Learn to Study the Bible: A Review and A Contest!
When I first heard of Andy Deane’s new book, Learn to Study the Bible, I was drawn to it because I have been looking for years for something to help our sons to dig a little deeper when studying the Word of God. This book is a great start.
Learn to Study the Bible grew out of the author’s effort to teach the youth in his church inductive Bible study methods with, at first, little success. His search for an easy to teach and understand system led him to realize that there were many approaches that had a place in the Christian life, and perhaps he needed to make those ideas accessible to a wider audience of Christians than those willing to research and search through the many books he did.
The opening chapters of the book explain why we need to go beyond light reading of the Scripture and consistently spend time in real study to truly get all the Lord has provided for us in His Word. They also lay out the foundational principles of Bible study: that we should observe, interpret and apply the Word to our lives. This was an extremely valuable part of the book and I can’t wait to have my sons and read it and discuss it with them. I did find the author’s repeated use of lists and underlining a real distraction. This style, while well suited to the latter part of the book where the methods are taught, encourages the reader to skim, when the explanations under each heading contain points too good to miss. I’d love to see these chapters rewritten in a prose style – they would be fantastic!
The second part of the book describes forty different methods we can use to find the rich treasures buried in the Word of God. I must confess this part was much more interesting than I expected. I wanted to pull out my Bible right then and get going. The author includes basic methods, such as using the words in 2 Timothy 3:16 (doctrine, reproof, correction, etc) to analyze a passage, traditional methods such as word study, creative methods, such as a translation comparison, methods appropriate to specific parts of Scripture and innovative methods that might appeal to a younger crowd. Really, there is no excuse for not approaching your Bible study with anticipation after you’ve read Learn to Study the Bible.
The section on study methods treats each suggestion separately, describing in detail how each is done, but it doesn’t stop there. Each method has a handwritten example of the notes someone might produce if they used that approach to study an appropriate Scripture. Seeing the system “in use” on an actual Bible passage greatly aids comprehension, as well as clearly showing the usefulness of it since you can immediately see the conclusions and applications the author found while using that method.
This is a great resource not only for teaching our children step by step how they can approach the Word of God as “a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” but also encouraging ourselves to get back into the Scriptures and take a look at them with a fresh eye. That’s worth a lot!
I would love to see the author add a chapter, or perhaps do a follow-up volume, that teaches folks how to use Bible helps, such as Nave’s, Strong’s, a Bible atlas, etc, in just the same way that he teaches these Bible study methods. How about it, Andy?
Get a copy (and you should!) of Learn to Study the Bible at the book’s very cool website: www.LearntoStudytheBible.com.
The author provided us with a free copy of the book for our honest review. AND… he’s provided us with another copy for…
I have one free copy of Learn to Study the Bible to be chosen from those who comment on this post by noon Friday. I would love to hear what you have done to teach your children to love the Word of God. You can get additional entries by posting about this contest on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or a forum or email loop. Just leave us a comment telling where you posted it!