More than 40 years ago, as a new Christian, I took a series of courses offered by my church through the extension service of a Bible college. It was one of the most valuable things I could have done. My courses included Old Testament Survey, New Testament Survey, and Bible Study Methods. Our final exam in Bible Study Methods was to discuss one verse in the Gospel of John: John 11:35. It happens to be the shortest verse in the entire Bible: “Jesus wept.”
What I learned in those courses have lasted a lifetime.
When Dan King began a new position with his church, the first thing he focused on was how close his students were to the Word of God. That led to a series of lessons on Bible study. And that led to a primer, How to Study the Bible (for Beginners). King has three goals in his teaching and with this book: build a stronger understanding of the Bible, learn how to read the Bible intelligently, and “fall in love with the Book.”
The book starts at ground zero – the basic questions in his church’s catechism. What is the Old Testament? What is the New Testament? Why do we call the Bible the Word of God? He moves into evidences for the Bible being inspired. An overview of the Old and New Testaments follows. He reviews the three types of Bible translations (literal, dynamic, and free), explains how to do a Bible word study, considers rules for interpretation, and then outlines what a basic Bible study is like. He also provides a number of resources.
King is the author of The Unlikely Missionary: From Pew-Warmer to Poverty-Fighter. He’s also the co-author of Activist Faith: From Him and For Him and a contributor to Finding Church: Stories of Learning, Switching, and Reforming, Making Space: Welcoming God’s Presence, and Soul Bare: Stories of Redemption. He serves as the director of Family Ministries at St. Edward’s Episcopal Church in Mount Dora, Florida, and founded and operates Fistbump Media, a digital marketing agency. He lives with his family in Florida.
How to Study the Bible (for Beginners) is aimed at young people and people new to faith. But it has value and application for all Christians, no matter where they are in their faith. It’s a guide, it’s a reference manual, and it’s a reminder of just how much value there is in studying the Bible.