Studying Scripture: Why Together Is Better

young women sitting on the couch reading the Bible

Have you ever tried to teach yourself how to do something? More than once, I’ve tried to teach myself a foreign language or craft idea, usually ending up frustrated, unsuccessful, and never completing the learning process. When I’ve surrounded myself with others to help me, the results have been dramatically different. The learning process was fun, more fruitful, and easier to stick with. Digging into Scripture is no easy task, and it is not something we should attempt to learn to do alone.

As I have learned to mine the treasures of God’s Word, I have found the following helpful, if not essential:

  • Choose to learn from those who will not compromise God’s unchanging truths. Look for teachers and communities of believers who put the emphasis of Bible study on God, not self. Strive to begin each Bible study time with this mind-set. Select a Bible study aimed at rooting you in Scripture rather than building up your self-esteem.
  • If Bible study is something new to you, ask a seasoned mentor to walk through it with you. Studying the Bible in community acts as a safeguard against wrong or false teachings. You will learn from others, and others will learn from you.
  • Get in a daily routine of being in God’s Word and practicing good Bible study techniques. Techniques include learning to ask the right questions of the text. I also use a Bible with good cross-references. Instead of choosing any random passage, I prefer to study a whole book in its entirety. It allows me to trace themes or repeated phrases and gain a sense of the book’s context.
  • Memorize Scripture to help internalize it as you’re studying. Listening to a book or chapter on an audio Bible app has been helpful for me. It’s easy to click play and quote along with it. Repeat a small section at a time over and over until you’re comfortable with it.
     

Learning in Community

The Bible gives several examples of how we are designed to learn in community. Moses charged the priests to read God’s word regularly in the hearing of others (Deut. 31:11). By this, they would learn to fear the Lord and pass on God’s teachings to future generations. In the New Testament, the Berean believers studied God’s word diligently to test the truthfulness of what they heard from Paul and Silas (Acts 17:11).

Learning to dig deep into Scripture has been one of the most exciting, life-giving journeys I have experienced. God has brought some incredible mentors and guides along the way. Professors, pastors, and godly Bible study teachers have nurtured my thirst for studying the Bible with a healthy view of God and His Word. That’s exactly what I want for you.

Looking for a Bible study to do with your group? Check out Rooted, a 6-week study of Ephesians, and other great Bible studies from New Hope Publishers.


Ena Redding* lives in the Middle East. She is passionate about studying God’s Word and making Him known. She blogs about Scripture and her cross-cultural journey at EnaRedding.com.

*Name changed.

 

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