What real Bible study is and is not

Real Bible study should first involve studying the Bible itself, not what others have written by way of commentary.

Just reading through the Bible in sequence is not Bible study, though it certainly can be a first step in learning Scripture. Reading the Bible through in a year is a good thing, even a laudable exercise, but it is not the same as Bible study. Why? No one can really take in that much detail in a manner that can be called Bible study. When you just read the Bible, you are only skimming the surface, not digging into the Bible in depth.

I have found it helps to approach the Bible in more than one way at a time. For example, I suggest reading the Bible in sequence. At the same time, give some time to actually studying the Bible using a particular Bible study method or process.

 While I am reading the Bible through, or a Bible book through, I may happen upon a verse that particularly strikes my interest. I then take time to study that verse in greater depth. This may involve studying the subjects mentioned in that verse as they are further developed elsewhere in the Bible. This can be a most helpful and fascinating study. I’ll explain more about how to do this in future posts.

Perhaps the first question that will pop into your mind is, “And just when do you think anyone can find the time to do all this?”

You find time to eat, don’t you? The Bible encourages us to consider its content as spiritual food. In 1 Peter 2:2 we are told, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.”

In physical life, a baby would not live long if it could not eat. Babies obviously have a strong desire for milk. So we should have just as strong a desire for spiritual food as found in the Bible if we are really to live the Christian life to the fullest.

One way to solve the time issue is to daily set aside twenty minutes to Bible reading. I have kept a simple paper marker in my Bible and written down exactly where I left off reading on the marker each day. The next day I take up the Bible again and read for another twenty minutes.

I first did this as a high school student. I read my Bible for twenty minutes first before I proceeded to do my homework each evening. When I had time for more reading, I spent more time.

That reading made all the difference in the world for me, for as a result I truly found Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and began a continuing relationship with Him. God can certainly do the same for you if you will read His Word in the Bible for yourself on a regular basis.

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