My last post before my summer break from blogging was about how to do Bible study. I wrote that post just a day before my copy of Jen Wilkin’s Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds* arrived in the mail.
Not surprisingly, Jen’s book did a much better job of articulating both the need for and the methods of Bible study. And then it did so much more.
I’ve been attempting some form of Bible study since 1991. Some attempts have been better than others. Like a lot of women I’ve met, I have spent a lot of time floundering around. I think this is because most churches aren’t teaching people how to study their Bibles. Average Christians have been left to their own devices in this area. Some of us end up shrugging our shoulders and giving up, figuring we can’t possibly figure this stuff out without some seminary classes. (I’ve been in that boat.) And some make attempts to study, but we’re never really confident that we’re getting it ‘right.’ (I’ve been in that boat too.)
If you’ve been in either of those boats, I offer you this advice: always wear a life jacket.
But seriously, Jen’s book addresses both the person who has given up and the person who isn’t sure they’re getting it right. She outlines several common yet dangerous Bible study approaches. In the first part of the book, she explains why those methods are problematic. In the second part of the book, she outlines an entire inductive study approach. Finally, she demonstrates the methods by taking the reader through a study of the book of James.
Jen’s tone is never accusatory or judgmental. Over and over, I got the sense that she ‘gets it’ because she’s been through the same things I’ve struggled with regarding Bible study. The book will challenge many, but it will also inspire. It is a quick read, written in accessible language, yet it does not compromise on the relevant points of Bible scholarship. I highly recommend it.
I did not receive anything in exchange for this review.
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