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everyday life inside the fishbowl

Worthy Word Wednesday: Book Recommendation ~ Women of the Word

on January 14, 2015

photo (8)I have become increasingly passionate in the last couple years about people–particularly women–learning how to study the Bible. It is so frustrating and sad when I see the level of biblical illiteracy that exists among Christians, particularly Christians who have been believers for many years. It seems that many people, especially women, are content to read devotionals, a Proverb-a-day, or topical readings about women in the Bible. The thought seems to be that deep study of Scripture should be left to the pastors and other theologians who have had some sort of higher training.

Lately, however, I have become more convinced than ever how important it is for every believer to know the Word. As I combat my own sinfulness, as I seek to view life through a biblical worldview, as I seek to evangelize the lost, and as I (most importantly) seek to know who God is and what he wants me to know, I have realized that we need to know all of Scripture. And we need to know it well.

Although taking a hermeneutics (principles of biblical interpretation) class would be nice, most people do not have this luxury. What then are we “plain folk” ( 😉 ) to do?

Jen Wilkin, a Christian author, speaker, and blogger, has written a great book to discuss this very issue, called Women of the Word: How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds. She writes in her introduction:

This book intends. . . . to teach you not merely a doctrine, concept, or story line, but a study method that will allow you to open up the Bible on your own. It intends to challenge you to think and to grow, using tools accessible to all of us, whether we hold a high school diploma [or not!] or a seminary degree, whether we have minutes or hours to give to it each day. This book intends to change the way you think about Bible study (p. 18).

In chapter 1, Jen discusses the need to turn around a couple ways we view Bible study. We first need to “let the Bible speak of God” (p. 23). Secondly, we need to “let the mind transform the heart” (p. 28).

In chapter 2, she lists several methods of Bible reading that are unhelpful (if done exclusively) for true biblical literacy:

  • The Xanax Approach: reading whatever passage that seems to deal with whatever problem I currently have
  • The Pinball Approach: reading whatever passage I randomly open
  • The Magic 8 Ball Approach: randomly pointing to a verse to make a decision
  • The Personal Shopper Approach (a.k.a. the Topical Bible Study): gives only a partial, non-cohesive understanding of Scripture
  • The Telephone Game Approach : reading books about the Bible
  • The Jack Sprat Approach: only reading the parts of Scripture that are easy, interesting, or seemingly applicable

Chapters 3-7 discuss what Jen calls the Five P’s of Sound Study: Study with Purpose, Perspective, Patience, Process, and Prayer.

In chapter 8, Jen walks her readers through how to study, using the book of James as an example.

Chapter 9 concludes with some wise words to women who are teachers or whom the Lord could use as teachers.

I highly recommend this book to women who are looking to really know God’s Word. Hopefully this is the desire of every woman. May our love for God be evidenced by our desire to know him!

(Jen has some excellent resources on her blog the beginning of wisdom as well. Our ladies’ group at church is nearly done with her 1 Peter Bible study, and we have thoroughly enjoyed it!)

{On Wednesdays, I share from a book, blog, or other resource some “worthy words.” I love to read, but my time for reading has been much decreased since the birth of my first child. I am encouraged when I am able to read snippets of precious truth as I come across them. Hopefully these few words will encourage your heart, as well as give you a resource for fuller reading as your time allows.}


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