Many of us who love God and his word will soon be planning for fall Bible studies. Along with organizing volunteers and coffee pots, we will be making an important decision: what bible study resource do we use? Other than a familiar author’s name or referral by a friend, how do we choose well? What should we be thinking about when choosing a bible study?
Asking four questions can point us in the right direction. First, what is the author’s view of scripture? Second, what does the author do to lead you into the text? Third, what does the author do to lead the text into you? And fourth, who is the hero of the story?
Author’s View of Scripture
First what is the author’s view of scripture? One of the easiest ways to know if the author thinks the text itself is most important is whether or not you are directed to actually read it. This must always be our first step with the word. Even if it is a familiar passage, we must first get back into the context and hear the words afresh before we begin our study.Next, care must be taken to accurately exegete, or interpret each passage. Verses should be studied and explained within their original context, not pulled out to make an unrelated point. Authors who view the scriptures as authoritative and inspired by the Holy Spirit will point you to read the text first and will handle it with care…