understand the Bible for yourself

Dave Black muses on his blog today:

11:20 AM With some embarrassment and hesitation, let me share with you a crazy thought that occurred to me while writing today:

We spend a lot of time, as writers and teachers, studying the Bible so that others can keep abreast of what thoughts and ideas it  contains. Wouldn’t it be better, in terms of both efficiency and satisfaction, if they could do it for themselves?

Now, with a bit of irony, it’s back to writing….

Yes, my friend, and it is called Inductive Bible Study – something every pastor should be encouraging folks in their communities of faith to be learning – be careful though, it’s dangerous and could cause you to be knocked down a pedestal or two!  Wouldn’t that be a shame if you were no longer the smartest person on the Bible in the congregation anymore?  Really now!  🙂

To be able to effective study the Bible on your own (or even with others) you do not need a Bible college degree or  a masters or a PhD degree – you don’t need any degree.  You just need to be able to think!  If you can think you can do inductive Bible study!

Please know I simply linked an example – it is the method that is important not the ministry that promotes it – though I happen to think Precept is as good a ministry as any in promoting inductive Bible study for Christians worldwide!

Pastors and church leaders, if you are not promoting Inductive Bible Study in your congregations (either leading the studies yourself or empowering and encouraging others to do so), you are only hurting your people – not helping them.   That’s how I see it.

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3 responses to “understand the Bible for yourself

  1. I think its great to do Bible studies… I am a little cautious though that many Christians seem to base their salvation on belief of certain presuppositions which is enhanced through studies.

  2. Well Craig, while I completely understand what you are saying, I this is the benefit of the inductive method – learning to observe the text (what does it say?) interpret the text (what does it mean?) and apply the text (what does it me for me and us?) forces people to look at the Bible for themselves and work or live accordingly which can be very transforming. It is very empowering to be able to study and understand the Bible for oneself and be able to make decisions accordingly without having to have the pastor or others tell you what they think it says. I hope this makes sense.

    It is not a situation where people answer a preconceived set of leading questions the promote an entrenched theology or perspective – instead people have to answer their own questions or the who, what when where why, and how questions to mine the text for its truths. (of course there is background reading and context studies and so on.

    Hope that helps

  3. Lol! You explained it well Brian and totally agree…

    When I was a new Christian I used to bug my pastor silly asking him question after question…I read the Bible through twice in the first year.

    Now when I look back and think about how I have changed and worked through my position on various passages through deeper research, there tends to be a certain amount of cringe factor. One I am grateful in that I was given the freedom to explore.

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