Thursday, December 5, 2013

John MacArthur's "How to Study the Bible" Book

I recently purchased this bookHow to Study the Bible by John MacArthur. I've really come to like Dr. MacArthur -- I listen to his Grace to You podcast and I've listened to many of his sermons as well. I may not agree with him on everything Theologically, but he is a very sound Biblical Scholar.

This book is very short but very informative. While much of the information in the book is basic, one thing it helped me with was a basic Bible-reading strategy. I'm just now finishing up my cover-to-cover read through (for the first time). Although there have been pockets of more in-depth study, much of it has really been a read-through. I like MacArthur's approach - simply it's this:

For the Old Testament -- basically keep reading through the narrative over and over. He recommends doing this once a year if you devote about 20 minutes a day to OT reading. As you read through multiple times, and make notes of things you don't understand, as you re-read, and study more in the New Testament many answers will start to appear.

For the New Testament -- he recommends reading one book continually for 30 days for smaller books, or 7 chapter segments of larger books for 30 day periods. His example was this (and how he did it):

1 John - read the entire book every day for 30 days. Then move on the the Gospel of John. Divide that up into 3 sections of 7 chapters and read the Gospel of John over the course of 90 days. After that, move on to another shorter book such as Philippians, then Matthew (in chunks again), then Colossians, then Acts, and so forth.

This will allow a greater understanding, better comprehension and keep one from becoming (as he calls them) a Concordance junkie.

I'm tempted to give his method a try. He says you can complete the NT in 2.5 years this way. If I find it becoming a chore, I may move on after 2 weeks (14 days) and see how that pace goes. Has anyone else reading this done something similar? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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