How to Study the Bible

This is a valuable article for all young believers. It will be concluded next month, God willing. 

What is the best method to use in studying the Bible? How can a believer feed his own soul, master the books of the Bible, and use as much of his mind as possible for God and His Word while he is young?” Others have “sold their brains to corporations,” as they try to climb the socioeconomic ladder of the world as quickly as possible. How much better to emulate those who, when they minister, provide a richness from the Scriptures that can only be the result of what F. W. Grant meant when he wrote, “It is the character of the Word of God to leave something to be the reward for diligence.”

There are many ways to approach such a study. There are topical studies, character studies, word studies, verse-by-verse studies, and studies of individual books of the Bible.

G. Campbell Morgan taught that we should study the Bible the way God wrote the Bible. God wrote the Bible “a book at a time,” and we should therefore ‘study the Bible a book at a time’.

We need, however, to distinguish between reading the Scriptures, meditating on the Scriptures, and studying the Scriptures. Proverbs 12:29 illustrates this: “The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting.” As we read our Bibles, hopefully we are hunting for some food for our souls. After we have found food, we should meditate, for perhaps a number of days on that

passage, in dependence on the Holy Spirit that we may feed our souls and that He may show to us the import of the passage. We should do this until we feel we have truly made it our own. This is the roasting — the meditation on the Scriptures. The studying involves not only the aforementioned roasting in the fires of meditation, but also the use of a series of ‘helps’ which we will refer to later.

Select a certain book of the Bible, and read it through at a single sitting, if possible, every day for a month. Further, after one week, pick up a good commentary on that book and let that author take you through that book. Written ministry has been committed to print to give it a wider circulation and to allow you to go through it conveniently and at your own speed. Do not let the commentary replace the Scriptures! Use it to unfold the riches of the Scriptures.

In studying a book of the Bible a month, you would finish this task in 5 years and have a working knowledge of all the Scriptures.

But what resources are needed? The first requirement for an appreciation of the Scriptures, fulfilled at conversion, is to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. He is not only the writer of the Scriptures (2 Peter 1: 21; 2 Timothy 3:16), but the Teacher Who “will guide you into all truth”(John 16:13). The second requirement is to approach the Scriptures in total dependence on the Spirit as the Teacher and with the attitude of heart of Samuel when he was told to say, “Speak, for Thy servant heareth.”

(to be continued)