What is Bible study and is it different from Bible reading?
What is Bible study? Isn’t Bible study the same as Bible reading?
No, not even close. I’ve read a number of books by many different authors, but I only really ever studied school books.
Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.
/ Pastor, author
Unless we form the habit of going to the Bible in bright moments as well as in trouble, we cannot fully respond to its consolations because we lack equilibrium between light and darkness.
/ Author, lecturer
The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid.
/ Friar, priest
The difference in studying a book and merely reading it lies in committing it to memory. When we read, it usually denotes doing an action for entertainment or enjoyment. Anyone who has tried to start in Genesis and read through the Bible can tell you that Leviticus and Numbers are less than entertaining and few enjoy their contents.
Bible Study is important
Even seasoned Christians complain that memorization is difficult and sometimes they don’t even understand what they are reading. Can you recite John 3:16? Most of us can thanks to Sunday School classes. If it was important for us to memorize verses when we were young, when did it stop being important?
The truth is that it is still important as an adult to memorize scripture, and I would say that it is even more important as we age. Life issues don’t stop when you become an adult, you simply learn how to cope with those issues. Some of us have learned unhealthy coping mechanisms, and would do well to memorize Biblical life skills.
Invite the Holy Spirit to Bible study with you
I cannot stress enough the importance of inviting the Holy Spirit to assist you in understanding and applying what you learn in Bible study to your life.
God’s message is clear, he wants you to read His Word, yes, but also live it out in your life. When you invite the Holy Spirit to your Bible study, you get a spiritual counselor, a wise teacher, and a close friend. No one understands you more than God, no one knows more than God, and not a soul can comfort you like God.
Start every bible study session with a prayer inviting the Holy Spirit to help guide and interpret God's living word to you.
Learn who Jesus is through Bible study
The first four books of the New Testament recount the life of Jesus while he was on Earth. The rest of the New Testament are accounts of new believers encouraging, disciplining, and recounting the teachings of Jesus. The whole of the Old Testament points to the coming of Jesus as the messiah, savior of God's people.
If you want to know Jesus, Bible study is the best way. The whole book, all 66 books, every chapter and verse is a reflection of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is God's love song to humanity, sacrificing his only son, his perfect son to forgive and reconcile us to Him.
Free Online Studies
There are a various Bible study tools and online studies available for free. All you need to do is type free bible studies into the search engine of your choice and you will discover a whole new world of resources on biblical topics, stories, and books.
Of course, you should take care that what you study matches your beliefs. Be cautions of studies that focus on the writers beliefs and opinions so much that there's little scripture to back it up.
Be inspired to do Bible study
I want to encourage you to do Bible study to pursue God, and to do it with the Holy Spirit. You will find it easier and more enjoyable when you are prepared and guided by the one who inspired its writing.
So what is Bible study for you? Do you merely read the Bible, or do you get into memorization and digging for the truth of what it actually says? Let me know in the comments below!