I’m sure you’ve had the rush when you encounter a new Bible study tool.
Whether it’s a new commentary, concordance, lexicon or syntax analysis tool, the Bible is going to make perfect sense now. You’re going to plumb the depths of God’s mind and dig up treasure that will transform lives and bring glory to Christ.
I’ve felt the rush many times, for many tools. I get giddy when I find a new Bible study method.
There’s only one problem with the rush.
…fizzles and fades.
The rush fades. Quickly.
The new tool is helpful but not that helpful. You don’t suddenly know the mind of God. Your Bible study or sermon looks very much the same as it did last week.
What if the rush could actually deliver? And what if it could last?
The Rush that lasts
This is the best advice I have for anyone studying the Bible. It’s short, simple and unbelievably effective:
Don’t rely on tools. Rely on the text.
There is no substitute for close study of the text of Scripture. Spend far more time in the Bible than with the support tools. Map out the passage’s argument:
- Make an outline of the author’s thoughts.
- Why does the speaker say the things he says?
- What is the author’s main point?
- How does the author make that point? What other ways could he have used? Why was this one better?
- Where is the author taking his argument? Where else could this argument have gone? Why is this the conclusion?
- Think the thoughts of the author along with him.
This is how you discover treasure. This is how you connect with the true Author. This is how you read the Bible.
Read the text or chase after another promise of the rush. Your call.
Image by Wiedmaier