Guide to Bible Study
Bible reading and Bible study are
two different things. In Bible study one searches the Bible in depths, takes
notes, analyses, summarizes, compares and researches
in order to understand the Bible better.
Benefits Of Personal Bible Study
1. Enables one to comprehend the
will of God, to follow the correct path to the heavenly kingdom, to obtain
spiritual teachings and to be equipped with spiritual armour
2. Enables one to obtain spiritual insight, understand the
mystery of God and also to “eat what is good and delight in fatness” (Is
one to compile useful materials for future use.
one to be enlightened by the truth and to have a profound understanding of
Benefits Of Group Bible Study
opportunity for participants to give their opinions.
to learn different viewpoints.
fellowship and enable participants to unnderstand one
It can be held at any place. It
may be held at night or alter Sabbath service. No fixed number of participants
is required but ideally the group should consist of more than ten people. When
the number is big it can be divided into two or more groups. The ideal duration
for one session is about 60 minutes.
The leader of a Bible stud group
should be rotated. This will enable more people to gain experience in leading a
According to the findings of
psychologists, one can only retain 10% of what he hears; 50% of what he sees;
75% of what he says and 90% of what he does. As such, Bible study is the most
effective way of remembering the passage of the Bible.
Must thirst for the truth and must attend
services (Lk ).
Must always read the Bible regularly (Deut —20).
Must beseech the Holy Spirit for understanding
(Eph — 20).
Must listen carefully to other opinions (1 Thess —22).
Must mention only the main points when asked to
speak and be objective, gentle and courteous when speaking (Ac -34).
Must advance in spiritual knowledge, virtue and
power. Must apply the teachings studied to every day life (Jas -25).
Must take the role seriously by praying
constantly about it.
Must be fully prepared and well versed. Topics
for discussion and questions to be asked must be written beforehand.
Must arrive at the place of meeting early.
Arrange the place properly and receive the participants.
Must be God—tearing, frank and thoughtful.
Must not be too serious or too relaxed.
Must be able to generate discussion and to
Must keep to the time set for the study and to
guide participants not to stretch the time (Col
Of Bible Study
A passage from the Bible on a
Study his good points. For example, the
manifestations of his faith, purity and love.
Study his bad points. For example, his
disbelief, wicked deeds, rebellion and treachery.
Study his typology. For example, Isaac is a type
of Christ. However, since no one is perfect in this world, nobody can be a
perfect type of Christ.
Summarize the teaching. Follow the good points
and avoid the bad points. Understand Christ better through the study of types.
A passage from the Bible on an
i. Study the incident generally such
as the beginning, the development and the end.
out the cause direct, indirect, immediate or remote, single or complex.
out the effect : upon a person (physical, material and
spiritual), upon his family, his people, his church and his country; and upon
the glory of God.
the teachings. Follow the good and avoid the bad.
Passages with identical theme. For example, Prov 31:10-30, the theme is “Virtuous woman” and Ps 23:1-6,
the theme is “The Lord is my shepherd”.
Take one chapter at a time but if the chapter is
too long then take two or more sessions to complete it. This method enables the
group to go through the Bible book by book.
Studs’ the passage in detail, give
its intended meanings and summarize the applicable teachings.
For example, the evidence of
receiving the Holy Spirit; the hope of Christians; the filial—piety of Ruth;
the manifestation of humanity; the requisites of salvation; the Second Advent
of Christ. You can pick one of the above-mentioned topics for discussion.
The topic should not be too wide.
Choose one which can
be completed in one session.
Conduct Of A Bible Study
Begin by singing a hymn and followed by a
Read a chosen passage aloud by turn.
Summarize the important points.
Throw some questions (prepared beforehand ) to the participants.
Interpret the passage. Participants may give
their opinions. Do not quibble over trifle matters. If there are difficult
verses, they may be reserved for further discussion or may be referred to the
leaders of the Church.
Apply the teachings of the Bible to daily life
(1 Cor ;
The participants should share what they have
learned from the passages. They may want to bring out the verse that inspired
them most. Or they may want to give a brief account of an experience relevant
to the passage. Conclude with a prayer.
Vl. Interpreting The Bible
Interpret the Bible correctly as the wrong interpretation
may bring destruction (2 Tim ; 2
the speaker, to whom was he speaking, when and where
was it spoken, what was spoken, and why was it spoken?
Pay attention to the main points. For example,
the important point about the fight between David and Goliath is that faith is
vital. So what the participants should take note of is
David’s faith and not the implications of the 5 stones (1 Sam 17).
attention to the context. For example, Jn applies to those who are not yet converted
and not to Christians (Ac 8:3-11).
whether a passage is to be interpreted literally or spiritually. For example,
the washing of robes in
should not be taken literally.
