Bible teachers can fall into the trap of depending completely on the study and work of others in order to save time in lesson preparation. In other words, we sometimes get lazy. Bible teachers should always begin lesson preparation with prayer followed by study of the passage of Scripture to be taught. Never read the thoughts and interpretations of others prior to beginning your own study.
Even if you are not a Bible teacher, there is much to be gained from studying God’s Word for yourself. Paul told Timothy, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
Why shouldn’t we start with a Bible commentary or a lesson written by someone else? In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul tells Timothy “to be diligent.” The NIV and ESV read “do your best.” The KJV reads “study.” Paul’s instruction implies teachers of God’s Word are to be diligent in their preparation and study so that they can correctly teach the word of truth. Teachers who do so are approved unto God and need not be ashamed. There are many other reasons which I hope to address in a later blog. Today I want to recommend a tremendous resource for those of you who could use practical and inspiring insights on how to get the most out of your personal Bible study.
Mining For Gold, by Dr. Ken Hemphill, offers helpful instruction so that you can read the Bible for all it is worth. This book explains the divisions and books of the Bible and help the reader to understand the significance of historical and theological context. You will learn the right questions to ask as you approach any passage. This book is available from Amazon or Auxano Press.