It isn’t uncommon to have that group project in school where there is one person doing all the work and the other guy is sleeping the whole time while the remaining participants socialize the entirety of the project. This is not to speak for every group in project history but we can agree being grouped together brings a time of joy for some and a time of diligence for others. Either way, we should always try to make the most of time spent together with others to learn and develop good social skills. What makes a good team? What is the ideal variety a group should introduce? These are things we should think about before choosing who we wish to be partnered with before a big school project, or a big task at your job. These people can determine whether you have a pleasurable experience or a rough one. But when it comes to studying the bible, how do we know that the group we are a part of is an ideal one. There are many bible study groups to choose from, but let’s consider the following.
If you are in a bible study group, the biggest factor to determine a good group is if the group studies the bible, through the bible. Have you ever had a math teacher show you math out of a language arts textbook? Probably not, and if so that teacher is most likely currently not employed. And so, a math teacher will show you how to do math using a math textbook. For studying the bible, it should be the same way.
If you’re going to study the bible, it is most helpful to use the bible. Now, many bible studies have taken to introducing books written by pastors and organizations that quote on quote “explain the bible”. It seems harmless and like a great way to help others understand what the bible is trying to say. However, something we must take into consideration is, if we believe in one God, why then are there so many explanations and interpretations for God’s word?
It is like you, officially establishing that a strawberry is red, but others come behind you and claim that you said a strawberry is orange, or blue, and another guy comes and says you claimed the strawberry to be black. You established that the strawberry was red because it is what you have seen and experienced, but there are those who come behind you and teach others what they think they know about your personal experience, oftentimes them being wrong. The same thing happens when we take what we know about the bible outside of the bible. We understand that the bible is God’s word, that being the case, we should treat it as such. We should have the mentality when studying the bible that “this is what God said” and should leave it that way. Otherwise, if we add to what God has spoken, then it would be like us putting words in God’s mouth, and I think we all dislike that feeling when someone puts words in our mouth. Therefore when selecting a bible study, choose the one that uses the bible as its standard, so we ourselves can avoid putting words in God’s mouth.
Another key factor to an ideal womens or men’s bible study, which is one of the most basic factors, is to select a bible study with people in it. Obviously when looking for a group of people to study with, there has obviously got to be people there, to study with. However there are many people that try to take a solo route and study the bible on their own. In a sense there is nothing wrong with studying the bible on your own, however, for you to learn spelling, did you sit down alone one day and look at some random letters and then come to the conclusion that “Ah! These letters form this word”? Or did you have to have someone teach you the basics of spelling to know that a certain order of letters forms a word? And so although it is a basic concept, even with the bible, it is helpful to select a group in which someone can teach you the basics, and also where there are others learning with you. The benefits to studying in a group can be endless, but a few could be like someone helping you understand a concept you didn’t catch the first time around. In groups you can develop accountability so that everyone can learn at an even pace. Ultimately just having others around you as you are learning can be a very helpful environment, you will have more than one resource at your disposal, and you can build habits of tending to each other’s problems and questions.
There are many factors to what an ideal bible study can look like, but if you’re studying a subject, you want the textbook to that subject to study it properly. And if you’re studying, it is helpful to have others around you that can help you out. If studying was truly meant to be done alone, i do not believe many schools would be in business, but instead, we study together to be able to help each other reach a mutual understanding of a subject. So now, always remember to select the bible study that uses the bible as its standard, and study together with the people who are studying the same subjects or topics as yourself. Many resources have been provided to help with that such as https://ezbible.org/, and hopefully with all the tips provided, these will ensure that you will find the ideal bible study.