All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timonthy 3:16
- We need to be in the community of God’s people where the Scriptures are preached and where we respond together to the Word. We need to gather with the church.
- Audio/MP3 Bibles can be great on commutes to listen to the Scriptures read aloud. Hearing the Bible read is a long practiced rhythm of the church.
- Podcasts and other audio/video recordings can serve as great secondary ways of hearing the Bible preached.
- Start the day with the reading of Scripture, read passages with your family at dinner, reading at bed time with the kids is a great flow as well.
- Where to start? If you are new to the Bible start with Jesus by reading Mark and John. Then books like Romans and Ephesians in the New Testament and Psalms/Proverbs and Genesis in the Old Testament are great places to explore.
- We are a community that opens the book; it should be very easy to read along/ahead on Sundays.
- Putting Scripture to memory helps guide the soul day to day in the complexities of life. Make memorizing passages a part of your MC. Do it with a friend or two. Pick something from the passages our community is teaching
- I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
A few principles to help you dig deeper
- Study key words— in English, in the original languages using a Lexicon. If a word is repeated in a text, it might be important!
- Note the context — literary, historical, geographical, and cultural.
- Cross reference — use a concordance to see what this book, the NT/OT and Bible as a whole says on this subject.
- Consultation — look at what other godly people have said about this passage using study notes and commentaries. In every series introduction we do at Jacob’s Well there is a bibliography. Further, the site bestcommentaries.com is an excellent guide to resources for studying the Scriptures.
Some Useful Tools
- A Good Study Bible (ESV Study Bible is great), Concordances, Commentaries, Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, Greek and Hebrew Lexicons.
- A few web sites
The following are some simple recommendations to help you slow down and meditate, chew on, sacred Scripture.
- Select a passage—something you read that struck you or something the church is teaching. We actually provide community meditation questions each week. The Psalms are great places for mediation as well. Many times they are meditations!
- Read it out loud slowly and ask God to impress his truth upon you. Repeat giving emphasis to different parts of the passage. Note words or phrases that strike you deeply and connect to your soul.
- Repeat the Passage or Verse in your own words. Where does it converge with your current circumstances.
- Ask questions. The following may be helpful: Is there an example to follow? A command to follow? Sin to repent of? Temptation to say no to? Promise to claim? What does this text say about God’s saving work in the gospel? How does it point to Jesus?
- Speak with God about the passage, ask him to be your teacher. If you have studied the passage in depth, seek intersection with your life not simply knowing the facts. Let meditation flow into prayer.