Many families who homeschool for religious reasons include Bible study as part of their “core curriculum.” Some complete homeschool curricula include Bible study, but a lot of us prefer to do even our homeschool Bible study directly from the Bible itself. This book by Andy Deane, who serves as an associate minister on the staff at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge in central New Jersey, is designed not only to encourage Bible study but also to help people learn how to study the Bible and to make Bible study interesting so that they will get more out of it.
Following the introduction on the joy of Bible study, the first five chapters provide tips for profitable Bible study and give some general guidelines about determining what a passage says, what it means, and what it asks us to do. There follow forty more chapters with forty different Bible study methods. Andy says, “The hundreds of hours spent researching and experimenting with these forty methods will enable you to find one or more that will fit your goals and begin enhancing your understanding of God’s Word today.” Trying different methods will help one stay fresh in his approach to God’s Word, draw out spiritual truths from the Scriptures that he may have otherwise missed, and avoid the dryness that can sometimes creep into routines. Some of the chapters are basic study methods with simple ways for everyone to study the Word. Others are major study methods with time-tested approaches for those who want to go deeper. Still others are creative study methods that add variety to Bible study. There are chapters on studying specific kinds of passages, and even study methods suitable for younger students. The last two chapters have information on building a Bible reference library and some final thoughts.
Of course, the principles found in this book would be beneficial for any private, individual Bible study, but I believe that they could well be used in homeschool Bible study also to give variety. It might be interesting to try one method for a few weeks, then move on to another, using several different ones over a period of time. And the application section of each chapter will guarantee that even the homeschool Bible study will result in more than just an academic exercise. The book is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to dig deeper into the Bible and for anyone who has the opportunity to teach the Bible to others. The related website is http://www.LearnToStudyTheBible.com.
Note: Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of the book for this review.