I have mentioned before how hard it is for me to consistently study the Bible when I am not teaching for Sunday School or in a women’s Bible study. It’s awful, I know, and something I am trying to combat.
This month, I started what will probably be a yearlong study on Ecclesiastes. By myself.
So let me explain.
I have learned from several of Beth Moore’s Bible studies over the years – Esther, Daniel, James, Breaking Free – and there are so many more. I love Beth Moore. I am even writing and researching for a book chapter on her right now. I have a friend who calls her “Mama Beth” because even though we have never met her (though we have attended her conferences), we feel like we know her. We love her.
One of her frequent comments is how she believes all women – and all people for that matter, male or female – have the ability to study God’s word on their own. There’s no magic formula. There’s no special equipment needed – just good, old fashioned research.
And right there, my nerdy, scholarly heart just fluttered.
I do love to research (I should; it’s a chunk of my job!). I love theories and research and seeing how communication connects society. A friend of mine (yep, she’s a photographer) is leading Sunday school this month and has handouts for us to fill out every week. I love that.
So if I can study the Bible on my own…I should.
There’s a Biblical scholar who said that to get a good grasp of Scripture, you need to read it in its entirety 30 times. If it’s a large book, break it up into sections. Ecclesiastes is not necessarily long (12 chapters), but it does take some time to read (like 25-30 minutes). So I’ve been reading it every day this month, sometimes doubling up if I missed a day (like I did earlier this week).
What I’ve found:
- My comprehension level of the book in its entirety is growing. I have questions I want to delve into further along in this study, but I’m remembering it so much more now.
- I’m getting a better sense in the book’s entirety. With Ecclesiastes, people normally assume it’s a depressing, “everything is smoke” book. It’s not, though. It’s actually, at least to me, uplifting. It doesn’t try to make you feel better; it tells you how things are, but…while the world is sinful, God is good. And that’s the point.
Next month, I’ll start researching Chapter 1 and looking into commentary. Matthew Henry is my go-to, but I was very fortunate to have a former pastor who loved the Old Testament and loved Ecclesiastes in particular. I’m sure he has written scholarly articles on the book.
So much information is at our fingertips! All we have to do is open our eyes.
Bible study materials to use
Matthew Henry online commentary
Risen Motherhood study tools