Wednesday, June 24, 2009

How to Approach a Bible Study

During a recent Sunday School class, a lovely lady made the comment that when we study the Bible, we should do so with no presuppositions, disregard the interpretations by others, and rely entirely on the Holy Spirit for our understanding. Now, this lady has a high view of the Scriptures and is very orthodox in her beliefs, but having encountered many liberals who take a similar stance in their attempt to validate whatever meaning is convenient to justify their agenda at the time, I jumped in with both feet. I immediately pointed out that presuppositional neutrality was a myth, and that we ignored the interpretations of the saints throughout history at our own peril.

So, which of us was correct in our assertions? After much prayer and contemplation over the past few days, I’ve come to the conclusion that, according to our respective intentions, we both were. Discussions in class are usually time-limited, so we often don’t adequately explain our intended meaning. I’m convinced that she was referring to the initial phase of study where we read the Scriptures and attempt to observe and interpret the author’s intended meaning. On the other hand, I was referring to the entire process of Bible study. I think we can clarify the issue with a brief overview on how to approach studying the Bible.

Read the entire Approaching Bible Study article, including discussions on Presuppositions, Bible Study Methods, Church Traditions, and Resolving Disputes.


  1. Thank you for the article. Your section on disputes works good in a perfect world, but I sometimes have a problem discussing the Bible with some pastors and teachers. Some I know seem to have a low regard for God's word or just use it for their own agenda.

  2. Excellent observation MJ. Obviously all pastors and teachers should be subject to the same discernment given any source external to the Bible. We should be like the Bereans (Ac 17:11) and examine each statement against the Scriptures. Incidentally, I've planned an article on how to recognize false teachers and teachings, which I should have posted very soon.

  3. Nice insight on bible study approach.


We welcome your insightful opinions, but please keep them suitable for family viewing. If you are not logged in, you may post with just your name or nickname by selecting "Name/URL" and leaving the URL field blank. Thank you for your input.