I’ve been concerned lately about the Biblical illiteracy in our generation. A good friend of mine asked me, “What is an epistle?” I told him, of course, it is the wife of an apostle! I’ve read the Bible through many times and taught each of the 66 books. Here are my top ten suggestions for becoming a better Bible student:
Here are my top ten suggestions for becoming a better Bible student:
1. Read every day.
- I started reading the One Year Bible in 1990. It is a 15 minute read each day. Nothing feels better than reading Revelation 22 on December 31st!
- For motivation, I highly recommend the book, “The Power of Daily Bible reading” by my son, Joel Stockstill. This new book could revolutionize a new generation seeking for good spiritual habits. Get it HERE.
2. Listen if you can’t read.
- A lot of young leaders are using the “YouVersion” app and listening to their favorite translation. This is a great way to listen during a run, a commute, or a flight. Get it HERE.
- Listening AND reading together is also great and boosts your comprehension.
3. Memorize key verses.
- When I was in college, our professor required us to memorize one verse a week per course. I really didn’t like the discipline of it! Now, however, many of those verses have become my best friends and helped me through most of life’s struggles.
- Write the verse on your phone or home screen and let it pop up every day for a week.
4. Get a Bible software program.
- I have used Logos Bible Software for many years. It is for hard-core Bible students and ministers. However, the Blue Letter Bible (BLB) is great for starters…and it’s free! It contains amazing commentaries, word studies, and more stuff than you will ever use. Get it HERE.
5. Memorize the books of the Bible.
- My four-year-old did this so it CAN be done! Get a Bible dictionary and read about 2 minutes on the background of each book as you commit the book name to memory.
- This will help you turn to books easily and help you know where a book is for history, culture, and background knowledge. BIG TIME IMPORTANT.
6. Outline the Bible.
- The “Torah” (1st five books of the Bible), Israel’s history (Joshua to 2 Chronicles), poetry (Job to Song of Solomon), the prophets (Isaiah to Malachi), the Gospels (including Acts) and the Epistles (letters to churches) form the basic outline of the Bible.
7. Go to a Bible preaching church.
- I’m thankful for everything being done to serve and worship the Lord. However, if your minister never opens the Bible and teaches you directly from it, you will never grow.
- Have a Bible or iPhone with you and read along with the minister. Many churches now provide printed notes or even digital notes online of the Sunday sermon.
8. Sing Biblical songs.
- Some of my favorite worship songs are Scripture in song. “Spiritual songs” that have no substance in the Bible may be theologically OFF! Paul talked about singing, “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” In other words, if it’s not Biblical, don’t sing it…you’re wasting your breath.
9. Underline and highlight your Bible.
- Don’t look at your Bible as “virgin territory.” Underline it. Highlight it. Make notes in the margin of things that speak to you. There are even Bibles now you can draw pictures of concepts that relate to you in the margin!
- Most Bible programs have a “notes” feature that you can create a note with a little-colored block to go back and read that note again next time through. I’m building a personal commentary by doing this.
10. Don’t get Pharisaical.
- The more you read and study, the more tempted you will be to become dogmatic about your insights. The Pharisees made a huge deal about every “jot and tittle” but neglected the broader truths of justice, righteousness, and mercy.
- Discuss Biblical truths you learn without dividing with everyone else. The Bible was not meant to divide us but to enlighten us in the ways of serving the Lord.
The Bible will change your life, heighten your comprehension, give you wisdom, encourage you in tough times, and help you get to heaven. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
QUESTION: What is your biggest obstacle in reading and learning the Bible?