Bible Study 101

You know, it’s a bad habit of mine to not return to a topic that I said we’d get back to next time I post. Totally unintentional, but let’s be honest- my recent news about our twins was worth the interruption!! 

I have every intention of getting back to sharing basic Bible Study helps because I really want to see a generation of women who are spiritually thriving in a world that helps us to be anything but. Without God’s Word, we really can’t have the abundant life He promises. 

We live in an amazing time. Information is at our disposal with a touch of a screen. Hey, we don’t even need to touch, we can just speak. (“Siri, how do I get my sanity back?”)

This information bounty is both a blessing and a curse for people serious about studying God’s Word. A blessing, because there is no lack of tools and study helps out there. We can get a strong grasp of passages because of the boundless resources at our disposal.

On the other hand, there are loads of books, websites and commentaries that are filled with error. Even worse, sometimes it has some great writing and even a good premise, but error is still the foundation of the writing. It can be hard to find trustworthy information. 

What’s a Christian to do? I think of the Bereans, who after hearing Paul preach went back to the Scriptures to make sure that the things he was saying were truth. (Acts 17:10-12) We must always come back to the Bible to verify what outside helps we read, or even what we hear preached. Not in skepticism, necessarily, but in an attitude of confirmation.

We must also pray. The Holy Spirit living in us will guide us into all truth. (John 16:13) That truth will never go against His Word. He gives us discernment to know what to “take in” and what to reject. 

So as I share some places with you in this post, keep these things in mind. We are to be Bereans. We are to let the Holy Spirit guide our discernment. We are to use Scripture as the foundation and truth indicator. 

Now to the nitty gritty.

A good, solid study Bible is always a great place to start. I call mine my cheat book, because I often find language meanings and historical context written in the notes, which is always helpful. Not to mention, cross referencing, indexes, maps, etc. get a lot of use. I have a Ryrie Study Bible, which I think is great in its information balance. My husband has a MacArthur Study Bible. I use his if I want information overload, because the notes are much more extensive.

Then there are online Bibles. YouVersion is a super app. You can choose translation. You can follow one of their many reading plans (use discernment) and it will help you stay on track. You can even add friends to heighten your accountability factor. It features highlighting, sharing functions, and note taking. My daughter loves the image maker- you can take a verse and create your own subway art in the app itself.

Whew! Are you getting overwhelmed? I hope not. As I mentioned, there is a LOT of stuff out there. I won’t be much longer, I promise. 

In the advent of social media and online boom, a plethora of Bible study groups have popped up. If you are looking for accountability and discussion when you have time, these are a good place to meet. You can even start your own group with friends.

I have been using the She Reads Truth app. They have plenty of plans- some are free and some you purchase. What I like about their app is the Bible reading is built in everyday, and it isn’t just a few brief verses. I can choose translation and the devotional that goes with the reading is usually meaty- not feelings based but Bible based.  On the weekends, they give a grace day to catch up on what you might have missed and a verse to memorize each week. 

This is just the tippy top of a ginormous iceberg. The blogs, books, readers, and podcasts… my breathing is getting short just thinking about it all! Let’s not get overwhelmed though. Simply opening your Bible and reading is never a bad place to start. 

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