How to Study the Bible

How to Study the Bibleby Watchman Nee

ISBN: 0-7363-0407-X
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry

Currently in: Table of Contents of 5 Section 1 of 1

CONTENTS

  1. Three Prerequisites
  2. Entering into Three Things Related to the Holy Spirit
  3. Keys to Studying the Bible
  4. The Practice of Studying the Bible
  5. Various Plans for Studying the Bible

PREFACE

This book, How to Study the Bible, contains messages given by Watchman Nee in Kuling during his training for his co-workers between 1948 and 1949.

PREFACE TO THE CHINESE EDITION

The Bible is the inspired word of God, and every child of God should spend time to study it.

The Bible shows us what God has done for us in the past and what He has said. It also shows us the ways that God has guided men in the past. In order to acquaint ourselves with the riches and vastness of God’s provisions, we have to study the Bible.

God’s present speaking is based on His past speaking. When God speaks to others through us, He does so through His established word. We must let the word of God dwell richly in our hearts before we can hear His speaking today and before He can make us ministers of His word.

The purpose in publishing these messages is to provide the readers with the prerequisites to the study of the Bible and to furnish them with some important tools in the study of the Word. It is our hope to render some help to those who have a desire to know the Scripture. May God bless this book and its readers.

SECTION ONE

PREPARING THE PERSON

In order to study the Bible properly, one has to meet two basic requirements. The first requirement is that the person must be right; he must pass through proper training. The second requirement is that he has to have the right methods. During the past few centuries, in particular since the rise of Protestantism, many books have been published on the study of the Bible. Many of them are very good, but almost all are short in one matter—they only pay attention to methods of studying the Bible; they do not pay enough attention to the person who is studying the Bible. They give the impression that anyone who uses these methods will achieve good results. Many have tried these methods but have not found any profit to their study. Those who have written books on the study of the Scripture have studied the Scripture well, but those who try to imitate them by approaching the Bible with the same methods do not necessarily fare as well. This is because the imitators have forgotten who they are. The study of the Bible is not only a matter of methods but a matter of the person. Some study the Bible well because they—the persons—have learned the proper lessons from God. When they find the right methods to assist in their study, they reap rich results. It is wrong to pass on methods without considering the kind of person one has to be. Even when some have the right methods, they can never study the Bible well because they are wrong in their very person.

This is a very important point. The study of the Bible is not merely a matter of right methods but a matter of right persons. A person must be right before he can adopt the right method to study the Bible. Methods are important because without good methods, one cannot study the Bible well. But the person must also be properly calibrated before he can study the Bible well. Some people have a misguided concept that very few people can study the Bible. Others have a mistaken notion that anyone can study the Bible. Both are wrong. It is wrong to think that very few people can study the Bible, and it is equally wrong to think that everyone can study the Bible. Only one kind of person can study the Bible, and we have to be that kind of person before we can study the Bible well. We have to see that the person is first; the methods second. If the person is wrong, nothing will work even if one has all the right methods. If the person is right, the right methods can be put to good use. Some people pay much attention to good methods. Even though we also pay proper attention to good methods, we should never make methods our first priority. The methods do not come first; the person does. First, we have to be right in our person, and then we can speak about the best methods of Bible study.

In order to answer the question on how to study the Bible, we have divided our discussion into two parts. The first part concerns the preparation of the person, and the second part concerns the methods of studying. We will first consider the preparation of the person.


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