The bible contains Sixty-Six (66) books which is the word of God authorized through the Holy Spirit. It’s a library of Thirty- Nine (39) books in the Old Testament and Twenty-Seven books in the New Testament. These books were written by Forty (40) human authors over a period of 1600 years. Jh 5:36-47, 2 Tim3:14-17. The bible answers such questions like:
- Why am I here?
- Where am I going?
- Where do I come from?
- How can I know the truth?
- Who is God?
- What is the trinity? Etc.
The bible is to reveal God’s utmost plan for man. Dr. Wilbur M. Smith pointed out seven advantages derived from the study of God’s word. The bible:
- Discovers and convicts us of sin-Rom3:23, 1 Jh 1:7-10.
- Cleanses us from the pollution of sin-2Cor7:1, Lk.17:17.
- Imparts strength into our weakness and flaws-Pro24:5, 2Cor12:9.
- Instructs us in what we are to do-1 Cor.2:16, Ps32:8.
- Provides us with a sword for victory over sin-1 Jh 5:4, 1 Cor 15:57.
- Makes our lives fruitful-Col1:10, Jer23:3.
- Gives us power to pray-Matt.21:22, Jam5:6, 1 Thess 5:12.
AIDS FOR EFFECTIVE BIBLE STUDY.
- A complete bible with reference
- Different versions of the bible.
- Bible dictionary and English.
- Bible Concordance.
- Stationeries and writing materials.
PRINCIPLES OF BIBLE STUDY.
- Spiritual Attitude of Indispensability-1 Cor.2:14.
- A conscious need is essential-Deut.8:3, Job23:12.
- First hand knowledge is the best-Eph4:11-16, 2 Tim2:15.
- Seek to understand the deep things of God-Jh.5:37-40, deut18:19.
METHODS OF BIBLE STUDY.
- DAILY DEVOTIONAL STUDY.
It is essential that daily bible study is done to avail us the opportunity to systematically study the bible daily. It means reading, studying and hearing with a willing heart the voice of God, and that we may know how to do His will and live better lives. An atmosphere void of all distractions such as noise, movements etc is most suitable for prayer, reading, praise and worship.
- BIBLE STUDY BY CHAPTERS.
There are 1,189 chapters in the entire bible. In three years by reading one chapter a day you will read through the whole bible. In two years by reading one and a half chapter a day you will read through the whole bible. In one year by reading three chapters a day you will read through the whole bible.
It leads to comparison, consistency, continuous and systematic study of chapters (as arranged in the bible). Examples of known chapters of interest are the beatitudes (Matt 5-7), Confession (Ps.51), Daily Christian Living (Rom 12), Faith (Heb.11), Protection (Exo.12), Love (1 Cor.13), Safety (Ps.91), Tongue (Iam.3), Resurrection (1 Cor.15), Service (1 Cor.12, Eph.4) e.t.c.
- BIBLE STUDY BY PARAGRAPHS.
When a writer changes his subject of emphasis, he usually begins a new
paragraph. It is usually called an analysis bible study. Usually, important words, phrases, stress e.t.c is/are noted and the main subject is also noted and understood. Rom.15:7, 13.
- BIBLE STUDY BY VERSES.
This is the selection and it is through study. It could be through the following
- Study by verbs in the verse-Jh.3:16.
- Study by a verse through the personality revealed-Jh.3:16.
- Study by looking for great ideas revealed in them-Jh.3:16.
- Combination of ideas applied to a verse-Rom.5:1; 4:25; 3:24.
- Identification of great ideas, subject, key words and tracing it through scriptures.
- BIBLE STUDY BY BOOKS.
This is usually through inductive and synthetic methods.
Inductive Method: Implies that studying in details the content of a bible book and then drawing from these details conclusions on principles, purpose and meanings concerning the book.
Synthetic Method: Involves the reading of the bible book over several times to receive general impressions of the main ideas and purpose of the book without attempts to details. In general, select a book ascertain it’s author, it’s audience to whom it is addressed, the circumstance under which it was written, it’s purpose, main teaching, lessons learnt from the texts, e.t.c. Usually, by the fifth or sixth reading one should have had a general overview of a book, e.g. Acts, Haggai, e.t.c.
- BIBLE STUDY OF CHARACTERS/PERSONALITY.
This involves selecting characters and personalities of your choice and making extensive, expanded and exhaustive research into their lives, challenges, short comings, struggles, war strategies, prayer life, family life, walk with God, relationships, leadership capacities, writing styles, mission, vision, purpose, driving force, e.t.c. Examples include: Joseph, Moses, David, Rahab, Jabez, Mary, Jesus Christ, Peter, Paul, John the beloved e.t.c.