I was working on a post covering the importance of reading (at least) one chapter a day, and, as I was writing, this theme came up. The Four R’s of Bible Studying. Honestly, I can’t help but think of Pirate Christian Radio. Like pirate who goes, “Rrr! Matey!”
The Four R’s of Bible Study are pretty simple.
- Read – Read daily. Read in order, not out of place. In addition to Bible reading, read commentaries and other books covering sound doctrine. Read Christian books. I recommend “Tactics” by Greg Koukl (not sponsored) if you would like to learn how to reach others. And then… reread. Become familiar to the point that we…
- Retain- Understand is what being read. Be able to memorize. Understand the context. Understand the culture, the history of Biblical people and the land. This leads us to the next step.
- Reference- The more we read and retain what we read will help us reference quicker without extra help. We will be able to see common lessons repeated in scripture. Currently, I’m going over 1 John and I am seeing references to John 15 and 16, as well as Christ referring to the greatest commandment & second greatest (Matthew 22:37-40), love God and love others. It’s fascinating to see how God continually weaves the same message over and over in different ways through different people. In addition to being able to reference without help, we absolutely need to keep doing research. When reading scriptures, we need to look at references and see how they correlate.
- Repeat- Reread. Keep memorizing. Keep studying and referencing. There will always be something new to take away.
We cannot just read. We need to understand what we are reading. This is why reading in order is important and why randomly opening the Bible often is nothing more than a mystical experience we seek after. It doesn’t add a lot to our understanding of context, but it does treat the Bible like a magic 8 ball, something the Bible is not intended for.
The Bible was meant to be read in order. We do not randomly open a letter and begin halfway through. Why read the Bible in this manner? I do not mean to say we cannot read multiple books of the Bible at once, we absolutely can. But we need to start with chapter 1 of each book and read forward.
Read. Retain. Reference. Repeat.
Bite-sized pieces still help us finish the entire meal.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of context, some Study Bibles I reference, and translations to stay away from check out this post | Why We Need To Bible In Context
There is a great interview by Melissa Doughtery with Greg Koukl if you would like to hear him explain what “Tactics” is. ~ A Game Plan To Wisely, Kindly, and Tactfully Share Your Faith With Greg Koukl
Monthly Scripture To Ponder/Memorize From Psalm 85 – (NKJ) Psalm 85:12, “Yes, the LORD will give what is good; And our land will yield its increase.“
Community Prayer – November ‘ 20