Book Review: Learn to Study the Bible

I love to study the Bible.

Some of my favorite times are just spent sitting somewhere quiet before the rest of the family’s awake with my Bible, a drylighter, notebook and a pen. Through these study times, God teaches, rebukes, corrects, and trains me in righteousness—to live in a way that is pleasing to Him (c.f. 2 Tim 3:16-17).

Andy Deane, associate pastor of Calvary Chapel Old Bridge in central New Jersey, is a kindred spirit. He loves to study the Bible—and he is passionate about helping others learn to effectively study the Scriptures, too.

That’s why he wrote Learn to Study the Bible.

In this book, Deane offers readers 40 different step-by-step methods for studying and getting the most out of the Bible, and provides some really helpful illustrations of what these methods look like.

Deane starts the book in a very appropriate way by giving readers a foundation for good Bible study. He first reminds readers that new birth, a desire for holiness and prayer are absolutely essential to profitable study. One cannot understand the Bible if he or she has not been made alive in Christ, nor is there any point in studying if we don’t have any intention of living in light of what we’ve learned. Beyond these essentials is a critical point: reading and studying are different.

“Reading the Bible is not the same thing as studying the Bible,” writes Deane. “The difference between reading and studying comes down to one factor: writing.” This is vital to understand. Writing moves us from being passive observers to active participants as we observe, interpret and apply the Scriptures.

In reviewing Learn to Study the Bible, I did not try out every study method offered. And this is really due to preference. All the methods presented are profitable to varying degrees, but some are more appealing than others. For example, I love the “Thirty Day” method described on page 151. The idea behind this is that you read the same short book or section of a larger book every day for a month. This allows you to pick up on the key themes and become more familiar with the text and gain a deeper understanding. It’s a method I use from time to time and it’s great. I also really appreciate study methods like Bible Themes (p. 122) and Word Studies (p. 127). I’m not sure if that’s just because I”m a big nerd though.

Learn to Study the Bible is a valuable resource to help Christians gain an understanding of, and passion for, studying the Bible. It’s a resource I would encourage anyone, particularly new believers to read.

You can purchase a copy at LearntoStudytheBible.com.

Recommended


A review copy was provided by the author.
  • Wes

    Sounds like a good, basic way of getting knowledge out of the bible. I may have to add this to my collection at some point.

    For the more scholarly sorts, there’s a book that’s been around for a few decades that helps to teach people how to read and interpret the bible: How to Read the Bible for All it’s Worth, by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. Found here at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/How-Read-Bible-All-Worth/dp/0310246040/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1260371020&sr=8-1

    Not sure if you’re familiar with it, Aaron, but it comes highly recommended to me from several people and has gotten outstanding reviews during its existence. Of note is the stressing of exegesis and hermeneutics while reading and studying the bible. It’s separated by genre type and treats each genre differently, which I greatly approve of. It’s written in common language and is easy to understand for all levels of disciples.

    If you haven’t read this yet, I’d suggest you pick up a copy.

    • http://hardwords.wordpress.com Aaron Armstrong

      I’d read it a couple years back and it’s a great book; I’ve still got to get a copy for my own library (it’ll happen someday :))

      Great recommendation, Wes!