What do a good detective and a good Bible student have in common? They both learn to ask good questions and draw solid conclusions.
When detectives arrive at a crime scene, they first observe. They look around and see the details most of us would overlook. Then they ask questions. Finally, they put all the facts together to make conclusions.
When you’re a student of the Bible, you approach Scripture like a detective.
You come to a text and look closely at it. You look for details that a quick read might overlook. You ask questions about it. You compare it with other Bible verses. Then you put it all together to figure out, “What does this mean to me today?”
Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people . . . Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord, and they study it day and night” (GNT).
To really get God’s Word into your life, you can’t just read it. You need to study it, like a good detective would.
The difference between just reading and studying is simple. When you read, you merely put your eyes on the words. When you study, you engage with the words. You might make notes with a pen or pencil. You may use a good Bible app to compare verses. You have an inquisitive mind that asks questions of the text.
Consider the investigation questions many of us learned in school: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Those are a great place to start with asking questions of the Bible.
Whether you’ve studied the Bible for years or you’re just getting started, one of the best ways to do it is with a small group. Together you’ll discuss, ask questions, listen, and share with other people. And you’ll gain insights you’d miss on your own.
If you’re not part of a local church, look for one that offers small group Bible studies. If your church doesn’t offer small groups, gather a group of friends to discuss each Sunday’s sermon or to study a book of the Bible together.
As you become a student of the Bible, you’ll come to know what the Bible says and what it means. And then you’ll be able to apply it to your life.