When I saw that this book was coming out, I put it on my wishlist. When it became available for review, I jumped at the chance to read it. And I was not disappointed! The author talks about the lack of Bible literacy and the need for us to dig deeper into the Bible in order to better know what it says. Also, she addresses our tendency to read the Bible for information about ourselves rather than reading the Bible for what it is – a book about God. The Bible helps us to better know God, which in turn helps us to better know ourselves. But first we need to read it to learn about God.
In order to do this, we first need to ask the “archaeological” questions: who wrote it, to whom did they write it, when was it written, why was it written? It is important to read the Bible in context, which includes its historical context. We need to determine what it meant to the original writer and readers in order to better understand what it means now. It can never mean what it never meant.
Then the book talks about the 5 P’s of Bible study. Reading with purpose, perspective, process, patience and prayer. Each point is delved into and fleshed out practically. For process, the inductive Bible study method is discussed – comprehension (otherwise known as observation), interpretation, and application. At the end of the book is a section addressed to teachers – how to teach a Bible study and pitfalls to avoid.
I loved this book! I got it as a Kindle book and now I want to get the physical book to have as reference. Bible study is one of my passions and this book spells it out very clearly – not just the importance but the nitty-gritty of how to do it. Highly recommended! Release date of July 31, 2014.
*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my review.
“…the desire for instant gratification can even creep into our study of the Bible. The preponderance of devotional material available to us bears evidence to our love for the neatly-wrapped package: a spiritual insight paired with a few verses and an application point or two.”
“The Bible does not want to be neatly packaged into threehundred-and-sixty-five-day increments. It does not want to be reduced to truisms and action points.”
“Learning requires work. This is as true of learning the Bible as it is of learning algebra. We think that learning the Bible should be as natural as breathing in and out; if knowing God’s Word is so good for us, surely he would not make it difficult for us to do so. But learning the Bible requires discipline, and discipline is something we don’t naturally embrace.”
“Learning the Bible is a quest for knowledge, but it is ultimately a quest for understanding.”
“Bible study is an investment with a long-term payoff. Rather than reading a specific text to try to meet an immediate need, give the benefits of your study permission to be stored away for future use.”
“We must be those who build on the rock-solid foundation of mind-engaging process, rather than on the shifting sands of ‘what this verse means to me’ subjectivity.”
“1. Comprehension asks, ‘What does it say?’ 2. Interpretation asks, ‘What does it mean?’ 3. Application asks, ‘How should it change me?'”
“Any time we memorize a verse without knowing what comes before or after it, we run the very real danger of misapplying it.”
“It is good for us to earnestly attempt interpretation on our own before we read the interpretations of others.”
“Learning the Bible does not happen as a result of human effort alone.”
“Our study of the Bible is only beneficial insofar as it increases our love for the God it proclaims. Bible study is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. It is a means to love God more, and to live differently because we have learned to behold him better.”
“Bible literacy that does not transform is a chasing after the wind. Christians will be known by our love, not our knowledge.”