Don’t Study the Bible…

A few suggestions.

1) Don’t study the Bible until you’ve read it. Get a general overview of the overall picture given throughout scripture before trying to find deeper understanding of small parts of scripture.

2) Don’t study the Bible through commentaries and study-bible notes. Tackle scripture for yourself before you even think of looking for another person’s opinion. See what YOU can understand without referring to what others have to say. Trust the Holy Spirit to do the teaching job He came to do.

3) Don’t study the Bible with a predetermined agenda. Don’t use scripture as a tool to “prove” an opinion or a favoured doctrine. Let scripture speak with its own message, don’t try to speak your message through scripture.

4) Don’t study the Bible according to proof texts. Merely checking the verses quoted by a preacher isn’t bible study. Just because a verse is quoted in a sermon it doesn’t necessarily mean what the preacher says it means. Consider how each text relates to the whole chapter, the whole book and the overall message of the whole bible. (And that takes time and patience).

5) Don’t study the Bible in total isolation. Maintain fellowship with other believers, listen to sermons, read books – but NEVER make the word of others your primary authority on scripture and ALWAYS test everything with scripture. When hearing something new, if in doubt, DOUBT. And when something sounds right, doubt anyway. Be cautious. The Bible’s warnings about deceivers are there for a reason.
Accept nothing, no matter how appealing and right it may seem until your own study of scripture(refer again to point 2 above) gives YOU insight.

6) Don’t study the Bible expecting to know and understand everything NOW. Foundations need to be built. Basics need to be grasped.
Understanding of complex mathematics needs to start with a knowledge of basic arithmetic. Likewise some aspects of scripture will remain puzzling until the required background knowledge has been attained.

7) DO study the Bible with diligence and patience, knowing that the Holy Spirit will work with those who seek and trust His help.

Clearly Some Don’t Want To Understand

There are many who are so caught up in tradition and their reliance on men’s teaching that it can be discouraging to read some of the responses to what I’ve said about trusting the Holy Spirit.
Here is one example of a reply I received on another blog:

Prior to closing comments on a topic on his blog, Derek Leman said on 12 June, 2014 at 4:54 pm:

Onesimus:
Can I email you to ask the Holy Spirit’s opinion on issues? It’s wonderful that I found you. Can’t wait for the greater clarity I will get now on issues. It’s like meeting Isaiah in person. Thanks for introducing yourself.

(See the full thread http://www.derekleman.com/musings/the-wisdom-of-men/)

As flippant as that comment was intended, it just shows how much he missed the point.
Despite what I said about the Holy Spirit being given to teach ALL believers and for ALL believers to trust the Spirit, he still expressed (albeit cynically) his desire to rely on other men to be a go-between, to seek and reveal God’s revelation for him.

Further examples of the above mindset can be found in the comments section associated with this post.