Is It A Good Idea to Teach The Bible Verse By Verse?

(Ver 1.2)  I’ve seen many pastors and teachers attempt to go through a book of the Bible and teach it independently verse by verse.  While you can certainly learn stuff by doing this, is this really the best way to approach the Word of God?  In my opinion it is not.  For example, take the book of Revelation.  Probably the most complex, confusing  and hard to understand book in the Bible.  I’ve seen teachers stand up and attempt to do a verse by verse walk thru of this book in isolation and the end result is usually just more confusion.   When you teach even a single verse of scripture independently of the rest of the Bible, many times you miss God’s commentary on the subject.  I believe one of the keys to understanding the Bible is letting the Bible interpret itself.  You do this by getting God’s definitions and commentary on all of the subjects that you are studying.  When you do this, you have a much better chance of getting it right.  For example, in books like Revelation that is filled with symbolism, you absolutely have to let the Bible define what these symbols mean or you will get it wrong.

Many times people are guilty of introducing their own opinions into what the Word of God means.  God being so much smarter than us, knew we would do that, but yet did not make the information in the Bible any clearer or easier for us to understand.  There must have been a reason for that and I’ve addressed some of those in other lessons.  One of the reasons was to allow man to have the freedom of choice.  Another reason was to hide information from His enemies.  Finally, I think another reason was to give us a challenge to figure it out and allow God the opportunity to reveal it at His perfect timing.  It’s funny but humans are naturally curious and they like puzzles, riddles and intellectual challenges.  God did not create humanity to be cave men, they were just created ignorant of so, so many things.  Ignorance is a reality for everyone.  No matter how much you learn and know, you haven’t come close to what God knows.  Will Rogers said “We are all ignorant, just about different things.”  How incredibly true that statement is.

The information, clues, explanations and commentaries of God are spread throughout the Bible.  Sometimes or many times they are very difficult to find.  We are faced with challenges because God uses various techniques to conceal information in the Bible and I will get more into them in other lessons.  One technique that God uses is symbolism.  Another is allegory.  Another technique is calling one object by many different names and descriptions.  Another technique is to call multiple objects by the same name making it more difficult for you to figure out which one God is talking about.  There are many other techniques that God uses to hide the truth and I call this “hiding the truth in plain sight.”  The truth is all right there for anyone to view and read, but yet it causes so much debate as to what it all really means.  Isn’t this fun?  You see the other day I did a search on the just one subject on the internet.  I searched Google for “The Identity of the Woman in Revelation 12” and guess what I was returned with over 6000 opinions what she meant.  That is a classic of example of how 6000 different people can have 6000 different interpretations on what God calls only one truth.

So is it a good idea to teach the Bible verse by verse, I guess it depends on how you do it.  If you research, study and see what God says about a subject in other places in the Bible and include that also in the teaching I would say that it would be OK to do it that way.  If however, you isolate yourself into a verse, chapter or book of the Bible and teach it independently of what God says about it in other places, then you are making a huge mistake.  Don’t become a Robinson Caruso Bible teacher and strand yourself on a verse island.  When you do this you will eventually starve your spirit, which will cause you die of spiritual malnutrition.    I hope you enjoyed my little Bible lesson about teaching in isolation and that it will help you to learn more about God’s Word.

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About agapegeek

Using the Bible to understand the Bible! Advanced Bible study for mature Chrisitians who want to grow.

Posted on November 23, 2009, in Bible Interpretation, Rules and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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