Bible study has never been easier. We live in an age where we have more and better translations, more books, and more technology to assist us than ever before. Honestly, we should thank God for the assistance the technology that exists today brings to studying the Scriptures. Nevertheless, we have to be careful.
Being mindful of technology
In his book The Next Story, Tim Challies wisely cautions us to be mindful about how we use technology. “Am I giving up control of my life,” he asks. “Is it possible that these technologies are changing me? Am I becoming a tool of the very tools that are supposed to serve me?”
Technology, in other words, is a wonderful servant but a cruel master. How this applies to our Bible study is simple: Technology should aid us in confirming our conclusions, not determine them for us. We use the tools that exist to dig deeper, rather than skim the surface of the Scriptures. But technology can easily make us lazy, if we’re not watchful.
- We can run a word search “wrath” or “love” and come up with a short or long list, but not come to a comprehensive knowledge of what the Bible teaches on either.
- We can look up the Greek behind a particular word or phrase and still not actually get what it says.
- We can pull together an explanation of a text from multiple sources, but not actually understand it ourselves.
And so we must be mindful. Technology is a wonderful tool, but one that always tempts us to become lazy in our studies.
What are the right tools for me?
But because we have so many really, really good options available to us, it can be a bit overwhelming. We can be paralyzed by choice. So I want to take a second to offer some recommendations on a few different tools that will help you in your study of God’s Word in three broad categories:
- Memorization and devotional
- Basic study
- Comprehensive study [Read more…]