Ways of Engaging with Scripture

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...]

Author: Wayne Grudem
Published by: Themelios 34:3 (November 2009)

"A useful analogy... might be to picture the clarity of Scripture as a journey to a distant mountain that we see clearly from afar but see in more detail—and understand more of what we see—as we journey toward the mountain over many months and years. We can see it from the beginning of our Christian lives, and we truly see and understand something about it, but a lifetime of seeking deeper understanding will be repaid with a lifetime of growth in knowledge and wisdom."

In this article, Grudem provides a helpful overview of the doctrine of the perspicuity of Scripture - i.e. its clarity and understandability. He considers some of its implications such as inspiring confidence in proclaiming the Bible's message, encouraging personal Bible reading and small-group studies, Bible translation and teaching.  [more...]

A study of meditative engagement with selected psalms amongst Edinburgh students
Author: Fergus Macdonald
Published by: University of Edinburgh

"...the creative engagement between respondents and text results from respondents discovering that the psalms resonate with their idealism and basic human needs in ways that facilitate their ongoing spiritual quest for meaning and enlightenment, as well as providing an opportunity to confront God with complaints and dilemmas."

This study is the account of an empirical research programme in practical theology exploring the potential of the Book of Psalms to facilitate the spiritual journey of a sample of University of Edinburgh students aged between twenty and thirty who are on or beyond the fringes of the churches. Drawing upon some insights of the Bible Society movement regarding ‘scripture engagement,’ and in the wider context of increasing interest in spirituality and decreasing confidence in the churches among many westernised young adults, the project seeks to answer two research questions.  [more...]

Author: Pauline Hoggarth
Published by: Langham Global Library (2011)

"In this excellent book about Bible engagement, Pauline Hoggarth shows at the same time the depth and width of her acquaintance with the Bible, and her rich experience of many years working around the world encouraging people to get into the Book. Her global experience and her teaching ability, take us to cross the missionary frontiers of the twenty- first century with a renewed confidence in the live giving and transforming power of Scripture." (Samuel Escobar)

The Seed and the Soil explores the power of the Bible that brings about God’s transforming and liberating purposes, as well as its power as an often oppressively misused text. Characterised by a wide variety of storytelling, this book is accessible to all that read it.

Available as a paperback or Kindle e-book.  [more...]

Read the Story. Experience the Bible.
Published by: Zondervan / Hodder & Stoughton (2011)

What is 'The Story'? It is both a book and a campaign.

The book is an abridged version of the NIV Bible, arranging the Biblical narrative in chronological order in 31 chapters. Bridging paragraphs with some explanation are included between the selections of Bible text. There are no verse numbers. A few psalms appear in the chapter on David's life, and Proverbs in the chapter on Solomon. Extracts from Paul's letters appear in the chapter of stories from the book of Acts.

As well as the main version of the book designed for adults, there are also versions for teens and for different ages of children (2-5s, 4-8s, 9-12s).

The campaign is a call for churches to take up 'The Story' as a journey through the Bible for all ages - to encourage people to grasp the Bible narrative and how the different parts of the Bible fit together. There are teaching notes for pastors and group leaders as well as video clips. This could be a 31-week series to go through the whole Story, or churches could adapt parts of it according to their needs.

One of the challenges of producing an abridged Bible is to know which passages to include and which to leave out. Not everyone will agree on the choices made. For example, The Story misses out the Tower of Babel. It would be interesting to compare different panoramic/abridged Bible products as to the decisions they have made.  [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...]

A video-text Bible product
Published by: WatchWORD Productions

"My daily appointment with my Bible has come alive since I discovered this video Bible. God not only speaks to me as I see the words of scripture but hearing them read keeps me concentrating."

The WatchWORD Bible is an example of a video-text Bible product, where you hear can the Bible read and see the text on the screen against the background of quality video photography.

The combination of seeing and hearing aids concentration and memory.  [more...]

Author: Daniel Hames
Published by: UCCF Theology Network

"In the same way that skipping breakfast is more of a missed opportunity than a morally dubious choice; not going to the scriptures for nourishment is not a matter of calling down the anger of God, but of omitting to take advantage of his good gifts to his children."

Daniel Hames writes this article to encourage Christian students to read the Scriptures. We are presented with three reasons why we might give up on reading the Bible: (1) You don't have time; (2) You think the Bible is about you; (3) You think your Bible reading is for God’s benefit.

The author doesn't want us to see Bible reading as a burden, but to recognise that the Bible "has been given to us to help us know and love Christ", that our Father "is generous and loving, and loves to communicate with us" and that "the Spirit has inspired the scriptures so that they bring life, joy, and fullness to the Christian walk."  [more...]