Bible study is essential for anyone who wants to more fully understand the colossal story of God’s intention for humanity. Spanning thousands of years of theology, history, and culture, the Bible tells a colossal story of God’s intentions for humanity, the Bible is neither a simple collection of books written by human authors, nor is it the literal words of God dictated to human scribes. It is a source of religious truth, presented in a diversity of styles, genres, and languages. The Bible was written by many authors, but all inspired by God. To deepen our understanding of the Bible, it’s often helpful to use Bible study tools. Here are some of the best tools to help you on your journey of biblical literacy.
Lessons and Group Study
Bible study lessons or courses are one of the best and most comprehensive tools to help individuals learn about the Bible. Whether they are in-person lessons from your local place of worship or online courses like our thorough, approachable, beginner-friendly Exploring the Bible series, lessons will pack a lot of knowledge into a short time frame. Small groups are also an excellent place to receive Bible lessons. These are frequently, though not always, found in denominational settings in local churches. Community groups like UniteBoston also provide myriad opportunities for people to join together in studying the depth and breadth of the Bible. The opportunity for fellowship, discussion, and sharing creates an environment that is ripe for learning and discovery. Small group leaders may develop lesson plans themselves, use resources from their place of worship, or purchase student books and leader’s guides for various courses.
Head to the library, the bookstore, or your favorite online shopping platform for Bible study books! There are many different kinds of books that provide different information about the Bible, and their multiple perspectives and approaches can give you a wealth of context for biblical understanding. Here’s a sampling of some of the types of books that are helpful and illuminating in Bible study:
Check out our featured books for a curated list of the best books for biblical literacy and understanding.
Lastly, make sure you’re not missing out on other resources available to you. These can take the form of content from trusted online sources like Massachusetts Bible Society, people in your community of faith, or even apps on your phone! We have identified at least one podcast that is dedicated to the exploration of God’s word via the simple daily exercise of Bible reading. With all these tools available to you, it’s important to remember that the Bible has authority for communities of faith who take time to study and prayerfully interpret its message. Sometimes all you need is the Bible, dedicated time, and a moment of mindfulness and prayer.
Here at the Massachusetts Bible Society, we’re dedicated to promoting biblical literacy. Biblical texts have been interpreted in diverse ways from generation to generation and are always filtered through the lens of the reader’s faith and life experiences. The Bible has authority for communities of faith who take time to study and prayerfully interpret its message, but it is also important for anyone who wants more fully to understand culture, religious thought, and the world in which we live. We believe that everyone should know the Bible, whether they accept it as their sacred text or not. To that end, we have created accessible and comprehensive resources for all who are curious.
Check out our Exploring the Bible courses and claim your free sample chapters, or explore our website for more! The Massachusetts Bible Society is a Christian organization that exists to promote biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue that is grounded in scholarship, socially relevant, and respectful of the many voices within the Bible and all those who turn to the Bible in faith. Donate today or consider planned giving to help us bring biblical understanding to the world!