In the quest to better understand the Bible, Jennifer Hatmaker’s book A Modern Girl’s Guide to Bible Study is a valuable tool. I wanted to share a few of her recommendations. The book is surprisingly funny, something you would not expect in a book about studying the Bible. Usually considered a “serious” topic. She rocks as a writer. She is reverent about God, and teases a bit about “us”. I would confidently say that anything she writes you’d enjoy. I do. I have learned more from this book about studying the Bible, than through any other in the 15 years I have been doing this.
Excerpted from Jen’s book:
Ask the Holy Spirit (whose name is Teacher and Guide) to help us understand scripture. Every time. Always. Even if the verses are familiar to you. God’s word is new and living each day.
Identify the general topic and write it down. The “so what?”
Ask at least one per day-
- Play this idea out to its conclusion. If you do what this passage says, what will your life look like? If you don’t do what it says, what could happen?
- Write about the main idea of the passage rather than breaking it down verse by verse. What is the big picture here? What is God trying to say?
- What does God want you to walk away with more than anything else today?
- What is the ironclad truth of this passage? Does the world see this as truth?
- How does this verse fit into the context of the passage? Or chapter?
“From this place the main idea can be often expanded through journaling. This is where the Holy Spirit can enlarge our comprehension and multiply His Word. Extending the main point stems from questions such as these:”
- How is this truth manifested in today’s churches? Families? Believers? World?
- What does this passage tell you about God? Who is He here?
- What part of His character is exhibited? What is His best name here (teacher, comforter, healer etc.)
- Process through the main word of phrase that leaped off the page. Write as your mind works
- Can you boil down a passage to cause/effect? (When we _______, then God will ______; or vice versa)
- Write about any detail the Spirit helps you notice
Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know”