Getting into the Word

The basics of Bible study and discussion in small groups

If community is the glue of your group, worship is the heart, and evangelism the fruitful mission, then the foundation of the group is your weekly time spent together in the Word of God.

Do not underestimate the power of the Word of God. Among other things, the Bible is the best-selling, most read, most studied, and most memorized book in the world. It is also the most published book in the world—currently available in 1,500 languages—and the world's most quoted, cussed, and discussed book. History reveals that it is the most influential book ever written.

The Bible has inspired more songs, poems, and other books than any other written work. Archeology shows that it is the most reliable ancient text known to man. Fulfilled prophecy makes it the most unique book on the planet. Careful reading shows it to be the most honest, accurate, and interesting religious book ever penned. Because it is God's Word, the Bible is by far the most important book imaginable.

The point of the Bible and the reward for reading it is more than just to know interesting facts about what one finds within it. It is to know God and his plan for our lives. It was written so that you and I can become transformed—changed into his image. It is also here to help us become better equipped to make a difference in the world.

Bible Study Basics

When studying a passage of the Bible, there are three basic questions your group must always address:

  1. What does this passage say? This is the act of Observation. Read the passage through, asking: What does this passage seem to be saying? What is the author saying? Who wrote this passage? Who was he writing to? Why was he writing?
  2. What does this passage mean? This is the act of Interpretation. Take each passage in chunks of phrases, sentences, or paragraphs. As you look at it, answer the question: What did the author intend for this to mean? Try to paraphrase the answer into your own words.

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