To know God better
"But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us" (II Corinthians 4:7).
I saw my first Catfish television show this week. My son told me about it. Very few people over thirty years of age have probably seen the show, but most people under thirty probably watch every episode. It is a documentary about people creating false on-line profiles and then engaging in on-line relationships with other people, all the while pretending to be somebody other than who they really are. The show is raunchy. The show is ridiculous. The show is revealing.
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.”