If you are going to be studying the Bible, it may be read from different perspectives, and each one of these perspectives has its ideal methodology. For instance, if you are going to be studying the Bible for religious clarity, you will have a very different perspective on studying the Bible than someone who is only doing for the purpose of a theology degree. The Bible itself can be examined as a total and self-contained text, or it may be studied as part of history and philosophy. Plus, somebody’s opinions and views about the veracity of the Bible can also definitely have a hand in how the document will be studied. If you are lucky enough to find a group that shares a similarly inclined interest in the Bible, it will be very helpful in determining how to study the Bible.
One true fact that has to be said of all Bible study programmes is that it actually has to be fully read to be totally understood and examining it is essential. Bible stories have been passed on down and transferred through the many ages, but the actual reading of the words is absolutely necessary for a full comprehension of what is inside. Without any basis in the text, no full interpretation of the Bible has any grounding. For both religious and academic scholars of the Bible and other important reads such as the gates of Zion book, a full and complete reading must be undertaken.
Group Readings and Better Understanding
Those who are examining the Bible for religious reasons will usually discover that discussing the Bible with others of similar beliefs is indeed beneficial and helpful. At times, a religious official may help with adiscussion, but Bible discussion groups without official sanction can certainly be highly productive. In a number of cases, a group where the membership is characterised by a factor like age or gender can be very productive because all members will have a shared perspective on the Bible.
For those out there who are studying the Bible in an academic climate without any religious beliefs, the best piece of advice for studying the Bible is to keep all present manifestations of religious faith totally out of the discussion. There are some groups which call themselves Christian who don’t have much of a relationship to the text of the Bible, and their understanding of the Bible does not really define what is actually present within that sacred document. So, by trying to keep religion out of the discussion and examining just what is actually contained in the document, will it be possible to arrive at a much more lucid and unprejudiced interpretation.
Without a doubt, there is no strict division between those who study the Bible religiously and those who wish to study it academically. Both viewpoints, and many others, can be integrated into a total understanding of the Bible.