Developing Bible Study Skills - 1


This series of short articles is designed to demonstrate, by working through some simple pieces of Bible exposition, that Bible study is not just for the academic. It is hoped that any who read these short expositions will realise, if they have not done so already, that rewarding Bible study is within the grasp of us all.

All that will be required to develop your own studies along similar lines will be a Bible, ideally with marginal cross-references; a good concordance or computerised Bible such as the Online Bible; a good Bible atlas; a pen and notebook. You will bring to the task an inquisitive, questioning mind. These ‘tools’ will be complemented by a prayerful and humble mind which expects that the Father will grant understanding (Ps. 119:18) to the one who “trembleth” at His word (Isa. 66:2).

We will come to realise as we progress that Bible study is not confined to the preparing of talks. It is a pursuit that one should “delight” in (Ps. 1:2).

This series of simple studies will systematically, with worked examples,

1 show that Bible study is not difficult or the preserve of the intellectual

2 show the need to give careful attention to the text

3 highlight the importance of context

4 demonstrate the value of comparing Scripture with Scripture

5 investigate the value of ‘inspired commentaries’

6 indicate the value of following up quotations

7 show the value of building up a picture from various scriptures

8 reveal the value of knowing Biblical geography

9 highlight the value of recording and preserving information found

When embarking upon your own original study you will not know which aspect of study you will use. This will depend on the topic under consideration. One should always have an open mind to all the possibilities and be willing to explore all options that come to mind.

Above all, the clear objective in all your studies should be that you “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).

You are encouraged to work through each study as it appears, to think about the questions that are asked and to try to work out, Scripturally, your answers before reading to the end of the article. In this way, by exercising your mind on the topics, you will develop your own approach to Bible study.

There is no ‘right’ way either to do Bible study or make notes to remind you of what you have learnt. You will develop your own approach to both these aspects of study. The studies that follow use techniques that I have learnt from others and that have worked for me over many years.

Part 2