Miracles recorded in the Bible are true events.
They should not be taken as mere allegories.
Not all the characters in the Bible are types.
Even if they are, they cannot be complete types, since no one is perfect in
this world. For instance, Moses prefigures Christ, but Moses had two wives.
Parables are designed to convey a truth. They
are not true incidents. They cannot be taken literally.
VII. A Model Bible Study
Topic : Noah
Bible verses : Genesis 6-9
The good points of Noah:
was a righteous man (6:9, 7:1).
ii. He was blameless (6:9).
iii. He walked with God (6:9).
iv. He did all that God commanded
him (, 7:5, 16).
v. He obeyed the command of God by
going out of the ark (-19).
vi. He built an altar after he
came out from the ark ().
The bad points of Noah:
i.He became drunk. He lay himself in his tent naked (—21).
Application to daily life:
i To be
righteous, blameless, obedient, thankful and walk with God.
ii. Do not follow his drinking habit.
ark prefigures the true church (cf Lk , 27).
iii. Those who believed and entered into the
ark were save (Gen
—20). This prefigures those who
believe in Jesus, baptize and come to the true church shall he saved (Mk ; 1 Pet -21;
iv. The construction of the ark
was according to the instructions of God (Gen —22).
This prefigures the teachings preached by the true church are in accordance
with the Bible (Eph —20; Gal
v. There was only one door in the
ark (Gen ). This prefigures the
only one door of salvation (Jn 10:9, 3:5).
vi. There was only one ark (Gen ). This prefigures the only one true
church (Eph , 4:4, -32; 1 Cor , 20).
Topic : Judas betrayed the Lord.
Bible verses : Mt 26:14—16, 20-25,
The cause of betrayal:
ii. He was greedy for money and
often stole money from the offering box (Jn 12:6).
iii. Even though he was upbraided
by the Lord, he won Id not correct himself and this led him to commit a grave
mistake (Jn -27;
The result of betrayal:
i. He could not use the money he got (Mt
ii. He lost his apostleship (Ac ,
iii. He hanged himself and his bowels gushed when he fell (Ac ).
iv. He faced severe judgement (Mk —21).
to daily life:
i. Do not be greedy (Heb 13:5; 1 Tim 6:6—10).
ii. Fault must be rectified or we will give in to Satan (Prov ; Eph ).
Topic : The widow of Zarephath
Bible verses : 1 Kings 17:8-24
did God want Elijah to go to and who did God ask to feed Elijah? (17:8, 9).
ii. Upon arrival at the gate of
the city what were the things Elijah asked from the widow? (17:10, 11).
iii. How did he Widow answer him?
did Elijah say to her for the second time? (17:13,14).
iv. What happened when the woman did according to the instructions of
the prophet? (17:15, 16).
vi. How did Elijah pray to God to revive the widow’s son? (, 19-22).
i. Why must God ask a poor widow to feed
Elijah? To embarrass her? Or to shower the blessing on
ii. What caused the widow to change her mind to receive Elijah
willingly? (-15). Out of love?
Or by faith?
to daily life:
i. The Lord said, “He who receives a prophet
because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward” (Mt 10:4 1). We
should seize the opportunity to receive God’s servants and even to receive the
least of the brethren (Mt 25:40).
ii. The widow later received Elijah because she believed the word of
God. Faith breeds love. We must pray to the Lord to increase our faith so that
we can serve others better and love God more (Heb -19).
iii. Elijah believed that life and death lie in the hands of God. He
prayed very earnestly to God to bring back the life of a dead child. May God
also grant us the faith so that we too, can be brave enough to pray for the
sick and to revive the dead (Mt ,
with a pray
Evidence of receiving the Holy
i. On the day of Pentecost those who received
the Holy Spirit spoke in tongues (Ac 2:1-4).
ii. Cornelius spoke in tongues when he received the Holy Spirit (Ac -46).
iii. The believers in Ephesus
acknowledged that the speaking of tongues was the evidence of receiving the
Holy Spirit (Ac 19:6-7).
i. It is not true to say that when one believes
in Christ he is filled with the Holy Spirit (Ac 19:1, 2).
ii. It is not true to say that when one is baptized he receives the
Holy Spirit (Ac , 6).
iii. Those who have good deeds may not be
filled with the Holy Spirit (Ac 10:2, 22, 44).
iv. Those who are fervent may not necessarily have the Holy Spirit (Mt
; Ac 1:4, 5).