My youngest daughter and I are involved in a large homeschool co-op that meets on Fridays for 10 weeks in the Fall and 10 in the Spring. I have the privilege and fun of teaching 7th – 12th graders a class called Current Events and Biblical Worldview. I spend a lot of time stressing the importance of developing a Biblical worldview and that they must deliberately endeavor to do this by reading/studying God’s Word daily. I emphasize to them that if you don’t do this, by default you will embrace the world’s values, ideas and behaviors. I recently learned a brilliant plan to read the Bible.
In the past I have done a couple of Bible studies by Beth Moore and enjoyed them very much. Lately, I have come to realize though, that the best Bible study is to well, read the Bible! I recently heard John MacArthur give a Bible reading plan that I wish I had heard many years ago. He suggested reading the Old Testament straight through by reading about 15 minutes a day. For the New Testament he said to choose one book and read it daily for a month. Longer books could be broken up by reading seven chapters of it for a month then the next month read the next seven and so on. Doing this it would take 2-1/2 years to go through the whole Bible. I don’t remember how many times that means you would read the O.T. in that amount of time. He said that this way, over the course of a month, you really get to know that book. In fact, people ask him why he still reads the King James version and he said that if he got a new Bible, he would be lost as he can see in his mind exactly where on the page a certain chapter of a book is because he has read it so many times. I think this plan is brilliant. How often have you read a passage and then later can’t remember what it was about? I think that is a common experience. This method gets God’s Word firmly fixed in your mind so the Lord can use it “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16)
I receive no benefit for promoting John MacArthur, but a book that is very helpful for understanding the Scripture is one by him called The MacArthur Bible Handbook. This has a survey of each book of the Bible, outlines, maps and more. Some of this is also in his study Bible which I also really like and recommend. His study Bible has lots and lots of notes in it from his decades of study. While the notes people like him put in their study Bibles are not inspired like the Scripture, his are scholarly and accurate so you don’t end up with a wildly wrong interpretation. He is one Bible teacher that has remained a faithful student of the Word of God for a very long time so you don’t have to worry that he will lead you off in a wrong direction. It is important to rightly observe the passage of Scripture (what does it say, what are the facts such as is done in the Bible Handbook mentioned above), then rightly interpret the Scripture (what does it mean) and then finally apply the Scripture in your own life.
One thing I do when I am reading a book for a month is to listen to it some days. At www.biblegateway.com there is an audio Bible which is what I use. One thing to do for proper interpretation is to compare Scripture with Scripture and not take verses out of context. Another helpful resource to do this is The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge. If you are interested, read the description of the book at the link.
So my favorite Bible study would be to study the Bible yourself by consistently reading it through and allow God to make His word a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.