Rules For Bible Study #4

Franklin Camp

Study The Bible

There is a great deal of difference in just reading the Bible and studying it. Webster defines the word study as follows:

"A busying one's self about a thing, zeal application of learning; the act or process of applying the mind in order to acquire knowledge, as reading and investigation of any subject: careful attention to and critical examination and investigation of any subject; to fix the mind closely upon a subject, to meditate to ponder."

Notice some of the words: Zeal, learning, the mind, acquire, careful attention, fix the mind closely, meditate and ponder. All of these words and phrases are suggestive of careful thought and attention with the purpose of retaining in the mind and applying in the life the truth that is learned. In view of this, how much study of the Bible do you engage in? How does this definition fit your study of the Bible?

We are commanded to study the Bible. "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15). The word translated study is defined as: "to use speed, to hasten, to be eager, diligent." It is translated "forward" in Galatians 2:10; "endeavoring" in Ephesians 4:3; "labor" in Hebrews 4:11; and "diligent" in II Peter 3:14. It is interesting to look at some of the different translations of the passage.

The ASV has "give diligence." "Do your utmost to at least let God see you are a sound workman, with no need to be ashamed of the way you handle the word of truth" (Moffatt). The RSV renders it "do your best."

Is there any book that you are more eager and diligent in studying than the Bible? Are you at your best in studying it? When the Bible comes up for discussion do you have to apologize for your lack of knowledge?

Study is work. Study of the Bible demands desire to know and understand. It requires concentration and patience but its rewards are far beyond what ever the cost may be.

Feel A Deep Need For Truth

Little profit comes from the study of the Bible unless there is recognition of the need of knowing the truth. If one is a sinner he should realize the depth of sinfulness and separation from God and the fact that he must learn the truth in the Bible to be saved. If one was lost in a desert and found a map how would one study the map? Would it be with a passing notice? Would it be consulted occasionally? Would one feel that it made little difference whether the map was followed? How many treat the Bible the way they would treat a map if lost and trying to find their way out of a wilderness? We are travelers from time to eternity and we cannot guide our steps. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jeremiah 10:23). The Bible is the most important book one will ever study.

Study To Practice What You Learn

Many seem to have the idea that the study of the Bible is simply a mental exercise. They read with no thought of trying to put into practice the things learned. Jesus said, "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself" (John 7:17). An infidel may learn some things the Bible teaches but he will never learn the truth that saves unless he seeks to do what it teaches. A girl may memorize a cook book but she will never become a cook until she puts something into the oven. I read that a child learns 10% of what he hears, 80% of what he sees and 90% of what he does.

Is your knowledge of the Bible growing? How much more do you know today than yesterday, last week, last year? You may know as much as you are willing to eagerly and diligently search out to do.

Return to