Bible study principles

"Continue in what you have learned . . . You have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" -- 2 Timothy 3:14-15

  1. Be willing to spend time. Take Bible study seriously.
    • Don't be overwhelmed by the talk about Bible "chapters." Most Bible chapters are only one page long. What we call Bible "books" correspond more closely to the length of the chapter of an average book.
  2. Be honest with the Bible. Be willing to listen to what it actually says -- not what you can make it mean.
  3. Read the Bible by books or at least by sections. Don't be satisfied with pulling out and dissecting isolated verses.
  4. Approach the different writings of the Bible according to their literary types (poetry, history, drama, letters, sermons, biography and prophecy).
  5. Put yourself in the shoes of the very first readers of each portion of the Bible. Try to imagine what they understood as they read.

Confirmation of a bit of trivia

     It's been said that it takes about 75 hours to read the Bible aloud at a normal rate. A little over 50 hours of that will be spent reading the Old Testament. I mentioned this bit of trivia to a group of Haitian pastors on the island of La Gonave. The pastor of the Church of the Nazarene at Grand Source challenged his youth group to see how long it would take them to do it. On a Monday, they started reading the Bible aloud from the pulpit of their church. Reading in 15 minute shifts for about 15 hours a day, those young people in Haiti read the Bible through aloud in a little over 79 hours.

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