Christians have different beliefs about the Bible, but all believe it is the inspired Word of God and revere it as the core of our faith. But how much of the Bible do we really understand? Most of us would probably answer that our knowledge of the Bible is pretty shallow.
Each Bible Study consists of a Bible reading assignment and a number of thought-provoking questions about the assignment. The questions are intended to challenge us to think and pray about the topic and to lead us to a deeper, more mature understanding of the Bible.
The Bible Studies are free for church and other nonprofit use, and are ideal for a Bible Study group that meets for about an hour, once a week. Five to ten people per group is the ideal size.
Printing: Select a lesson from the menu, then click the Questions Only button for a printer-friendly page. The questions are shown and blank space is provided to write answers. Print the page using the "Print" command from the "File" menu on your Web browser. Each group member should have a copy of this and write down his or her answers to the questions during the week before the group meets. We suggest a modern English translation of the Bible for best understanding.
Our Answers: Click the Our Answers button to see our suggested answers to some of the questions. Your can print the page using the "Print" command from the "File" menu on your Web browser. Either the facilitator or pastor should have a copy of our answers as a guide to help bring out important topics for discussion in the group. However, the benefit of the the Bible Study group is in the individual preparation for the session, and in the discussion with other group members. Our answers are only "food for thought" and should never be presented as the only right answer.
Group Dynamics: Each study group should have a facilitator to lead the group. The facilitator does not need to be an expert on the Bible. His or her job is simply lead the group through discussion of the questions and bring the discussion back to the topic if it wanders too far away.
All group members share a responsibility to create an atmosphere of openness and trust within the group by respecting the opinions, beliefs and experiences of others, and by keeping these things in confidence. In this atmosphere group members can share their faith deeply and grow in the study of God's Word.
Typically, the facilitator will begin each session with a prayer, lead the group discussion of the questions, and end with another prayer. It is not necessary to discuss all the questions. Concentrating on a few key issues may sometimes be more fruitful. Sometimes, the church's pastor will address the groups at the end to provide more insight into the topic.
The Bible Studies are nonsectarian, and are suitable for use by all Christian churches. It is appropriate for the groups or the pastor to discuss how the Bible passages relate to unique denominational beliefs and doctrines.