Bible Study

“Then their [our] eyes were opened…”
Author: Silvia Regina de Lima Silva

"In Latin America the interpretational situation is shaped by the community dimension - so we talk about reading communities. We affirm that the community is the context (literally ‘the lap’) in which the meaning of the text can rest and express its full implications. This is a passionate reading in which people study the text and explore it deeply with body, soul and emotions… ‘Were not our hearts burning within us?’"

Grassroots or ‘Popular Bible Reading’ (PBR) is a space for reflection that takes as its starting point a dialogue between life and the Bible. In this article, Silvia Regina de Lima Silva uses themes from the Emmaus Road story to describe this community-based Bible reading approach which began among the poor and marginalized over thirty years ago.  [more...]

Especially for men who need to rediscover their love of God's word
Author: Archie Poulos
Published by: The Briefing, Issue 273 (June 2001)

Our experience with this approach has been uniformly positive. Men who had neglected their Bibles for years found that this was an achievable goal, and rekindled not only the passion of Bible reading (some never lost it), but also the habit of Bible reading. Like all training and study, Bible reading needs habits. We also found that men who were never willing to lead a 'Bible Study' were happy to do their one minute spot.

This article describes the "One Minute Bible Study" - a simple idea that a small group of men can use together.

Before the group meets each time, every group member picks a Bible verse that has been helpful to them. When they get together, they go round the group, each one explaining the verse from their Bible reading. They need to be willing to speak for just one minute about that verse.  [more...]

A method for studying the Bible
Author: Peter Blowes
Published by: The Briefing, Issue 364 (January 2009)

The philosophy behind this style of Bible reading is to promote good observation of the text, group participation and self-guided discovery. Each person has the opportunity to discover for themselves what God says. In principle, no-one answers the questions unless they are about something simple, like the meaning of a word. The idea is that the questions motivate investigation on the part of the person who raised them.

This article describes the Swedish Method for studying the Bible. It requires a minimum of resources and preparation, encouraging people to engage with the Scriptures directly.

After reading the passage aloud, the participants of the group go over the passage again, looking out for three things:  [more...]

Manuel pour faire un bon usage de la Bible dans chaque langue et culture
Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill
Published by: Presses Bibliques Africaines (2011)

"Ce manuel est un guide efficace pour une bonne préparation à l'étude biblique, à la méditation, à la prédication intégrant les réalitiés culturelles de chaque peuple."

This is the French version of the book Translating the Bible into Action by Harriet Hill and Margaret Hill. It is also available in Portuguese.

The French version can be obtained from Wycliffe Benin in Cotonou or from the SU department of SIL in Nairobi.  [more...]

How the Bible can be Relevant in all Languages and Cultures
Authors: Harriet Hill, Margaret Hill
Published by: Piquant (2008)

"Clear, simple and readable - very practical, fully supported with further reading ... exactly the kind of thing that is needed."
Chris Wright, Langham Partnership

A tried and tested resource that encourages meaningful Bible use in multi-lingual contexts through both written and oral media.

Individual chapters can be used as a standalone interactive workshop in church or mission contexts. Chapters (with further reading) are also appropriate as a text for graduate studies. Includes activities, assignments, further reading resources and links for useful websites.

Also available as an e-book for Kindle.  [more...]

Studying the Bible in Small Groups
Author: Karen Soole
Published by: 10Publishing, 2015

'Unleash the Word', by Karen Soole, provides practical help and encouragement on studying the Bible in small groups. The author recommends the 'big questions' model:

  1. The "no-holds barred question": is there anything that particularly strikes you as we read the passage through?
  2. What does it say?
  3. What does it mean?
  4. So what?

Some helpful quotations from the book:

"A small-group leader is not there to lecture group members, but to help them engage with the text." (ch. 1)

"So as we approach the idea of leading a Bible study, we have two main aims in our minds: the first is to get people to really engage with God's Word so that they are rooted in Christ; the second is to make sure the Bible is handled well within a context that handles people well." (ch. 1)

"The aim in a study is for the leader to help everyone move on in their understanding, to spiral deeper into the text, to get closer to the heart of God's Word." (ch. 2)

"Whatever our temperaments we need to keep hold of two principles: we need to first really know and rejoice in God's Word, and second really know and love God's people." (ch. 3)

"Switching from a model of Bible study that asks many questions to one with far fewer is nerve-wracking - it is as though your security blanket has been taken away. It might appear structure-less, but this method has a very clear structure. People are often concerned that with so few questions the group will quickly come to a staggering halt. In my experience this does not happen." (ch. 7)

"Let's not make our studies into sessions that leave everyone burdened by religious rules but instead let us encourage each other to live in relationship with our Lord because of His mercy." (ch. 6)

Available as a printed book and in eBook/Kindle format.  [more...]